Puslapio vaizdai

cess at the latter place, he had been compelled to return to Orsova, where, for a time, the crown had been concealed in the house of George Theodore, one of his confederates. Kuger also learned that Kossuth, with the assistance of trusty friends, had left Orsova by night, and, after crossing the river, proceeded on horses of his own purchase toward Wallachia. The same night also his companions had purchased digging utensils at Old Orsova, and set out for the Eiser. It was well known that Kossuth had not conveyed the crown to Kutayah, though, according to the Austrian authorities, he had displayed at Widdin a paper crown with false jewels, which led many to believe him still in possession of the real crown.

When the snow and ice had disappeared the next spring no traces of an excavation could be discovered in the vicin

ity of Orsara. Equally futile was the diligent search in the fastnesses of the neighboring mountains. For two years all the efforts of the indefatigable Austrians were entirely fruitless. It was then determined to renew the search in the vicinity of Orsova. The chest containing the insignia had now been buried so long that all hopes of finding any traces of the excavation were past, and Kuger turned his attention to a minute examination of every tree, and shrub, and hill-side in the woody district about Orsova. He soon discovered in an isolated corner of the AllionAu, by the side of an old and long since abandoned highway, broken branches and other indications that incited to a most careful examination. The limbs had evidently not been removed by a person in search of fuel. The handle of a hatchet was found, and also an elegant watch-key. The soft light soil, the disturbed underwood, the proximity of the spot to the Danube and the Turco-Servian shore, convinced the commissioner that the place of concealment could not be far distant. The examination was prosecuted diligently until the morning of September 8, 1853, when one of the laborers struck upon the long-wished-for iron chest.


this manner, after a search of four years, the earth was compelled to yield up, though reluctantly, one of the noblest treasures ever concealed in her bosom. Some of the Austrians appear to have believed that the inspiration of a higher

power induced Kuger to renew his search in the vicinity of Orsova, but Austrian gold and Hungarian treachery had more to do with the matter. Were it not for these the royal insignia would doubtless still remain where they were concealed. The traitor was no less a person than Szemere, one of the republican ministers of Hungary, and since a violent enemy of Kossuth. Let his name be spoken only with aversion.

The chest containing the insignia was completely covered as well as lined with rust. Under the mantle of King Stephen were the lesser insignia used at the coronation of the Hungarian kings. In one corner stood the long-sought crown, still retaining its pearls and jewels, and by its side lay the scepter, the sword covered with rust, and the imperial globe. It is singular that Kossuth and his companions did not remove the royal jewels from the crown previous to its concealment, and secrete them upon their persons, since they are of immense value, and, indeed, the chief ornaments of the trophy. Had such been the case, even though the jewels had fallen into the hands of the Turks, the éclât attending the discovery of the crown would have been far less. One is also surprised that Kossuth and his followers did not take refuge in the almost impregnable fortress of Peterwardein, in Lower Hungary, instead of seeking a refuge among the Turks. We were in Vienna when the royal insignia were brought there in 1853. Immense preparations had been made for the proper reception of those mementoes of down-trodden Hungary. The Emperor Francis Joseph, who has never yet ventured to wear the crown of Stephen, made it convenient, however, to be absent from the city. We saw no expressions of joy whatever, much less of enthusiasm. A deep and death-like silence pervaded the immense crowds on the ramparts in the Graben and St. Stephen's Square that, indicated more sadness than delight. Even the minions of Francis Joseph seemed to look upon the cherished idol of the Magyars as something they were unworthy to possess, while here and there the dark and earnest face of a Hungarian spoke of burning thoughts that his lips could not utter. It is now kept in the royal castle of Buda. That, O reader, is one of the few diadems worthy to be worn; nor will it many years remain a trophy in the hands of the young Nero of Austria.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]


IKE the wars of Napoleon, the American Revolution brought together a great number of talented military leaders. It may be doubted, however, whether there were as many really great generals in the American war as fought in the various campaigns of the mighty Corsican, and whether the greatest won, in every instance, the fame which they deserved. In war success is the test of merit. I shall not attempt to undervalue success, that unspiritual god, the mammon of the worldly-minded; but I question whether the greatest men are ever immediately successful. That they are not so in art and literature, witness the lives of many noble artists and poets. The battle-field, however, is not the world of art; for being of the earth, earthy, its successes and defeats are more immediate than those of thought and philosophy. Art conquers slowly and silently; war marches on to the sound of its own trumpets, and plucks its conquests from the flying moments. We respect the prudent and sagacious general, whose plans are so well matured

that defeat is out of the question, but we admire the bold and dashing soldier, who turns defeat into victory. Washington and Wellington are eclipsed in vulgar estimation by Napoleon and Murat, and even Mad Anthony Wayne. Mad Anthony is an unusual favorite with all who admire nerve and impetuosity. His capture of Stony Point was one of the most brilliant achievements of the Revolution, and is worthy of the fame which it gave him.

Anthony Wayne was born on the first of January, 1745. His grandfather, from whom he was named, was a native of England, who quitted the land of his birth in 1681, or thereabouts, and established himself as an agriculturist in Ireland. He entered the army of William of Orange, and in the contest for supremacy between that prince and the exiled James fought at the battle of the Boyne, and at the siege of Limerick, and, like Othello, did the state "some service," which was acknowledged at the time, but afterward forgotten, much to the chagrin of doubty

Anthony the elder. Displeased with the government, and dissatisfied with the country of his adoption, the old soldier started off at the age of sixty-three, and began the world anew in another land. He pitched his tent in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1722, and there, in due time, Mad Anthony was born. Few memorials of his early years have come down to us; or else his biographers have neglected to make use of them. The one from whom I draw the materials of the present sketch, which, by the way, comes from Sparks's "American Biography," even omits the name of his father! He mentions incidentally that Anthony was an only son, and that he was sent to school with his uncle, Gilbert Wayne, who was a thorough pedagogue, and had but a mean opinion of his new pupil. We forgive Gilbert, however, since the only account that we have of Anthony's boyhood is contained in one of his letters to Anthony's father.

"I really suspect," says the scholastic Gilbert, "that parental affection blinds you, and that you have mistaken your son's capacity. What he may be qualified for I know not; but one thing I am certain of, that he will never make a scholar. He may make a soldier; he has already distracted the brains of two thirds of the boys under my direction, by rehearsals of battles and sieges, etc. They exhibit more the appearance of Indians and harlequins than students; this one decorated with a cap of many colors, and others habited in coats as variegated as Joseph's of old; some laid up with broken heads, and others with black eyes. During noon, in place of the usual games and amusements, he has the boys employed in throwing up redoubts, skirmishing, etc. I must be candid with you, Brother Isaac; unless Anthony pays more attention to his books I shall be under the painful necessity of dismissing him from the school."

Thus far Uncle Gilbert to Papa Isaac. (I beg the pardon of my biographer for saying that he forgot to mention the name of Anthony's father. Not finding it in the proper place, I supposed it entirely omitted, for which I cry "Peccavi!" Speaking of omissions, it is not generally known, I believe, that Washington Irving in the first edition of his recently published "Life of Washington," omitted to state the year in which Washington was born!) Uncle Gilbert's letter seems to have cre

ated a stir in the Wayne mansion, for Anthony was brought up to the paternal bar, and arraigned on several heinous charges, the chiefest of which was neglect of study, and ingratitude to his parents. He was severely lectured, and it was left with him to decide whether he would return to school and give his attention to study, or be condemned to immediate and lasting labor on the farm. As might have been expected, he chose the former alternative, and returned to Uncle Gilbert, and "the Pierian spring." He "drank deep," as the poet directs, and was received again into his uncle's favor. There were no more rehearsals and sham battles in that neighborhood for many a year. Instead of attacking mud forts he attacked the outposts of science, and gradually carried them, to the great joy of his now admiring relatives. At the end of a year and a half he not only satisfied Uncle Gilbert that he possessed a capacity for scholarship, but drew from him a confession that he had acquired all that he could teach him, and merited the means of a higher and more general instruction. His father coinciding in this opinion, he was sent to the Philadelphia Academy, where he remained until his eighteenth year, studying mathematics and astronomy, and with such success, that when he left school he returned to his native county, and opened an office as land surveyor.

He remained in Chester County two or three years, at the end of which time he left it for Nova Scotia. The peace of 1763 having given Great Britain a full and uncontested possession of Nova Scotia, she was anxious to colonize her newlyacquired territory. To attain this end, associations from the older provinces were encouraged to seek grants of the crown. The conditions were easy, requiring but a small investment of capital. A company of merchants and others in Pennsylvania engaging in this speculation, an agent was required to visit the territory offered for settlement, to inspect the soil for agricultural purposes, to ascertain the means of commercial facility connected with it, and, if the report were favorable, to locate the tract to be granted. Dr. Franklin was one of the company, and taking into consideration his natural shrewdness and business capacity, it is creditable to Anthony that, out of the many applicants for this agency, the doctor

should have especially recommended him. He was chosen, after a full trial of his qualifications, and in addition was appointed a superintendent of the settlements actually made. He was then in his twenty-first year. In 1767 the menacing character of the controversy between the colonies and the mother country put an end to the enterprise. He returned to Philadelphia, and, marrying the daughter of Benjamin Primrose, an eminent merchant of that city, settled once more in Chester County, where he devoted himself to land surveying and agriculture. Six or seven peaceful but uneventful years passed, and found him on his farm. He sympathized deeply with the revolutionary spirit of the day, and what was still better, helped to enkindle it in the hearts of his neighbors; not by political declamations and windy braggadocios, but by deeds. He abstracted himself, says his biographer, from the political councils of the province, and gave his whole time and labors to the institution and instruction of military associations throughout his county. In the short space of six weeks he was able to organize a volunteer corps, "having more the appearance of a veteran than of a militia regiment." In January, 1776, Congress conferred upon him the rank of colonel, and the command of one of the four regiments, required from Pennsylvania, as re-enforcements for the Northern army. His regiment was soon raised, equipped, and marched to Canada. formed a part of Thompson's brigade, then stationed at the mouth of the River Sorel. Hearing that the British commander-inchief had hazarded a detachment of six hundred light infantry as far westward as Trois Rivières without any sustaining corps, Major-General Sullivan, the American commander, resolved to strike at this detachment and recapture the post. He accordingly dispatched Thompson with three regiments, among others that of Wayne, on the expedition. Owing to some blundering on the part of Thompson, who was a tactitian of the old school, it was unsuccessful, and the Americans were forced to retreat. Morning broke while they were maneuvering and revealed them to the British, by whom they were overmatched. Thompson and those who adhered to him were driven into a morass, where they were captured, and Colonel St. Clair, the officer next in command,


being disabled by his wounds, the command fell to Wayne, who conducted in safety the mass of the brigade to the western side of the River Des Loups, whence it made its way along the northern bank of the St. Lawrence to the village of Berthier, and thence back to the American camp at the mouth of the Sorel. Wayne was severely wounded, but he saved the remains of the brigade. About this time a heavy British column marched in the direction of Montreal. The alarm produced by this fact, and by the obvious facility with which Carleton could now get possession of Chambly and St. John's, and thus completely cut off the retreat of the American army, induced General Sullivan to order the evacuation of the post on the River Sorel, and an immediate retreat to Lake Champlain; to Wayne and the Pennsylvania regiment was assigned the duty of covering this movement, and an arduous duty it seems to have been; for they were so pressed for time that the last boats were not beyond the reach of musket shot when the head of the British column entered the fort. On July 17th the army and its hospital, baggage, and stores were safely lodged at Ticonderoga, the point selected for future defense.

The British general was ready to renew hostilities in October; but after reconnoitering the American fortifications, he concluded it would not be advisable to invest them so late in the season, and withdrew his army to Canada for the win


The defeat of Washington on Long Island, and his consequent retreat through the Jerseys, left him so ill provided with men that General Gates marched eight regiments to the aid of his commander-inchief, leaving Ticonderoga and two thousand five hundred men in charge of Colonel Wayne. Congress approved of this arrangement, and conferring on the colonel the rank of brigadier-general, continued him in command of the fort until the ensuing spring, when, at his own request, he was called to the main army. Arriving at head-quarters on the fifteenth of May, 1777, he was placed at the head of a brigade, "which," Washington remarked on the occasion, "could not fail to be soon and greatly distinguished."

The leading objects of the British in the campaign of 1777 were the expulsion of Congress from Philadelphia, and the capture of that city. To withdraw Wash

ington from his position at Middlebrook, the forks of the river, ordering him to General Howe sent two heavy columns in the month of June to Brunswick; they maneuvered for several days in succession, alternately threatening the American camp and the city. Failing in these demonstrations, he feigned to be alarmed for his own safety, and counterfeited a hurried retreat to Staten Island. Not perceiving his design, Washington dispatched Generals Sullivan, Maxwell, Wayne, and Morgan, and their respective corps, in pursuit, reserving himself and the main army to sustain an attack, or cover a retreat. Sullivan and Maxwell failed to arrive in time, consequently what was intended to be done by the four corps, fell upon the two commanded by Wayne and Morgan. They displayed great bravery and good conduct;" (so ran Washington's letter to Congress ;) "constantly advancing on an enemy far superior to themselves in number, and well secured by redoubts."


In the meantime Washington, who had left his camp at Middlebrook, reached Quibbleton, and pushed forward Sterling's division to the neighborhood of Matuchin meeting-house. Learning of this disposition of the American forces, Howe determined to march against Washington, while Cornwallis should endeavor to seize the heights of Middlebrook. His plans were discovered by a reconnoitering party, who apprised Washington of his danger, enabling him to regain and secure his former position. Having lost the only chance his wary antagonist had given him, Howe hastened back to New York to begin his preparations for approaching Philadelphia by sea.

On the morning of the eleventh of September he arrived at the southern bank of the Brandywine, where Washington had made his dispositions for trying the fortunes of a battle. The defense of Chad's Ford, the point most accessible to the enemy, was committed to Wayne, who had the second brigade and a portion of Proctor's artillery added to his command.

On his left, at two miles' distance from him, lay Armstrong and his division; on his right Sullivan, Stirling, and Stephen. Greene kept in the rear as a reserve. Leaving Knyphausen at the ford to engage Washington by a series of demonstrations on his rear, Howe dispatched Cornwallis with the bulk of the army to

gain the northern bank, and, marching
downward, to take Washington's position
on the rear, while Knyphausen, forcing the
ford, should attack it in front. It was
two o'clock in the afternoon before Gen-
eral Wayne was apprised of the strength
and probable object of Cornwallis's col-
umn; finding a new disposition of his
army necessary, he directed the three di-
visions forming the right of his line to
change their front and move rapidly in the
direction of the expected attack. The
change was made, and the movement be-
gan, and for a time was well sustained,
but now occurred one of those causeless
panics which occasionally seize the brav-
est; the right of the American line gave
way, and was soon followed by the flight
and disorder of the center and left.
Greene and his reserve came up, however,
and compelling the assailants to halt, cov-
ered the retreating corps.
In the mean-
time Knyphausen had attacked Wayne,
but he defended himself bravely till near
sunset, when, learning the defeat sus-
tained by his rear, he withdrew his division
to the main army.

On the sixteenth the two armies again approached each other with the mutual design of fighting another battle. Wayne was assigned the post of honor, which was to lead the American attack. The action, which was close and sharp, commenced near the Warren Tavern, and would soon have become general, but for a heavy fall of rain, which separated the combatants. The whole stock of ammunition belonging to the Americans having been spoiled by the storm, Wayne ordered a retreat to Parker's Ferry, where a fresh supply could be obtained.

Washington posted himself on the eastern bank of the Schuylkill, and learning that Howe still intended to occupy his former position, he dispatched General Wayne to watch his movements and to cut off his baggage and hospital train. He immediately re-crossed the Schuylkill, and on the twentieth placed himself and his detachment three miles in Howe's rear. Night coming on, and Smallwood, who was to have joined him with the Maryland militia, not having arrived, he planted his pickets and sentinels, and threw forward patrols of horse on the different roads leading to the camp. Between nine and ten o'clock he learned

« AnkstesnisTęsti »