Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/101

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found the ford so opportunely;—nothing was said about him, however.

A few days later the British army had completely evacuated Philadelphia. We followed it almost within sight, and at Rareton Rivers, General Lee attacked the enemy's rear-guard, in the morning. This was composed of 7,000 men, the flower of the army, and comprised the regiment of Foot Guards. I was present at this affair, where the Marquis de la Fayette was under Lee's orders. We were thoroughly beaten, our soldiers fled in the greatest disorder, and we could not succeed in rallying them, or even in getting thirty men to keep together. As usually happens, the general who commanded was accused of treason. This was my first battle.

The stragglers re-formed behind our main army, which they met with in their flight, whilst the British, proud of their victory, though it was but a partial one, had the imprudence to pursue us with the reinforcements which they had drawn from the advance guard. General Washington waited for them in a strong posi-