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relief afforded by a timely supply of money, soon restored the Jersey line to order.
In August, 1781, Colonel BARBER accompanied the Jersey line on their march to Virginia, and was at the investment and capture of the British army at Yorktown. During the march of the army, Colonel BARBER, as before, kept his wife informed by letter, of the daily movements of the American and British armies, so far as the latter could be ascertained. One of those letters, so correctly foretold the glorious termination of the contest, as to seem written almost in a spirit of prophecy; it proves, at least, the accuracy of his judgment. Speaking of the enemy, he says, “sometimes their movements indicate the design of embarking from some southern port, probably to return to New York; others of proceeding to Yorktown. If they pursue the first alternative, the struggle may yet be protracted for some time. If the latter, I think it will be brought to a speedy and glorious termination.” The latter was adopted, and the auspicious result soon followed; peace was concluded, and the independence of the country was confirmed. The day on which the commander-in-chief intended to communicate these joyful tidings to his army, was the day on which this high minded soldier was summoned from this, to witness the more glorious realities of another world. On that day many of the officers, and such of their wives as were in camp, were invited to dine with the commander-in-chief at New Windsor, and among the rest, Colonel BARBER and his wife. He was acting at the time as officer of the day in place of a friend. While on duty, and passing by the edge of a wood where some soldiers were cutting down a tree, it fell on him, and both rider and horse were instantly crushed to death. He had received an intimation that the commander-in-chief intended to communicate to the officers at his table, the intelligence of peace before it appeared in general orders.
His afflicted and disconsolate widow received letters of condolence from many of the officers upon this mournful event. It was, in truth, a cloud that not only shrouded her mansion in mourning, but appeared to eclipse for ever, the brightness of her future prospects. To the honor of his native state, its legislature allowed to her, during life, the half pay of a Colonel. The death, the untimely death of this gallant officer was not only lamented by all his companions in arms, but long after sorrow was soothed by the lapse of time, many a war-worn soldier has halted at the mansion of his widow, to recount his virtues and consecrate his memory with a tear.
JOHN BARR Y.
The war of independence was conducted with a very small naval armament, which sprang into existence during its progress, and was indebted for its successes to the genius and prowess which the emergencies of the times developed. John BARRY, whose valor and services were eminently conspicuous in that perilous conflict, was born in Ireland, in the county of Wexford, in the year 1745. A passion for a maritime occupation, which he displayed at an early age, induced his father, who was an agriculturist, to place him on board of a merchantman. The intervals of his voyages were assiduously engaged in the improvement of his mind. At the age of fourteen or fifteen, he emigrated to America, and having entered into the employment of the most respectable merchants of this country, continued to pursue his favorite profession with earnestness and signal
The commencement of the war of indedendence found him a prosperous man, actively employed, and rapidly acquiring wealth. To that contest he could not long remain indifferent. His ardent love of liberty, combined with those admirable qualities which were the foundation of his growing reputation, impelled him to sacrifice the brightest prospects, to embark in the noble, but impoverishing struggle for freedom. He accordingly abandoned, to use his own language, “the finest ship, and the first employ in America,” and entered into the service of his adopted country.
In 1776 he was employed by congress to fit for sea, the first fleet that sailed from Philadelphia, and by the authority of the council of safety of that city, he superintended the building of a state ship. In the month of March, of the same year, he was requested to take the command of the brig Lexington, of sixteen guns, and clear the coast of the enemy's small cruisers with which it was infested. He accepted the appointment, although it was destitute of emolument, and notwithstanding a British forty-two gun ship, and two frigates were actively cruising in the capes of the Delaware, he successfully performed the duty assigned to him. He captured some of the enemy's small cruisers, and compelled the rest to keep in port. Prior to the declaration of independence, he was transferred to the command of the frigate Effingham, and in the succeeding winter he displayed fresh proofs of his enterprising and patriotic spirit. The frigate being useless, in consequence of the suspension of the navigation, he sought other means of aiding the cause which he had espoused. With a mind fruitful of resources as it was daring and skilful in the use of them, he exhibited on land the prowess and sagacity by which he had acquired distinction upon the ocean. Having obtained the command of a company of volunteers, and some heavy cannon, he assisted in the operations at Trenton, and continued with the army during the winter campaign, performing important services, and winning admiration and respect. When the British obtained possession of Philadelphia, he took the frigate up the river Delaware, with the hope of saving her from the enemy. When within a few miles of the city, and in a situation in which, without risk to himself, he might have traitorously advanced the cause of Great Britain, an offer was made to him of fifteen thousand guineas, and the command of the frigate in the king's service, if he would bring in the ship. The bribe was indignantly rejected, and the answer returned by Captain BARRY, “ that he scorned any offer they could make him.” The frigates Washington and Effingham were subsequently burnt by a detachment of soldiers sent by Lord Howe for that purpose.
Whilst Captain BARRY was deprived, by the occupation of Philadelphia by the enemy, of an extensive sphere of usefulness, his daring spirit, impatient of restraint and incapable of inactivity, was continually exerting its power in hazardous enterprises. Supplies of provision for the army were, at times of urgent necessity, procured through his instrumentality. On one memorable occasion, he manned two boats belonging to the frigates, and proceeded down the river with such secrecy and despatch, that the first knowledge of his expedition was conveyed to the enemy by the destruction of their vessels. Consternation and disnay agitated the hostile ranks, and facilitated the work of ruin which marked his rapid progress. Two large ships, and a schooner carrying eight guns and thirty-two men, were taken and destroyed. The courage which inspired the small, but heroic band, is not alone sufficient to account for his wondersul success, but it must be ascribed to a combination of daring bravery and consummate skill, by which the diminutive power under his control was directed with unerring rapidity and irresistible force.