These divisions, on their retreat, were guided by a brilliant young officer, Aaron Burr, then an aide-de-camp to the rough, simple-hearted old wolf-killer General Putnam; and the rear was protected by Alexander Hamilton and his company of New York artillerymen, who in one or two slight skirmishes beat off the advance guard of the pursuers.
Washington drew up his army on Haarlem Heights, and the next day inflicted a smart check on the enemy. An American outpost was attacked and driven in by the English light troops, who were then themselves attacked and roughly handled by the Connecticut men and Virginians. They were saved from destruction by some regiments of Hessians and Highlanders; but further reinforcements for the Americans arrived, and the royal troops were finally driven from the field. About a hundred Americans and nearly three times as many of their foes were killed or wounded. It was nothing more than a severe skirmish; but it was a victory, and it did much to put the Americans in heart.
Besides, it was a lesson to the kings troops, and made Howe even more cautious than usual. For an entire month he remained fronting Washingtons lines, which, he asserted, were too strong to be carried by assault. Then the rough sea-dogs of the fleet came to his rescue, with the usual daring and success of British seamen. His frigates