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LIEUT. GEN. SIR RALPH ABERCROMBIE. AVING in our last Number furnished our rea
ders with a Sketch of the DUKE OF YORK ; we now proceed to notice an officer who, next to his Royal Highness, has the principal command of the army destined for the reduction of Holland ! There is a propriety in such a succession of characters, on whom the public eye is now intent; and who are, indeed, engaged in an undertaking the most important of all the events which the present melancholy contest has produced. Whilst the war continues, curiosity must com. tinue to be excited, and our endeavours shall be un. ceasing for its gratification. Memoirs are always interesting, provided the subject is well chofen, and the incidents properly arranged. We feel a sympathy in the perusal of such kind of narratives, and, accordingly, pieces of biography have at all times been held in high eftimation.
SIR RALPH ABERCROMBIE is a native of North Britain, and of a very respectable family. He has several brothers, some of whom have distinguished themselves on the theatre of public life. One of his brothers was killed at the battle of Bunker's Hill, near Boston, VOL. VIII.
in America, in which many brave officers were lost to
The subject of our Memoirs entered the army about the year 1756, and in the year 1760 he was made Lieu. tenant, a promotion which his early merit secured to him. He became Lieutenant-colonel in 1773, and was constituted Major General in 1787. From these several advancements, it appears that he passed regularly through the gradations which are necessary for emi. nence in a military station. The time intervening between the appointments, must have given him an excellent opportunity for acquiring skill in his profession.
In the year 1793, we have been credibly informed he attained to his present rank of Lieutenant-general, a station in which he has acquitted himself with a confiderable degree of approbation. From this period it feems that his talents have been peculiarly called forth into exercise, and his conduct has justified the expectations of those individuals to whose patronage he is indebted for his promotions. At the commencement of the present war, he went over with the Duke of YORK, and acted under him with uncommon zeal and ability. Were we to enter into particulars, various engagements might be specified in which his bravery was manifested. Unintimidated he faced the foe, nor did any one nerve remain unexerted for the acquisition of victory. Success, however, is not always atiendant on the brave; but the brave endeavour to deserve that success which the fortune of war sometimes denies.
Before we quit this part of our Memoir, it may be proper just to mention, that at the conclusion of the campaign, when the Duke of York was unfortunate, SIR RALPH ABERCROMBIE had consigned to him the sick and wounded of every description. The multiplied horrors of war cannot be fully imagined. The havoc and destruction scattered around by the instrumenrs of death, must be inconceivable. No person can properly conceive the state of an army after an unsuc
cessful vice of his country.
cessful campaign, except he become an eye-witness of its miserable condition. To alleviate these distresses was the peculiar province, at that period, of this humane officer. His attention, we understand, on this occasion, to the wants and neceflities of the army, in general, was very great, and is deserving of our warmest applause.
In 1795, SIR RALPH was appointed to undertake many commissions in the West Indies; expeditions to various parts were planned and executed by him with ability. 'Many of the islands were witnesses of the steadiness and perseverance which he displayed in the ser
Upon his return home, he was soon destined to allay the discontents of unhappy Ireland. We mean not to enter into the history of the rise and progress of the rebellion in that kingdom. But we may say, and justice, requires it should be said, that Sir RALPH ABER: CROMBIE exerted his utmoft efforts to effect the ref. toration of tranquillity. He was unwearied in his at. tempts to conciliate the minds of that distracted people, by calling them to their duty; an office, on any occafion, honourable to humanity.
The present expedition to Holland, designed to reduce the Dutch to their former allegiance to the Prince of Orange, is a great undertaking. To SIR RALPH ABERCROMBIE was the execution of this plan confided ; and under his immediate eye, was the first debarkation of 12,000 troops, August 27, at the Helder,' effected. We recollect reading the dispatches on that Business, and we remarked his concern for the loss of Several individuals who perished on that occasion. He particularly mentions how much he was affected at seeing the boats overset; not being able to afford any assistance to these unfortunate persons. Indeed nothing can be more afflictive to a man of sensibility, than to perceive his fellow-creatures miserable, and yet not pof.