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LIEUT. GEN. SIR RALPH ABERCROMBIE.
HAVING in our last Number furnished our readers 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 I 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 continue to be excited, and our endeavours lhall be unceasing for its gratisication. Memoirs are always interesting, provided the subject is well chosen, and the incidents properly arranged. We seel a sympathy in the perufal ot such kind of narratives, and, accordingly, pieces of biography have at all times been held in high estimation.
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 lise. One of his brothers was killed at the battle of Bunker's Hill, near Boston,
Vol. VIII. K in in America, in which many brave o(ficers were lost to their country.
The subject of our Memoirs entered the army about the year 1756, and in the year 1760 he was made Lieutenant, a promotion which his early merit secured to him. He became I»ieutenant-coionel in 1775, and was constituted Major General in 1787. From these several advancements, it appears that he passed regularly through the gradations which are necessary for eminence in a military station. The time intervening between the appointments, must have given him an excellent opportunity for acquiring (kill in his prosession. In the year 1793, we have been credibly informed he attained to his present rank of Lieulenant-general, a station in which he has acquitted himself with a considerable degree of approbation. From this period it seems that his talents have been peculiarly called forth into exercise, and his conduct has justisied 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 specissied in which his bravery was manisested. Unintimidated he faced the foe, nor did any one nerve remain unexerted for the acquisition of victory. Success, however, is not always attendant en 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 sully imagined. The havoc and destruction scattered around by the instruments of death, must be inconceivable. No person can properly conceive the state of an army after an unsuccesssul eessful 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 necessities 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 iflands were witnesses of the steadiness and perseverance which he displayed in the service of his country.
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 fay, and justice requires it should be faid, that Sir Ralph AberCrombie exerted his utmost efforts to effect the restoration of tranquillity. He was unwearied in his attempts to conciliate the minds of that distracted people, by calling them to their duty ; an ofsice, on any occasion, 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 consided; and under his immediate eye, was the sirst debarkation of 11,000 troops, August z7, 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 sellow-creatures miserable, and yet not posK. 1 sess