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who have persevered through every extremity of hardship, suffering, and danger, being immortalized by the illustrious appellation of the Patriot Army, nothing now remains but for the actors of this mighty scene to preserve a perfect, unvarying consistency of character through the very last act; to close the drama with applause; and to retire from the military theatre with the same approbation of angels and men, which have crowned all their former virtuous actions.
FOR this purpose, no disorder or licentiousness must be tolerated; every considerate and well-disposed soldier must remember, it will be absolutely necessary to wait with patience, until peace shall be declared, or Congress shall be enabled to take proper measures for the security of the public stores, &c. As soon as these arrangements shall be made, the General is confident there will be no delay in discharging, with every mark of distinction and honour, all the men enlisted for the war, who will then have faithfully performed their engagements with the public. The General has already interested himself in their behalf; and he thinks he need not repeat the assurances of his disposition to be useful to them on the present, and eve
ry other proper occasion. In the mean time he is determined that no military neglects or excesses shall go unpunished, while he retains the command of the army.
THE adjutant-general will have such working-parties detached to assist in making the preparation for a general rejoicing, as the chief engineer, with the army, shall call for ; and the quarter-master-general will also furnish such materials as he may want. The quarter-master-general will, without delay, procure such a number of discharges to be printed as will be sufficient for all the men enlisted for the war; he will please to apply to head-quarters for the form.
An extra ration of liquor to be issued to every man to-morrow, to drink PERPETUAL PEACE, INDEPENDENCE, AND HAPPINESS TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
A CIRCULAR LETTER,
FROM HIS EXCELLENCY GEORGE WASHINGTON,
THE great object for which I had the
honor to hold an appointment in the service of my country, being accomplished, I am now preparing to refign it into the hands of congress,and return to that domestic retirement, which, it is well known, I left with the greatest reluctance; a retirement for which I have never ceased to sigh through a long and painful absence, in which (remote from the noise and trouble of the world) I meditate to pass the remainder of life in a state of undisturbed repose; but, before I carry this resolution into effect, I think it a duty incumbent on me to make this my last official communication, to congratulate you on the glorious events which Heaven has been pleased to produce in our favour, to offer my sentiments respecting some important subjects, which appear to me to be intimately connected with the tranquillity of the United States, to take my leave of your Excellency as a public cha
racter, and to give my final blessing to that country in whose service I have spent the prime of my life; for whose sake I have consumed so many anxious days and watchful nights; and whose happiness, being extremely dear to me, will always constitute no inconsiderable part of my own,
IMPRESSED with the liveliest sensibility on this pleasing occasion, I will claim the indulgence of dilating the more copiously on the subject of our mutual felicitation. When we consider the magnitude of the prize we contended for, the doubtful nature of the contest, and the favourable manner in which it has terminated; we shall find the greatest possible reason for gratitude and rejoicing: this is a theme that will afford infinite delight to every benevolent and liberal mind, whether the event in contemplation be considered as a source of present enjoyment, or the parent of future happiness; and we shall have equal occasion to felicitate ourselves on the lot which providence has assigned us, whether we view it in a natural, a political, or moral point of view.
THE citizens of America, placed in the most enviable condition, as the sole lords and
proprietors of a vast tract of continent, comprehending all the various soils and climates. of the world, and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniencies of life, are now, by the late satisfactory pacification, acknowledged to be possessed of absolute freedom and independency; they are,from this period to be considered as the actors on a most conspicuous theatre, which seems to be peculiarly designed by providence for the display of human greatness and felicity: here they are not only surrounded with every thing that can contribute to the completion of private and domestic enjoyment, but heaven has crowned all its other blessings, by giving a surer opportunity for political happiness than any other nation has ever been favoured with. Nothing can illustrate these observations more forcibly than the recollection of the happy conjuncture of times and circumstances, under which our republic assumed its rank among the nations. The foundation of our empire was not laid in a gloomy age of ignorance and superstition, but at an epoch when the rights of mankind were better understood, and more clearly defined than at any former period : researches of the human mind after social happiness have been carried.