supported northern army under Gen. Gates. The legislature of Pennsylvania, probably sore from the loss of their capital, on hearing that Washington was about to retire into winter quarters, presented a remonstrance to Congress on that subject, in which their dissatisfaction with the General was far from being concealed. A copy of this being sent to him, he addressed Congress in terins very different from his usual style. He stated, “ that though every thing in his power had been done for supporting his army, yet their inactivity, arising from their manifold wants, was charged to his account; that the army seldom had provisions for two days in advance.; that few of his men had more than one shirt, many only a moiety of one, and some none at all; that soap, vinegar, and such like articles, though allowed by Congress, had not been seen in camp for seve, ral weeks; that by a field return two thousand eight. hundred and ninecy eight of his army were unfit for duty, be. cause they were barefooted, and otherwise naked; that his whole effective. force in camp.amounted to no more than eight thousand two hundred men fit fur duty; that notwithstanding these complicated wants, the remonstrance of the Pennsylvania legislature reprobated the measure of his gaing into winter quarters, as if its authors thought the sol. diers were made of stocks or stones, and as if they conceired it easily practicable for an inferior army, circumstanced as his was, to confine a superior one, well appointed and every way provided for a winter's campaign, within the city of Philadelphia, and to cover all the circumjacent coun. try from their depredation.” He assured the complainers, « that it was much easier to draw up remonstrances in a confortable room by a good fire side, than to occupy a cold bleak hill, and sleep under frost and snow, without clothes or blankets.

To the other vexations which crowded on. Gen. Wash. ington at the close of the campaign of 1777, was added one of a peculiar nature. Though he was conscious he had never solicited, and that it was neither from motives of interest nor of ambition he had accepted the command of the army, and that he had with clean hands and a pure heart, to the utmost of his power, steadily pursued what his best judgment informed him was for the interest of his coun.. Hy; yet he received certain information that a cabal, con:

sisting of some members of Congress, and a few General Officers of the army, was plotting to supersede him in his command. The scheme was to obtain the sanction of some of the state legislatures to instruct their delegates to move in Congress for an inquiry into the causes of the failures of the campaigns of 1776 and 1777, with the hope that some intemperate resolutions passed by them would either lead to the removal of the General, or wound his military feel. ings so as to induce his resignation. Anonymous papers containing high charges against him, and urging the necessity of putting some more energetic officer at the head of the army, were sent to Henry Laurens, President of Congress, Patrick Henry, governor of Virginia, and others. These were forwarded to Gen. Washington. In his reply 10 Mr. Laurens, he wrote as follows: " I cannot sufficiently express the obligation I feel toward you for your friend. ship and politeness, upon an occasion, in, which I am so deeply interested. I was not unapprized that a malignant faction had been for some time forming to my prejudice, which,. conscious as tam of having ever done all in my power to answer the important, purposes of the trust reposed in me, could not but give me some pain on a personal account; but my chief concern arises from an apprehension of the dangerous consequences which intestine dissensions may prove to the common cause.

* As I have no other view than to promote the public good, and am unambitious of honours not founded in the approbation of my country, I would not desire in the least degree to suppress a free spirit of inquiry into any part of my conducts that even faction itself may deem reprehensible. The annoymous paper


you exhibits rious charges, and it is my wish that it may be submitted to Congress.

This I am the more inclined to, as the suppression or concealment may possibly involve you in embarrasyments hereafter, since it is uncertain how many, or who

may be privy to the contents. “ My encmies take an ungenerous advantage of me... They know the delicacy of my situation, and that motives of policy deprive me of the defence I might otherwise make against their insidious attacks. They know I cannot combat insinuations, however injurious, without disclosing secrets it is of the utmost moment to conceal. But why

many se

should I expect to be exempt from censure, the unfailing lot of an elevated station ? Merit and talents, which I caninot pretend to rival, have ever been subject to it; my heart tells me it has been my unremitted aim to do the best which circumstances would permit ; yet I may have been very often mistaken in my judgment of the means, and may, in many instances, deserve the imputation of error."

About the same time it was reported that Washington had determined to resign his command. On this occasion he wrote to a gentleman in New-England as follows :-“ I can assure you that no person ever heard me drop an expression that had a tendency to resignation. The same principles that led me to embark in the opposition to the arbitrary claims of Great Britain, operate with addi. tional force at this day ;. nor is it my desire to withdraw my services while they are considered of importance in the present contest; but to report a design of this kind is among the arts which those who are endeavouring to effect a shange, are practising to bring it pass. I have said, and I still do say, that there is not ari officer in the United States that would return to the sweets of domestic. life with more heart-felt joy than I'should! But I'would have this declaration accompanied by these sentiments, that while the public are satisfied with my endeavours, I mean not to shrink from the cause ; but the moment her voice, not that of faction, calls upon me to resign, I shall do it with as much pleasure as ever the weary traveller retired to rest.'

These machinations did not abate the ardour of Washington in the common cause. His patriotism was too solid to be shaken either by envy or ingratitude. Nor was the smallest effect produced in diminishing his well earned reputation.- Zeal the most active, and services the most beneficial, and at the same time disinterested, had riveted him in the affections of his country and army. Even the victorious troops under General Gates, though comparisons highly flattering to their vanity had been made between them and the army in Pennsylvania, clung to Washington as their political saviour. The resentment of the people was generally excited against those who were supe posed to be engaged in or friendly to the scheme of appointing a new commander in chief over the American army.



Generał Washington prepares for the campaign of 1778... Surprises the British, and defeats them at Monmouth... Arrests General Lee.... Calms the irritation excited by the departure of the French fleet from Rhode Island to Boston... Dissuades from an invasion of Canada.

WASHINGTON devoted the short respite from field duty which followed the encampment of the army at Valley Forge, to prepare for an early and active campaign in the year 1778. He laboured to impress on Congress the necessity of having in the field a regular army, at least equal to that of the enemy. He transmitted to the individual states a return of the troops they had severally furnished for the continental army.

While this exhibited to each its defici. ency, it gave the General an opportunity to urge on them respectively the necessity of completing their quotas.

Congress deputed a committee of their body to reside in camp, and, in concert with Gen. Washington, to investigate the state of the army, and to report such reforms as might be deemed expedient. This committee, known by the name of “The Committee of Arrangements,' repaired to Valley Forge, in January, 1778. Washington laid before them a statement, in which a comprehensive view of the army was taken, and in which he minutely pointed out what he deemed necessary for the correction of existing abuses, and for the advancement of the service. . He recommended, “ essentially necessarv, that in addition to present compensation, provision should be made by half pay, and a pensionary establishnient for the future support of the officers, so as to render their commissions valuable." He pointed out the insufficiency of their pay, especially in its present state of depreciation, for their decent subsistence; the sacrifices


they had already made, and the unreasonableness of expecting that they would continue patiently to bear such an overproportion of the common calamities growing out of the necessary war, in which all were equally interested ; the many resignations that had already taken place, and the probability that more would follow, to the great injury of the service ; the impossibility of keeping up a strict disci. pline among officers whose commissions, in a pecuniary view, were so far from being worth holding, that they were the means of impoverishing them." These, and other weighty considerations, were accompanied with a declara. tion by Gen. Washington, that he neither could nor would receive the smallest benefit from the proposed establishment, and that he had no other inducement in urging it, but a full conviction of its utility and propriety.”

In the same statement the commander in chief explained to the committee of Congress the defects in the quarter masters, and other departments connected with the support and comfort of the army; and also urged the necessity of each state completing its quota by draughts from the militia. The statement concludes with these impressive words: “ Upon the whole, gentlemen, I doubt not you are fully impressed with the defects of our present military system, and with the necessity of speedy and decisive measures to place it on a satisfactory footing. The disagreeable picture I have given you of the wants and sufferings of the army, and the discontents reigning among the officers, is a just representation of evils equally melancholy and important; and unless effectual remedies be applied without loss of time, the most alarming and ruinous consequences are to be apprehended.” The committee were fully impressed with the correctness of the observations made by the commander in chief, and grounded their report upon them. A general concurrence of sentiment took place. Congress passed resolutions, but with sundry limitations, in favour of half pay to their officers for seven years after the war ; and gave their sanction to the other measures suggested by Washington, and recommended by their committee. .But, from the delays incidental to large bodies, either deliberating upon or executing public business, much time neces. sarily elapsed before the army received the benefits of the proposed reforms; and in the mean time their distresses

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