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nation, instead of being exultant, were in- growing at Cambridge; it had been adoptdignant or apologetic, and each had its ed by Congress, even before the battle, own theory in regard to the innumerable and George Washington, of Virginia, had errors of that day," as the London Chron- been unanimously placed in command, by icle called them. Tried by this test of con- recommendation of the New England deltemporary criticism, the Americans do not egates. He assumed this position standseem to have exaggerated the real impor- | ing under the historic elm-tree at Cam

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tance of the event. "The ministerial | bridge, July 3, 1775. On the 9th he held troops gained the hill,” wrote William a council of war of the newly organized Tudor to John Adams, “but were victori- general officers. The whole force was ous losers. A few more such victories, still from New England, and consisted of and they are undone. By the official 16,770 infantry and 585 artillerymen. accounts these troops lost in killed and These were organized in three divisions, wounded 1054, about one in four of their each comprising two brigades, usually of number, including an unusually large six regiments each. They had a long seproportion of officers, while the Ameri- ries of posts to garrison, and they had cans lost but half as many, about 450, out nine rounds of ammunition per man. of a total of from two to three thousand. Worst of all, they were still, in the words But the numbers were nothing; the fact of Washington, “a mixed multitude of that the provincials had resisted regular people, under very little discipline." Their troops was everything.

whole appearance under the new organizaThe "great American army” was still tion may be best seen from the contemporary description by Rev. William Emer- Washington, and this not without some son, grandfather of our great poet and es apparent reason. In a state of society sayist:

which, as has been shown, was essen

tially aristocratic, they had suddenly lost “There is great overturning in the camp, as

their leaders. Nearly one-third of the to order and regularity. New lords, new laws. The Generals Washivgton and Lee are upon

community, including almost all those to the lines every day. New orders from his Ex- whom social deference had been paid, had cellevey are read to the respective regiments taken what they called the loyal, and othevery morning after prayers. The strictest ers the Tory, side. Why should this imgovernment is taking place, and great distinc-ported Virginian be more trustworthy ? tion is made between officers and soldiers. Washington in turn hardly did justice to Every one is made to know his place, and keep the material with which he had to deal. in it, or be tied up and receive thirty or forty He found that in Massachusetts, unlike lashes, according to his crime. Thousands are at work every day from four till eleven o'clock Virginia, the gentry were loyal to the in the morning. It is surprising how much King; those with whom he had to consult work has been done. The lines are extended

were mainly farmers and mechanics-a almost from Cambridge to Mystic River, so class such as hardly existed in Virginia, that very soon it will be morally impossible and which was then far rougher and less for the enemy to get betweeu the works, ex- intelligent than the same class now is. cept in one place, which is supposed to be left They were obstinate, suspicious, jealous. purposely unfortified to entice the enemy out They had lost their natural leaders, the of their fortresses. Who would have thought, rich men, the royal councillors, the judges, twelve months past, that all Cambridge and Charlestown would be covered over with Amer- and had to take up with new and imican camps and ent up into forts and intrench- provised guides,physicians like Warren ments, and all the lands, fields, orchards, laid (-Doctor-General" Warren, as the Britcommon-horses and cattle feeding in the ish officers called him), or skilled mechanchoicest mowing laud, whole fields of corn ics like Paul Revere, or unemployed laweaten down to the ground, and large parks of yers and business men like those whom well-regulated locusts cut down for fire-wood Governor Shirley described as “that brace and other public uses! This, I must say, looks

The few men of property a little melancholy. My quarters are at the and consequence who stood by them, as

of Adamses." foot of the famous Prospect Hill, where such great preparations are made for the reception Hancock and Prescott, were the excepof the enemy. It is very diverting to walk tions. Their line officers were men taken among the camps. They are as different in almost at random from among themselves, their form as the owners are in their dress; sometimes turning out admirably, someand every tent is a portraiture of the temper times shamefully. Washington cashiered and taste of the persons who encamp in it.

a colonel and five captains for cowardice Some are made of boards, and some of sailcloth. Some partly of one and some partly of The Continental army as it first assembled

or dishonesty during the first summer. the other. Again, others are made of stone in Cambridge was, as was said of another and turf, brick or brush. Some are thrown up in a hurry; others curiously wrought with army on a later occasion, an aggregation doors and windows, done with wreaths and of town-meetings, and, which is worse, of withes, in the manner of a basket. Some are town-meetings from which all the accusyour proper tents and marquees, looking like tomed leaders had suddenly been swept the regular camp of the enemy. In these are


No historian has yet fully porthe Rhode Islanders, who are furnished with trayed the extent to which this social revtent equipage and everything in the most ex olution in New England embarrassed all act English style. However, I think this great variety is rather a beauty than a blem- the early period of the war, or shown how ish in the army."

it made the early Continental troops chafe

under Washington and Schuyler, and preAll that was experienced on both sides fer in their secret souls to be led by Genat the beginning of the late American civil | eral Putnam, whom they could call “Old war in respect to rawness of soldiery, in- Put," and who rode to battle in his shirt experienced officers, short enlistments, lo- sleeves. cal jealousies, was equally known in the And, on the other hand, we can now early Continental army, and was less eas- see that there was some foundation for ily remedied. Even the four New Eng. these criticisms on Washington. With land colonies that supplied the first troops the highest principle and the firmest purwere distrustful of one another and of pose, his views of military government


were such as no American army
in these days would endure for a
month. His methods were simply
despotic. He thought that the
Massachusetts Provincial Legisla-
ture should impress men into the
Revolutionary army, should pro-
vide them with food and clothes
only, not with pay, and should do
nothing for their families. He
himself, having declined the of-
fered $500 per month, served his
country for his expenses only, and
so, he thought, should they, over-
looking the difference between
those whose households depended
only on themselves and those who,
like himself, had left slaves at work
on their broad plantations. He
thought that officers and men
should be taken from different
social classes, that officers should
have power almost absolute, and

offenses should be punished by the lash. These imperial methods produced a good effect, on the whole; probably it was best that the General should err on one side if York, whither Washington soon took his the army erred on the other. But there is Continental army also. Once there, he no doubt that much of the discontent, the found new obstacles. From the very fact desertion, the uncertain enlistments, of the that they had not sent away their loyalists, next two years proceeded from the diffi- there was less of unanimity among the culty found by Washington in adapting people, nor had they been so well trained himself to the actual condition of the peo- by the French and Indian wars. The ple, especially the New England people. New England army was now away from It is the highest proof of his superiority home; it was unused to marches or evothat he overcame not merely all other ob- lutions, but it had learned some stacles, but even his own mistakes. fidence in itself and in its commander,

Such as it was, the army remained in though it did not always do credit to camp long enough to make everybody im- either. It was soon re-enforced by troops patient. The delay was inevitable; it was from the Middle States, but a period of easier to provide even discipline than pow- disaster followed, which severely tested der; the troops kept going and coming the generalship of Washington. He no because of short enlistments, and more longer had, as in Massachusetts, all the than once the whole force was reduced to loyalists shut up in the opposing camp; ten thousand men. With that patience he found them scattered through the comwhich was one of Washington's strongest munity. Long Island was one of their military qualities he withstood dissatis- strongholds, and received the Continental faction within and criticism from with army much less cordially than the British out until the time had come to strike a army was received at Staten Island. The heavier blow. Then, in a single night, Hudson River was debatable ground behe fortified Dorchester Heights, and this tween opposing factions ; Washington's forced the evacuation of Boston. The own military family held incipient traiBritish generals had to seek elbow-room tors. The outlook was not agreeable in elsewhere. They left Boston March 17, any direction, at least in the Northern 1776, taking with them twelve hundred colonies, where the chief contest lay. American loyalists, the bulk of what call- There was a disastrous advance into ed itself “society” in New England. The Canada, under Montgomery and Amold, navy went to Halifax, the army to New culminating in the defeat before Quebec



December 30, 1775, and the retreat conduct should have been in the Congress a mied the next spring by Thomas and Sulli- nority that shrank from adopting the van. It was clearly a military repulse, but Declaration; and perhaps one ought not it was a great comfort to John Adams, to be surprised that the chief spokesman looking from the remoteness of Philadel- of this caution should have been that phia, to attribute all to a quite subordinate very John Dickinson who had, as the

“Our misfortunes in Canada,” “Pennsylvania Farmer," done more than he wrote to his wife, June 26, 1776, “are any other writer, save Thomas Paine only, enough to melt a heart of stone. The to bring about the separation. It is often small-pox is ten times more terrible than seen in history that the very sense of reBritons, Canadians, and Indians together. sponsibility which rests on the early advoThis was the cause of our precipitate re-cates of a measure makes them recoil when treat from Quebec.” Thus was disap- the time for action comes: Dickinson pointment slightly mitigated; but in the pointed out that the Declaration of IndeCarolinas, about the same time, it was the pendence would not strengthen the coloBritish who were disappointed, and the nies“ by one man or by the least supply"; defense of Fort Moultrie especially gave that it would expose the soldiers to new comfort to all the patriotic party. It was cruelties; that without some trial of their a brilliant achievement, where the fate of strength they ought not to risk "an alterCharleston and the Carolinas was deter- native where to recede would be injury, mined by the defense of a fortress of pal- and to persist might be destruction"; that metto logs, manned by less than five hun- it would be a menace to England, an affront dred men, under Moultrie, aided by Motte, to France, and a cause of dissension among Marion, and the since-renowned Sergeant the colonies themselves. Others joined Jasper. They had thirty-one cannon, but him, and Rutledge, of South Carolina, said only a scanty supply of powder. Over privately that "it required the impudence them waved a flag of blue, with a crescent of a New-Englander for them in their disinscribed, “Liberty.” Against them was jointed state to propose a treaty to a naa squadron of British ships, some of them tion now at peace.” John Adams, on the carrying fifty guns; and they defended other hand, believed that the whole thing themselves so successfully for ten hours should have been done seven months earthat the British invasion was checked, and lier. But the will of the Congress was so then abandoned. This happened on June clear that Rutledge at last joined in the 28, 1776, just in time to counteract the dis- vote for the sake of unanimity, and the couragement that came from the fatal Ca- Pennsylvania Farmer could only absent nadian campaign.

himself from the Congress. On the day The encouragement was needed. Just after the adoption of Richard Henry Lee's before the time when the Continental original resolutions as to declaring indeCongress had begun its preliminary work pendence and entering into foreign treaon the great Declaration, General Joseph ties, John Adams wrote, “Yesterday the Reed, the newly appointed Adjutant-Gen- greatest question was decided which ever eral, and one of Washington's most trust- was debated in America, and a greater ed associates, was writing thus from the perhaps never was nor will be decided field:

any more.

Two days after, the draft of Jefferson's “With an army of force before and a secret

“Declaration," with its few amendments, one behind, we stand on a point of land with six thousand old troops, if a year's service of

was adopted by Congress, and three days about half can entitle them to this name, and later John Adams wrote to his wife, “Our about fifteen hundred raw levies of the pro- army at Crown Point is an object of vince, many disatfected and more doubtful. wretchedness enough to fill a humane Every man, froin the General to the private, ac- mind with horror-displaced, defeated, quainted with our true situation, is exceeding- discontented, dispirited, diseased, naked, ly discouraged. Had I known the true pos- undisciplined, eaten up with vermin, no ture of affairs, no consideration would have tempted me to take part in the scene; and this victuals but salt pork and flour.” On the

clothes, bed, blankets, no medicines, no sentiment is universal."

same day-such is the power of the huWashington himself wrote almost as man mind to restore itself by a change of discouragingly, and it is scarcely strange thoughts-he sent her a much longer episthat under these circumstances there tle on the varieties of English style and the

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importance of a careful perusal of Rollin's | Probably no man at that period set the Belles-Lettres. Fortunately no human great Declaration quite so high as John being can live always on the heights of Adams; but Rollin's Belles-Lettres must great historic events; every day must be also by all means be kept in mind. diluted with a little commonplace, and The Declaration of Independence was must seem to those who live through it publicly read throughout the colonies, and rather less great and eventful than it is. was communicated by Washington in a

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