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knowledgments Congress have the satisfaction of expressing to your excellency.
HOSTILITIES have now ceased, but your country still needs your services; she wishes to avail herself of your talents in forming the arrangements which will be necessary for her in the time of peace ; for this reason your attendance at Congress has been requested. A committee is appointed to confer with your excellency, and to receive your assistance in preparing and adjusting plans relative to these important objects.
I AM too sensible of the honourable reception I have now experienced, not to be penetrated with the deepest feelings of gratitude.
NOTWITHSTANDING Congress appear to estimate the value of my life beyond any services I have been able to render the Uni. ted States, yet I must be permitted to consider the wisdom and unanimity of our national councils, the firmness of our citizens, and the patience and bravery of our troops, which have produced so happy a termination of the war, as the most conspicuous effect of the divine interposition, and the surest presage of our future happiness.
HIGHLY gratified by the favourable sentiments which Congress are pleased to express of
my past conduct, and amply rewarded by the confidence and affection of
fellow citizens, I cannot hesitate to contribute my best endeavours towards the establishment of the national security in whatever manner the sovereign power may think proper to direct, until the ratification of the definitive treaty of peace, or the final evacuation of our country by the British forces; after either of which events, I shall ask permission to retire to the peaceful shade of private life.
PERHAPS, sir, no occasion may offer more suitable than the present to express my humble thanks to God, and my grateful acknowledgments to my country, for the great and universal support I have received in every vicissitude of fortune, and for the many distinguished honours which Congress have been pleased to confer upon me in the course of the war.
OF GENERAL WASHINGTON TO THE ARMIES OF
THE UNITED STATES.
Rocky-Hill, néar Princeton, Nov. 2, 5783. THE United States in Congress assembled, after giving the most honourable testimony to the merits of the federal armies, and presenting them with the thanks of their country, for their long, eminent and faithful service, having thought proper, by their proclamation bearing date the 18th of October last, to discharge such part of the troops as were engaged for the war, and to permit the officers on furlough to retire from service, from and after to-morrow, which proclamation having been communicated in the public papers
for the information and government of all concerned ; it only remains for the commander in chief to address himself once more, and that for the last time, to the armies of the United States, (however widely dispersed individuals who compose them may be) and to bid them an affectionate, a long farewel.
BUT before the commander in chief takes his final leave of those he holds most dear,
he wishes to indulge himself a few moments in calling to mind a slight review of the past :-he will then take the liberty of exploring, with his military friends, their future prospects ; of advising the general line of conduct which in his opinion ought to be pursued; and he will conclude the Address, by expressing the obligations he feels himself under for the spirited and able assistance he has experienced from them, in the performance of an arduous office.
A CONTEMPLATION of the complete attainment (at a period earlier than could have been expected) of the object for which we contended against so formidable a power, cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude. The disadvantageous circumstances on our part, with which the war was undertaken, can never be forgotten. The singular interposition of providence in our feeble condition, were such as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving—while the unparalleled perseverance of the armies of the United States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement, for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.
it is not the meaning, nor within the compass of this Address, to detail the hard. ships peculiarly incident to our service, or to describe the distresses which in several instances have resulted from the extremes of hunger and nakedness, combined with the rigours of an inclement season ; nor is it necessary to dwell on the dark side of our. past affairs. Every American officer and soldier must now console himself for any unpleasant circumstances which may have 6ccurred, by a recollection of the uncommon scenes in which he has been called to act no. inglorious part, and the astonishing events of which he has been a witness ; events which have seldom, if ever before, taken place on the stage of human action, nor can they probably ever happen again. For who has before seen a disciplined army formed at once from such raw materials ? who that was not a witness could imagine that the most violent local prejudices would cease so soon, and that men who came from the different parts of the continent, strongly disposed by the habits of education to despise and quarrel with each other, would instantly become one patriotic band of brothets? or who that was not on the spot, can trace