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the country, had Arnold's treason succeeded, made the sacrifice necessary for the public safety. The American officers universally discovered a sympathy for the unfortunate sufferer, and the sensibility of the public was greatly excited on the occasion.
Great, but unavailing endeavours had been used by Sir Henry Clinton to save Major André. Even Arnold had the presumption to write a threatening letter to General Washington on the subject. The General deigned not to answer his letter, but he conveyed to him his wife and his baggage. The merits and the fate of André gave a darker shade to the baseness and treachery of Arnold, and he became an object of public detestation and abhorrence. André,”, observed General Washington in a letter to a friend, " has met his fate with that fortitude which was to be expected from an accomplished man and gallant officer; but I am mistaken if at this time Arnold is undergoing the torments of a mental hell. He wants feeling: From some traits of his character, which have lately come to my knowledge, he seems to have been so hackneyed in crime, so lost to all sense of honour and shame, that while his faculties still enable him to continue his sordid pursuits, there will be no time for remorse." *
* Colonel Hamilton in a private letter to a friend unfolded the practices to which General Washington here alludes.
« This man (Arnold) is in every sense despicable. In addition to the scene of knavery and prostitution during his command in Philadelphia, which the late seizure of his papers has unfolded, the history of his command at West Point is a history of little as
Arnold published at New York, an address to the inhabitants of America, and a proclamation to the officers and soldiers of the American army. In these publications, he attempted to sow the seeds of disaffection to the government among the citizens, and to allure, by the prospect of emolument and promotion, numbers from the army to the British standard; but these publications met with universal indignation and contempt. During the whole period of the revolutionary war, the infamous Arnold was the only American officer who deserted his banners, and turned his sword against the bosom of his country.
On the discovery of the defection of Arnold, General Washington strengthened the garrison of West Point, and moved the army to a position to support it, should Sir Henry Clinton make an attempt to carry the post. But although he had acquired a correct knowledge of its works, and was assisted by the advice of Arnold, he was not inclined to hazard the assault unaided by plot and stratagem. The state of the army lay perpetually upon
the mind of the Commander in Chief. Not wholly discouraged by former unsuccessful attempts to persuade Congress to adopt a permanent military establishment, he embraced the inactive period of this campaign once more to address that honourable body on this important subject.
well as great villainies. He practised every dirty art of peculation, and even stooped to connexions with the settlers of the garrison to defraud the public."
His letter was dated as early as August, while exerting himself to be in readiness to co-operate with the French troops, and he observed,
“But while we are meditating offensive operations which may either not be undertaken at all, or being undertaken may fail, I am persuaded Congress are not inattentive to the present state of the army, and will view in the same light with me the necessity of providing in time against a period (the first of January) when one half of our present force will dissolve. The shadow of an army that will remain, will have every motive, except mere patriotism, to abandon the service, without the hope which has bitherto supported them of a change for the better. This is almost extinguished now, and certainly will not outlive the campaign, unless it finds something more to rest upon. This is a truth of which every spectator of the distress of the army cannot help being convinced. Those at a distance may speculate differently; but on the spot an opinion to the contrary, judging human nature on the usual scale, would be chimerical,
« The honourable the committee of Congress, who have seen and heard for themselves, will add their testimony to mine; and the wisdom and justice of Congress cannot fail to give it the most serious attention. To me it will appear miraculous, if our affairs can maintain themselves inuch longer in their present train. If either the temper or resources of the country will not admit of an alteration, we may expect soon to be reduced to the humiliating condition of seeing the cause of America, in America, upheld by foreign arms. The generosity of our allies has a claim to all our confidence, and all our gratitude; but it is neither for the honour of America, nor for the interest of the common cause, to leave the work entirely to them.” : After assigning his reasons for the opinion that Great Britain would continue the war, he
“ The inference from these reflections is, that we cannot count upon a speedy end to the war; and that it is the true policy of America not to content herself with temporary expedients, but to endeavour, if possible, to give consistency and validity to her measures. An essential step to this will be immediately to devise a plan and put it in execution, for providing men in time to replace those who will leave us at the end of the year, and for subsisting and making a reasonable allowance to the officers and soldiers.
“ The plan for this purpose ought to be of general operation, and such as will execute itself. Experience has shewn that a peremptory draught will be the only effectual one. draught for the war or for three years can be effected, it ought to be made, on every account ; a shorter period than a year is inadmissible.
" To one who has been witness to the evils brought upon us by short inlistments, the system appears to have been pernicious beyond description; and a crowd of moiives present theinselves to dictate a change. It might easily be shown that all the misfortunes we have met with in the military line are to be attributed to this cause,
“ Had we formed a permanent army in the beginning, which, by the continuance of the same men in service, had been capable of discipline, we never should have had to retreat with a handful of men across the Delaware, in 1776, trembling for the state of America, which nothing but the infatuation of the enemy could have saved ; we should not have remained all the succeeding winter at their mercy, with sometimes scarcely a sufficient body of men to mount the ordinary guards, liable at every moment to be dissipated, if they had only thought proper to march against us; we should not have been under the necessity of fighting at Brandywine, with an unequal number of raw troops, and afterwards of seeing Philadelphia fall a prey to a victorious army; we should not have been at Valley Forge with less than half the force of the enemy, destitute of every thing, in a situation neither to resist nor to retire; we should not have seen New York left with a handful of men, yet an overmatch for the main army of these states, while the principal part of their force was detached for the reduction of two of them ; we should not have found ourselves this spring so weak, as to be insulted by five thousand men, unable to protect our baggage and magazines, their security depending on a good countenance, and a want of enterprise in the enemy;
; we should not have been the greatest part of the war inferior to the enemy, indebted for our safety to their inactivity, enduring frequently the mortification of seeing inviting opportunities to ruin