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Intrigues against Washington.- Battle of Monmouth.

the snow when they marched into quarters in December. Huts were erected, but the scarcity of food and fuel made their sufferings intense. The keenest sympathies of the commander-in-chief were awakened,* and the fact that, amid all this misery, and with the gloomy prospect of defeat and destruction before them, the demon of mutiny scarcely showed its turbulent head, speaks volumes in praise of the influence of Washington over his army, and their affectionate attachment to his person.

While physical suffering all around him was preying upon the spirits of Washington, and he was day after day urging Congress to do something to relieve his famishing troops, jealousy and intrigue, among men in high places, were busy at the plumes of the commander-in-chief, and laboring assiduously for his supercession. Gates had been successful in conquering Burgoyne at the north, and comparisons were drawn between his services and those of Washington, in which the latter were disparaged. But all the arts of the faction to alienate the confidence and affection of the people and the army from Washington were vain. He deeply felt the injury, but instead of publicly vindicating his character from the aspersions thrown upon it by an anonymous writer, and thus reveal to the enemy what he ought not to know, he chose rather to suffer the temporary opprobrium in silence, for his country's good.

Early in May, intelligence was received that France had acknowledged, by treaty, the independence of the United States; and the expectation that a French fleet would speedily enter the Delaware, caused Sir Henry Clinton, who had just taken command of the British army, to evacuate Philadelphia. He crossed the Delaware into New Jersey," closely pursued by Washington. He was overtaken at Monmouth, where a severe battle of several hours was fought,' and terminated only when night approached and they were overcome by excessive fatigue. Washington intended to renew the contest in the morning, and slept upon the battle-field "with his martial cloak

a June 18, 1778.

b June 28.

* In a letter to Congress he said: "For some days there has been little less than famine in the camp. A part of the army have been a week without any kind of flesh, and the rest three or four days. Naked and starving as they are, we can not enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery, and that they have not been, ere this, excited by their sufferings to a general mutiny and dispersion."

† A series of anonymous letters, signed “De Lisle," was published. It was afterward discovered that they were written by General Conway, a disappointed officer, who failed of promotion.

Washington left Arnold (who had not recovered from wounds received at Quebec) in command as military governor of Philadelphia. It was during his stay there that he fell into those extravagant habits and dishonest peculations which finally made him bankrupt, and obnoxious to the censures of Congress, which ordered for him a reprimand from Washington. This was done by the commander-in-chief in the most delicate manner; but Arnold's pride was touched his purse was empty- and he bargained for the sale of his country's liberties for

"thirty pieces of silver," or rather for thirty thousand pounds sterling.

Arduous duties of Washington.-Is appointed Lieutenant-General and Vice-Admiral of France. around him." But under the cover of night the enemy suddenly withdrew, and reaching Sandy Hook, embarked for New York city. Washington took post on the Hudson, and in this relative position the two armies went into winter quarters.

a July 4.

The theatre of active military operations having been changed to the southern department of the confederacy, Washington was not personally engaged in them until the summer of 1780. His duties, however, were very arduous-sometimes exceedingly delicate-and he performed them amid the greatest causes for despondency. Upon him rested, not only the whole control of the military movements of the fragmental army, but the civil operations of the imperfect government demanded his constant vigilance and influence. The alliance with France became too much the reliance of the people, and general apathy prevailed; while in Congress, party dissensions threatened the complete frustration of all the plans of the commander-in-chief, and, indeed, the utter ruin of the cause.* But in the spring of 1780, a happy change in affairs took place. La Fayette, who was dearly loved by Washington, went to France on parole, and assiduously labored while there to induce the government to send men and money in aid of the Americans. He succeeded, and early in May he returned and brought the cheering intelligence that a large body of troops, under the count de Rochambeau, was already embarked. He also brought from the French king a commission to Washington, appointing him lieutenant-general of the armies of France, and vice-admiral of its fleets. Those commissions were intended to determine definitely the matter of precedence, so that no difficulty might arise on that account between Washington and De Rochambeau. He was thereby made commanderin-chief of all the military and naval forces which the French government might send to America. The cheering news brought by La Fayette greatly inspirited the Americans, and the militia flocked to Washington's standard in large numbers.

b May 12.

The French fleet arrived at Newport in July, but, after a conference which Washington held with the French officers at Hartford, in Connecticut," it was determined not to enter upon offensive operations until the following spring. It was during that

c Julyd Sept.

* Washington saw these things with the deepest pain, and in a letter to a friend, said, “ Indeed, we seem to be verging so fast to destruction, that I am filled with sensations to which I have been a stranger until these three months. Our enemies behold with exultation and joy bow effectually we labor for their benefit: and from being in a state of absolute despair, and on the point of evacuating America, they are on tiptoe. Nothing, therefore, in my judgment, can save us, but a total reformation in our own conduct, or some decisive turn of affairs in Europe."

† La Fayette entered the continental army just before the battle of Brandywine, and, although very young, received from Congress the commission of a major-general. Soon after the battle of Monmouth, he made a visit to France.

Arnold's treason.-Effects of Washington's perseverance.-Insurrection of troops. conference that Arnold, taking advantage of Washington's absence from his headquarters in the Highlands, attempted to consummate his acts of treason, and give a death-blow to American independence. But an ever-vigilant Providence interposed, and the cause of Freedom most signally triumphed. Major André, the victim of the traitor's guilt, was hung, by Washington's consent," but only as a sacrifice to jus- @ Oct. 2, tice and stern necessity, for the tears of generous sympathy* brimmed the eyes of the commander-in-chief when he signed the warrant for his execution.

1780.

During the autumn and winter, Washington was assiduously engaged in endeavors to reorganize the army; but Congress was so tardy in its movements, and so deaf to his earnest appeals for more troops and longer enlistments,† that, as usual, his forces were reduced one half on the first of January by the termination of their enlistments. Yet he did not despond, although the main body of the British army was within a few hours' march of him, and most of the winter the Hudson was open to their ships. By his consummate skill and personal influence, he managed to fill his ranks with recruits, and kept the enemy at bay. His pen was constantly busy in extensive correspondence with his distant officers and with governors of the states and influential individuals, -issuing orders and suggestions to the former, and soliciting aid from the latter. Thus he obtained money for the use of his almost famished and naked soldiers; and he also induced the French government to send more money and another naval force to his aid.

So grievous had become the destitute condition of the soldiers, that they determined to obtain from Congress by coercion what was denied them upon petition; and on the 1st of January,' the whole Pennsylvania line, stationed at Morristown, consisting of about thirteen hundred troops, mutinied, and marched in the direction of Philadelphia, where Congress was then in session. By the prudent management of Washington, and his promises to attend upon Congress in person in their behalf, he induced the soldiers to return to duty,‡ to suffer and faintly hope, yet longer.

b 1781.

Arnold, in his haste to escape, when he learned the capture of André, was obliged to leave his wife and infant child at his quarters, nearly opposite West Point. From the Vulture he wrote to Washington, justifying his conduct, and imploring his protection for his wife and child. That protection was tenderly extended, and she was safely conducted to New York.

+ His appeals had some effect upon Congress at last, and they issued orders for enlistments during the war, and voted that all the officers should have half-pay for life. This latter proposition did not meet with general favor, and was subsequently changed to the payment of five years' full pay.

46

"We love and respect you," said the mutineers to General Wayne, who was sent by Washington to persuade them to return to duty we are not going to the enemy: on the contrary, were they now to come out, you should see us fight under your orders with as much

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Attempt to capture Arnold.-Siege of Yorktown, and capture of Cornwallis.

b Aug. 14.

During the winter, Washington formed a plan for capturing Arnold* and his whole army, who were carrying on a destructive predatory warfare in Virginia. His scheme was an admirable one, but failed through the inefficient action of the French fleet, which was directed to blockade the principal ports of Virginia. He then determined to drive the enemy from the city of New York, and for that purpose ordered the French allies to join him upon the Hudson. This was effected in July," but about the same time Sir Henry Clinton received a reinforcement from Europe of about three thousand troops, and Washington abandoned the design, and prepared to march to Virginia to assist Wayne and La Fayette in their operations against Cornwallis. He received a letter from the count De Grasse,' the commander of the French fleet then in the West Indies, assuring him that he would be in the Chesapeake early in autumn. Washington then directed La Fayette so to dispose of his forces as to prevent the escape of Cornwallis to Charleston, while with their united armies they might capture him. But Cornwallis, expecting aid by sea from Clinton, collected his whole force at Yorktown and strongly fortified it." After providing for the defence of the northern posts, Washington crossed the Hudson, with the whole allied army, and marching through New Jersey in the direction of Staten island, deceived Clinton into the belief that that was his point of destination. The British commander did not discover this ruse until the allied army crossed the Delaware and were rapidly speeding southward. On their arrival at Williamsburg," in Virginia, the French fleet was already in the d Sept. 14. Chesapeake. On the 6th of October, Washington commenced the siege of Yorktown; and on the 19th, Cornwallis surrendered and seven thousand men, with a large amount of arms and military stores, fell into the hands of the Americans. This event filed ine whole

€ Aug. 22.

a July 6, 1781.

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alacrity as ever: but we will no longer de amused; we are determined on obtaining what is our just due." And when the British commander sent emissaries among them to seduce them to the ranks of the enemy, "See," said they, "he takes us to be traitors:" and they seized the emissaries and nanded them over to Wayne for execution as spies. Being offered a reward for their apprehension, the revolters nobly refused it, saying that necessity forced them to revolt and demand justice from Congress, but they desired no reward for doing their duty to their bleeding country.

*Arnold entered zealously into the service of his royal master, immediately after his flight on board the Vulture.

+ Immediately after the surrender, Washington hastened to Eltham, thirty miles distant, where his wife was attending the bedside of her dying (and only) son, Mr. Custis. With all a father's sorrow, the hero wept over him, and when he was laid in the grave, he hastened to Philadelphia, stopping briefly at Mount Vernon, for the first time in six years

It is related that when the British soldiers were about to march out and lay down their arms at Yorktown, Washington said to the Americans, " My boys, let there be no exultation over a conquered foe! When they lay down their arms, don't huzza: posterity will huzza for you!"

Cessation of hostilities.- Proposition to make Washington KING.

country with joy and exultation, and crushed the last dangerous vestige of British power in America.* This was the last military achievement in which Washington was personally engaged, and we shall now view him in the loftier grandeur of his moral character, standing between peace and war, discontent and governmental weakness, like Aaron with his censer, to stay the plague engendered by long years of hardship, and misery, and privation, and the alleged ingratitude of rulers, which threatened to destroy the child of Freedom just taking its first step in the nursery of nations.

On the cessation of hostilities in 1782, and the opening of negotiations for peace with Great Britain, on the basis of the complete independence of the colonies, Washington, with his usual foresight, saw with deep concern the dangerous storm slowly gathering in the army. For a long time the soldiers had received no pay; and so impoverished was the public treasury, and indeed the whole country, by the unceasing levies of an eight years' war, that the disbanding of the army was regarded by reflecting men as an event pregnant with many dangers. The public faith was pledged, but Congress was impotent. Washington prudently resolved to delay the time for disbanding the army as long as practicable; and to keep the soldiers tranquil, he remained with them, and established his headquarters at Newburg, on the Hudson. There, during the autumn of 1782, the spirit of discontent was constantly manifested, and an event occurred which placed the patriotism of Washington in a more conspicuous light than it had ever before appeared. He received a letter from an old and highly-respected colonel of the army, expressing his distrust of a republican government, proposing the establishment of an independent monarchy, and intimating the desire of the army to make the commander-in-chief KING. To this letter Washington made quick reply, sternly rebuking the writer, and declared that no event during the war had given him so much pain. Did ever patriotism beam with purer lustre? How lofty must have been the devotion to his country, of that chief who, at the head of an army who adored him for his goodness, and at the very apex of general popularity, could thus indignantly refuse a proffered crown, and rebuke the man who presented it for acceptance !

* "At the dead of night," says Paulding, "a watchman in the streets of Philadelphia was heard to cry out, 'Past twelve o'clock, and a pleasant morning-Cornwallis is taken! All but the dead, resting in their last sleep, awoke at this glorious communication. The city became alive at midnight; the candles were lighted, and figures might be seen flitting past the windows, or pushing them up, to hear the sound repeated, lest it should have been nothing but a dream. The citizens ran through the streets, to inquire into the truth; they shook hands, they embraced each other, and they wept for joy. . . . . . Everybody believed the news, for all, even in the darkest days of the Revolution, had cherished a hope, which carried with it almost the force of inspiration, that Washington would, beyond all doubt, one day give liberty to his country."

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