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by sea, in Europe; the Irish claims, and English disturbances, formed in the aggregate an opinion in my breast, which is not very susceptible of peaceful dreams, that the hour of deliverance was not far distant; for that, however unwilling Great Britain might be to yield the point, it would not be in her power to continue the contest. But, alas! these prospects, flattering as they were have proved delusory; and I see nothing before us but accumulating distress. We have been half of our time without provisions, and are likely to continue so. We have no magazines, nor money to form them. We have lived upon expedients until we can live no longer. In a word, the history of the war is a history of false hopes and temporary devices, instead of system and economy. It is in vain, however, to look back; nor is it our business to do so. Our case is not desperate, if virtue exists in the people, and there is wisdom among our rulers. But, to suppose that this great revolution can be accomplished by a temporary army; that this army will be subsisted by state supplies; and that taxation alone is adequate to our wants, is, in my opinion, absurd.”
CAMPAIGN OF 1781.
The Pennsylvania line mutinies..... The Jersey troops follow their example, but are quelled by decisive measures..... Gen. Washington com. mences a military journal, detailing the wants and distresses o his army.....Is invited to the defence of his native state, Virginia, but declines.....Reprimands the manager of his private estate for furnishing the enemy with supplies, to prevent the destruction of his property. Extinguishes the incipient flames of a civil war, respecting the independence of the state of Vermont..... Plans a combined operation against the British, and deputes Lieut. Col. John Laurens to solicit the co-operation of the French.....The combined forces of both nations rendezvous in the Chesapeak, and take lord Cornwallis and his army prisoners of war..... Washington returns to the vicinity of New York, and urges the necessity of preparing for a new campaign.
THE year 1780 ended in the northern states with disappointment, and the year 1781 commenced with mutiny. In the night of the first of January about thirteen hundred of the Pennsylvania line paraded under arms in their encampment, near Morristown, avowing a determination to march to the seat of Congress, and obtain a redress of their
grievances, without which they would serve no longer. The exertions of Gen. Wayne and the other officers to quell the mutiny, were in vain. The whole body marched off with six field pieces toward Princeton. They stated their demands in writing; which were, a discharge to all who had served three years, an immediate payment of all that was due to them, and that future pay should be made in real money to all who remained in the service. Their officers, a committee of Congress, and a deputation from the executive council of Pennsylvania, endeavoured to effect an accommodation; but the mutineers resolutely refused all terms, of which a redress of their grievances was not the foundation.
To their demands as founded in justice, the civil authority of Pennsylvania substantially yielded. Intelligence of this mutiny was communicated to Gen. Washington at New Windsor, before any accommodation had taken place. Though he had been long accustomed to decide in hazardous and difficult situations, yet it was no easy matter in this delicate crisis, to determine on the most proper course to be pursued. His personal influence had several times extinguished rising mutinies. The first scheme that presented itself was, to repair to the camp of the mutineers, and try to recall them to a sense of their duty; but on mature reflection this was declined. He well knew that their claims were founded in justice, but he could not reconcile himself to wound the disci. pline of his army, by yielding to their demands while they were in open revolt with arms in their hands. He viewed the subject in all its relations
and was well apprised that the principal grounds of discontent were not peculiar to the Pennsylvania line, but common to all his troops.
If force was requisite, he had none to spare without hazarding West Point If concessions were unavoidable, they had better be made by any person than the commander in chief. After that due deliberation which he always gave to matters of importance, he determined against a personal interference, and to leave the whole to the civil au-thorities, which had already taken it up; but at the same time prepared for those measures which would become necessary, if no accommodation toðk place. This resolution was communicated to Gen. Wayne, with a caution to regard the situation of the other lines of the army in any concessions which might be made, and with a recommendation to draw the mutineers over the Delaware, with a view to increase the difficulty of communicating with the enemy in New York.
The dangerous policy of yielding even to the just demands of soldiers with arms in their hands, soon became apparent. The success of the Pennsylvania line induced a part of that of New Jersey to hope for similar advantages, from similar conduct. A part of the Jersey brigade rose in arms, and making the same claims which had been yielded to the Pennsylvanians, marched to Chatham. Washington, who was far from being pleased with the issue of the mutiny in the Pennsylvania line, determined by strong measures to stop the progress of a spirit which was hostile to all his hopes. Gen. Howe, with a detachment of the eastern troops, was immediately ordered to march against
the mutineers, and instructed to make no terms with them while they were in a state of resistance; and on their surrender to seize a few of the most active leaders, and to execute them immediately in the presence of their associates. These orders were obeyed; two of the ringleaders were shot, and the survivers returned to their duty.
Though Washington adopted these decisive measures, yet no man was more sensible of the merits and sufferings of his army, and none more active and zealous in procuring them justice. He improved the late events, by writing circular letters to the states, urging them to prevent all future causes of discontent by fulfilling their engagements with their respective lines. Some good effects were produced, but only temporary, and far short of the well founded claims of the army. Their wants with respect to provisions were only partially supplied, and by expedients, from one short time to another. The most usual was ordering an officer to seize on provisions wherever found. This differed from robbing only in its being done by authority for the public service, and in the officer being always directed to give the proprietor a certificate of the quantity and quality of what was taken from him. At first, some reliance was placed on these certificates, as vouchers to support a future demand on the United States; but they soon became so common as to be of little value. Recourse was so frequently had to coercion, both legislative and military, that the people not only lost confidence in public credit, but became impatient under all exertions of authority