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ral, that it would be impossible for them to supply the arıny beyond the first of March. General Washington looked towards New-England as the only effectual source of necessary supplies. He accordingly addressed letters to the Exec:itives of these statos, painting in glowing coloure, the condition of the army, and urging these constituted authorities, by every motive of patriotism and honour, to forward provisions to his camp. These applications were uitiinately successful ; but before relief in this way could be, afforded, the scarcity was so great, as to threaten the total destruc tion of the army. The soldiers were at times without meat, for two, three, and in one instance, for five days
The distress of the army for the want of clothing was almost as great as that for want of provisions. Of more than seventeen thousand men in camp, the effectives amounted to only five thousand and twelve. In February, three thousand nine hundred and eightynine were unfit for duty by nakedness. The insufficiency of the clothes of those, who were called effac. tives, exposed hem to colds and other consequent indispositions, and the hospitals were filled with the sick.
General WASHINGTor happily possessed those commanding and conciliatory talents, which strongly attached the soldiery to his person, and by the influence of his character he stified every appearance of inutiny. In general orders he soothed the minds of his troops, and in their imaginativns lessened those evils, which in his addresses to Congress and to the State Governments, he was labouring to remove. Very few of the native Americans deserted from the army during this winter ; but many of the foreigners left their standards, and some of thein fled with their arms to the British camp.
Had Sir William Howe marched out of his winter quarters and assaulted the American camp, the want of provision and clothing would have coinpelled the
army, without serious contention, to disperse. But that cantious commander was restrained from the enterprise, from a regard to the health ard safety of his own troops. Perhaps he did not fully know the condition of the American soldiery.
While General Washington was actively employed in supplying his troops, his mind was deeply engaged on a plan to recruit the army for the approaching campaign.
From jealousy of a standing army, or in the pros. pect of redress of grievances by the British government, Congress depending on annual enlistments, and on the aid of the militia, had neglected to enlist men for the war, until the depreciation of the paper currency, the hardships and privations of the soldiers, and the high bounty prid for short periods of service, rendered the measure in practicable. General WASHINGTON importuned Cong 'ess and the governments of the respective States, not to rely on foreign aid, but depending on the strength and resources of the country, to make the necessary exertions seasonably to meet the operations of the British General.
He gave an exact account to each State of its troops on the continental establishment, and urged them respectively to supply their deficiency.
The serious difficulties respecting she army induced Congress to depute a Committee of their own body to the camp, to consult with the General, and report to them such plans as the publick interest required. This committee repaired to lead Quarters in Jannary. The General, having taken the advice of his officers, presented to them a memorial stating the difficulties that existed in the army, and pointing out the remedies. In these remedies was included that honourable provision for officers, which would make their comniissions valuable, and secure the prompt execution of duty, through fear of censure, and from an apprehen sion of the loss of employment.
The representations of General WASHINGTON pro duced, in a good degree, their effect. The division of power in the subordinate departments of the army which had destroyed all responsibility, and created endless confusion, was removed. General Green was appointed Quarter Master General, and Colonel Wadsworth Cominissary General. These officers had a controlling power over their deputies, and under their management these departments were greatly improved. The movements of the army were from this period made with facility, and the soldiers never after wards suffered privations like those of this winter.
T'he alliance of France with America, and the sub sequent co-operation of that power with the lnited States, rendered Philadelphia a
ous post for the British. Before the campaign opened, Sir William
Howo resigned the command of the British May 20. army, and Sir Henry Cinton with his com
mission as Commander in Chief, received orders to evacuate that city. General WASHINGTON early penetrated this intention, and made his arrangements to meet it. He was uncertain whether the evacuation would be made by water, or vhether Sir Henry would march his army through Jersey to New-York. As circumstances strengthened the probability that the British cominander would attempt a passage through New-Jersey, General Washington detached General Maxwell with the Jersey brigade over the Delaware, tr take post on Mount Holly, and with the assistance of the Jersey militia, to obstruct the progress of he enemy. He was directed to fell trees, to break up bridges, and to hang upon the flanks of the Britis.) army
When it was fully ascertained that Sir JUNE 17. Henry Clinton was crossing the Delaware,
General Washington required the opinion of his officers respecting measures propər to 'e pur• sued. General Lee, who, having been exchanged,
had now joined the army, was decidedly against a general action, and he discountenanced even a partial at. tack, on the supposition that it would probably bring on a general engagement. In this opinion, the officers almost unanimously concurred. Of seventeen Gene. rals, who composed the military Council, on this occa. sion, General Wayne and General Cadwallader only were decidedly in favour of an engagement. General Green gave it as his opinion that the country should be defended, and that if this led to an engagement, he would not shun it.
Although niany of their stores were taken down the river in the shipping, yet the British army was ericum. bered with an immense quantity of baggage ; and their line of march extended twelve miles. The weather being intensely hot, their movements were very slow; in seven days, they marched only forty miles. On the 24th, General Clinton reached Allenton, and it was yet uncertain whether he would take the road to Amboy, or to Sandy Hook. General WASHINGTON therefore kept upon the High Lands of New Jersey, above the enemy. In this situation, he had it in his power to fight or not, as circumstances should dictate. By the slow movement of the enemy, he was inclined to think that Sir Henry wished for an engagement Colonel Morgan, with his regiment consisting of six nundred men, was detached to gain the right Hank of the enemy, and ordered to annoy him in every possible way. General Cadwallader, with Jackson's regiment, and a small corps of militia, was ordered to harass his rear.
The British army at this time was calculated at ien thousand men, and the American army consisted of between ten and eleven thousand. Although the late Council decided by a large majority against a general engageinent, yet General WASHINGTON inclined to the n.oasure. He again summoned his officers, and took their opinion, “ whether it was adviseable to seek
a general action ? If adviseable, is it best to attack with the whole arıny, to bring on a general engage ment by a partial attack, or to take a position that shall oblige the enemy to make an assault upon us?" The Council again determined against a general en gagement; but advised to strengthen the detachments on the wings of the enemy. General Scott was, in consequence, detached with fifteen hundred men to this service.
Having a force rather superiour to the British, Ge. neral Washington conceived that the favourable opportunity to attack the enemy, ought not to be lost, and on his own responsibility, resolved to hazard a general engagement.
Having learned that Sir Henry Clinton JUNE 25. was moving towards Monmouth Court House,
he detached Brigadier Wayne with a thousand men to reinforce the troops in advance. He offer. ed the command of the whole force in front to General Lee; but ho, being opposed even to partial actions with the enemy, declined the service. The Marquis La Fayette joyfully accepted the command, which his senior Major General had declined. The orders given to the Marquis were similar to those which had before been given to the officers on the lines, to gain the regi and right flank of the enemy, and give him all possible annoyance. The Commander in Chief put the main army in motion, that he might be in a situation to support his parties in advance. By these more. ments General Ley perceived that more importanco than he had imagined was given to the division in. front, and he now importunately requested the com. mand, which before he had declined. To gratify him without mortifying the Marquis, he was detached with two additional brigades to act in front, and the oʻmmand of the whole, consisting of five thousand men, of course devolved on him. He was ordered to keep