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honour, both at home and abroad, and have inspired me with an unlimited confidence in their virtue, which has consoled me amidst every perplexity and reverse of fortune, to which our affairs in a struggle of this nature, were necessarily exposed. Now that we have made so great a progress to the attainment of the end we have in view, so that we cannot fail without a most shameful deserĉion of our own interests, any thing like a change of conduct would imply a very unhappy change of principles, and a forgetfulness as well of what we owe to ourselves as to our country. Did I suppose it possible this could be the case, even in a single regiment of the army, I should be mortified and chagrined beyond expression. I should feel it as a wound given to my own honour, which I consider as embarked with that of the army at large. But this I believe to be impossible. Any corps that was about to set an example of the kind, would weigh well the consequences; and no officer of common discernment and sensibility would hazard them. If they should stand alone in it, independent of other consequences, what would be their feelings on reflccting that they had held themselves out to the world in a point of light inferiour to the rest of the army. Or if their example should be followed, and become general, how could they console themselves for having been the foremost in bringing ruin and disgrace upon their country. They would remember that the army would share a double portion of the general infamy and distress, and that the character of an American officer would become as de. spicable, as it is now glorious.
“I confess the appearances in the present instance are disagreeable ; but I am convinced they seem to mean more than they really do. The Jersey officers have not been outdone by any others in the qualities, either of citizens or soldiers ; and I am confident, no part of them would seriously intend any thing that would be a stair on their former reputation. The gen
tlemen cannot be in earnest; they have only reasoned wrong about the means of obtaining a good end, and on consideration, I hope and flatter myself they will renounce what must appear improper. At the opening of a campaign, when under marching orders for an important service, their own honour, duty to the publick, and to themselves, and a regard to military propriety, will not suffer them to persist in a measure, which would be a violation of them all. It will cven wound their delicacy, coolly to reflect, that they have hazarded a step which has an air of dictating terms to their country, by taking advantage of the necessity of the moment.
" The declaration they have made to the stato, at 80 critical a time, that unless they obtain relief in the short period of three days, they must be considered out of the service, has very much that aspect; and the ,seeming relaxation of continuing until the state can have a reasonable time to provide other officers, will be thought only a superficial veil. I am now to request that you will convey my sentiments to the gen. tlemen concerned, and endeavour to make them sensi. ble that they are in an errour. The service for which the regiment was intended, will not admit of delay. It must at all events march on Monday morning, in the first place to this camp, and further directions will be given when it arrives. I am sure I shall not be mistaken in expecting a prompt and cheerful obedi. ence."
This letter made a decp impression upon the minds of the officers, but did not fully produce the desired effect. In an address to the Commander in Chiet, they expressed their unhappiness, that any act of theirs should occasion him pain; but in justification of the measure they had adopted, they pleaded that their stalo government had paid no attention to their repeated petitions, that they were themselves loaded with debis, and that their families were starving " At length,”
said they “we have lost all confidence in our Legislature. Reason and experience forbid that we should have any. Few of us have private fortunes ; many have families who are already suffering every thing that can be received from an ungrateful country. Are we then to suffer all the inconveniences, fatigues, and dangers, of a military life, while our wives and our children are perishing for want of common necessaries at home; and that without the most distant pr uspect of reward, for our pay is only nominal? We are sensible that your Excellency cannot wish nor desire this
“We are sorry that you should imagine we meant to disobey orders. It was and still is our determination to march with our regiment, and to do the duty of officers, until the Legislature shall have a reasonable time to appoint others, but no longer.
“We beg leave to assure your Excellency what we have the highest sense of your ability and virtue, that executing your orders has ever given us pleasure ; we love the service, and we love our country; but when that country gets so lost to virtue and justice as to forget to support its servants, it then becomes their duty to retire trom its service.”
This attempt in the officers to justify their conduct placed General WASHINGTON a very critical and delicate situation. Severe measures, he apprehended, would probably drive the whole Jersey brigade from the service; and to assume the exercise of the powers of Commander in Chief, and then recede without pro ducing the effect, must hazard his own authority, and injure the discipline of the army. Under these embarrassing circumstances, he prudently resolved to take no further notice of this address, than to notify the officers, through General Maxwell, that while they con tinued to do their duty, he should only regret the step they had taken, and hope that they themselves would perceive its impropriety.
This alarming transaction, the General communi. cated to Congress, and at the same time reminded them of his repeated and urgent entreaties in behalf of his officers. Some general provision for them he now recommended as a measure of absolute necessity. “ The distresses in some corps," he observed,“ are so great, either where they were not until lately attached to any particular state, or where the state has been less provident, that officers have solicited even to be supplied with the clothing destined for the common soldiers, course and unsuitable as it was. I had not power to comply with the request.
“ The patience of men animated by a sense of duty and honour, will support them to a certain point, beyond which it will not go. I doubt not Congress will be sensible of the danger of an extreme in this respuct, and will pardon my anxiety to obviate it.”
The regiment marched agreeably to orders, and the officers withdrew their remonstrance. The Legislature took measures for their relief, and they continued in the service.
The situation of the hostile armies not favouring active operat ons, General WASHINGTON planned an expedition into the Indian country. His experience while he commanded the troops of Virginia in the French war, convinced him, that the only effectual method to defend the frontiers from the destructive invasion of Ir dian foes, is to carry the war into their own country. To retaliate, in some mjasure, the cruelties the Indians had inflicted on the Americans, and to deter them from their repetition, General Sul. livan, the commanding officer, was ordered, on this occasion, to exercise a degree of severity, which, in the usual operations of war, was ablıorrent to the hu mane disposition of the Commander in Chief. In the course of the summer months, General Sullivan successfully prosecuted the plan, and destroyed the Indian
towns upon the nortuern boundary of the state of New-York.
The disposable force of Sir Henry Clinton this year consisted of between sixteen and seventeen thousand men. The troops under the immediate command of General Washington amounted to about sixteen thou. sand. A view of the numbers of the two hostile armies is sufficient to show, that offensive operations against the strong posts of the British, were not in the power of General Washington. The marine force, by which these posts were supported, facilitated the designs of the British commander in predatory expeditions upon the American shores and rivers; but in the iniddle states, the campaign passed away without any military operations upon a large scale. The American General posted his troops in a situation the most favourable to protect the country from the excursions of the enemy, and to guard the High Lands on the north river. These High Lands were the object rf the principal manæuvres of the opposing Generals, and the scene of some brilliant military achievements.
West Point was now the chief post of the Americans on the Hudson. Here was their principal maga. zine of provisions and military stores. It was situated upon the western side of the rive in the bosom of the mountain, was difficult of approach, and its natural strength had been increased by fortifications, although they were not completed. Lower down at the foot of the mountain is King's ferry, over which passes the great road from the eastern to the middle states. This ferry is commanded by the points of land on the two shores. The point on the west side is high, rough ground, and is called Stony Point. That on the east side is a low neck of land projecting into the river, and derominated Verplank's Point. On each shore General Washington had erected fortifications, and