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y expiected that their accounts would be liquidated, the balances ascertained, and adequate funds for the payment of those balances provided, before they should be dispersed or disbanded.” On the succeeding day, in answer to their address, he observed, “ that as no man could possibly be better acquainted than himself, with the past merits and services of the army, so no one :ould possibly be more strongly impressed with their Öresont ineligible situation ; feel a keener sensibility at their distresses; or more ardently desire to alleviate or remove them.” He subjoined.
Although the officers of the army very well know my official situation, that I am only a servant of the publick, and that it is not with me to dispense with orders which it is my duty to carry into execution, yet as furloughs in all services are considered as a matter of indulgence, and not of compulsion; as Congress, I am persuaded, entertained the best disposition towards the army; and, as I apprehend, in a very short time the two principal articles of complaint will be reinoved ; uztil the further pleasure of Congress can be known, I shall not hesitate to comply with the wishes of the army, under these reservations only, that officers sufficient to conduct the men who choose to receive furloughs, will attend them, either on furlough, or by detachment."
This answer proved satisfactory; good humour prevailed through the camp, furloughs were generally taken ; and in the course of the summer, the greater part of the soldiers returned quietly home.
In October, Congress issued a proclamation, doclaring all those soldiers, who had engaged for the war, discharged on the 3d of December.
While the veteran troops, who had borne the heat and burden of the war, left the service unpaid, and peaceably returned to the business of private life , about eighty new levies, stationed at Lancaster in Pennsylvania, revolted from their officers, and in a body
marched to Philadelphia. Being there joined by two hundred of their companions in arms who were quar. tered in the barracks, they surrounded, with fixed bayonets, the State House, in which Congress and the Executive Council of Pennsylvania were sitting, and sent in a written message threatening the Council with the last outrage, if their demands were not, in twenty mi. nutes, granted. The members of Congress were not immediately menaced, but they were, for several hours, insolently blocked up in their hall.
As soon as General WASHINGTON received intelli gence of the mutiny, he detached General Howe with fifteen hundred men to suppress it; but before he reached Philadelphia, the disturbance was without bloodshed quieted. In a letter to Congress, General WASHINGTON thus expressed his indignation at this outrage of the military.
“While I suffer the most poignant distress in observing that a handful of men, contemptiblc in numbers, and equally so in point of service, (if the veteran troops from the southward have not been seduced by their example) and who are not worthy to be called soldiers, should disgrace themselves and their country, as the Pennsylvania mutineers have done, by insulting the sovereign authority of the United States, and that of their own, I feel an inexpressible satisfaction, that even this behaviour cannot stain the name of the American soldiery. It cannot be imputable to, or reflect disho nour on the army at large, but on the contrary it will by the striking contrast it exhibits, hold up to publick view the other troops in the most advantageous point of light. Upon taking all the circumstances into consideration, I cannot sufficiently express my surprise and indignation at the arrogance, the folly, and the wickedness of the mutineers ; nor can I sufficienily admire the fidelity, the bravery, and patriotism whirh must for ever signalize the unsullied character of the other corps of our army. For when we consider that VOL. I.
these Pennsylvania levies, who have now mutinied, are recruits, and soldiers of a day, who have not borne the heat and burden of the war, and who can have, in reality, very few hardships to complain of; and when wo at the same time recollect that those soldiers, who have lately been furloughed from this army, are the veterans who have patiently endured hunger, nakedness, and cold; who have suffered and bled without a murmur, and who with perfect good order, have retired to their homes, without a settlement of their accounts, or a farthing of money in their pockets; we shall be as much astonished at the virtues of the latter, as we are struck with horrour and dotestation at the proceedings of the former; and every candid mind, without indulging ill grounded prejudices, will undoubtedly make the proper discrimination."
On the 25th of November, the British troops evacaated New-York. General Washington, accompanied by Governour Clinton, by a number of other civil and military officers, and by many respectable citizens, make his publick entry on horseback into the city.
His military course being honourably and successfully terminated, the painful task remained to bid adieu to the companions of his toils and dangers. The closing interview took place on the 4th of December. At noon the principal officers of the army assembled at Francis's tavern, and their General soon entered the
His ernotions were too great for concealment Filling a glass of wine he turned to them and said, “ With a heart full of love and gratitude, I now takie leave of you ; I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy, as your former ones have been glorious and honourable.” He drank the wint, and proceeded. “I cannot come to each of you to take my leave, but shall be obliged to you, if each of you will come and take me by the hand.” General Knox being the nearest, turned to him. Incapable of utterance, General Washington grasped
his hand and embraced him. In the same affecting manner, he took leave of each succeeding officer. From every eye dropped the tear of sensibility, and not a single word interrupted the tenderness of the scene. He immediately left the room, and passed through a corps of light infantry, on his way to White Hall, where a barge waited to convey him to Powles' Hook. The whole company followed with feelings which words cannot express. Having entered the barge, he turned, and waving his hat, bade them a silent adieu.
Congress was then in session at Annapolis. To this honourable body, the General immediately repaired to resign his military command.*
* On his way to Annapolis, he stopped at Philadelphia to settle his accounts; of which transaction Dr. Gordon makes the following statement.
" While in the city, he delivered in his accounts to the Comptroller, down to December 13th, all in his own hand-writing, and every entry made in the most particular manner, stating the occasion of each charge, so as to give the least trouble in examining and comparing them with the vouchers, with which they were attended. The heads are as follows, copied from the folio manuscript paper book in the file of the treasury office, No. 3700, being a black box of tin, containing, under lock and key, both that
and the vouchers. Total of Expenditures from 1775 to 1783, ex
clusive of Provisions from Commissaries and Contractors, and of liquors, &c. from them and others,
£3387 14 4 * Secret intelligence and service,
1932 10 0 Spent in reconnoitring and travelling,
1874 8 8 Miscellaneous charges,
2952 10 1 Expended besides, dollars according to the scale of depreciation,
6114 14 0
£16,311 17 1 ** Two hundred guineas advanced to General M'Dougal are not included in the £1982 10, not being yet settled, but included in some of the other charges, and so reckoned in the goneral sum."
He arrived on the 19th, and on the next day informed Congress of his desire to resign into their hands the commission with which they had invested him as Commander in Chief of the American armies ; and he asked in what form he should present his resignation. Congress resolved that it should be at a publick audi ence on the succeeding Tuesday. When the moment of this interesting transaction arrived, the gallery was crowded with spectators; and many of the civil officers of the state and of the principal officers of the
Note. 104,364 of the dollars were received after March, 1780, and although credited forty for onc, many did not fetch at the rate of a hundred for one, while 27,775 of them are re turned without deducting any thirg from the above account (and, therefore, actually made a present of to the publick.) (General Washington's account) from June, 1775, to the end of June, 1783,
£16,311 17 1 Expenditure from Juy 1, 1783, to December 13,
1717 54 (Aaded afterwards) from theace to December 28,
213 84 Mrs. Washington's travelling expenses in coming to the General and returning,
£19,306 11 9 Lawful money of Virginia, the same as the
Massachusetts, or £14,479 18 94, sterling.
“ The General entered in his bork --" I find, upon the final adjustment of these accounts, that I am a considerable loser -my disbursements falling a good deal short of my receipts, and the money I had upon hand of my own: for besides the sums I carried with me to Cambridge, in 1775 I received inonies afterwards on private account in 1777, and since which (except srall sums that I had occasion to apply to private uses) were all expended in the publick service; through hur1; I suppose, and the perplexity of business (for I know not 1:cow else to account for the deficiency) I have omitted to charge the same, whilst every debit against me is here credit ed. July 1, 1783.”