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force was rendered the friore inadequate to its Chap.vh. objects by being necessarily divided for the 1776. defence of posts, some of which were fifteen miles distant from others, with navigable waters between them.
"These things," continued the letter, "are melancholy, but they are nevertheless true. I hope for better* Under every disadvantage, my utmost exertions shall be employed to bring about the great end we have in view; and so far as I can judge from the professions, and apparent dispositions of my troops, I shall have their support. The superiority of the enemy, and the expected attack do not seem to have depressed their spirits. These considerations lead me to think that though the appdal may not terminate so happily as I could wish, yet the enemy will not succeed in their views without considerable loss. Any advantage they may gain, I trust will cost them dear."
Soon after this letter, the army was reenforced by Smallwood's regiment, and by two regiments from Pennsylvania, with a body of New England and New York militia, which increased it to twenty-seven thousand men, of whom one fourth were sick.
A part of this army was stationed on Long island, where major general Greene originally commanded, but he being unfortunately taken extremely ill, was succeeded by major general Chap. vn. Sullivan. The residue occupied different sta
1776. tions on York island, except two small detachments, one on Governor's island, and the other at Paulus hook: and except a part of the New York militia under general Clinton, who were stationed on the sound, towards New Rochelle, East and West Chester, in order to give some opposition to the enemy in thf event of a sudden attempt to land above Kingsbridge, and cut off the communication with the country.
As an attack from the enemy was daily expected, and it was believed that the influence of the first battle would be very considerable, all the vigilance and attention of the general was unremittingly exerted to prevent among his raw troops those unmilitary and dangerous practices, into which men, unused to the necessary restraints of a camp, will ever indulge; and to establish, as far as possible, those principles of subordination and exact observance of orders, so essential to victory. He also used every expedient to rouse the latent sparks of that,enthusiastic love of liberty, that indignation against the invaders of their country, and that native courage, which he believed now animated the bosoms of Americans; and which he greatly relied on as substitutes for
J"'y discipline and experience. "The time," say his orders issued soon after the arrival of general Howe, "is now near at hand, which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are Chap. Vh. to have any property they can call their own; 1776. whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of' unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. * Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of a brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have therefore to resolve to conquer, or to die. Our own, our country's honour call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion; and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us then rely on the goodness of our cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions. The eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from, the tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a freeman contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth."
He recommended to the officers, great coolness in time of action; and to the soldiers, strict attention and obedience, with a becoming firmness and spirit.
Chap.vii. He assured them, that any officer, soldier, 1776. or corps, which should distinguish him, or themselves, by any acts of extraordinary bravery, should most certainly meet with notice and rewards; whilst, on the other hand, those who should fail in the performance of their duty, would as certainly be exposed and punished, juiy A Whilst preparing for the expected engagement, intelligence was received of the repulse of the enemy in their attack on fort Moultrie, and he availed himself of the occasion of communicating this success to his army, to add the spirit of emulation to the other motives which should impel them to manly exertions. "This glorious example of our troops under the like circumstances with ourselves, the general hopes will animate every officer and soldier to imitate, and even to out-do them, when the enemy shall make the same attempt on us. With such a bright example before us of what can be done by brave men fighting in defence of their country, we shall be loaded with a double share of shame and infamy, if we do not acquit ourselves with courage, and manifest a determined resolution to conquer or die. With the hope and confidence that this army will have an equal share of honour and success, the general most earnestly exhorts every officer and soldier to pay the utmost attention to his arms, and health; to have the former in the best order for action; and by cleanliness and care, to preserve the latter: to be exact in Chap.vh. their discipline, obedient to their superiors, 1776. and vigilant on duty. With such preparations, and a suitable spirit, there can be no doubt but by the blessing of Heaven, we shall repel our cruel invaders, preserve our country, and gain the greatest honour."
As the crisis approached, his anxiety increased. Endeavouring to breathe into his army his own spirit, and to give them his own feeling; he thus addressed them. M The enemy's whole re-enforcement is now arrived, so that an attack must, and will soon be made. The general therefore again repeats his earnest request, that every officer and soldier will have his arms and ammunition in good order; keep within his quarters and encampments, as much as possible; be ready for action at a moment's call; and when called to it, remember, that liberty, property, life, and honour, are all at stake; that upon their courage and conduct, rest the hopes of their bleeding and insulted country; that their wives, children, and parents, expect safety from them only; and that we have every reason to believe that Heaven will crown with success so just a cause.
"The enemy will endeavour to intimidate by show and appearance; but, remember, they have been repulsed on various occasions by a few brave Americans; their cause is bad; their men are conscious of it; and if opposed with
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