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the army under your command, and the fleet, has given me very singular uneasiness. The continent at large is concerned in our cordiality, and it should be kept up by all possible means consistent with our honour and policy. First impressions, you know, are generally longest retained, and will serve to fix, in a great degree, our national character with the French. In our conduct towards them, we should remember, that they are a p <ple old in war, very strict in military etiquette, and apt to take fire when others scarcely seemed warmed. Permit me to recommend, in the most particular manner, the cultivation of harmony and good agreement, and your endeavours to destroy that ill humour which may have found its way among the officers. It is of the utmost importance too, that the soldiers and the people should know nothing of this misunderstanding, or, if it has reached them, that means may be used to stop its progress and prevent its effects.” In a correspondence with Count d’Estaing, General Washington strove to soften his resentments, to sooth the chagrin of disappointment, and to conciliate his good affections towards the United States. These prudent measures were attended with the most salutary effects. With the battle of Monmouth, active operations for the campaign closed in the Middle States. On the approach of winter, the American army went into quarters in the neighbourhood of the High Lands. Being better clothed and fed than in the preceding winter, their si
tuation was greatly ameliorated, and their sufferings were comparatively nothing.
At the close of the campaign of 1778, the local situation of the hostile armies did not greatly differ from that of the commencement of the campaign of 1776, except the possession of New York by the British. .
This fact is impressively stated by General Washington, in a letter written to a friend. “It is not a little pleasing, nor less wonderful to contemplate, that after two years manoeuvring, and undergoing the strangest vicissitudes, both armies are brought back to the very point they set out from, and the offending party in the beginning is now reduced to the use of the pickaxe and the spade for defence. The hand of Providence has . . been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel, that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude to acknowledge his obligations.”
Plan formed by Congress and the French Minister for the incasion of Canada and Nova Scotia – General Washington's objections to it—Delinquency of the United States to prepare for the approaching Campaign—The exertions of the General —His Letter on the State of the Nation–The Remonstrance of Officers belonging to the New Jersey Brigade to the Legislature of that State-Letters of the Commander in Chief on the Subject—Expedition against the Indians under General Sullivan—He destroys their Towns — The American Army posted for the Defence of the High Lands on the North River, and for the protection of the Country against the Incursions of the British–Sir Henry Clinton moves up the IIudson, takes Possession of Stony and Verplank Points, and Förtifies then —Arrangements made for assaulting these Posts- General IWayne carries Stony Point by storm—The attack upon Perplank fails–Congress vote their Thanks to General Washington and to the brave Troops employed in this service–They vote General Wayne a Medal—Evils of short Inlistinents— Plan of the Generals to remedy theni–The Army in two Divisions erect Huts for Winter Quarters, one near West Point, and the other at Morristown in New Jersey.—The Troops suffer through the scarcity of Provisions — Colonel Wadsworth resigns his Office-Confusion in the Commissary's Department—The Commander in Chief is necessitated to apportion supplies of Meat and Flour upon the Counties of New Jersey–The Winter excessively cold, and the Waters around New York frozen over; but the Commander in Chief is too weak to avail himself of this opportunity to assail the British Posts—Expedition to Staten Island fails.
1779.] THE emancipation of Canada had ever been an important object with Congress. By its incorporation with the revolted colonies, the boundaries of the United States would be greatly enlarged, and the country delivered from the destruction and terror of war from the northern tribes of Indians. \In the winter of 1777-8, an expedition for this purpose had been settled with the Marquis de la Fayette, and in its prosecution he repaired to Ticonderoga. Wanting then the means to accomplish the design, it was relinquished. During the succeeding autumn the scheme was resumed under the auspices of the French minister. The plan embraced the conquest of Canada, Nova Scotia and all their dependencies. It was to be carried into effect by the joint operations of distinct detachments of Americans, acting in different points, and all co-operating with a French fleet and army on the river Saint Lawrence. This lofty scheme of military operations had been adopted in Congress without consulting with the Commander in Chief, or any American officer. It was to be communicated to the French coust by the Marquis de la Fayette, and his influence, with that of the French Minister, was to be employed to induce his government to adopt their part of the expedition. In October the plan was communicated to General Washington, he was desired to give Congress his opinion upon it, and to enclose it with his comments to the Marquis. The General had already revolved in his mind an expedition against the British posts in Upper Canada, with the intention to be prosecuted the next season, on the contingence that the British army should be withdrawn from the United States.
Struck with the extravagance of the plan of Congress, instead of complying with their requisition, he wrote to them, stating in strong terms his objections to the scheme. He mentioned the impolicy of entering into any engagements with the court of France to execute a combined system of operation, without a moral certainty of being able to execute the part assigned to America.
It was, the General observed, morally certain in his mind, that if the English should maintain their posts on the continent, it would be impracticable to furnish the men, or the necessary stores and provisions for the expedition. “If I rightly understand the plan,” he remarked, “it requires for its execution, twelve thousand and six hundred rank and file. Besides these, to open passages through a wilderness, for the march of the several bodies of troops, to provide the means of long and difficult transportation by land and water, to establish posts of communication for the security of our convoys, to build and man vessels of force necessary for acquiring a superiority on the lakes; these and many other purposes peculiar to these enterprises, will require a much larger proportion of artificers, and persons to be employed in manual and laborious offices than are usual in military operations.” The aggregate number, he observed, requisite for the contemplated expedition, added to the force necessary to be kept in the field to restrain depredation from the British posts at New York, would make nearly double the men necessary, to any number P