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On the following day, Washington himself entered the town, where he was joyfully welcomed. He beheld around him sad traces of the devastation caused by the bombardment, though not to the extent that he had apprehended. There were evidences, also, of the haste with which the British had retreated-five pieces of ordnance with their trunnions knocked off; others hastily spiked; others thrown off the wharf. "General Howe's retreat," writes Washington, "was precipitate beyond anything I could have conceived. The destruction of the stores at Dunbar's camp, after Braddock's defeat, was but a faint image of what may be seen at Boston; artillery carts cut to pieces in one place, gun carriages in another; shells broke here, shots buried there, and everything carrying with it the face of disorder and confusion, as also of distress."*
To add to the mortification of General Howe, he received, we are told, while sailing out of the harbor, despatches from the ministry, approving the resolution he had so strenuously expressed of maintaining his post until he should receive reinforcements.
As the small-pox prevailed in some parts of the town, precautions were taken by Washington for its purification; and the main body of the army did not march in until the 20th. "The joy manifested in the countenances of the inhabitants," says an observer, "was overcast by
* Lee's Memoirs, p. 162.
HUMILIATION OF THE ENEMY.
the melancholy gloom caused by ten tedious months of siege;" but when, on the 22d, the people from the country crowded into the town, "it was truly interesting," writes the same observer, "to witness the tender interviews and fond embraces of those who had been long separated under circumstances so peculiarly distressing." *
Notwithstanding the haste with which the British army was embarked, the fleet lingered for some days in Nantasket Road. Apprehensive that the enemy, now that their forces were collected in one body, might attempt by some blow to retrieve their late disgrace, Washington hastily threw up works on Fort Hill, which commanded the harbor, and demolished those which protected the town from the neighboring country. The fleet at length disappeared entirely from the coast, and the deliverance of Boston was assured.
The eminent services of Washington throughout this arduous siege, his admirable management, by which "in the course of a few months, an undisciplined band of husbandmen became soldiers, and were enabled to invest, for nearly a year, and finally to expel a brave army of veterans commanded by the most experienced generals," drew forth the enthusiastic applause of the nation. No higher illustration of this great achievement need be given than the summary of it contained in the speech
*Thacher's Mil. Journal, p. 50.
of a British statesman, the Duke of Manchester, in the House of Lords. "The army of Britain," said he, 'equipped with every possible essential of war; a chosen army, with chosen officers, backed by the power of a mighty fleet, sent to correct revolted subjects; sent to chastise a resisting city; sent to assert Britain's authority, has, for many tedious months, been imprisoned within that town by the provincial army; who, their watchful guards, permitted them no inlet to the country; who braved all their efforts, and defied all their skill and ability in war could ever attempt. One way; indeed, of escape was left; the fleet is yet respected; to the fleet the army has recourse; and British generals, whose name never met with a blot of dishonor, are forced to quit that town which was the first object of the war, the immediate cause of hostilities, the place of arms, which has cost this nation more than a million to defend."
We close this eventful chapter of Washington's history, with the honor decreed to him by the highest authority of his country. On motion of John Adams, who had first moved his nomination as commander-in-chief, a unanimous vote of thanks to him was passed in Congress; and it was ordered that a gold medal be struck, commemorating the evacuation of Boston, bearing the effigy of Washington as its deliverer.
DRUTINATION OF THE FLEET.-COMMISSION OF THE TWO HOWES.-CHARACTER OF LORD HOWE. THE COLONIES DIVIDED INTO DEPARTMENTS. LEE ASSIGNED TO THE SOUTHERN DEPARTMENT.-GENERAL THOMAS TO CANADA.CHARACTER OF LEE, BY WASHINGTON.-LETTERS OF LEE FROM THE SOUTH. -A DOG IN A DANCING SCHOOL. COMMITTEE OF SAFETY IN VIRGINIA.LEE'S GRENADIERS.-PUTNAM IN COMMAND AT NEW YORK.-STATE OF AFFAIRS THERE. ARRIVAL OF WASHINGTON. NEW ARRANGEMENTS. PERPLEXITIES WITH RESPECT TO CANADA. ENGLAND SUBSIDIZES HESSIAN TROOPS.
HE British fleet bearing the army from Boston, had disappeared from the coast. "Whither
they are bound, and where they next will pitch their tents," writes Washington, "I know not." He conjectured their destination to be New York, and made his arrangements accordingly; but he was mistaken. General Howe had steered for Halifax, there to await the arrival of strong reinforcements from England, and the fleet of his brother, Admiral Lord Howe; who was to be commander-in-chief of the naval forces on the North American station.
It was thought these brothers would coöperate admirably in the exercise of their relative functions on land and water. Yet they were widely different in their habits
and dispositions. Sir William, easy, indolent, and selfindulgent, "hated business," we are told, "and never did any. Lord Howe loved it, dwelt upon it, never could leave it." Beside his nautical commands, he had been treasurer of the navy, member of the board of admiralty, and had held a seat in Parliament; where, according to Walpole, he was " silent as a rock," excepting when naval affairs were under discussion; when he spoke briefly and to the point. "My Lord Howe," said George II., "your life has been a continued series of services to your country." He was now about fifty-one years of age, tall and well proportioned like his brother; but wanting his ease of deportment. His complexion was dark, his countenance grave and strongly marked, and he had a shy reserve, occasionally mistaken for haughtiness. As a naval officer, he was esteemed resolute and enterprising, yet cool and firm. In his younger days he had contracted a friendship for Wolfe; "it was like the union of cannon and gunpowder," said Walpole. Howe, strong in mind, solid in judgment, firm of purpose, was said to be the cannon; Wolfe, quick in conception, prompt in execution, impetuous in action, the gunpowder.* The bravest man, we are told, could not wish for a more able, or more gallant commander than Howe, and the sailors used to say of him, "Give us Black Dick, and we fear nothing."
Such is his lordship's portrait as sketched by English
*Barrows, Life of Earl Howe, p. 400.