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himself unworthy. He was boastful and pre sumptuous, and became noted for his intrigues, and for a despicable cabal against the commanderin-chief, which went by his name, and of which we shall have to speak hereafter.
A candidate of a different stamp had presented himself in the preceding year, the gallant, generousspirited, Thaddeus Kosciuszko. He was a Pole, of an ancient and noble family of Lithuania, and had been educated for the profession of arms at the military school at Warsaw, and subsequently in France. Disappointed in a love affair with a beautiful lady of rank with whom he had attempted to elope, he had emigrated to this country, and came provided with a letter of introduction from Dr. Franklin to Washington.
"What do you seek here?" inquired the commander-in-chief.
"To fight for American independence." "What can you do?"
Washington was pleased with the curt, yet comprehensive reply, and with his chivalrous air and spirit, and at once received him into his family as an aide-de-camp. Congress shortly afterwards appointed him an engineer, with the rank of colonel. He proved a valuable officer throughout the Revolution, and won an honorable and lasting name in our country.
Among the regiments which had been formed in the spring, one had been named by its officers "The Congress' Own," and another "General 1 Foreign Quarterly Review, vol. xv. p. 114.
his fam afterwar nk of ed
Washington's Life Guards." A resolve of Congress promptly appeared, pronouncing those appellations improper, and ordering that they should be discontinued. Washington's own modesty had already administered a corrective. In a letter to the President of Congress, he declared that the regiments had been so named without his consent or privity. “As soon as I heard of it," writes he, "I wrote to several of the officers in terms of severe reprehension, and expressly charged them to suppress the distinction, adding that all the battalions were on the same footing, and all under the general name of Continental." No man was less desirous for all individual distinctions of the kind.
Somewhat later he really formed a company for his guard. Colonel Alexander Spotswood had the selection of the men, four from each regiment; and was charged to be extremely cautious, "because," writes Washington, "it is more than probable that, in the course of the campaign, my baggage, papers, and other matters of great public import, may be committed to the sole care of these men." That the company might look well, and be nearly of a size, none were to be over five feet ten, nor under five feet nine inches in stature, and to be sober, young, active, and well-made, of good character, and proud of appearing clean and Soldierlike. As there would be a greater chance for fidelity among such as had family connections in the country, Spotswood was charged to send none but natives, and, if possible, men of some property. "I must iusist," concludes Washington,
"that, in making this choice, you give no intimation of my preference of natives, as I do not want to create any invidious distinction between them and the officers." 1
Questions of rank among his generals, were, as we have repeatedly shown, perpetual sources of perplexity to Washington, and too often caused by what the sarcastic Lee termed "the stumblings of Congress;" such was the case at present. In recent army promotions, Congress had advanced Stirling, Mifflin, St. Clair, Stephen, and Lincoln, to the rank of major-general, while Aruuld, their senior in service, and distinguished by so many brilliant exploits, was passed over and left to remain a brigadier.
Washington was surprised at not seeing his name on the list, but supposing it might have been omitted through mistake, he wrote to Arnold, who was at Providence in Rhode Island, advising him not to take any hasty step in consequence, out to allow time for recollection, promising his own endeavors to remedy any error that might have been made. He wrote also to Henry Lee in Congress, inquiring whether the omission was owing to accident or design. "Surely," said he, 66 a more active, a more spirited, and sensible officer, fills no department of your army. Not seeing him, then, in the list of major-generals, and no mention made of him, has given me uneasiness; as it is not presumed, being the oldest brigadier, that he will continue in service under such a slight."
Arnold was, in truth, deeply wounded by the
1 Sparks. Writings of Wahington, iv. 407.
SLIGHT PUT UPON ARNOLD.
"I am greatly obliged to your Excellency," writes he to Washington, "for interesting yourself so much in respect to my appointment, which I have had no advice of, and know not by what means it was announced in the papers. Congress undoubtedly have a right of promoting those whom, from their abilities, and their long and arduous services, they esteem most deserving. Their promoting junior officers to the rank of major-generals, I view as a very civil way of requesting my resignation, as unqualified for the office I hold. My commission was conferred unsolicited, and received with pleasure only as a means of serving my country. With equal pleasure I resign it, when I can no longer serve my country with honor. The person who, void of the nice feelings of honor, will tamely condescend to give up his right, and retain a commission at the expense of his reputation, I hold as a disgrace to the army, and unworthy of the glorious cause in which we are engaged. In justice, therefore, to my own character, and for the satisfaction of my friends, I must request a court of inquiry into my conduct; and though I sensibly feel the ingratitude of my countrymen, yet every personal injury shall be buried in my zeal for the safety and happiness of my country, in whose cause I have repeatedly fought and bled, and am ready at all times to risk my life."
He subsequently intimated that he should avoid any hasty step, and should remain at his post until he could leave it without any damage to the public interest.
The armene men vien Congress had propeiei in der zestig zemitons was explained to Wasuinran The number of general officers promoet rom ear Sur wis pergortioned to the under i men frusted by Connecticut Armond's Sade hit Ervaly two major-generals, VIA VIS is stre. -I coccies," writes TAT I Amos is a strange mode to reasoning, but I may serve to show you that the permition via vis dae to your seniority, WIS NG ZTEČKOCked he want of merit in you."
- The prima” coserves be, is of so delicate a mare, da Iv soc eren certake to advise. Your own feelings must be your guide. As no partardar charge & Leged pisst you, I do not ** 100 ft grounds you can demand a court dapan. Your determination not to quit your present command willle any danger to the public with ensue from your leaving it, deserves my Decks and justly entitles you to the thanks of the COUSTIT.”
An opportunity occurred before long, for Arnold again to signalize himself.
The amount of stores destroyed at Peekskill had fallen far short of General Howe's expectations. Something more must be done to cripple the Americans before the opening of the campaign. Accordingly, another expedition was set on foot against a still larger deposit at Danbury, within the borders of Connecticut, and between twenty and thirty miles from Peekskill.
Ex-governor Tryon, recently commissioned major-general of provincials, conducted it, accompa