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SCHUYLER SEEKS RETIREMENT.
him deep concern, wherein that general complained of the embarrassments and annoyances he had experienced from the insubordination of the army. "Habituated to order," said he, "I cannot without pain see that disregard of discipline, confusion and inattention, which reign so generally in this quarter, and I am determined to retire. Of this resolution I have advised Congress."
He had indeed done so. In communicating to the President of Congress the complaints of General Montgomery, and his intention to retire, "my sentiments," said he, “exactly coincide with his. I shall, with him, do everything in my power to put a finishing stroke to the campaign, and make the best arrangement in my power, in order to insure success to the next. This done, I must beg leave to retire."
Congress, however, was too well aware of his value, readily to dispense with his services. His letter produced a prompt resolution expressive of their high sense of his attention and perseverance, "which merited the thanks of the United Colonies." He had alleged his impaired health, they regretted the injuries it had sustained in the service, but begged he would not insist on a measure "which would deprive America of the benefits of his zeal and abilities, and rob him of the honor of completing the work he had so happily begun."
What, however, produced a greater effect upon Schuyler than any encomium or entreaty on the part of Congress, were the expostulations of Washington, inspired
by strong friendship and kindred sympathies. “I am exceedingly sorry," writes the latter, "to find you so much embarrassed by the disregard of discipline, confusion and want of order among the troops, as to have occasioned you to mention to Congress an inclination to retire. I know that your complaints are too well founded, but would willingly hope that nothing will induce you to quit the service. I have met with difficulties of the same sort, and such as I never expected; but they must be borne with. The cause we are engaged in is so just and righteous, that we must try to rise superior to every obstacle in its support; and, therefore, I beg that you will not think of resigning, unless you have carried your application to Congress too far to recede."
And in another letter he makes a still stronger appeal to his patriotism. "I am sorry that you and General Montgomery incline to quit the service. Let me ask you, sir, when is the time for brave men to exert themselves in the cause of liberty and their country, if this is not? Should any difficulties that they may have to encounter at this important crisis deter them? God knows there is not a difficulty that you both very justly complain of, that I have not in an eminent degree experienced, that I am not every day experiencing; but wmust bear up against them, and make the best of markind, as they are, since we cannot have them as we wish. Let me, therefore, conjure you, and Mr. Montgomery, te lay aside such thoughts-as thoughts injurious to your
selves, and extremely so to your country, which calls aloud for gentlemen of your ability."
This noble appeal went straight to the heart of Schuyler, and brought out a magnanimous reply. "I do not hesitate," writes he, "to answer my dear general's question in the affirmative, by declaring that now or never is the time for every virtuous American to exert himself in the cause of liberty and his country; and that it is become a duty cheerfully to sacrifice the sweets of domestic felicity to attain the honest and glorious end America has in view."
In the same letter he reveals in confidence the true cause of his wish to retire from an official station; it was the annoyance he had suffered throughout the campaign from sectional prejudice and jealousy. "I could point out particular persons of rank in the army," writes he, "who have frequently declared that the general commanding in this quarter ought to be of the colony from whence the majority of the troops came. But it is not from opinions or principles of individuals that I have drawn the following conclusion: that troops from the colony of Connecticut will not bear with a general from another colony; it is from the daily and common conversation of all ranks of people from that colony, both in and out of the army; and I assure you that I sincerely lament that people of so much public virtue should be actuated by such an unbecoming jealousy, founded on such a narrow principle." Having made this declaration, he
adds, "although I frankly own that I feel a resentment, yet I shall continue to sacrifice it to a nobler object, the weal of that country in which I have drawn the breath of life, resolved ever to seek, with unwearied assiduity, for opportunities to fulfill my duty to it."
It is with pride we have quoted so frequently the correspondence of these two champions of our Revolution, as it lays open their hearts, and shows the lofty patriotism by which they were animated.
A letter from John Adams to General Thomas, alleges as one cause of Schuyler's unpopularity with the eastern troops, the "politeness" shown by him to Canadian and British prisoners; which "enabled them and their ministerial friends to impose upon him." *
The "politeness" in fact, was that noble courtesy which a high-minded soldier extends towards a captive foe. If his courtesy was imposed upon, it only proved that, incapable of double-dealing himself, he suspected it not in others. All generous natures are liable to imposition; their warm impulses being too quick for selfish caution. It is the cold, the calculating, and the mean, whose distrustful wariness is never taken in.
* Letter book of Gen. Thomas. MS.
DIFFICULTIES IN FILLING UP THE ARMY.-THE CONNECTICUT TROOPS PERSIST IN GOING HOME. THEIR RECEPTION THERE. TIMELY ARRIVAL OF SPOILS IN THE CAMP.-PUTNAM AND THE PRIZE MORTAR.-A MARAUD BY AMERICANS. REBUKED BY WASHINGTON.-CORRESPONDENCE OF
WITH GENERAL HOWE ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF ETHAN ALLEN.-FRATERNAL ZEAL OF LEVI ALLEN.-TREATMENT OF GENERAL PRESCOTT.-PREPARATIONS ΤΟ BOMBARD BOSTON. -BATTERY AT LECHMERE'S POINT.PRAYER OF PUTNAM FOR POWDER.
HE forming even of the skeleton of an army under the new regulations, had been a work of
infinite difficulty; to fill it up was still more difficult. The first burst of revolutionary zeal had passed away: enthusiasm had been chilled by the inaction and monotony of a long encampment,—an encampment, moreover, destitute of, those comforts which, in experienced warfare, are provided by a well-regulated commissariat. The troops had suffered privations of every kind, want of food, clothing, provisions. They looked forward with dismay to the rigors of winter, and longed for their rustic homes and their family firesides.
Apprehending that some of them would incline to go home when the time of their enlistment expired, Wash