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nine thousand of the troops belonged to Massachusetts; the rest were from other provinces. They were encamped in separate bodies, each with its own regulations, and officers of its own appointment. Some had tents, others were in barracks, and others sheltered themselves as best they might. Many were sadly in want of clothing, and all, said Washington, were strongly imbued with the spirit of insubordination, which they mistook for independence.
A chaplain of one of the regiments has left on record a graphic sketch of this primitive army of the Revolution. is very diverting," writes he, "to walk among the camps. They are as different in their forms, as the owners are in their dress; and every tent is a portraiture of the temper and taste of the persons who encamp in it. Some are made of boards, and some are made of sail-cloth; some are partly of one, and partly of the other. Again others are made of stone and turf, brick and brush. Some are thrown up in a hurry, others curiously wrought with wreaths and withes."
One of the encampments, however, was in striking contrast with the rest, and might vie with those of the British for order and exactness. Here were tents and marquees pitched in the English style; soldiers well drilled and well equipped; every thing had an air of discipline and subordination. It was a body of Rhode Island troops, which had been raised, drilled, and brought to the camp by Brigadier-General Greene, of that province, whose subsequent renown entitles him to an introduction to the reader.
Nathaniel Greene was born in Rhode Island, on the 26th of May, 1742. His father was a miller, an anchor-smith, and a Quaker preacher. The waters of the Potowhammet turned the wheels of the mill, and raised the ponderous sledge-hammer of the forge. Greene, in his boyhood, followed the plough, and occasionally worked at the forge of his father. His education was of an ordinary kind; but having an early thirst for knowiedge, he applied himself sedulously to various studies, while subsisting by the labor of his hands. Nature had endowed him with quick parts, and a sound judgment, and his assiduity was crowned with success. He became fluent and instructive in conversation, and his letters, still extant, show that he held an able pen.
In the late turn of public affairs, he had caught the belligerent spirit prevalent throughout the country. Plutarch and
The Rev. William Emerson.
Cæsar's Commentaries became his delight. He applied himself to military studies, for which he was prepared by some knowledge of mathematics. His ambition was to organize and discipline a corps of militia to which he belonged. For this purpose, during a visit to Boston, he had taken note of every thing about the discipline of the British troops. In the month of May, he had been elected commander of the Rhode Island contingent of the army of observation, and in June had conducted to the lines before Boston, three regiments, whose encampment we have just described, and who were pronounced the best disciplined and appointed troops in the army.
Greene made a soldier-like address to Washington, welcoming him to the camp. His appearance and manner were calculated to make a favorable impression. He was about thirty-nine years of age, nearly six feet high, well built and vigorous, with an open, animated, intelligent countenance, and a frank, manly demeanor. He may be said to have stepped at once into the confidence of the commander-in-chief, which he never forfeited, but became one of his most attached, faithful, and efficient coadjutors throughout the war.
Having taken his survey of the army, Washington wrote to the President of Congress, representing its various deficiencies, and, among other things, urging the appointment of a commissary-general, a quartermaster-general, a commissary of musters, and a commissary of artillery. Above all things, he requested a supply of money as soon as possible. "I find myself already much embarrassed for want of a military chest."
In one of his recommendations we have an instance of frontier expediency, learned in his early campaigns. Speaking of the ragged condition of the army, and the difficulty of procuring the requisite kind of clothing, he advises that a number of hunting-shirts, not less than ten thousand, should be provided; as being the cheapest and quickest mode of supplying this necessity. "I know nothing in a speculative view more trivial,” observes he," yet which, if put in practice, would have a happier tendency to unite the men, and abolish those provincial distinctions that lead to jealousy and dissatisfaction.”
Among the troops most destitute, were those belonging to Massachusetts, which formed the larger part of the army.
Washington made a noble apology for them. This unhappy and devoted province," said he, "has been so long in a state of anarchy, and the yoke has been laid so heavily on it, that great allowances are to be made for troops raised under such circumstances. The deficiency of numbers, discipline,
and stores, can only lead to this conclusion, that their spirits had exceeded their strength."
This apology was the more generous, coming from a Southerner; for there was a disposition among the Southern officers to regard the Eastern troops disparagingly. But Washington already felt as commander-in-chief, who looked with an equal eye on all; or rather as a true patriot, who was above all sectional prejudices.
One of the most efficient co-operators of Washington at this time, and throughout the war, was Jonathan Trumbull, the Governor of Connecticut. He was a well-educated man, experienced in public business, who had sat for many years in the legislative councils of his native province. Misfortune had cast him down from affluence, at an advanced period of life, but had not subdued his native energy. He had been one of the leading spirits of the Revolution, and the only colonial governor who, at its commencement, proved true to the popular cause. He was now sixty-five years of age, active, zealous, devout, a patriot of the primitive New England stamp, whose religion sanctified his patriotism. A letter addressed by him to Washington, just after the latter had entered upon the command, is worthy of the purest days of the Covenanters. "Congress," writes he, "have, with one united voice, appointed you to the high station you possess. The Supreme Director of all
events hath caused a wonderful union of hearts and counsels to subsist among us.
"Now, therefore, be strong, and very courageous. May the God of the armies of Israel shower down the blessings of his Divine providence on you; give you wisdom and fortitude, cover your head in the day of battle and danger, add success, convince our enemies of their mistaken measures, and that all their attempts to deprive these colonies of their inestimable constitutional rights and liberties, are injurious and vain."
NOTE. We are obliged to Professor Felton, of Cambridge, for correcting an error in our first volume in regard to Washington's head-quarters, and for some particulars concerning a house, associated with the history and literature of our country.
The house assigned to Washington for head-quarters, was that of the President of the Provincial Congress, not of the University. It had been one of those Tory mansions noticed by the Baroness Reidesel, in her mention of Cambridge. "Seven families, who were connected by relationship, or lived in great intimacy, had here farms, gardens, and splendid mansions, and not far off, orchards; and the buildings were at a quarter of a mile distant from each other. The owners nad been in the habit of assembling every afternoon in one or other of these houses, and of diverting themselves with music or dancing; and lived in affluence, in good humor, and without care, until this unfortunate war dispersed them, and transformed all these houses into solitary abodes.
The house in question was confiscated by Government. It stood on the Watertown road, about half a mile west of the college, and has long been known as the Craigie house, from the name of Andrew Craigie, a wealthy gentleman, who purchased it after the war, and revived its former hospitality. He is said to have acquired great influence among the leading members of the "great and general court," by dint of jovial dinners. He died long ago, but his widow survived until within fifteen years. She was a woman of much talent and singularity. She refused to have the canker worms destroyed, when they were making sad ravages among the beautiful trees on the lawn before the house. "We are all worms," said she, "and they have as good a right here as I have." The consequence was that more than half of the trees perished.
The Craigie House is associated with American literature through some of its subsequent occupants. Mr. Edward Everett resided in it the first year or two after his marriage. Later, Mr. Jared Sparks, during part of the time that he was preparing his collection of Washington's writings; editing a volume or two of his letters in the ve.y room from which they were written. Next came Mr. Worcester, author of the pugna. cious dictionary, and of many excellent books, and lastly Longfellow, the poet, who, Laving married the heroine of Hyperion, purchased the house of the heirs of Mr. Craigie and refitted it.
QUESTIONS OF MILITARY RANK POPULARITY OF PUTNAM ARRANGEMENTS AT HEAD-QUARTERS -COLONEL MIFFLIN AND JOHN TRUMBULL, AIDES-DE-CAMP — JOSEPH REED, WASHINGTON'S SECRETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL FRIEND
GATES AS ADJUTANT-GENERAL HAZARDOUS SITUATION OF THE ARMY STRENGTHENING OF THE DEFENCES EFFICIENCY OF PUTNAM NEW DISTRIBUTION OF THE FORCES RIGID LEE AND HIS CANE HIS IDEA AS TO STRONG ARRIVAL OF RIFLE COMPANIES DANIEL MOR
GAN AND HIS SHARP-SHOOTERS WASHINGTON DECLINES ΤΟ DETACH TROOPS TO DISTANT POINTS FOR THEIR PROTECTION HIS REASONS FOR SO DOING.
THE justice and impartiality of Washington were called into exercise as soon as he entered upon his command, in allaying discontents among his general officers caused by the recent appointments and promotions made by the Continental Congress. General Spencer was so offended that Putnam should be promoted over his head, that he left the army, without visiting the commander-in-chief; but was subsequently induced to return. General Thomas felt aggrieved by being outranked by the veteran Pomeroy; the latter, however, declining to serve, ǹe found himself senior brigadier, and was appeased.
The sterling merits of Putnam soon made every one acquiesce in his promotion. There was a generosity and buoyancy about
the brave old man that made him a favorite throughout the army; especially with the younger officers, who spoke of him familiarly and fondly as "Old Put; "a sobriquet by which he is called even in one of the private letters of the commanderin-chief.
The Congress of Massachusetts manifested considerate liberality with respect to head-quarters. According to their minutes, a committee was charged to procure a steward, a housekeeper, and two or three women cooks; Washington, no doubt, having brought with him none but the black servants who had accompanied him to Philadelphia, and who were but little fitted for New England housekeeping. His wishes were to be consulted in regard to the supply of his table. This his station, as commander-in-chief, required should be kept up in ample and hospitable style. Every day a number of his officers dined with him.
As he was in the neighborhood of the seat of the Provincial Government, he would occasionally have members of Congress and other functionaries at his board. Though social, however, he was not convivial in his habits. He received his guests with courtesy; but his mind and time were too much occupied by grave and anxious concerns, to permit him the genial indulgence of the table. His own diet was extremely simple. Sometimes nothing but baked apples or berries, with cream and milk. He would retire early from the board, leaving an aide-de-camp or one of his officers to take his place. Colonel Mifflin was the first person who officiated as aide-de-camp. He was a Philadelphia gentleman of high respectability, who had accompanied him from that city, and received his appointment shortly after their arrival at Cambridge. The second aide-de-camp was John Trumbull, son of the Governor of Connecticut. He had accompanied General Spencer to the camp, and had caught the favorable notice of Washington by some drawings which he had made of the enemy's works. "I now suddenly found myself," writes Trumbull, in the family of one of the most distinguished and dignified men of the age; surrounded at his table by the principal officers of the army, and in constant intercourse with them it was further my duty to receive company, and do the honors of the house to many of the first people of the country of both sexes." Trumbull was young, and unaccustomed to society, and soon found himself, he says, unequal to the elegant duties of his situation; he giadly exchanged it therefore, for that of major of brigade.
In after years distinguished as a historical painter.