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open throughout all his trials, and who know its rectitude, received the letter and documents with indignation and disgust, and sent copies of them to the general. “From these, said he, “you will readily discover the diabolical and insidious arts and schemes carrying on by the tories and friends of government to raise distrust, dissensions, and divisions among us. Having the utmost confidence in your integrity, and the most incontestable proof of your great attachment to our common country and its interests, I could not but look upon the charge against you with an eye of disbelief, and sentiments of detestation and abhorrence; nor should I have troubled you with the matter, had I not been informed that copies were sent to different committees, and to Governor Trumbull, which I conceived would get abroad, and that you, should you find I had been furnished with them, would consider my suppressing them as an evidence of my belief, or at best of my doubts, of the charges.” *
We will go forward and give the sequel of the matter. While the imputations in question had merely floated in public rumor, Schuyler had taken no notice of them; “but it is now," writes he in reply to Washington, "a duty which I owe myself and my country to detect the scoundrels, and the only means of doing this is by requesting that an immediate inquiry be made into the matter; when I trust it will appear that it was more a scheme calculated to ruin me than to disunite and create jealousies in the friends of America. Your Excellency will, therefore, please to order a court of inquiry the soonest possible; for I cannot sit easy under such an infamous imputation; since, on this extensive continent, numbers of the most respectable characters may not know
* Washington to Schuyler, May 21.
what your Excellency and Congress do of my principles and exertions in the common cause.
He further adds: “I am informed by persons of good credit that about one hundred persons, living on what are commonly called the New Hampshire Grants, have had a design to seize me as a tory, and perhaps still have. There never was a man so infamously scandalized and ill-treated as I am.”
We need only add that the Berkshire committees, which in a time of agitation and alarm had hastily given countenance to these imputations, investigated them deliberately in their cooler moments, and acknowledged, in a letter to Washington, that they were satisfied their suspicions respecting General Schuyler were wholly groundless. “We sincerely hope," added they, “his name may be handed down, with immortal honor, to the latest posterity, as one of the great pillars of the American cause."
Gates sent to Philadelphia with the Canada Dispatches-Promoted
to the rank of Major-General-Washington summoned to Philadelphia-Putnam left in Coinmand-Conference with Congress -Army Arrangements--A Board of War instituted–The Clintons of New York-Mrs. Washington Inoculated-Reed made Adjutant-General
As the reverses in Canada would affect the fortunes of the Revolution elsewhere, Washington sent General Gates to lay the dispatches concerning them before Congress. “His military experience,” said he, “and intimate acquaintance with the situation of our affairs, will enable him to give Congress the fullest satisfaction about the measures necessary to be adopted at this alarming crisis; and, with his zeal and attachment to the cause of America, he will have a claim to their notice and favors.”
Scarce had Gates departed on his mission (May 19), when Washington himself received a summons to Philadelphia, to advise with Congress concerning the opening campaign. He was informed also that Gates, on the 16th of May, had been promoted to the rank of major-general, and Mifflin to that of brigadier-general, and a wish was intimated that they might take the command of Boston.
Washington prepared to proceed to Philadelphia. His general orders issued on the 19th of May, show the anxious situation of affairs at New York. In case of an alarm the respective regiments were to draw opposite to their encampments or quarters, until ordered to repair to the alarm posts. The alarm signals for regulars, militia, and the inhabitants of the city were, in the daytime-two cannon fired from the rampart at Fort George, and a flag hoisted on the top of Washington's headquarters. In the night-two cannon fired as above, and two lighted lanterns hoisted on the top of headquarters. *
* The following statement of the batteries at New York we find dated May 22:
The Grand Battery, on the south part of the town.
Oyster Battery, behind General Washington's headquarters.
Grenadier Battery,near the Brew House on the North River. Jersey Battery, on the left of the Grenadier Battery. Bayard's Hill Redoubt, on Bayard's Hill.
Spencer's Redoubt, on the hill where his brigade is encamped.
Waterbury's Battery (fascines), on a wharf below this hill.
In his parting instructions to Putnam, who, as the oldest major-general in the city, would have the command during his absence, Washington informed him of the intention of the Provincial Congress of New York to seize the principal tories and disaffected persons in the city and the surrounding country, especially on Long Island, and authorized him to afford military aid, if required, to carry the same into execution. He was also to send Lord Stirling, Colonel Putnam the engineer, and Colonel Knox, if he could be spared, up to the Highlands, to examine the state of the forts and garrisons, and report what was necessary to put them in a posture of defense. The garrisons were chiefly composed of parts of a regiment of New York troops, commanded by Colonel James Clinton, of Ulster County, and were said to be sufficient.
The general, accompanied by Mrs. Washington, departed from New York on the 21st of May, and they were invited by Mr. Hancock, the President of Congress, to be his guests during their sojourn at Pbiladelphia.
Lee, when he heard of Washington's visit there, augured good effects from it. “I am extremely glad, dear general," writes he, “that you are in Philadelphia, for their councils sometimes lack a little of military electricity.”
Washington, in his conferences with Congress, appears to have furnished this electricity. He roundly expressed his conviction that no accommodation could be effected with Great Britain on acceptable terms. Ministerialists had doclared in Parliament that, the sword being drawn, the most coercive measures would be persevered in until there was complete submission. The recent subsidizing of foreign troops was a part of this policy, and indicated unsparing hostility. A protracted war, therefore, was inevitable; but
it would be impossible to carry it on successfully with the scanty force actually embodied, and with transient enlistments of militia.
In consequence of his representations, resolutions were passed in Congress that soldiers should be enlisted for three years, with a bounty of ten dollars for each recruit; that the army at New York should be re-enforced until the 1st of December with thirteen thousand eight hundred militia; that gondolas and fire-rafts should be built, to prevent the menof-war and enemy's ships from coming into New York Bay, or the Narrows; and that a flying camp of ten thousand mi. litia, furnished by Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, and likewise engaged until the 1st December, should be stationed in the Jerseys for the defense of the Middle colonies. Washington was moreover empowered, in case of emergency, to call on the neighboring colonies for temporary aid with their militia.
Another result of his conferences with Congress was the establishment of a war office. Military affairs had hitherto been referred in Congress to committees casually appointed, and had consequently been subject to great irregularity and neglect. Henceforth a permanent committee, entitled the Board of War and Ordnance, was to take cognizance of them. The first board was composed of five members: John Adams, Colonel Benjamin Harrison, Roger Sherman, James Wilson, and Edward Rutledge; with Richard Peters as secretary. It went into operation on the 12th of June.
While at Philadelphia, Washington had frequent consultations with George Clinton, one of the delegates from New York, concerning the interior defenses of that province especially those connected with the security of the Highlands of the Hudson, where part of the regiment of Colonel James