« PrejšnjaNaprej »
faithful, and efficient coadjutors throughout the
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 commissarygeneral, 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, learnt 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."
Washington made a "This unhappy and de"has been so long in a yoke has been laid so
Among the troops most destitute, were those belonging to Massachusetts, which formed the larger part of the army. noble apology for them. voted province," said he, state of anarchy, and the 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 spirit has 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 coöperators 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 provi. dence 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."
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 had been in the habit of assembling every afternoon in one 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. stood on the Watertown road, about half a mile west of the college, and has long been known as the Cragie house, from the name of Andrew Cragie, 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 a half of the trees perished.
The Cragie 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 very room from which they were written. Next came Mr. Worcester, author of the pugnacious dictionary, and of many excellent books, and lastly Longfellow, the poet, who, having married the heroine of Hyperion, purchased the house of the heirs of Mr. Cragie 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 Adjutantgeneral. Hazardous Situation of the Army. Strengthening of the Defenses. Efficiency of Putnam. - Rapid Changes. New Distribution of the Forces. - Rigid Discipline. Lee and his Cane. His Idea as to strong Battalions. Arrival of Rifle Companies. - Daniel Morgan and his Sharpshooters. - Washington declines to detach Troops to Distant Points for their Protection. His Reasons for so doing.
HE 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, he 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