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on record a graphic sketch of this primitive army of the Revolution. " It 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
in 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 ; everything 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, or the 26th of May, 1742. His father wa miller, an anchor-smith, and a Quaker preacher. The waters of the Potowhammet turned tho wheels of the mill and raised the ponderous sledge-hammer of the forge. Greene, in his boy. hood, 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 knowledge, he applied himself sedulously to vari
ous 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 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 be belonged. For this purpose, during a visit to Boston, he had taken note of everything 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. ance and manner were calculated to make a favorable impression. He was about thirty-nine years
of age, nearly six feet high, well built and rigorous, with an open, animated, intelligent countenance, and a frank, manly demeanor. 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,
He may 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."
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 bu 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 patriotisın. 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 be, “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 the
colonies of their inestimable consti tutional 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 na 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 beautifu)