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One of these companies was commanded by Captain Daniel Morgan, a native of New Jersey, whose first experience in war had been to accompany Braddock's army as a wagoner.

He had since carried arms on the frontier and obtained a command. He and his riflemen in coming to the camp had marched six hundred miles in three weeks. They will be found of signal efficiency in the sharpest conflicts of the Revolutionary War.

While all his forces were required for the investment of Boston, Washington was importuned by the Legislature of Massachusetts and the governor of Connecticut, to detach troops for the protection of different points of the sea-coast, where depredations by armed vessels were apprehended. The case of New London was specified by Governor Trumbull, where Captain Wallace of the Rose frigate, with two other ships of war, had entered the harbor, landed men, spiked the cannon, and gone off threatening future visits.

Washington referred to his instructions, and consulted with his general officers and such members of the Continental Congress as happened to be in camp, before he replied to these requests ; he then respectfully declined compliance.

In his reply to the General Assembly of Massachusetts, he stated frankly and explicitly the policy and system on which the war was to be conducted, and according to which he was to act as commander-in-chief. “ It has been debated in Congress and settled,” writes he, “ that the militia, or other internal strength of each province, is to be applied for defense against those small and particular depredations, which were to be ex: pected, and to which they were supposeủ to be competent. This will appear the more proper, when it is considered that every town, and indeed every part of our sea-coast, which is exposed to these depredations, would bave an equal claim upon this army.

“ It is the misfortune of our situation which exposes us to these ravages, and against which, in my judgment, no such temporary relief could possibly secure us. The great advantage the enemy have of transporting troops, by being masters of the sea, will enable them to harass us by diversions of this kind ; and should we be tempted to pursue them, upon every alarm, the army must either be so weakened as to expose it to destruction, or a great part of the coast be still left unprotected. Nor, indeed, does it appear to me that such a pursuit would be attended with the least effect. The first notice of such an excursion would be its actual execution, and long before any troops could reach the scene of action, the enemy would have an opportunity to accomplish their purpose and retire. It would give me great pleasure to have it in my power to extend protection and safety every individual; but the wisdom of the General Court will anticipate me on the necessity of conducting our operations on a general and impartial Bcale, so as to exclude any just cause of complaint and jealousy.”

His reply to the governor of Connecticut was to the same effect. “I am by no means insensible to the situation of the people on the coast



I wish I could extend protection to all, but the numerous detachments necessary to remedy the evil would amount to a dissolution of the army or make the most important operations of the campaign depend upon the piratical expeditions of two or three men-of-war and transports.”

His refusal to grant the required detachments gave much dissatisfaction in some quarters, until sanctioned and enforced by the Continental Congress. All at length saw and acquiesced in the justice and wisdom of his decision. It was in fact a vital question, involving the whole character and fortune of the war; and it was acknowl edged that he met it with a forecast and deter mination befitting a commander-in-chief.

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Washington's Object in distressing Boston. -Scarcity and

Sickness in the Town. – A Startling Discovery. — Scarcity of Powder in the Camp. — Its Perilous Situation. Economy of Ammunition. – Correspondence between Lee and Burgoyne. - Correspondence between Washington and Gage. The Dignity of the Patriot Army asserted.


HE great object of Washington at pres

ent, was to force the enemy to conie out

of Boston and try a decisive action. His lines had for some time cut off all communi. cation of the town with the country, and he had caused the live stock within a considerable distance of the place to be driven back from the coast, out of reach of the men-of-war's boats. Fresh provisions and vegetables were quently growing more and more scarce and extravagantly dear, and sickness began to prevail. “I have done and shall do everything in my power to distress them," writes he to his brother John Augustine. “ The transports have all arrived, and their whole reinforcement is landed, so that I see no reason why they should not, if they ever attempt it, come boldly out and put the mat ter to issue at once."

“We are in the strangest state in the world,” writes a lady from Boston, “surrounded on all

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sides. The whole country is in arms and intrenched. We are deprived of fresh provisions, subject to continual alarms and cannonadings, the provincials being very audacious and advancing to our lines, since the arrival of generals Washington and Lee to command them.”

At this critical juncture, when Washington was pressing the siege, and endeavoring to pro. voke a general action, a startling fact came to light; the whole amount of powder in the camp would not furnish more than nine cartridges to a

!1 A gross error had been made by the committee of supplies when Washington, on taking command, had required a return of the ammunition. They had returned the whole amount of powder collected by the province, upwards of three bundred barrels ; without stating what had been expended. The blunder was detected on an order being issued for a new supply of cartridges. It was found that there were but thirty-two barrels of powder in store.

This was an astounding discovery. Washington instantly dispatched letters and expresses to Rhode Island, the Jerseys, Ticonderoga and elsewhere, urging immediate supplies of powder and lead; no quantity, however small, to be consid. ered beneath notice. In a letter to Governor Couke of Rhode Island, he suggested that an arned vessel of that province might be sent to seize upon a magazine of gunpowder, said to be in a remote part of the island of Bermuda. “I

1 Letter to the President of Congress, Aug. 4.


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