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ment recoinmended by the commander in chief, received the attention to which his judgment and experience gave all his opinions the fairest claim.
campaign, report, “ That the plan proposed by Congress for the emancipation of Canada, in co-operation with an army from France, was the principal subject of the said conference.
“ That impressed with a strong sense of the injury and disgrace which must attend an infraction of the proposed stipulations on the part of these states, your committee have taken a general review of our finances ; of the circumstances of our army; of the magazines of clothes, artillery, arms, and am. munition, and of the provisions in store, and which can be collected in season.
“ Your committee have also attentively considered the in. telligence and observations communicated to them by the commander in chief, respecting the number of troops, and strong holds of the enemy in Canada; their naval force, and entire command of the water communication with that country; the difficulties, while they possess such signal advan. tages, of penetrating it with an army by land; the obstacles which are to be surmounted in acquiring a naval superiority ; the hostile temper of many of the surrounding Indian tribes towards these states; and, above all, the uncertainty whether the enemy will not persevere in their system of harassing and distressing our sea-coast and frontiers, by a predatory war.
“ That on the most mature deliberation, your committee cannot find room for a well-grounded presumption, that these states will be able to perform their part of the proposed stipulations. That in a measure of such moment, calculated to call forth, and direct to a single object, a considerable portion of the force of our ally, which may otherwise be essentially employed, nothing else than the highest probability of success could justify Congress in making the proposition.
“ Your committee are therefore of opinion, that the nego. tiation in question, however desirable and interesting, should be deferred till circumstances render the co-operation of these states more certain, practicable, and effectual,
“ That the minister plenipotentiary of these states at the court of Versailles, the minister of France in Pennsylvania, and the minister of France, be respectively informed, that the operations of the next campaign must depend on such a variety of contingencies, to arise as well from our own internal circumstances and resources, as the progress and movements of our enemy, that time alone can mature and point out the plan which ought to be pursued.
“ That Congress, therefore, cannot, with a degree of confidence answerable to the magnitude of the object, decide on the practicability of their co-operating the next campaign in an enterprise for the emancipation of Canada. That every preparation in our power will nevertheless be made for acting with vigour against the common enemy, and every favourable incident embraced with alacrity to facilitate and hasten the freedom and independence of Canada, and her union with these states ; events, which Congress, from motives of policy with respect to the United States, as well as of affection for their Canadian brethren, have greatly at heart."
Divisions in Congress-Letters from General Washing
ton on the state of public affairs - Invasion of Georgia -General Howe defeated by the British under Colonel Campbell, who takes possession of Savannah Sunbury surrenders to General Prevost--The state of Georgia reduced-General Lincoln takes the comriand of the southern army-Major Gardner defeated by General Moultrie-Insurrection of the tories in South Carolina; who are defeated by Colonel Pickens--Ash surprised and defeated by Prevost Prevost compels Moultrie to retreat - Lincoln attacks the British at the ferry, but without success-Invasion of Virginia by General Mathews.
WE have perceived that, in the course of the
preceding year, (1778,) operations of great magnitude, requiring large supplies of men and of money, had been meditated against Canada, without any just estimate of the resources of the government; and that Congress was, with infinite difficulty, prevailed upon to relinquish them. Having reluctantly given up these grand and extensive views of conquest, the remaining objects, though of the utmost importance, secmed insuffi. cient to call forth the energies of the nation, and a general languor appeared to diffuse itself through all the civil departments. The alliance with France
was believed to have secured independence; and a confidence that the enemy could no longer prosecute the war with any reasonable hope of success, prevented those exertions which were practicable, but which it was painful to make. Believing what they wished, the contest seemed drawing to its close, and the means to ensure its successful termination were too unpleasant to be employed but in the last necessity. This temper was seen and deplored by the commander in chief, who incessantly combated the opinion that Great Britain was about to relinquish the contest; and insisted that only great and vigorous exertions on the
of America could terminate the war.
The wretched policy of short enlistments, into which many causes had combined to betray the American governments, had been persevered in till it was no longer in their power to correct its mischiefs. The enthusiasm felt at the commencement of the contest, under the influence of which all personal considerations were overlooked, and the common cause was deemed the cause of each individual, had in a great measure passed away, and had been succeeded by calculations of a colder but more lasting character. When, at length, the resolution was formed to enlist an army for
power to execute it no longer existed. Few were found who would engage voluntarily in the service, and coercion was an expedient at.
tended with too much hazard to be extensively employed. Apprehensions of danger were. entertained, front forcing men into the army for three years, or during the war; and the vacant ranks were scantily supplied with drafts, for nine, twelve, and eighteen months. The evil tlierefore still continued ; and except that the old officers remained, almost a new army was to be raised for .every campaign.
The commander in chief, always provident for the future, was uniformly earnest in his representations to Congress, and to the several states, on this important subject. His letters continually and urgently pressed them to take timely measures for supplying the places of those who were leaving the service. But the means adopted were so much more slow and ineffectual in their operation than was expected by those who devised them, that the season for action never found the preparations of Ainerica completed; and the necessity of struggling against superior numbers was almost perpetual.
The pleasing delusion that the war was over, to which the public mind delighted to surrender itself, made no impression on the judgment of Washington. Viewing objects through a more correct medium, he perceived that Britain had yet much to hope, and America much to fear, from a continu. ance of hostilities. The commissioners were about