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Congress next proceeded to appoint by ballot, Arte mas Ward, first major-general, Hrratio Gates, adjutant-general, and Charles Lee, Esq. 2d major-general, Philip Schuyler, Esq. 3d major-general, and Israel Putnam, Esq. 4th major-general.
On the 20th of June the Massachusetts congress an* nounced to the several towns, the resolve of Congress of the 9th. That no obedience being due to the act of Parliament for altering their charter, &c. requested them to elect an assembly, to meet at Watertown, on the 19th of July next. At the same thime they appointed Colonel Heath a major-general, in the place of their illustrious Warren, killed.
On the 22d of June the Continental Congress proceeded to appoint the following brigadier generals. Seth Pomeroy, Esq. of Massachusetts, Richard Montgomery, Esq. of New-York, David Wooster, Esq. of Connecticut, William Heath, Esq. of Massachusetts, Joseph Spencer, Esq. of Connecticut, John Thomas, Esq. of Massachusetts, John Sullivan, Esq. of New-Hampshire, and Nathaniel Green, Esq. of Rhode-Island, and resolved at the same time, that they should receive their commissions through the hands of the commander in chief. At the same time Congress resolved—" That a sum not exceeding 2,000,000 dollars, be emitted by the congress, in bills of credit for the defence of America, and that the twelve confederated colonies be pledged for the re^ demption of the bills."
This expedient had frequently been resorted to by. the several colonies in carying on their wars, as we have seen, and now became the dernier resort of Congress to provide for the exigencies of the war. .
Although the experience of all the colonies had taught Congress the fact, that paper money had proved only a temporary relief, and that its ultimate effects had uniformly been the general prostration of morals, and the ruin of •
the honest by the arts and intrigues of knaves; yet this being their only alternative, they were constrained to adopt the measure. Congress were unanimous, and the result proved the ruin of thousands; but the salvation of America.
Upon the arrival of the news of the battle of Bunker's Hill, Congress resolved " that Pennsylvania raise two companies of riflemen, and that the whole be formed into a battalion, to be commanded by such officer as shall be recommended by said colony."
At this time an attempt was made in North-Carolina to effect a counter-revolution in that colony, which when communicated to Congress, produced the following re solve:—
"Resolved, That it be recommended to all in the colony of North-Carolina, who wish well to the liberties of their country, to associate for the defence of American liberties, and to embody themselves as militia, under proper officers ; and in that case, if the assembly, or convention of that colony shall think it absolutely necessary for the support of the American association, and safety of the colony, to raise a thousand men, this Congress will consider them as an American army, and provide for their pay."
Pennsylvania entered with spirit into the war, and tha eity of Philadelphia enrolled her citizens in the militia of her country, consisting of three battalions, amounting to 1500 men, fyie matross company of 180, with 2 brass field pieces, one troop of light horse, and severaf companies of light infantry, rangers and riflemen—total about 2000.— Even many of the Quakers enrolled themselves in the ranks of their country, and raised, what was never known before, a company of Quakers, who did military duty, and became zealous in the defence of their country.
The colonies thus being arrayed in defence of their liberties, Congress, intent on a peaceful reconciliation with i
Great-Britain, made one more effort to avert the horrors of war, by the following declaration of a special committee— "That the colonies would not only continue to grant extraordinary aids in time of war, but also, if allowed a free commerce, pay into the sinking fund such a sum annually for one hundred years, as should be more than sufficient in that time, if faithfully applied, to extinguish the whole British debt. Or provided this is not accepted, that to remove the groundless jealousy of Britain, that the colonies aimed at independence, and an abolition of the navigation act, (which in truth they had never intended ;) and also, to avoid all future disputes about the right of making that and other acts for regulating their commerce, for the general benefit, they would enter into a covenant with Britain, that she should fully possess and exercise that right, for one hundred years to come."
Before Congress could act upon this declaration, therestraining acts of Parliament arrived, and closed the door of reconciliation forever.
Congress next resolved, "That in case any agent of the' British ministry shall induce the Indian tribes, or any of them, to commit hostilities against these colonies, or to enter into any offensive alliance with the British troops, thereupon the colonies ought to avail themselves of an jlliance with such Indian nations as will enter into the 6ame, to oppose such British troops and their Indian allies"
During these proceedings in Congress, General Washington had retired to his seat at Mount Vernon; set his house in order; made preparation for the service, and on the 2d of July, commenced his journey, and actually arrived at head quarters at Cambridge, accompanied by General Lee, and several other gentlemen, just fifteen days from the date of his commission. It is doubted whether Cincinnatus himself, could boast of such dispatch.' Should I attempt to describe that marked respect, and attention that awaited the general, on his way to Cambridge, that warmth of public feeling that flowed from the hearts of the sons liberty, in their numerous addresses, or the masterly strokes in his dignified replies, my pen would shrink from the task; suffice it to say, that the people received him with the most cordial unanimity, and this was the universal expression, "Under God Washington must be the savior of his country,^*
When the general arrived at head quarters, he received an appropriate address of congratulation from the congress of Massachusetts; to which he returned a dignified reply. The following sentiments may serve as a specimen.
"Gentlemen, "Your kind congratulations upon my appointment, and arrival, demand my warmest acknowledgments, and will ever be held in grateful remembrance. In exchanging the enjoyments of domestic life for the duties of my present honourable, but arduous station, I only emulate the virtue, and public spirit of the whole province of MassachusettsBay, which with a firmness, and patriotism, without example in modern history, has sacrificed all the comforts of social and political life, in support of the rights of mankind, and the welfare of our common country. My highest ambition is to be the happy instrument of vindicating those rights, and to see this devoted province again restored to peace, liberty, and safety."
His Excellency General Washington proceeded to deliver the commissions to the officers of the army, agreeable to their respective appointments; but when he found that General Thomas had been degraded in his rank, in his appointment, he used his immediate influence with Con
♦A deputation from the Massachusetts congress met his excellency af Springfield, aad escorted him tu camp, at Cambridge.
gress to correct the mistake, and they issued to him a commission of first major-general, in place of General Pomeroy; (then an old man, and not having acted under his commission ;) which healed the breach, and gave satisfaction.
General Green at the head of the officers of his brigade, presented General Washington with a cordial address of congratulation, and declared their devotedness to his exellency-'s commands. This address made a favourable and a lasting impression upon the mind of the general in chief.
When the commander in chief had entered upon the duties of his appointment, and examined the returns of the troops, he found himself at the head of an army of 14,500 men, without order, without discipline, without military stores,* (or rather with a very scanty supply,) and destitute of most of the conveniences essential to an encampment.
When the continental generals arrived, and took the command of their respective departments, they entered with zeal and spirit into a joint co-operation with his excellency, to diffuse a spirit of order, cleanliness, activity, discipline, and method, throughout the army; and new efforts, and new energies became universal.
His excellency next reconnoitered the position of the enemy, and found him posted as follows, viz. The main body of the British army was strongly posted on Bunker's Hill, about one mile from Charlestown, and about half a mile in advance of Breed's Hill, the late scene of action— commanded by his excellency General Howe. This position was covered by a 20 gun ship, which lay near Charlestown ferry, and three floating batteries in the entrance of Mystic river; together with a strong battery on Copp's, or Cope's Hill in Boston, which had greatly annoyed the
* The whole quantity of powder, then at his command, did not average . more than nine round* to a man.