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were inadequate to the necessities of the troops, who 'T56* subsisted principally upon lean cattle collected in the woods. The commissaries and quarter masters complained, that the want of cash and of credit were insuperable obstacles to the discharge of their duty.
Upon gen. Lincoln's being made prisoner at Charlestown, the forces of the southern district devolved on Baron de Kalb. His experience and abilities were allowed to be great; but as he was a foreigner, unacquainted with the country, and unaccustomed to the temper of undisciplined troops, who were to constitute . the major part of the army, these and other reasons wrought in savor of gen. Gates, who was considered in: common as the best qualified for the command; and it was unanimously resolved in congress on the 13th of June, "that major gen. Gates do immediately repair to and take the command of the southern department:" the next day he was empowered to take such measures for the defence of the southern states as he might think most proper. He received the resolves of congress at Traveller's Rest in Virginia, a few miles from Shepherd's-town, on the 20th, and set out on Monday the .26th. He soon felt for himself, finding that he succeeded to the command, of an army without strength, of a military chest without money, of a department apparently deficient in public spirit, and in a climate that increased despondency, instead of animating the soldier's arm. He had before him the most unpromising prospect his eyes ever beheld. He arrived at the camp on T . the 25th of July; and at a review of the troops the next 25. day, was in every respect received by the Baron with -marks of the greatest distinction. In return he treated
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1780. his predecessor with due consideration, confirmed his standing orders, and requested that he would keep the command of his division as formerly in the grand army. The Baron's division consisted of all the Maryland and Delaware troops: these with a small legionary corps under col. Armand, consisting of about 60 horse and as many foot soldiers, who arrived a few days before, and three companies of artillery, constituted the whole of \ the army. The Baron with great satissaction complied with Gates's request. A considerable body of North Carolina militia had taken the field under gen. Caswell. His appointment and instructions to join and co-operate with the regular forces had been announced to the Baron, who daily expected his arrival, and with him a considerable supply of provisions. Caswell however, upon the plea of preventing some disaffected inhabitants from taking arms in favor of the enemy, excused his not complying with the instructions; and as to the supply though promised, no part of it ever arrived. On the July morning of July the 27th, gen. Gates marched at the head *7* of the army, to effect a junction of the regular and irregular forces, to assume an appearance of hostile views upon the enemy's advanced posts, and in expectation of sharing with the militia the supplies they received from the state. The troops passed Deep river at the Buffalo-ford, and encamped in the afternoon at Spinks's farm on the road to Camden,
Here we shall leave them till time and future operations yield us the materials for proceeding in the history of the southern department. However we must not quit North Carolina without mentioning, that Mr. Justice Pendleton stated to lord Cornwallis, in a letter dated
ISTewbern, July 20, the reasons that urged him to leave I78o* Charlestown without the permission of the commandant, lest the same should be represented as a breach of his parole, and of course insamous and dishonorable. The letter relates, that the morning of the day the justice left the town, he was informed, that the preceding night a party had assembled together to take him out of his house and put him to death; and that it would certainly have been effected, had not a British officer, capt. Constable, prevailed on them to consider further of the matter. To show his utmost reliance on his lordship's honor, he fays in it—" I will immediately return to my parole in Charlestown, if I obtain your promise that no further injury or insult shall be offered me. I require no other security." He then adds—" There are many English officers, my lord, that have intelligent and generous spirits, that know it is impossible to fix any immutable standard of opinion in politics, any more than religion; and therefore not impossible that a very upright and virtuous man may be a member of congress, governor, judge, &c. notwithstanding the common epithet of rebel so freely bestowed on them. Such men (it is no matter which side their principles lead them to embrace) behold human misery in every shape, or from whatever cause derived, with pity and concern, and by compassion and politeness endeavour to soften and mitigate it: but the malignity and virulence of Scotch (with some few exceptions) and American refugee officers (with none at all) whether in a civil or military line, is singularly conspicuous throughout this war, and cannot be described but in terms offensive to the pen of a gentleman."
17*0* The proceedings of congress must now again engage our attention.
The grand council of the American states called upon each, in February, for specific supplies of provision and forage. 'But before these could be brought in, such advantage was taken of the public wants, that the nominal debt of the continent was increased beyond calculation. Depreciation was rapid. The enemy took courage, and set every engine to work, by counterfeiting and multiplying their base emissions, to decry the credit of the paper currency. Congress, to baffle their designs and curb intestine avarice, resolved on the i8th of March, to call in by taxes in the course of one year, and to burn all the paper bills heretofore emitted to the amount of 200 million of dollars, and in lieu thereof to issue ten millions of new money, which was to be issued as fast and no saster than the old was brought in. For every 20 dollars of the old, one dollar of the new emission was to be perfected, and lodged in the continental loan offices in the respective states. These new bills were to be redeemable in specie, within six years after the present, and to bear an interest at the rate of 5 per cent. to be paid also in specie at the redemption of the bills, or at the election of the owner annually^ in sterling bills of exchange on the American commissioners in Europe, at four shillings and sixpence per dollar. The new bills were to issue on funds of individual states, established for the purpose. As the said bills were completed, the states respectively on whose funds they issued were to receive six tenths of them, and the remainder was to be subject to the orders of the United.States, and credited to the states on whose funds they issued. These bills
were to be receivable in the payment os the monthly I^s©, quotas or taxes of each state, at the same rate with specie, or of one Spanish milled dollar, in lieu of forty dollars of the old bills still in circulation. By this political contrivance of congress, various effects v^ere produced. The value of the new bills was to be really double to that of the old. The last were estimated at forty for a specie dollar, the first at par with specie: thus ten millions of new were equivalent to 400 millions of the old. The several states had, a bait held out to them to induce their adoption of the plan; in that each was to receive fix tenths of the new for its own use, while the remaining four were subject to the orders of congress. Those who had amasied large quantities of the old, were disappointed in their hopes of converting it into specie, dollar for dollar; notwithstanding all the fine and expressive language in the circular letter of congress the last September, strongly tending to encourage such hopes. The real injustice of subjecting all the inhabitants to the redemption of the old paper in specie at par, when the generality of the holders received it at a considerable depreciation, and when a large quantity of it was not circulated in the first instance but in a depreciated condition, was so apparent; that the avoidance of it by the resolution os congress produced no convulsion, though there was a violation of public saith. Many suffering individuals complained loudly, but the measure was peaceably adopted. Congress have also fixed the value of certificates given for money loaned from September 1777 to March 1780, so rating the value of the continental paper between those two periods, as that the lender might receive the value of what was lent, and the public not