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1780. in office. The charges were transmitted to the corru. mander in chief; and a court martial ensued. When the proceedings of the latter were before congress in August, a motion was made to insert after W. Shippen, these words—" Excepting that part of the second charge relating to his speculating in hospital stores, on which the court judge him highly reprehensible"—it was rejected; and it was resolved—" That the court martial having acquitted the said Dr. Shippen, ordered that he be discharged from arrest." The day after that extraordinary resolve respecting gen. Gates, they re-elected the doctor director general of the hospital. On the 6th of September they recommended to the several states claiming the western country, to pass such laws, and give their delegates such powers as might effectually remove the only obstacle to a final ratification of the articles of confederation; and then resolved, " that the legislature of Maryland be earnestly requested to authorize their delegates in congress to subscribe the articles." In the beginning of October they resolved, " that the unappropriated lands that may be ceded to the United States, be disposed of for the common benefit of the United States, to be settled and formed into distinct republican states." About the same time they published, that the 11 th and 12th articles of the treaty of amity and commerce with France were expunged and suppressed the ist of September, 1778, agreeable to their desire. The articles annulled were as follows— article the nth. It is agreed and concluded, that there shall never be any duty imposed on the exportation of the molasses that may be taken by the subjects of any of the United States, from the islands of America,
which belong, or may hereafter appertain to his most 17 8o* christian majesty:—article the 12th. In compensation of the exemption stipulated by the preceding article, it is agreed and concluded, that there shall never be any duties imposed on the exportation of any kind of merchandise, which the subjects of his most christian majesty may take from the countries and possessions, present or future, of any of the Thirteen United States, for the use of the islands which shall furnish molasses. On the 6th of October the president wrote a circular letter to the several states, in which, among other matters— "It is recommended to the states, in the most pressing manner, to have their regiments completed, and in the field, by the first day of January next at furthest." On the 16th congress resolved " that the thanks of congress be given to brigadiers Smaliwood and Gist, and to the officers of the Maryland and Delaware lines, the different corps of artillery, col. Porterfield's and major Armstrong's corps of light infantry, and col. Armand's cavalry, for their bravery and good conduct displayed in the action of the 16th of August." These thanks were not applicable to all with equal propriety. The implied censure cast upon Gates in the formation of the resolve and its total silence concerning him, was a stigma that he ought not to have received, until he had been adjudged to have deserved it, putting all former services out of the question. It has been observed, that after the disaster near Camden, whenever congress published the successes and various operations of the troops, which he commanded, they scarcely even mentioned his name; whether such omissions were accidental or intended, his character was much injured by them. On the 21st,
1780. congress agreed, that the officers who continued in the service to the end of the war, should be entitled to half pay during life. At the end of the month baron Steuben was ordered to repair to the southern department; and major Lee's corps to proceed immediately to join the southern army. A few days after they promoted the major to the rank of lieutenant colonel. We now turn to view the scenes northward of Philadelphia. Au?. General Washington's difficulties continued. He wrote 20. from Orange-town on the 20th of August, to Joseph Reed, esq; whose name has so often occurred in different departments, and who is now president or governor of Pennsylvania—" With every exertion, I can scarcely keep the army in this camp, entirely continental, fed from day to day. *Tis mortifying, that we should not at this advanced period of the campaign, have magazines of provision for even one half of the men necessary for our intended operations. I have every assurance from the French land and sea commanders, that the second division may, without some very unexpected accident, be daily expected. Should we, upon the arrival of this reinforcement, be found (after all our promises of a co-operating force) deficient in men, provision, and every other essential, your excellency can easily perceive what will be the opinion of our allies, and of all the world, and what will be the consequences in the deranged distracted state os our affairs." In another of the fame date were these sentiments—" To me it will appear miraculous if our affairs can maintain themselves much longer in their present train. If either the temper or the resources of the country will hot admit of an alteration, we may expect soon to- be reduced to the
Humiliating condition of feeing the cause of. America.* 7 8o* upheld in America by foreign arms. It may easily be shown, that all the misfortunes we have met with in the military line are to be attributed to short inlistments.. A great part of the embarrassments in the civil flow from the same source. The derangement of our finances is essentially to be ascribed to it. The .expences of the war, and the paper emissions, have been, greatly multiplied by it. We have had a great part of the time two sets of men to feed and pay, the discharged men going home, and the levies coming in. The difficulties ami cost of engaging men have increased at every successive attempt, till among the present, levies, we find there are some who have received a hundred and fifty dollars. in specie [331. 15 s. sterling] for five months service, while our officers are reduced to the disgraceful necessity of performing the duties of drill sergeants to them. The frequent calls upon the militia have also interrupted the cultivation of their lands; and of course, have, lessened the quantity of the produce, occasioned a scarcity, and enhanced the prices. In an army so unstable as ours, order and ceconomy have been impracticable.-*^ The discontents of the troops have been gradually ma-; tured to a dangerous extremity. Something satisfactory.; must be done, or the army must cease to exist at the end of the campaign: or it will exhibit an example of more virtue, fortitude, self denial and perseverance, than has perhaps even been paralleled hi the history of human enthusiasm."
General Washington, in compKaince with a prior ap-i pointment, set out with his suite, gen* Knox and th» marquis de la Fayette, to mj&e.t count de. Rocbam&ea.u
1780. and admiral Ternay at Hartford. The general witls the rest of the company mustered up and borrowed all the money they could, in order to pay their expences. They could procure no more than eight thousand paper dollars. Such was the scarcity even of that depreciated commodity at camp. Before they quitted the New York state, they had expended more than half their stock; and were not a little pained with the idea of their being soon incapable of discharging the landlord's demand. They put on a good countenance when in Connecticut; called for what they wanted, and were well supplied: but the thought of reckoning with their host damped their pleasure. However to their great joy, when the bills were called for, they were informed, that tlie governor of Connecticut had given orders that they should pay nothing in that state, but should be at free & t cost. They met the French general and admiral on 2i. Thursday the 21st of September at the place appointed. Gen. Washington in his conference with the count, stated the army, in the quarter he commanded, for the next campaign, at fifteen thousand operative continental troops. On the idea of 15,000, a memorial with a plan of the next campaign has been transmitted to the \ court of France. On Friday morning count de Rochambeau and adm. Ternay set off on their return to Newport, and on Saturday morning the American gendemen commenced their return to the camp. During their absence a discovery of the utmost importance had been made, viz. a scheme for delivering West Point into the hands of Sir Henry Clinton. Gen. Arnold, who had the command of that post, was brave but mercenary, fond of parade and extremely desirous of acquiring