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ters; relating how the prisoners had been treated at New 1978. York, and then said " Before I conclude, permit me to acknowledge to you and the world, that I am much. obliged to Daniel Chamier esq; auditor general, for lending me money; to doctor Richard Huddleston of the seventh British regiment, for several offices of kindness to myself and other prisoners, and that I was treated in a very courteous genteel manner by major Ackland of the twentieth, for whom I was exchanged.”.
In January, congress concluded upon a winter's irruption into Canada, and appointed the marquis de la Fayette, gens. Conway and Stark to conduct it. The two former repaired to Albany, and were afterward joined by baron de Kalb. But in a while, the expedition : was dropt, for want of men, money, clothing, sleighs, provisions and forage: and on the 22d of April, Conway requested leave to resign his commission, which was granted. Baron de Steuben, who arrived the beginning of December, with sundry letters of recommendation to congress, and was desired by them to repair to gen. Washington's quarters, foon succeeded him as inspector general. The same day Conway's resignation was ace: cepted, on the 28th of April, Washington wrote to : congress " I can be no longer silent as to the merits of baron de Steuben. I consider him as an acquisition : to the fervice, and recommend him to the attention of .. congress." May the 5th, it was resolved, “ That con gress approve gen. Washington's plan for the institution of a well organized inspectorship: That baron Steuben be appointed to the office of inspector general, with the rank, and pay of major general; his pay to commence from the time he joined the army and entered into the F 2
1778. service of the United States : That there be two ranks
of inspectors, under the direction of the inspector gene-
The sufferings of the army for want of provision, led
he would undertake the office of commissary general of 1978. purchases. The colonel was not a stranger to the nature of the business, nor the way in which it was necessary to conduct it, for the service of the army. He considered the matter thoroughly ; laid his own plan; and informed the committee upon what terms he would undertake the conducting of that department: from thefe he would not recede. He would noư be tied up by any regulating acts, but would be left at liberty to purchase as he was able. After repeated conferences, « Congrefs proceeded to the election of a commissary general of purchases, and the ballots being taken, Jeremiah Wadsworth esq; was unanimously elected,” on the oth of April. In five days more, upon the refumption of the consideration of the report of the committee appointed to confer with him, they resolved, " That the commiffary general of purchales have full power to appoint and remove every officer in his department;": which was followed by various other resolutions, and closed with one declaring, “ That all former regulations of congress, relative to the department of the commiffary general of purchases, which interfere with the foregoing resolutions, be repealed.” Thus they abandoned that plan, which induced their first commiffary general, col. Joseph Trumbull, to quit the department; and in its pperation, had nearly destroyed their army. . · Congress began the year with authorizing a committee to take every necessary measure for the immediate relief of the sick soldiers, and to report whatever alteration in the medical department might be requisite. They soon after recommended it to the clergy of all denominations in the middle district, to folicit charitable donations of
1748.woollens and linens, made or unmade, for the service of
the sick; many of whom were lost for want of these
R s ays in a letter, that one balf of the foldiers that died last year, perished by the present medical establisoment. A shocking black picture indeed doctor Rush painted but by all accounts it is a just one. It is a very melancholy reflection, that buildings erected for the relief and comfort of the sick and wounded, should become tombs to them. A bad system and a bad administration, have produced great mischiefs in the hospital. Peculation and embezzlement of stores, prevail as much in this department as in others. I do not allege these things without authority or proof. They are facts too well authenticated. Another, in his correspondence, expressed himself thus upon matters." The wealth of worlds could not support the expence of the medical department alone, above two or three years, There is but. one right system for a military hospital, and that is the one made use of by the British army, That would fave half a million a year to the continent, and, what is more, would produce perfect satisfaction and happiness.” On the 30th, Dr. Rush requested leave to resign, which was accepted. Congress, on the 6th of February, came to various resolutions, upon the report
of the first committee, for the better regulating the 2778, hospitals of the United States. On the 25th, Dr. Rush fent a letter from Princeton to gen. Washington, containing a well-attested certificate from Bethlehem, setting forth, that the wine allowed the hospital was so adulterated as to have none of the qualities of. Madeira--that none of the patients under the care of the signers eat of venison, poultry, and wild fowl, (unless purchased by themselves) and that large quantities were purchased by the director general—that the director entered the hospital but once during fix weeks residence in Bethlehem, though the utmost distress and mortality prevailed that the sick were too much crowded, and wanted blankets, shirts, straw, and other necessaries—that there died in the place two hundred soldiers (eight-tenths of them by a putrid fever caught in the hospital) within three months. Dr. Rush mentioned, that Dr. Shippen; in the height of the mortality, wrote to congress' No fatal disease prevails in the hospitals, very few. die, and the hospitals are in very good order.” He said " Our director general was employed in selling large quantities of Madeira wine, brown and loaf sugar, &c. (which had been transported through the country in hospital waggons, and secured as hospital stores) under the name of private property.” This, and another letter from the doctor, were read in congress, the third of April, when a committee was appointed and directed to inquire into the charges contained in the letters against doctor Shippen and into his conduct as director general, and to report specially to congress. The diminution of the army by sickness has been very great: and you will easily.conceive whence it was that no more of the fick recovered. The · F4 . ..