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Chapter 53: The March to Quebec. September—November, 1775. The detachment which Washington, as he thought- Chap. LIII.} 1775. Sept. fully brooded over the future without hope of a speedy termination of the war, sent against Quebec, consisted of ten companies of New England infantry, one of riflemen from Virginia, and two from Pennsylvania, in all two battalions of about eleven hundred men. The command was given to Arnold, who, as a trader in years past, had visited Quebec, where he still had correspondents. In person he was short of stature and of a florid complexion; his broad, compact frame displayed a strong animal nature and power of endurance; he was complaisant and persuasive in his manners; daringly and desperately brave; avaricious and profuse; grasping but not sordid; sanguinely hopeful; of restless activity; intelligent and enterprising. The next in rank as lieutenant colonels were Roger Enos, who proved to be a craven, and the brave Christopher Greene of
ruary. Often, wrote Suffolk, as I have urged expedition, I must repeat it once more, nothing is so much to be guarded against as delay, which will mar the expected advantage. The landgrave freely consented that thirteen battalions should be prepared to march on the fifteenth of February; but so inefficient was the British ministry, so imperfect their concert, that though delay involved the loss of a campaign, the admiralty did not provide transports enough at the time appointed, and even in March could not tell when they would all be ready. The first detachment from Brunswick did not sail from England till the fourth of April, and Riedesel was at Quebec before the last were embarked; the first division of the Hessians did Chap. LVII.} clear the British channel till the tenth of May. The transports were also very badly fitted up; the bedding furnished by the contractors was infamously scanty, their thin pillows being seven inches by five at most, and mattress, pillow, blanket, a
o well, said Waterbury, unless the city of New York is crushed down by the Connecticut people; and Sears set no bounds to his contumelious abuse of the committee of New York and its convention. On the first of March, after a warm contest among Mar. the delegates of various colonies, each wishing to have him where they had most at stake, on the motion of Edward Rutledge, Lee was invested with the com- Chap. LVIII.} 1776. Mar. mand of the continental forces south of the Potomac. As a VirginMar. mand of the continental forces south of the Potomac. As a Virginian, I rejoice at the change; wrote Washington, who had, however, already discovered that the officer so much courted, was both violent and fickle. On the seventh he left New York, but not without one last indulgence of his turbulent temper. The continental congress had instructed him to put the city in the best possible state of defence; and this he interpreted as a grant of unlimited authority. He therefore arrested men at discretion, and deputed power to Sears to offer a prescribed test oa
e in motion, going backwards Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. and forwards, some three, some four times; benebattis constructed of trees, Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. felled in the neighboring orchards, protected t, Howe knew not what to pro- Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. pose; neither Burgoyne nor Clinton was with himessels were driven on shore; Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. rain fell in torrents on the morning of the sixmned to hopeless inferiority Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. in a dreary place of exile; foregoing for the fow he had a larger force and Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. fewer transports. He pretended that he went frld not hearken to a doubt of Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. speedily crushing the rebellion. On the morninn the laying waste which was Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. proposed, New England was to be spared the leaslation, to the end of the war Chap. LIX.} 1776 Mar. and during all his life, heaved and swelled wittive truth, struggling earn- Chap. LIX.} 1776. Mar. estly to solve the problem of the universe, in [4 more...]
aristocratic tendency elsewhere; and Harrison seemed to insinuate that the war was a New England war. But it was becoming Mar. plain that danger hung over every part of the country; on the twenty seventh, the five middle colonies from New York to Mare he had lingered in his camp, while the officers and men, whom he sent forth, with fearless gallantry Chap. LX.} 1776. Mar. and a terrible loss of life, shed over Virginia a lustre that reached to Tennessee and Kentucky. Congress soon repented oion from Connecticut, whose confidence he never possessed, solicited and received from the committee of Chap. LX.} 1776. Mar. secret correspondence an appointment as commercial commissioner and agent to France. That country, the committee instructo fit out privateers. Again it appeared that there were those who still listened to the hope of relief Chap. LX.} 1776. Mar. through Rockingham, or of redress through the royal commissioners, though the act of parliament conferred on them no power
hole year the problem of granting aid to Chap. LXI.} 1776. Mar. the American insurgents had under all its aspects been debamancipation of America with resoluteness Chap. LXI.} 1776. Mar. and prudence, remaining always master of himself, and alwayt Philadelphia, reached Vergennes in the very first days of March; and furnished him an occasion for bringing before the kingition of England towards its colonies in Chap. LXI.} 1776. Mar. North America, and the possible and probable consequences oeffected only by flattering the national Chap. LXI.} 1776. Mar. hatred and jealousy; on the third, through the necessity ofwell as furnish resources for the extin- Chap. LXI.} 1776. Mar. guishment of their national debt. In the midst of so manust be taken to avoid being compromised, Chap. LXI.} 1776. Mar. and not to provoke the ills which it is wished to prevent; danger it is indispensable, to raise the Chap. LXI.} 1776. Mar. effective force of the two monarchies to the height of thei
myrtle, live oak, and palmettos; there, on the second of March, William Moultrie was ordered to Mar. take the command, and complete a fort large enough to hold a garrison of a thousand men. The coloued one million one hundred and twenty thousand pounds of paper money, voted Chap. LXII.} 1776. Mar. an additional sum of seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds. A strong party in the provincialrty members; the old laws prescribing the qualifications of the electors and Chap. LXII.} 1776. Mar. the elected were continued in force; a legislative council of thirteen was elected by the general vice president, and the sheriff bearing the sword of state, walked out in a Chap. LXII.} 1776. Mar. solemn procession from the State-house to the Exchange, in the presence of the troops and the milreceive the hospitalities of the inhabitants. The designs against the Carolinas left Virginia Mar. free from invasion. Lee, on his arrival at Williamsburg, took up his quarters in the palace of t
th of Montgomery dispelled the illusion Chap. LXVII.} 1776. Jan. to Mar. that hovered round the invasion of Canada. The soldiers whose time eal; and he wrote in every direction for Chap LXVII.} 1776. Jan. to Mar. aid. To Warner and the Green Mountain Boys he sent word that they mu almost uninhabitable, through snow and Chap. LXVII.} 1776. Jan. to Mar. over frozen lakes, without tents, or any shelter from the inclemencylitary subordination; and if Washington Chap. LXVII.} 1776. Jan. to Mar. found it difficult to reduce them to order, if Schuyler almost threw American army of ten thousand men was wanted, and by the middle of March no more than fifteen hundred had reached Montreal. The royalists i to acts of condolence, when new trees, as they Chap. LXVII.} 1776. Mar. expressed it, were raised in the place of chiefs who had fallen, ands later, the unsuccessful attempt of the Canadians, near the end of March, under Beaujeu, to raise the blockade of Quebec, became known; and
less than thirty thousand, was almost in sight. The whole number of rank and file in Washington's army, present and fit for duty, was on the morning of the twelfth of June but six thousand seven hundred and forty nine; with four hundred men in a continental regiment of artillery, and one single provincial company of artillery, raised probably through the zeal of Alexander Hamilton, who, though not yet twenty years old, had after an examination been judged qualified to command it, and had in March been appointed its captain. Of the infantry many were without arms; one regiment had only ninety seven firelocks and seven bayonets; others were in nearly as bad a state, and no one was well armed. In numbers the regiments from the east were deficient from twenty to fifty; and few as the men were, the term of the enlistment of every one of them would CHAP. Lxviii} 1776. June. arrive in a few months. Little had been done by congress to reinforce Washington except to pass votes, ordering
they had all passed away, their longevity was remarked as a proof of their calm and temperate nature; full two thirds of the New England representatives lived beyond seventy years; some of them to be eighty or ninety. Every colony was found to be represented, and the delegates of all but one had received full power of action. Comprehensive instructions, reaching the question of independence without explicitly using the word, had been given by Massachusetts in January, by South Carolina in March, by Georgia on the fifth of April. North Carolina, in the words of Cornelius Harnett, on the fourteenth of April, was the first to direct expressly its representatives in congress to concur in a declaration of independence. On the first of May, Massachusetts expunged the regal style from all public proceedings, and substituted the name of her government and people; on the fourth, Rhode Island more explicitly renounced allegiance, and made its delegates the representatives of an independent