four hundred and fifty in number, were indiscrimin-
ately cast into the ground, no one knowing for whom specially to weep.
The chilling gloom of the forest at the coming of winter, the religious awe that mastered the savages, the grief of the son fainting at the fearful recognition of his father, the groups of soldiers sorrowing over the ghastly ruins of an army, formed a sombre scene of desolation.
How is all changed!
The banks of the broad and placid Monongahela
smile with orchards and teeming harvests and gardens; with workshops and villas; the victories of peace have effaced the memorials of war; a railroad that sends its cars over the Alleghanies
in fewer hours than the army had taken weeks for its un-resisted march, passes through the scene where the carnage was the worst; and in all that region no sounds now prevail but of life and activity and joy.
Two regiments composed of Pennsylvanians, Marylanders, and Virginians
, remained as a garrison, under the command of Mercer
; and for Washington
, who at twenty-six retired from the army after having done so much to advance the limits of his country, the next few weeks were filled with happiness and honor.
The people of Frederictown had chosen him their representative.
On the last day of the year, ‘the affectionate officers’ who had been under him expressed, with ‘sincerity and openness of soul,’ their grief at ‘the loss of such an excellent commander, such a sincere friend, and so affable a companion,’ ‘a man so experienced in military affairs, one so renowned for patriotism, conduct and courage.’
They publicly acknowledged to have found in him a leader, who had ‘a quick discernment and invariable regard for merit, an earnestness to inculcate genuine ’