merit; an Irishman by birth, well informed as a
statesman, faultless in private life, a patriot from the heart.
He was followed by David Wooster
, an upright old man of sixty five, frugal of his means, but lavish of his life; by William Heath
, of Roxbury, Massachusetts
, a patriot farmer, who held high rank in the trainbands and had read books on the military art; vain, honest, and incompetent; by Joseph Spencer
, a man past sixty, a most respectable citizen, but, from inexperience, not qualified for councils of war; by John Thomas
, a physician of Kingston, Massachusetts
, the best general officer of that colony; by John Sullivan
, a lawyer of New Hampshire
, always ready to act, but not always thoughtful of what he undertook; not free from defects and foibles; tinctured with vanity and eager to be popular; enterprising, spirited, and able.
The last was Nathaniel Greene
, of Rhode Island
, who, after Washington
, had no superior in natural resources, unless it were Montgomery
At a farewell supper, the members of congress all rose, as they drank a health to ‘the commander in chief
of the American
army;’ to his thanks, they listened in stillness, for the sense of the difficulties which lay before him suppressed every festal cheer.
‘A kind of destiny has thrown me upon this service;’ thus Washington
announced ‘the cutting stroke of his departure’ to his wife, whose miniature he always wore on his breast from the day of his marriage to his death.
On the twenty third of June, a day after congress had heard the first rumors of the battle at Charlestown
, he was escorted out of Philadelphia
by the Massachusetts
delegates and many others, with