previous next
[234]

‘The amazing diligence’ of Washington had done

Chap. LVI.} 1776. Jan.
what history cannot parallel; he had for six months together, without powder, maintained a post within musket-shot of more than twenty hostile British regiments; he had disbanded one army and recruited another; and was still without an adequate number of troops, or a supply of ammunition; and the arms of his soldiers were poor in quality and insufficient in number. At such a moment he received the special authority of congress to ‘attack the troops in Boston, even though it should involve the destruction of the town;’ and Hancock, who individually might be the greatest sufferer, wrote to wish him success: yet the winter was so mild, that there was no ice to pass on; and for a bombardment he was in want of powder; so that he was compelled to disregard the recommendation, and to conceal the cause of his inactivity. Yet he never admitted the thought of retiring from his post, although the situation of his army gave him many a wakeful hour when all around him were wrapped in sleep; and he often considered how much happier would have been his lot, if, instead of accepting the command, he had taken his musket on his shoulder and entered the ranks. Sometimes his eye would glance towards his lands on the Ohio; ‘in the worst event,’ said he, ‘they will serve for an asylum.’ Could he have justified the measure to posterity and his own conscience, he would gladly have retired at once to the back woods, even though it had been to live in a wigwam. If he had not consulted the public good more than his own tranquillity, he would have put every thing on the cast of a die, and forced a

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Hancock (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1776 AD (1)
January (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: