, but to call out another under Ward
In this manner Lee
, who had never commanded so much as one regiment before he entered the American
army, found himself in the separate command of two.
Following his constant maxim, he usurped authority which he perfectly well knew did not belong to him, and appointed Sears
assistant adjutant general with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
The tidings that Lee
, with nearly fifteen hundred men of Connecticut
, was advancing upon New York, without so much as intimating his design to its committee, or its inhabitants, offended the pride of the province, and increased a jealousy which afterwards proved unfavorable to federation.
According to the American
principle of the right of resistance, the wish to resort to force in New York must spring from within itself, and not be superimposed from abroad: Washington
scrupulously respected the civil authority of each colony, as well as of the congress; Lee
scoffed at the thought of being rigidly bound by either; and his movement seemed to have for its end to coerce New York, rather than to offer it his cooperation.
The committee of safety, conscious of their readiness to devote their city as a sacrifice to the cause of America
, despatched a messenger to Lee
to request that the troops of Connecticut
might not pass the border, till the purpose of their coming should be explained.
made a jest of the letter, as ‘wofully hysterical.’
He treated it as a sign of fear; and in his reply, he declared that ‘if the ships of war should make a pretext of his presence to fire on the town, the first house set in flames by their guns should be the funeral pile of some of their best friends;’ and