bers, discipline, and stores of the army, Washington
made allowances for a devoted province like Massachusetts
, which had so long suffered from anarchy and oppression.
‘Their spirit,’ said he, ‘has exceeded their strength.’
In the ‘great number of able-bodied men, active, zealous in the cause, and of unquestionable courage,’ he saw the materials for a good army; but, accustomed to the watchfulness of the backwoodsmen in the vicinity of wily enemies, he strongly condemned the want of subordination, and the almost stupid confidence of inexperience, which pervaded not only the privates but many of the in ferior officers.
He set diligently about a reform, though it made ‘of his life one continued round of vexation and fatigue.’
The great inefficiency lay with the officers.
‘If they will but do their duty,’ said Hawley
, ‘there is no fear of the soldiery.’
Towards the incompetent, who, in the suddenness of calling together so large a body of men, had crowded themselves upward with importunate selfishness, Washington
resolved to show no lenity.
By a prompt and frequent use of courts martial, he made many examples, and by lending no countenance to public abuses, and by insisting on the distinction between officers and soldiers, he soon introduced the aspect of discipline.
Every day, Sundays not excepted, thousands were kept at work under strict government from four till eleven in the morning, strengthening the lines, and fortifying every point which could serve the enemy as a landing place.
The strong and uniform will of Washington
was steadily exerted, with a quiet, noiseless, and irresistible energy.
‘There are many things amiss in this camp,’