incalculable, had precipitated the fate of Montgom-
ery, had exposed his own position to imminent peril.
Successive bodies of raw recruits could not form a well disciplined army, or perform the service of veterans; their losses were always great while becoming inured to the camp; it was their nature to waste arms, ammunition, camp utensils, and barracks; discipline would be relaxed for the sake of inducing a second enlistment; the expense of calling in militia men, of whom at every relief two must be paid for the service of one, was enormous.
The trouble and perplexity of disbanding one army and raising another at the same instant, and in the presence of an enemy were, as he knew, ‘such as it is scarcely in the power of words to describe, and such as no man who had experienced them once would ever undergo again.’
He therefore proposed that a large bounty should be offered and soldiers enlisted for the war.
The obvious wisdom of the advice and the solemnity with which it was enforced, arrested attention; and Samuel Adams
proposed to take up the question of lengthening the time of enlistments, which had originally been limited from the hope of a speedy reconciliation.
Some members would not yet admit the thought of a protracted war; some rested hope on Rockingham
; some wished first to ascertain the powers of the coming commissioners; some wished to wait for an explicit declaration from France
; from the revolution of 1688 opposition to a standing army had been the watchword of liberty; the New England
colonies had from their beginning been defended by their own militia; in the last French war, troops had been called out only for the season.