Congress still hopes to avert war.
July 19 to August.
the continental congress, acting as a promiscu-
ous executive, neither formed a carefully considered system, nor felt the weight of personal responsibility.
It never presented to itself a vivid picture of Washington
's situation, and never went in advance to mitigate his difficulties or supply his wants; but, from the first, waited inactively for his appeals.
On the nineteenth day of July it read his first report from Cambridge
, by which it appeared that the army was defective in discipline and in numbers; that officers for the regiments were in excess, while the files were not full; that the order in rank of the major generals
and brigadiers had displeased the troops and the New England
governments; that still another class of officers was needed, to bring method into the system of supplies; that there was the most urgent want of tents and clothing; of hospitals; of skilful engineers; of every kind of arms, especially