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[69] expeditions of two or three men-of-war; while the
Chap. XLIV.} 1775. Sept.
numerous detachments, which would be required to guard the coast, would amount to the dissolution of the army.

From his arrival in Cambridge, ‘his life was one continual round of vexation and fatigue.’ In September the British were importing fuel for the winter, so that there was no reason to expect their voluntary removal; yet the time of the service of his army was soon to expire, the troops of Connecticut and Rhode Island being engaged only to the first of December, those of Massachusetts only to the end of the year; and no provision had been made for filling their places. The continental currency, as well as that of all the provinces, was rapidly depreciating, and even of such paper money the military chest was exhausted, so that the paymaster had not a single dollar in hand. The commissary general had strained his credit for subsistence for the army to the utmost; so had Mifflin, who in August had been appointed quarter-master general, from confidence in his integrity, his activity, and his independence on the men and the governments of New England. The greater part of the troops submitted to a necessary reduction from their stated allowance with a reluctance bordering upon mutiny. There were no adequate means of storing wood against the cold weather, or procuring blankets and shelter. Washington would gladly have attempted to strike some decisive blow; but in September, his council of war agreed unanimously, that an attack on Boston was not to be hazarded. The country expected tidings of the rout and expulsion of the British; although the continuing deficiency of powder,

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