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improper. But as I was among the first who embark. ed in the cause of our common country; as I have never left
your side ono moment, but when called from you on publick duty; as I have been the constant companion and witness of your distresses, and not among the last to feel and acknowledge your merits; as I have ever considered my own military reputation as inseparably connected with that of the army; as my heart has ever expanded with joy when I have heard its praises, and my indignation has arisen when the mouth of detraction has been opened against it; it can scarcely be supposed at this last stage of the war, that I am indifferent to its interests. But how are they to be promoted ? The way is plain, says the anonymous addresser! If war continue, remove into the unsettled country, there establish yourselves, and leave an ungrateful country to defend itself ;-but who are they to defend ? Our wives, our children, our farms and other property which we leave behind us? Or in this state of hostile separation, are we to take the two first, (the latter cannot be removed) to perish in a wilderness with hunger, cold, and nakedness?
"If peace takes place, never sheath your swords,” says he, until you have obtained full and ample justice.” This dreadful alternative of either deserting our country in the extremest hour of her distress, or turning our arms against it, which is the apparent object, unless Congress can be compelled into instant compliance, has something so shocking in it, that humanity revolts at the idea. My God! What can this writer have in view, by recommending such measures ? Can he be a friend to the army ? Can he be a friend to this country ? Rather is he not an insidious foe; some emissary, perhaps, from New-York, plotting the ruin of both, by sowing the seeds of discord and separation between the civil and military powers of the continent ? And what a compliment does he pay to our understandings, when he recommends measures, in eiVOL. II.
ther alternative, impracticable in their nature? But here, gentlemen, I will drop the curtain, because it would be as imprudent in me to assign my reasons for this opinion, as it would be insulting to your con ception to suppose you stood in need of them. A moment's reflection will convince every dispassionate mind of the physical impossibility of carrying either proposal into execution. There might, gentlemen, be an impropriety in my taking notice, in this address to you, of an anonymous production ;--but the manner in which that performance has been introduced to the army; the effect it was intended to have, together with some other circumstances, will amply justify my observation on the tendency of that writing.
"With respect to the advice given by the author, to suspect the man who shall recommend moderate measures and longer forbearance, I spurn it, as every man who regards that liberty and reveres that justice for which we contend, undoubtedly must; for, if men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter which may involve the niost serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us. The freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. I cannot ir: justice to my own belief, and what I have great rea. son to conceive is the intention of Congress, conclude this address, without giving it as my decided opinion, that that honourable body entertain exalted sentiments of the services of the army, and from a full conviction of its merits and sufferings, will do it complete justice. That their endeavours to discover and establish funds for this purpose have been unwearied, and will not cease until they have succeeded, I have not a doubt.
" But like all other large bodies, where there is a va riety of different interests to reconcile, their determi. nations are slow. Why then should we distrust them. And in consequence of that distrust, adopt measures
which may cast a shade over that glory which has been so justly acquired, and tarnish the reputation of an army which is celebrated through all Europe, for its fortitude and patriotism ? And for what is this done? To bring the object we seek nearer ? No; most cer tainly, in my opinion, it will cast it at a greater distance. For myself, (and I take no merit in giving the assurance, being induced to it from principles of gra titude, veracity, and justice, and a grateful sense of the confidence you have ever placed in me) a recollection of the cheerful assistance and prompt obedience I have experienced from you, under every vicissitude of for tune, and the sincere affection I feel for an army. have so long had the honour to command, will oblige me to declare in this publick and solemn manner, that in the attainment of complete justice for all your toils and dangers, and in the gratification of every wish, so far as may be done consistently with the great duty I owe my country, and those powers we are bound to respect, you may freely command my services to the utmost extent of my abilities.
“ While I give you these assurances, and pledge myself in the most unequivocal manner, to exert whatever abilities I am possessed of in your favour, let me entreat you, gentlemen, on your part, not to take any measures, which viewed in the calm light of reason, will lessen the dignity, and sully the glory you have hitherto maintained :-let me request you to rely on the plighted faith of your country, and place a full confidence in the purity of the intentions of Congress ; that previous to your dissolution as an army, they will cause all your accounts to be fairly liquidated, as di. rected in the resolutions which were published to you two days ago; and that they will adopt the most effectual measures in their power to render ample justice to you for your faithful and meritorious services. And let me conjure you, in the name of our common country, as vou value your own sacred honour: as you
rospect the rights of humanity; and as you regard tho military and national character of America ; to express your utmost horrour and detestation of the man who wishes, under any specious pratences, to overturn the liberties of our country; and who wickedly attempts to open the floodgates of civil discord, and deluge our rising empire in blood.
“ By thus determining, and thus 'acting, you will pursue the plain and direct road to the attainment of your wishes; you will defeat the insidious designs of our enemies, who are compelled to resort from open force to secret artifice. You will give one more distinguished proof of unexampled patriotism and patient virtue, rising superiour to the pressure of the most complicated sufferings; and you will by the dignity of your conduct afford occasion for posterity to say, when speaking of the glorious example you have exhibited to mankind-had this day been wanting, the world had never seen the last stage of perfection to which human nature is capable of attaining."
In the judgment, honour, and friendship of their General, the officers placed unbounded confidence ; and his recommendations carried irresistible weight. The most desperate had not the hardihood to oppose his advice. · General Knox moved, and Brigadier General Putnam seconded a resolution, “ assuring him that the officers reciprocated his affectionate expressions with the greatest sincerity of which the human heart is capable,” which passed unanimously. On motion of General Putnam a committee was then chosen, consisting of General Knox, Colonel Brooks, and Captain Heywood, to prepare resolutions on the business before them. They reported the following resolutions, which on mature deliberation passed unanimously,
“ Resolved unanimously, that at the commencement of the present war, the officers of the American army engaged in the service of their country from the purest love and attachment to the rights and liberties of
human nature ; which motives still exist in the highest degree; and that no circumstances of distress or danger shall induce a conduct that may tend to sully the reputation and glory which they have acquired, at the price of their blood and eight years faithful services.
“ Resolved unanimously, that the army continue to have an unshaken confidence in the justice of Congress and their country, and are fully convinced that the Representatives of America will not disband or disperse the army until their accounts are liquidated, the balances accurately ascertained, and adequate funds established for payment; and in this arrangement, the officers expect that the half pay, or a commutation for it, should be efficaciously comprehended.
• Resolved unanimously, that his Excellency the Commander in Chief be requested to write to his Excellency the President of Congress, earnestly entreating the most speedy decision of that honourable body upon the subject of our late address, which was forwarded by a Committee of the army, some of whom are waiting upon Congress for the result. In the alternative of peace or war, this event would be highly satisfactory, and would produce immediate tranquillity in the minds of the army, and prevent any further machinations of designing men, to sow discord between the civil and military powers of the United States.
“On motion, resolved unanimously, that the officers of the American army view with abhorrence and reject with disdain, the infamous propositions contained in a late anonymous address to the officers of the army, and resent with indignation the secret attempts of some unknown persons to collect the officers together, in a manner totally subversive of all discipline and good order.
“ Resolved unanimously, that the thanks of the officers of the army be given to the Committee who presented to Congress the late address of the arriy, for