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pitched in the English style; soldiers well drilled and -well equipped; everything had an air of discipline and subordination. It was a body of Ehode Island troops, which had been raised, drilled, and brought to the camp by Brigadiergeneral Greene, of that province, whose subsequent renown entitles him to an introduction to the reader.
Nathaniel Greene was born in Ehode Island, on the 26th of May, 1742. His father was a miller, an anchor-smith, and a Quaker preacher. The waters of the Potowhammet turned the wheels of the mill, and raised the ponderous sledge-hammer of the forge. Greene in his boyhood followed the plough, and occasionally worked at the forge of his father. His education was of an ordinary kind; but having an early thirst for knowledge, he applied himself sedulously to various studies, while subsisting by the labour of his hands. Nature had endowed him with quick parts and a sound judgment, and his assiduity was crowned with success. He became fluent and instructive in conversation, and his letters, still extant, show that he held an able pen.
In the late turn of public affairs, he had caught the belligerent spirit prevalent throughout the country. Plutarch and Cassar's Commentaries became his delight. He applied himself to military studies, for which he was prepared by some knowledge of mathematics. His ambition was to organize and discipline a corps of militia to which he belonged. For this purpose, during a visit to Boston, he had taken note of everything about the discipline of the British troops. In the month of May, he had been elected commander of the Ehode Island contingent of the army of observation, and in June had conducted to the lines before Boston, three regiments, whose encampment we have just described, and who were pronounced the best disciplined and appointed troops in the army.
Greene made a soldier-like address to Washington, welcoming him to the camp. His appearance and manner were calculated to make a favourable impression. He was about thirty-nine years of age, nearly six feet high, well built and vigorous, with an open, animated, intelligent countenance, and a frank, manly demeanour. He may be said to have stepped at once into the confidence f the commander-in-chief, which he never forfeited, but bei. me 1775.] STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS TROOPS. 355
one of his most attached, faithful, and efficient coadjutors throughout the war.
Having taken his survey of the army, Washington wrote to the President of Congress, representing its various deficiencies, and, among other things, urging the appointment of a commissary-general, a quartermaster-general, a commissary of musters, and a commissary of artillery. Above all things, he requested a supply of money as soon as possible. "I find myself already much embarrassed for want of a military chest."
In one of his recommendations we have an instance of frontier expediency, learnt in his early campaigns. Speakof the ragged condition of the army, and the difficulty of procuring the requisite kind of clothing, he advises that a number of hunting-shirts, not less than ten thousand, should be provided, as being the cheapest and quickest mode of supplying this necessity. "I know nothing in a speculative view more trivial," observes he, "yet which, if put in practice, would have a happier tendency to unite the men, and abolish those provincial distinctions that lead to jealousy and dissatisfaction."
Among the troops most destitute were those belonging to Massachusetts, which formed the larger part of the army. Washington made a noble apology for them. "This unhappy and devoted province," said he, " has been so long in a state of anarchy, and the yoke has been laid so heavily on it, that great allowances are to be made for troops raised under such circumstances. The deficiency of numbers, discipline, and stores, can only lead to this conclusion, that their spirit has exceeded their strength."
This apology was the more generous, coming from a Southerner; for there was a disposition among the Southern officers to regard the Eastern troops disparagingly. But Washington already felt as commander-in-chief, who looked with an equal eye on all; or rather as a true patriot, who was above all sectional prejudices.
One of the most efficient co-operators of Washington at this time, and throughout the war, was Jonathan Trumbull, the Governor of Connecticut. He was a well-educated man, experienced in public business, who had sat for many years in the legislative councils of his native province. Misfortune had east him down from affluence at an advanced period of life, but had not subdued his native energy. He had been one of the leading spirits of the Kevolution, and the only colonial governor who, at its commencement, proved true to the popular cause. He was now sixty-five years of age, active, zealous, devout, a patriot of the primitive New England stamp, whose religion sanctified his patriotism. A letter addressed by him to Washington, just after the latter had entered upon the command, is worthy of the purest days of the Covenanters. "Congress," writes he, "have, with one united voice appointed you to the high station you possess. The Supreme Director of all events hath caused a wonderful union of hearts and counsels to subsist among us.
"Now, therefore, be strong, and very courageous. May the God of the armies of Israel shower down the blessings of his Divine providence on you; give you wisdom and fortitude, cover your head in the day of battle and danger, add success, convince our enemies of their mistaken measures, and that all their attempts to deprive these colonies of their inestimable constitutional rights and liberties, are injurious and vain."
We are obliged to Professor Felton, of Cambridge, for correcting an error in our first volume in regard to Washington's head-quarters, and for some particulars concerning a house, associated with the history and literature of our country.
The house assigned to Washington for head-quarters, was that of the president of the Provincial Congress, not of the University. It had been one of those Tory mansions noticed by the Baroness Reidesel, in her mention of Cambridge. "Seven families, who were connected by relationship, or lived in great intimacy, had here farms, gardens, and splendid mansions, and not far oS, orchards; and the buildings were at a quarter of a mile distant from each other. The owners had been in the habit of assembling every afternoon in one or other of these houses, and of diverting themselves with music or dancing; and lived in affluence, in good humour, and without care, until this unfortunate war dispersed them, and transformed all these houses into solitary abodes."
The house in question was confiscated by Government. It stood on the Watertown road, about half a mile west of the college, and has long been known as the Cragie House, from the name of Andrew Cragie, a wsalthy gentleman, who purchased it after the war, and revived its former hospitality. He is said to have acquired great influence among
the leading members of the "great and general court," by dint of jovial dinners. He died long since, but his widow survived until within fifteen years. She was a woman of much talent and singularity. She refused to have the canker-worms destroyed, when they were making sad ravages among the beautiful trees on the lawn before the house. "We are all worms," said she, "and they have as good a right here as I have." The consequence was that more than half of the trees perished.
The Cragie House is associated with American literature through some of its subsequent occupants. Mr. Edward Everett resided in it the first year or two after his marriage. Later, Mr. Jared Sparks, during part of the time that he was preparing his collection of Washington's writings; editing a volume or two of his letters in the very room from which they were written. Next came Mr. Worcester, author of the pugnacious dictionary, and of many excellent books, and lastly Longfellow, the poet, who, having married the heroine of Hyperion, purchased the house of the heirs of Mr. Cragie, and refitted it.
Questions of Military Rank—Popularity of Putnam—Arrangements at Head-quarters—Colonel Mifflin and John Trumbull, Aides-de-camp— Joseph Reed, Washington's Secretary and confidential Friend—Gates as Adjutant-general—'Hazardous situation of the Army—Strengthening of the Defences—Efficiency of Putnam—Rapid Changes—New Distribution of the Forces—Rigid Discipline—Lee and his Cane—His idea as to strong Battalions—Arrival of Rifle Companies—Daniel Morgan and his Sharp-shooters—Washington declines to detach Troops to distant points for their protection—His reasons for so doing.
Thk justice and impartiality of Washington were called into exercise as soon as he entered upon his command, in allaying discontents among his general officers, caused by the recent appointments and promotions made by the Continental Congress. General Spencer was so offended that Putnam should be promoted over his head, that he left the army, without visiting the commander-in-chief; but was subsequently induced to return. General Thomas felt aggrieved by being outranked by the veteran Pomeroy; the latter, however, declining to serve, he found himself senior brigadier, and was appeased.
The sterling merits of Putnam soon made every one acquiesce in his promotion. There was a generosity and buoyancy about the brave old man that made him a favourite throughout the army; especially with the younger officers, who spoke of him familiarly and fondly as " Old Put;" a soubriquet by which he is called even in one of the private letters of the commander-in-chief.
The Congress of Massachusetts manifested considerate liberality with respect to head-quarters. According to their minutes, a committee was charged to procure a steward, a housekeeper, and two or three women cooks; Washington, no doubt, having brought with him none but the black servants who had accompanied him to Philadelphia, and who were but little fitted for New England housekeeping. His wishes were to be consulted in regard to the supply of his table. This, his station, as commander-in-chief, required should be kept up in ample and hospitable style. Every day a number of his officers dined with him. As he was in the neighbourhood of the seat of the Provincial Government, he would occasionally have members of Congress and other functionaries at his board. Though social, however, he was not convivial in his habits. He received his guests with courtesy; but his mind and time were too much occupied by grave and anxious concerns, to permit him the genial indulgence of the table. His own diet was extremely simple. Sometimes nothing but baked apples or berries, with cream and milk. He would retire early from the board, leaving an aide-de-camp or one of his officers to take his place. Colonel Mifflin was the first person who officiated as aide-de-camp. He was a Philadelphia gentleman of high respectability, who had accompanied him from that city, and received his appointment shortly after their arrival at Cambridge. The second aide-de-camp was John Trumbull,1 son of the Governor of Connecticut. He had accompanied General Spencer to the camp, and had caught the favourable notice of Washington by some drawings which he had made of the enemy's works. "I now suddenly found myself," writes Trumbull, "in the family of one of the most distinguished and dignified men of the age; surrounded at his table by the principal officers of the army, and in constant intercourse with them—it was further my duty to receive company, and do
1 In after years distinguished as a historical painter.