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The wonder is, not that they mutinied when they did, but that the whole army had not mutinied and abandoned the struggle years before. The misfortunes and mistakes of the Revolution, to whomever due, were in no respect to be charged to the army, and the conduct of the troops through all the dreary months of starvation and cold and poverty is a proof of the intelligent patriotism and patient courage of the American soldier which can never be gainsaid. To fight successful battles is the test of a good general, but to hold together a suffering army through years of unexampled privations, to meet endless failure of details with unending expedients, and then to fight battles and plan campaigns, shows a leader who was far more than a good general. Such multiplied trials and difficulties are overcome only by a great soldier who with small means achieves large results, and by a great man who by force of will and character can establish with all who follow him a power which no miseries can conquer, and no suffering diminish. The height reached by the troubles in the army and their menacing character had, however, a good as well as a bad side. They penetrated the indifference and carelessness of both Congress and the States. Gentlemen in the confederate and local administrations and legislatures woke up to a realizing sense that the dissolution of the army meant a general wreck, in which their own necks would be in very considerable danger; and they also had an uneasy feeling that starving and mutinous soldiers were very uncertain in taking revenge. The condition of the army gave a sudden and piercing reality to Washington's indignant words to Mathews on October 4th: “At a time when public harmony is so essential, when we should aid and assist each other with all our abilities, when our hearts should be open to information and our hands ready to administer relief, to find distrusts and jealousies taking possession of the mind and a party spirit prevailing affords a most melancholy reflection, and forebodes no good.” The hoarse murmur of impending mutiny emphasized strongly the words written on the same day to Duane : “The history of the war is a history of false hopes and temporary expedients. Would to God they were to end here.” The events in the south, too, had a sobering effect. The congressional general Gates had not proved a success. His defeat at Camden had been terribly complete, and his flight had been too rapid to inspire confidence in his capacity for recuperation. The members of Congress were thus led to believe that as managers of military matters they left much to be desired; and when Washington, on October 11th, addressed to them one of his long and admirable letters on reorganization, it was received in a very chastened spirit. They had listened to many such letters before, and had benefited by them always a little, but danger and defeat gave this one peculiar point. They therefore accepted the situation, and adopted all the suggestions of the commander-in-chief. They also in the same reasonable frame of mind determined that Washington should select the next general for the southern army. A good deal could have been saved had this decision been reached before; but even now it was not too late. October 14th, Washington appointed Greene to this post of difficulty and danger, and Greene's assumption of the command marks the turning-point in the tide of disaster, and the beginning of the ultimate expulsion of the British from the only portion of the colonies where they had made a tolerable campaign. The uses of adversity, moreover, did not stop here. They extended to the States, which began to grow more vigorous in action, and to show signs of appreciating the gravity of the situation and the duties which rested upon them. This change and improvement both in Congress and the States came none too soon. Indeed, as it was, the results of their renewed efforts were too slow to be felt at once by the army, and mutinies broke out even after the new spirit had shown itself. Washington also sent Knox to travel from State to State, to see the various governors, and lay the situation of affairs before them; yet even with such a text it was a difficult struggle to get the States to make quick and strong exertions sufficient to prevent a partial mutiny from becoming a general revolt. The lesson, however, had had its effect. For the moment, at least, the cause was saved. The worst defects were temporarily remedied, and something was done toward supplies and subsistence. The army would be able to exist through another winter, and face another summer. Then the next campaign might bring the decisive moment; but still, who could tell? Years, instead of months, might yet elapse before the end was reached, and then no man could say what the result would be. Washington saw plainly enough that the relief and improvement were only temporary, and that carelessness and indifference were likely to return, and be more case-hardened than ever. He was too strong and sane a man to waste time in fighting shadows or in nourishing himself with hopes. He dealt with the present as he found it, and fought down difficulties as they sprang up in his path. But he was also a man of extraordinary prescience, with a foresight as penetrating as it was judicious. It was, perhaps, his most remarkable gift, and while he controlled the present he studied the future. Outside of the operations of armies, and the plans of campaign, he saw, as the war progressed, that the really fatal perils were involved in the political system. At the beginning of the Revolution there was no organization outside the local state governments. Congress voted and resolved in favor of anything that seemed proper, and the States responded to their appeal. In the first flush of revolution, and the first excitement of freedom, this was all very well. But as the early passion cooled, and a long and stubborn struggle, replete with sufferings and defeat, developed itself, the want of system began to appear. One of the earliest tasks of Congress was the formation of articles for a general government, but state jealousies, and the delays incident to the movements of thirteen sovereignties, prevented their adoption until the war was nearly over. Washington, suffering from all the complicated troubles of jarring States and general incoherence, longed for and urged the adoption of the act of confederation. He saw sooner than any one else, and with more painful intensity, the need of better union and more energetic government. As the days and months of difficulties and trials went by, the suggestions on this question in his letters grew more frequent and more urgent, and they showed the insight of the statesman and practical man of affairs. How much he hoped from the final acceptance of the act of confederation it is not easy to say, but he hoped for some improvement certainly. When at last it went into force, he saw almost at once that it would not do, and in the spring of 1780 he knew it to be a miserable failure. The system which had been established was really no better than that which had preceded it. With alarm and disgust Washington found himself flung back on what he called “the pernicious state system,” and with worse prospects than ever. Up to the time of the Revolution he had never given attention to the philosophy or science of government, but when it fell to his lot to fight

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