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intellectually, and hated morally. He saw that every raid only hardened the people against England, and made her cause more hopeless. The misery caused by these raids angered him, but he would not retaliate in kind, and Wayne bayoneted no English soldiers after they laid down their arms at Stony Point. It was enough for Washington to hold fast to the great objects he had in view, to check Clinton and circumscribe his movements. Steadfastly he did this through the summer and winter of 1779, which proved one of the worst that he had yet endured. Supplies did not come, the army dwindled, and the miseries of Valley Forge were renewed. Again was repeated the old and pitiful story of appeals to Congress and the States, and again the undaunted spirit and strenuous exertions of Washington saved the army and the Revolution from the internal ruin which was his worst enemy. When the new year began, he saw that he was again condemned to a defensive campaign, but this made little difference now, for what he had foreseen in the spring of 1779 became certainty in the autumn. The active war was transferred to the south, where the chapter of disasters was beginning, and Clinton had practically given up everything except New York. The war had taken on the new phase expected by Washington. Weak as he was, he began to detach troops, and prepared to deal with the last desperate effort of England to conquer her revolted colonies from the south.
ARNOLD'S TREASON, AND THE WAR IN THE
The spring of 1780 was the beginning of a period of inactivity and disappointment, of diligent effort and frustrated plans. During the months which ensued before the march to the south, Washington passed through a stress of harassing anxiety, which was far worse than anything he had to undergo at any other time. Plans were formed, only to fail. Opportunities arose, only to pass by unfulfilled. The network of hostile conditions bound him hand and foot, and it seemed at times as if he could never break the bonds that held him, or prevent or hold back the moral, social, and political dissolution going on about him. With the aid of France, he meant to strike one decisive blow, and end the struggle. Every moment was of importance, and yet the days and weeks and months slipped by, and he could get nothing done. He could neither gain control of the sea, nor gather sufficient forces of his own, although delay now meant ruin. He saw the British overrun the south, and he could not leave the Hudson. He was obliged to sacri.
fice the southern States, and yet he could get neither ships nor men to attack New York. The army was starving and mutinous, and he sought relief in vain. The finances were ruined, Congress was helpless, the States seemed stupefied. Treason of the most desperate kind suddenly reared its head, and threatened the very citadel of the Revolution. These were the days of the war least familiar to posterity. They are unmarked in the main by action or fighting, and on this dreary monotony nothing stands out except the black stain of Arnold's treason. Yet it was the time of all others when Washington had most to bear. It was the time of all others when his dogged persistence and unwavering courage alone seemed to sustain the flickering fortunes of the war.
In April Washington was pondering ruefully on the condition of affairs at the south. He saw that the only hope of saving Charleston was in the defence of the bar; and when that became indefensible, he saw that the town ought to be abandoned to the enemy, and the army withdrawn to the country. His military genius showed itself again and again in his perfectly accurate judgment on distant campaigns. He seemed to apprehend all the conditions at a glance, and although his wisdom made him refuse to issue orders when he was not on the ground, those generals who followed his suggestions, even when a thousand miles away, were successful, and those who disregarded them were not. Lincoln, commanding at Charles
ton, was a brave and loyal man, but he had neither the foresight nor the courage to withdraw to the country, and then, hovering on the lines of the enemy, to confine them to the town.
He yielded to the entreaties of the citizens and remained, only to surrender. Washington had retreated from New York, and after five years of fighting the British still held it, and had gone no further. He had refused to risk an assault to redeem Philadelphia at the expense of much grumbling and cursing, and had then beaten the enemy when they hastily retreated thence in the following spring. His cardinal doctrine was that the Revolution depended upon the existence of the army, and not on the possession of any particular spot of ground, and his masterly adherence to this theory brought victory, slowly but surely. Lincoln's very natural inability to grasp it, and to withstand popular pressure, cost us for a time the southern States and a great deal of bloody fighting.
In the midst of this anxiety about the south, and when he foresaw the coming disasters, Washington was cheered and encouraged by the arrival of Lafayette, whom he loved, and who brought good tidings of his zealous work for the United States in Paris. An army and a fleet were on their way to America, with a promise of more to follow. This was great news indeed. It is interesting to note how Washington took it, for we see here with unusual clearness the readiness of grasp and quickness of thought which have been noted before, but which
are not commonly attributed to him. It has been the fashion to treat Washington as wise and prudent, but as distinctly slow, and when he was obliged to concentrate public opinion, either military or civil, or when doubt overhung his course, he moved with great deliberation. When he required no concentration of opinion, and had made up his mind, he could strike with a terribly swift decision, as at Trenton or Monmouth. So when a new situation presented itself he seized with wonderful rapidity every phase and possibility opened by changed conditions.
The moment he learned from Lafayette that the French succors were actually on the way, he began to lay out plans in a manner which showed how he had taken in at the first glance every chance and every contingency. He wrote that the decisive moment was at hand, and that the French succors would be fatal if not used successfully now.
Congress must improve their methods of administration, and for this purpose must appoint a small committee to cooperate with him. This step he demanded, and it was taken at once. Fresh from his interview with Lafayette, he sent out orders to have inquiries made as to Halifax and its defences. Possibly a sudden and telling blow might be struck there, and nothing should be overlooked. He also wrote to Lafayette to urge upon the French commander an immediate assault on New York the moment he landed. Yet despite his thought for New York, he even then began to see the oppor