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of his former glorious services could not be obliterated by any reverse of fortune.'
ARRIVAL OF THE FRENCH AUXILIARIES UNDER ROCHAM.
BEAU, 10TH OF JULY, 1780.
Whilst these events were occurring in the southern States, General Washington was obliged to confine himself to the irksome and inglorious task of watching, from his encampment at Morristown, the motions of the British on New York Island, and of restraining their incursions into the adjacent country. Though the army opposed to him was lessened by the detachment which Sir Henry Clinton led into South Carolina, his own forces were proportionably weakened by the reinforcements which it was necessary for him to send to the American army in the same quarter; and never did distress press more heavily upon him. The depreciation of the currency was at that time so great, that four months' pay of a private would not purchase a single bushel of wheat. His camp was sometimes destitute of meat, and sometimes of bread. As each State provided for its own quota of troops, no uniformity could be established in the distribution of provisions. This circumstance aggravated the general discontent, and a spirit of mutiny began to display itself in two of the Connecticut regiments, which were with difficulty restrained from forcing their way home at the point of the bayonet. Of these discontents the enemy endeavored to take advan
While these events were occurring, what was Gen. Washington obliged
to do? What were some of Washington's distresses? Why did the spirit of mutiny appear in Washington's army?
tage, by circulating in the American camp proclamations offering the most tempting gratifications to such of the continental troops as should desert the republican colors and embrace the royal cause.
But these offers were unavailing; mutinous as they were, the malcontents abhorred the thought of joining the enemies of their country; and on the seasonable arrival of a fresh supply of provisions, they cheerfully returned to their duty. Soon after this, when General Knyphausen, who commanded the British forces in the absence of Sir Henry Clinton, made an irruption into Jersey, on the 16th of June, the whole American army marched out to oppose him; and though he was reinforced by Sir Henry Clinton, who during this expedition had arrived from Charleston, he was compelled to measure back his steps. Both the advance and retreat of the German were marked by the devastation committed by his troops, who burnt the town of Springfield, and most of the houses on their line of march.
Alarmed by the representations made by General Washington, of the destitute condition of his army, congress sent three members of their body with instructions to inquire into the condition of their forces, and with authority to reform abuses. These gentlemen fully verified the statements of the commander-in-chief. No sooner was this fact known in the city of Philadelphia, than a subscription was set on foot for the relief of the suffering soldiers, which soon amounted to 300,000 dollars. This sum was intrusted to the discretion of a well chosen committee, who ap
How did the enemy endeavor to take advantage of these discontents ?
propriated it to the purchase of provisions for the troops. The three commissioners also applied themselves diligently to the task of recruiting and re-organizing the army. They prescribed to each State the quota of forces which it was to contribute towards the raising of 35,000 men, their deficiency in regulars being to be supplied by drafts from their respective militia. The States of New England, Pennsylvania and Virginia, promptly listened to the call of their country, and made extraordinary efforts to furnish their several quotas of recruits. The other members of the Union exerted themselves to the best of their ability; and though the general result of these exertions did not produce the number of troops which was deemed requisite for the public service, more could not, in such circumstances, have been well expected.
The congress were the more earnest in their wishes to put their army on a respectable footing, as they were in expectation of the arrival of a body of auxiliary forces from France. This welcome aid appeared off Rhode Island on the 10th of July, 1780, on which day, Monsieur Ternay sailed into the harbor of Newport with a squadron of seven sail of the line, five frigates, and five schooners, convoying a fleet of transports, having on board 6000 men, under the command of the Count de Rochambeau. Admiral Arbuthnot, who had under his command, at New York, only four sail of the line, on hearing of the arrival of the French at Rhode Island, was apprehensive of being attacked by their superior force. But he was soon relieved from
What exertions were made?
his fears by the vigilance of the British ministry, who, on the sailing of the French fleet from Europe, had sent to his assistance Admiral Graves, with six ships of the line. On receiving this reinforcement, he sailed for Rhode Island, for the purpose of encountering the French squadron, whilst Sir Henry Clinton proceeded with 8000 men to the north of Long Island, for the purpose of landing on the opposite part of the continent, and attacking their land forces. But the British Admiral found the enemy's ships so well secured by batteries and other land fortifications, that he was obliged to content himself with blocking them up in their harbor; and Clinton, receiving intelligence that General Washington was preparing to take advantage of his absence by making an attack upon New York, hastened back to the relief of that place.
TREASON OF ARNOLD, AND DEATH OF ANDRE.
Washington, on the retreat of General Clinton, withdrew to West Point, an almost impregnable position, situated about fifty mile's to the northward of New York, on the Hudson river, by means of which he kept up a communication between the eastern and southern States; and having occasion, towards the end of the month of September, to go to Rhode Island to hold a conference with the French Admiral and Count Rochambeau, he left the command of this important post to General Arnold, unconscious that in
What British forces soon after arrived?
so doing, he intrusted the fortunes of the infant republic to a traitor. Arnold was brave and hardy, but dissipated and profligate. Extravagant in his expenses, he had involved himself in debts, and having had, on frequent occasions, the administration of considerable sums of public money, his accounts were so unsatisfactory, that he was liable to an impeachment on charges of peculation. Much had been forgiven indeed, and more would probably have been forgiven to his valor and military skill. But alarmed by the terrors of a guilty conscience, he determined to get rid of pecuniary responsibility, by betraying his country; and accordingly entered into a negotiation with Sir Henry Clinton, in which he engaged, when a proper opportunity should present itself, to make such a disposition of his troops as would enable the British to make themselves masters of West Point. The details of this negotiation were conducted by Major Andre, the Adjutant-General of the British army, with whom Arnold carried on a clandestine correspondence, addressing him under the name of Anderson, whilst he himself assumed that of Gustavus. To facilitate their communications, the Vulture sloop of war was moved near to West Point, and the absence of Washington seemed to present a fit opportunity for the final arrangement of their plans, on the night of the 21st of September, Arnold sent a boat to the Vulture to bring Andre on shore. That officer landed in his uniform between the posts of the two armies, and was met by Arnold, with whom
What was his character?