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move out of their huts for want of clothing. A whole pair of shoes was hardly known in the camp. Exposure and the want of proper food brought on putrid fevers and other fatal disorders. The officers fared but little better than their men. The paper money issued by Congress had depreciated so much that the pay of a general was hardly sufficient to keep him in clothes.
This lamentable state of things filled the breast of Washington with inexpressible anguish, which was increased by the injustice of some of his countrymen. The Pennsylvania Legislature censured him for withdrawing his troops to winter-quarters. Congress, wavered in its confidence, and in appointing a new board of war gave a prominent place to Gates, Conway, Mifflin, and others known to be hostile to the commander. Some even demanded that he should be superseded by Gates or Lee. Washington bore these unjust complaints with patience, knowing that time would place things in their true light. He was not wrong.
proposition to remove him was met with indignant remonstrances from all parts of the country; and Congress, finally convinced that the blame rested with themselves for not making suitable provisions, took measures for the proper equipment of an efficient army.
353. Unbounded joy was soon diffused through America by the news that France had at length (February 6th, 1778) recognized the independence of the United States, and entered into a treaty of alliance with its commissioners. This was brought about by the unremitting labors of Franklin. A general favorite at the French court, he had embraced every opportunity of proving to the king and ministry the certainty of his country's ultimate triumph in the struggle with England. Burgoyne's surrender furnished him with an irresistible argument, and the long-desired treaty was obtained.
352. Describe the situation of the Americans, both men and officers, at Valley Forge. What other cause of grief had Washington ? How were the unjust complaints against the commander received ? What did Congress finally decide to do? 353. What joyful news reached America in the spring of 1778? By whom
354. The arrival of Baron Steuben threw another
of light on the gloom which overshadowed the patriot army at Valley Forge. Steuben had served as aide-de-camp and lieutenant-general under Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, Congress gladly accepted his services, and found them of immense value in organizing and disciplining the army.
In May, 1778, at Washington's request, he was appointed inspector-general, and the results of his experience were soon apparent.
355. Washington attempted little during his melancholy sojourn at Valley Forge. Towards the close of spring, 1978, La Fayette was sent with 2,100 men to Barren Hill, on the Schuylkill, twelve miles from Valley Forge, to keep the foraging parties of the enemy in check, and to be ready for action in case of any decided movement. With the connivance of a tory, at whose house the marquis lodged, Howe forthwith laid a plan to cut off the detachment. Fortunate
and how were the French induced to make this alliance ? 354. What important addition did the army at Valley Forge receive? What is said of Baron Steuben ? To what office was he appointed ? 355. Give an account of La Fayette's escape at
ly La Fayette discovered the scheme in time to defeat it by a skilful retreat. Washington, who had observed through a spy-glass the threatening movements of the enemy, could hardly restrain his joy when his beloved brother-in-arms reached the camp in safety.
356. The British ministry began to perceive, that, although victories had been gained, little was really done towards reducing America, and the alliance with France rendered their prospects for the future still worse. Accordingly, commissioners were sent over with liberal pro posals, which would have been accepted before the war commenced, but which now came too late. Bribery was freely tried, but in vain. Among those whom the commissioners ventured to approach in this way was Gen. Reed, of Pennsylvania. Ten thousand guineas and a profitable post were offered him, if he would use his influence to bring about a reconciliation. “I am not worth purchas
“ ing," was the reply of the honest patriot; “but, such as I am, the king of Great Britain is not rich enough to buy me.”
357. In March, 1778, the country received a severe blow in the loss of Captain Nicholas Biddle, one of its ablest naval officers. After capturing a number of prizes in the U.S. frigate Randolph, he encountered the Yarmouth (yar-muth], a British ship of 64 guns, and in the midst of the engagement his vessel blew up. Captain Biddle and all his men, except four who were picked up by the enemy, instantly perished.
Barren Hill. What is said of Washington's solicitude on this occasion ? 356. What was now evident to the British ministry? What course did they therefore pursue ? Give an account of their attempts at negotiation. What passed between them and Gen. Reed? 357. What severe blow did the country receive in March, 1778?
BATTLE OF MONMOUTH.
CAMPAIGN OF 1778.—MONMOUTH.-NEWPORT.-SAVANNAH.
358. On the 24th of May, 1778, Gen. Howe, who had requested the home government to recall him, left Philadelphia, after a splendid tournament given by his officers in his honor. About a month afterwards, Sir Henry Clinton, on whom the chief command now devolved, evacuated the city with the whole British army. Washington followed the enemy across New Jersey. Contrary to the advice of some of his officers, he resolved on a general engagement; and, on the 28th of June, when the British were about leaving Monmouth [mon'-muth], they found the Americans
drawn up for battle. The attack was conducted by Lee, | who had been released by the British in exchange for Gen.
Prescott. After a series of mistakes, Lee, without any ap1 parent reason, began to fall back. The retreat soon turned into a flight.
The Americans were hurrying over a morass, sinking in the mire and falling before their pursuers, when they were met by Washington at the head of the rear line. Angrily rebuking Lee, the American commander arrested the flight of his broken regiments, and led them back against the
The British were stopped in their successful career. Lee fought throughout the rest of the action with desperate courage, and many deeds of valor were performed on both sides. The gallant conduct of Mary Pitcher, the wife of an American artillery-man, must not be forgotten. While bringing water to her husband from a spring, she saw him fall, and heard an order given for withdrawing his gun, as there was no one to manage it. The heroic woman immediately took her hus
358. In May, 1778, who assumed command of the British army? How did Howe's officers testify their respect? What was Clinton's first movement? What was Washington's course? Where did an engagement take place? By what American general was the attack conducted ?
How had Lee obtained his freedom? Tell how Washington turned the fate of the battle. Tell the story of Molly
band's place, and discharged his duty in a way that elicited the warmest admiration. Washington afterwards appointed her a sergeant in the army, and she was well known by both French and Americans, who honored her with the appellation of " Captain Molly".
After a severe contest, in which now one party and now the other had the advantage, the Americans remained masters of the field. They passed the night on it with the intention of renewing the battle in the morning, Washington resting among his men with no other bed than his cloak; but Clinton silently departed three hours before dawn. The total loss of the British was about 500, 59 of whom fell from the excessive heat; that of the Americans was 229. Clinton's army proceeded to Sandy Hook, and was thence conveyed by the fleet to New York. Washington crossed the Hudson, and fixed his quarters at White Plains.
Offended by the rebuke he had received, Lee, the day after the battle, sent an insulting letter to Washington. The latter had him arrested for disobeying orders and disgracefully retreating. A court-martial, of which Lord Stirling was president, found him guilty, and suspended him from his command for a year. His interest in the cause of liberty was thus abated, and he never rejoined the army.
359. In July (1778), a French fleet, conveying a strong land force, under Count D'Estaing [des-tang'], arrived off the coast of Virginia. Measures were concerted for besieging the British at Newport, R. I., and D'Estaing entered the harbor early in August. Before operations had fairly commenced, Admiral Byron approached Newport with a British fleet. D’Estaing sailed forth to meet the enemy,
but a terrific storm separated the combatants. Byron made for New York, and the French returned to Newport. Meanwhile Sullivan, who commanded on the part of the Ameri
Pitcher. Who remained masters of the field ? How did the Americans pass the night? How, Washington? How did Clinton avoid continuing the engagement? State the loss on each side. Where did Clinton go? Where did Washington fix his quarters ? What is said of Lee's subsequent history? 359. What took place in July, 1778? What place was it decided to attack? Before operations commenced, what induced the French to leave the harbor? What separated the com