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The General does not admit of any pretence for plundering; whether it be Tory property, taken beyond the lines, or not, it is equally a breach of orders. and to be punished, in the Officer who gives order, or the Soldier.
It is our business to give protection and support to the poor distressed inhabitants, not to multiply and increase their calamities.
SEIZURE OF PRIVATE PROPERTY.
It will never answer, to procure supplies of clothing or provisions, by coercive measures. Such procedures may give a momentary relief; but, if repeated, will prove of the most pernicious consequence.
THE FAMILIES OF SOLDIERS, MAINTAINED.
All that the common soldiery of any country can expect, is food and clothing.
The pay given, in other armies, is little more than nominal; very low in the first instance, and subject to a variety of deductions, that reduce it to nothing. This is the case with the British troops; though, I
believe, they receive more than those of any other State in Europe.
The idea of maintaining the families of the Soldiers, at the public expense, is peculiar to us, and is incompatible with the finances of the government.
Our troops have been uniformly better fed than any others. They are, at this time, very well clad, and probably will continue to be so. While this is the case, they will have no just cause of complaint.
OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS; THEIR SUPPORT.
It will be of importance, to conciliate the comfortable support of the Officers and Soldiers, with a due respect to economy.
THE SOLDIER'S PERSONAL SACRIFICES.
When men are employed, and have the incitements of military honor to encourage their ambition and pride, they will cheerfully submit to inconveniences, which, in a state of tranquillity, would appear insupportable.
There is no set of men in the United States, considered as a body, that have made the same sacrifices of their interest, in support of the common cause, as the Officers of the American army. Nothing but
a love of their country, of honor, and a desire of seeing their labors crowned with success, could possibly induce them to continue one moment in service. No Officer can live upon his pay; and hundreds having spent their little all in addition to their scanty public allowance, have resigned, because they could no longer support themselves as Officers. Numbers are, at this moment, rendered unfit for duty, for want of clothing, while the rest are wasting their property, and some of them verging fast to the gulf of poverty and distress.
I am growing old in my country's service, and losing my sight; but I never doubted its justice or its gratitude.
CHARACTER AND SUFFERINGS OF THE ARMY OF THE
No order of men in the Thirteen States have paid a more sacred regard to the proceedings of Congress, than THE ARMY.
Without arrogance, or the smallest deviation from truth, it may be said, that no history, now extant, can furnish an instance of an army's suffering such uncommon hardships as ours has done, and bearing them with the same patience and fortitude.
To see men, without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lie on, without shoes, (for the want of which their marches might be traced by
the blood of their feet,) and almost as often without provisions as with them, marching through the frost and snow, and at Christmas taking up their winterquarters, within a day's march of the enemy; without a house or hut to cover them, till they could be built; and submitting, without a murmur; is a proof of patience and obedience, which, in my opinion, can scarce be paralleled.
The more its virtue and forbearance are tried, the more resplendent it appears.
My hope is, that the military exit of this valuable class of the community will exhibit such a proof of amor patriæ, as will do them honor in the page of history.
THE "PATRIOT ARMY."
The glorious task, for which we first flew to arms, being accomplished; the liberties of our country being fully acknowledged, and firmly secured by the smiles of Heaven, on the purity of our cause, and the honest exertions of a feeble people, determined to be free, against a powerful nation disposed to oppress them; and the character of those who have persevered through every extremity of hardship, suffering, and danger, being immortalized, by the illustrious appellation of the "PATRIOT ARMY;" nothing now remains, but for
the actors of this mighty scene to preserve a perfect, unvarying consistency of character, through the very last act, to close the drama with applause, and to retire from the military theatre, with the same approbation of angels and men, which has crowned all their former virtuous actions.
They were, at first, a band of undisciplined husbandmen; but it is, under God, to their bravery and attention to their duty, that I am indebted, for that success, which has procured me the only reward I wish to receive, the affection and esteem of my country
Seconded by such a body of yeomanry, as repaired to the standard of liberty, fighting in their own native land, fighting for all that freemen hold dear, and whose docility soon supplied the place of discipline, it was scarcely in human nature, under its worst character, to abandon them in their misfortunes; nor is it for me to claim any singular merit for having shared in a common danger, and triumphed with them, after a series of the severest toil and most accumulated distress, over a formidable foe.
THE CINCINNATI SOCIETY.
There is not, I conceive, an unbiassed mind, that would refuse the officers of the late army the right