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fighting, is only to be attained, by a constant course of discipline and service. I have never yet been witness to a single instance, that can justify a different opinion; and it is most earnestly to be wished, that the liberties of America may no longer be trusted, in any material degree, to sò precarious a dependence.



I confess, I have felt myself greatly embarrassed, with respect to a vigorous exercise of military power. An ill-placed humanity, perhaps, and a reluctance to give distress, may have restrained me too far; but these were not all. I have been well aware of the present jealousy of military power; and that this has been considered as an evil much to be apprehended, even by the best and most sensible among us. Under this idea, I have been cautious, and wished to avoid, as much as possible, any act that might increase it. 1777.

The people at large are governed much by custom. To acts of legislation or civil authority they have ever been taught to yield a willing obedience, without reasoning about their propriety; on those of Military Power, whether immediate, or derived originally from another source, they have ever looked with a jealous and suspicious eye.


Extensive powers, not exercised as far as was neces

sary, have, I believe, scarcely ever failed to ruin the 1 possessor.


I conceive it to be a right, inherent in command, to appoint particular officers for special purposes.



I beg, that you will be particularly careful, in seeing strict order observed among the soldiers. as that is the life of military discipline.

Do we not know, that every nation under the sun finds its account therein, and that, without it, no order or regularity can be observed? Why, then, should it be expected from us, who are all young and inexperienced, to govern and keep up a proper spirit of discipline, without laws, when the best and most experienced can scarcely do it with them? If we consult our interest, I am sure it loudly calls for them. 1755.


One circumstance in this important business ought to be cautiously guarded against; and that is, the Soldiers and Officers being too nearly on a level.

Discipline and Subordination add life and vigor to military movements.

The person commanded yields but a reluctant obedience, to those who, he conceives, are undeservedly made his superiors. The degrees of rank are frequently transferred from civil life into the departments of the army. The true criterion to judge by, when past services do not enter into the competition, is, to consider whether the candidate for office has a just pretension to the character of a gentleman, a proper sense of honor, and some reputation to lose.


A refusal to obey the commands of a superior officer, especially where the duty required was evidently calculated for the good of the service, cannot be justified, without involving consequences subversive of all military discipline. A precedent, manifestly too dangerous, would be established, of dispensing with orders, and subordination would be at an end, if men's ideas were not rectified in a case of this kind, and such notice taken, as has been, on my part.



The custom, which many Officers have, of speaking freely of things, and reprobating measures, which, upon investigation, may be found to be unavoidable, is never productive of good, but often of very mischievous consequences.




When we consider, that the Pennsylvania levies who have now mutinied, are Recruits and Soldiers of a Day, who have not borne the heat and burden of the and who can have, in reality, very few hardships to complain of; and when we at the same time recollect, that those soldiers who have lately been furloughed from this army are the Veterans, who have patiently endured hunger, nakedness, and cold, who have suffered and bled without a murmur, and who, with perfect good order, have retired to their homes without a settlement of their accounts, or a farthing of money in their pockets; we shall be as much astonished at the virtues of the latter, as we are struck with horror and detestation at the proceedings of the former; and every candid mind, without indulging ill-grounded prejudices, will undoubtedly make the proper discrimination.



I exhort all individuals, officers, and bodies of men, to contemplate with abhorrence the measures leading, directly or indirectly, to those crimes which produce

* Combinations against the Constitution and laws of the United States, in the western counties of Pennsylvania, from opposition to duties upon spirits distilled within the United States, and upon stills.

this resort to military coercion; to check, in their re spective spheres, the efforts of misguided or designing men to substitute their misrepresentations in the place of truth, and their discontents in the place of stable government; and to call to mind, that, as the people of the United States have been permitted, under the Divine favor, in perfect freedom, after solemn deliberation, in an enlightened age, to elect their own government, so will their gratitude for this inestimable blessing be best distinguished, by firm exertions to maintain the Constitution and the laws.



The spirit which blazed out on this occasion, as soon as the object was fully understood, and the lenient measures of the government were made known to the people, deserves to be communicated. There are instances of General Officers going at the head of a single troop, and of light companies; of Field Officers, when they came to the places of rendezvous, and found no command for them in that grade, turning into the ranks, and proceeding as private soldiers, under their own captains; and of numbers, possessing the first fortunes in the country, standing in the ranks as private men, and marching, day by day, with their knapsacks and haversacks at their backs, sleeping on

*The quelling of the Pennsylvania insurrection.

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