Sterling Standard from Sterling, Illinois on February 25, 1897 · Page 12
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Sterling Standard from Sterling, Illinois · Page 12

Sterling, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 25, 1897
Page 12
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VaMrvr Fotrgf- f -• v -,51 -sr-v vrithrj'iyn isviu ." f \> p \- firan thf'Ri. A fw»«i brought abotit, ' thrnigh pnrsmnR strif-Hy ti fferisive warfare, had placed bis o nests in Fneh a position thattbey tit a.- pslves roald not rrsuinb ii& btfensite. «" With hia handful of raw and ragged troops, half starred 8Bd«, poorly Jus had met some b£ |r& ^ regulars and had inflieftd Humiliating defeat wbeu himself seemingl* on 4bjt very brink of total dissolution! j ^hfife Bow the British had retired, torn "ftiul bleeding, from the desperate charges of this lion at bay; hence they had no heart for fnrther experiment and weVe content to gd into winter quarters and <rtir there. .'•--, >-, • I -t ; j ..--.' . rr r Washington" wade his xvinter cantonments afc* Marrlstown, where /he f el$ he coald Sjold'his dissolvifag foifce somewhat securely hgafnet the- approaching ''i campaign.;* 'The Wtireai through lA J&tifib "'laaibbtiiy,- "the manner .in •which /Washington Inrned and struck J bifl pursuers at Trenton and Princeton and then established - i *,cctfi fi'ach that, tlii* p<-ri: *«irn and destitution brn always ^vrrt ns the "time that (riffl i CHAPTER xvm. WASHINGTON AS, A STRATEGIST. The British might have trailed onr troops to their winter quarters by the I !ood stain* on tho snow frotn the. lacerated feet of shoeless soldiers, and why «!:<?/ did uot nttnck this, disabled band in their retreat at Valley Forg6 is ona of the inexplicable things of the war.- An English contemporary writer on the Revolution declares, "I am of the opinion that any other general in the world than General Howe would have beaten General Washington, arid any other general in the world thnn General Washington would have beaten General Howe." This criticism may well apply to the British commander, but does 'not fit Washington at all. The one wns in command of efficient troops, well paid and war would last. He had unlimited re- 'Bources, a fleet at his orders, Arms and ammunition in abundance. Tho other CROSSING THE DELAWARE. hi::iself at"Sbrrfstpwn, so as to make ti: • way to .Philadelphia impassable, all weitf to show that the fiber of his public character, had been hardened to its permanent quality." His t^bief concern during tho inaction of the i winteivwas, 'for tho American prisoners v in British hands, who were most inhumanly treated, and by threats of reprisal ho at last secured a promise of better treatment, also favorable -terms for exchange of prisoners and the •jceleaselpf ''officers ou parole. , The;campaign of 1777 opened with •an attempt ty Howe to engage Washington "In a general battle, which, with the British superiority of force and equipment, would surely have resulted disastrously to American arms. - But he cleverly evaded thin maneuver, at tho same time not relaxing his watch on the Jnovementa of his enemy and ready to pounce upon him when good opportuni- was in nominal command (through the frequently expiring terms of enlistment), of a fimnll body of ragged and ill armed soldiers, without recourse to fleets or any sort of extraneous succor and compelled to inaction from the very exigencies of his'condition; Building huts in the woods, the Ameritfan soldiers prepared aa well BS they were able to resist the inclem- encies of tho winter, but it was not long before gaunt famine stared them in the face, and their commander was obliged, reluctant as he was to do so, to order out foraging parties to provide the merest necessaries for subsistence. Ab one time during this .terrible winter fully one-third of the 17,000 troops were in- cupucltatod from nakediaeab und'sicknessr But winter melted into spring, and their deliverance was at hand, for in 'May Howe was superseded by GJinton, who, finding, as Franklin tersely put it, thnt "Philadelphia had captured Howe I /rui—rfv? -('• shonhl tnw« rfone—Ira :<x id not, r.nve wounded n?w deeply, Daring tho summer of 1778 the Omtai rt'EstsMng arrived at Newport with J4 sail of the line, and a combined expedition was arranged against the British in Rhode Island, which was frustrated fey the premature »otion of tho French admiral in provoking a sea fight nod then retiring to Boston for repairs. > •Washingtoa'a prudence and wisdom were never better displayed than at thia juncture of affairs, when the American,' Gaaeral Sullivan (who. Was .compelled to retreat, owing to the Injudicious notion, of his French ally) indulged in open criticism of such conduct. "The disagreement between the arrriy under your command and the fleet," writes Washington, "has given me singular uneasiness. The continent at large is concerned in our cordiality, and it should be kept up by all means consistent with our honor and policy. * • * * First impressions, yon know, arc longest retained and will serve to fix, in a great degree, our national character with the French. * » * Permit mo to recomrnencf, in tharooHt particala'ttnannerr-thionUi- vation of harmony and good agreement and your endeavors'to destroy that ill humor which may have found ita way amongst the officers. It is of the utmost importance, too, that the soldiers and the people should know nothing of this misunderstanding, or, if it has reached them, that means may be used to stop its progress end-prevent its effects." By conciliatory correspondence with D'Estaing, also, ho soothed the ruffled feathers of the French gamecock and scoured his good will toward the cause in which they were now mutually embarked. x Washington did not follow tho British from Monmonth, as it would have been fntilo, but crossed the Hudson higher up, at filing's Ferry, and after establishing n cordon of military posts, extending eventually from Long Island sound to tho Delaware, ho returned to New Jer sey in December, teBaiajning_in_v?inter "oautonment/nnlinho next June."' /Wash ington's perception—almost prescience —of future necessities and his farxeach- ing strategy compel our admiration. Ho had early perceived and acted upon tho belief that the possession of the Hudson was necessary to success. At least, by losing control- of it and the middle states, ho would allow, the colonies to be severed in two and consequently the more easily beaten. This explains his constant -recoil'to that artery of communication between north and south, like a relaxed bowstiipg, after every defeat. He most materially assisted and brought about the surrender of Bnrgoyffe by keeping the British too busy guessing his whereabouts and epeo- bis is rt -". li winter«jmrtr' r " | t nt Mfi T f«i--)wn, U. J, Th6 ».tnr)?Km in wbi'It Washington wns domiciled at MorrfTlrmn 1* y»fc standing, iu esROllent prwtvaBon, and ngnnmpircnswnve.nirs of his tarry ihere. At. that tiftieifiwss ownwi bytbe widow of Colonel 3tKf>b Forti, who gave tip all but two rooms io WrmbingtGn and his military family of 18. Writing to eneral Greene, iu January, 1780, he says, "All Mrs. Ford's fasaiiy are cren%d- ed into hef kitobtm and 'scarce able to talk for the colds they bavo^caueh*." The main army was cantoned three as miles away on KiiMbaU'fi hiH> from Tfhich was an extensive view from the d)&atination of English troops then being «nlbarked at Now York was Philadelphia, Washington descended from his ,eyrie and marched to the protection of that city. His small force was wholly inadequate to cope with the foe, but he managed to detain Howe and his army • 30 days on o march of less than 50 ifljles, and at the battle of Brandywine, •WASHINGTON'S HEADQOAKTEKS AT CAW- UBIDOE. • , . Wb'ioh follovsed, on the llth of September, he contrived to extricate his troops from a most difilanlt situation with a force of only 11,000 against the British 18,000. And 'again, while bis opponents tbongbfc him •completely demoralized from bis defeat, be attacked them at , Germantown with snob spirit that victory seemed almost within his grasp. AH this display of undaunted spiril •and recuperative quality had made nri .impression, home and abroad, .especially in. France, where our commissioners were trying to negotiate a treaty of alliance with that nation. The •decisive victory won .by General Gates :at Saratoga over General Burgoyue, in ithe mouth of October, bad tho desired •effect of winning the court of France to par side. Tbesjejwo brilliant achieve- meets, as contrasted with Washington's muttU gtaHaand frequent reverses, raised a cabal JIM the army wad congress favor- Able to gup^ssdiEg the commander iu iwas r carried on, not xmknown to the former, but Jsy bim magnanimqaaJy overlooked. In point Qf fsot,- Washing- tea had weakened bii own command asd placed bis army ta jeopardy by the seadiugof ^-enforcements tothe north- era araiy/aiid it-waji only with tbe greatest difficulty tbat be got » portion of them buck *tgain, after the (surrender, aixi toey were no longer needed there. Ia jpeeesaber, after the British bad gcfcfts jsto wiaiie? ^Barters «fc Philadol- jpfeia, ft ceat little g?WW9 i« generalship ijay-<ssl ft a place called White , Ofltwesaj tbe American awd Brit i geawals, instead of Howe taking Philadelphia," resolved to evacuate tho city. Thea came the long expected opportunity for which Washington had been waiting. The British had scarcely crossed the Delaware ere the Americans were harassing their flanks. On the 28th of June .took place the battle of Monmonth Court House, which Washington himself, though not claiming it as a decisive victory, owing to the unexpected retreat of the British during the night, said that "from an unfortunate beginning turned out a glorious and happy day" for the Americans. This "unfortunate begiu- ning""wonfierdastardly retreat of "Qe'B~ oral Lee in the face of bis commander's advance with the main command, thus ruining the comprehensive scheme which would doubtless have resulted in British defeat and dispersal of their entire forces. "••..'• This ia one of'the occasions when, it is* claimed, Washington used "strong language," and under the circumstances, seeing his long cherished and well matured plan for the annihilation of his enemy ruined .by^the defection of one whom he bad some reason to suspect as a traitor and knew to bo" o, coward, the only wonder is that he could have found language strong enough to fit tho exigencies of the moment. Through all that dreary winter of iuac, tion,'under the strain of "most .terrible mental Buffering, he had hoped and planned for just such an opportunity as the one presented. Hisfjpldierahad been • ... BENEDICT ARNOLD., highlands of the Hudson to the Baritan. The sufferings that winter were intense, but the army, though much depleted by desertions and the expiry Of terms of enlistment, emerged from IW snowdrifts 5 n tho spring ready for active service against the enemy. Mutiny and desertion were met by Washington with Btern punishment, and two soldiers were hanged for the formoBoffonso at Morristown. Ho raged also against the peon- lative and inoney making spirit rife In the country, writing: , ^JjljyopiJd .1 o_QodJh^somejDne^otiha^ BaosratioolouiT In 1 , each state was hung in gibbets upon a gallows five timos as high as the one prepared byHamanl No punishment, in my opinion, is too great for the man who can build his greatness upon his country's ruin." And that he would have made short shrift with speculators and contractors ,who supplied shoddy garments nnd rotten food to his suffering soldiers, if he had tho power, .no one doubts. The rigors of war at headquarters were somewhat softened by the arrival of Mrs. Washington, who had also been an angel of mercy at Valley Forge and other cantonments, and several subscription balla were arranged, at which the wife of the commander, in chief wan .chaperon to some very attractive young ladies. It cost the country something to have the wife of Washington with him at the various headquarters (some 40 or fabre in all), as appears .from an item, in his oxpense account rendered to congress: . . "To Mra Washington^ tray.eling.ejc-' "pnserlri coming to and returning fronf my winter quarters j. the money to defray which being taken from rcy private purse, and bro't with her from Virginia, —Pounds, 1064, 10s." . -— Bnfc M thnlnnmmandflr in. chief had of of *h<? FrencB, W»»hi«gi«i bad labored with onfl great object its to 4rssw wtpon every rewmrce ef state for men, money , equipment, ond, in conjunction with tha a$He«, striko the British snoh ft blow as should enfl the war for good and all. Hitbeito the British had won nearly nil their victo-' srlea through their flhips, or because of them. We bad no ships, no means of traBBporting bur troops by sea or of preventing the enemy from retreating by water from an untenable position. With the arrival off the coast of a French fleet, tinder Count dd Grasse, Washington saw the possible consummation of a long cherished schema He had dispatched ,his favorite, General Oreone, into the.Bonth to succeed Gates, and by pursuing Washington's own tactics Greene had succeeded in bringing Lord Oornwallis, the British commander iu that section, within striking distance of his chief. Lafayette had been detached to watch Corn wallls -and rholrl -him afe bayr~^hlTo" Washington, himsQlf,, by feints and niarchiea and intercepted letters, dompeJled Clinton, in New York,' into the belief that his own .post was threatened and to withhold re-enforce- ments for Cornwallis. Thus again by his consummate strategy and' by keeping a watchful eye upon the whole Atlantic seaboard L ditl Washington gather and concentrate at Yorktown all the men and war material available, scouring the co-operation of the allies by land and by sea. : , That ho strained every nerve and employed every art of which he, was ca pable is shown by his letters. "The history of the. war," he says in one, "is a history of lalao. hopes and temporary expedients. Would to God they were to end here." Yet he labored on, upheld by faith in his cause and it himself and mdved forward for the final and crushing blow at Yorktown. And •when, hemmed in oil every elde, over- Cbrnwallis was obliged to lay down his arms, all the'people knew what Washington ha,d divined months before—thai the end of tho war was nigh. We mas admit that but for the co-operation of the French allies, par^iotilarly with their fleet, thia" decisive victory migh not have been obtained, bnt it was the master mind of the commander in chic that first sent Lafayette to bold ant then,the fleet to block escape by sea b the army that surrendered that day in October,. 1781; , Washington bad calmly watched th battle from a near redoubt, so exposed that one of his aids called bis attention to the danger of remaining .there. "1 you are afraid," said the chief quietly, "you are at liberty to retire," and continued at his post.. , : . •' StiU'caim and self possessed, with the elation only of a high purpose accomplished, Washington received the capitulation of the British, then, after send- T my (it M tbft eraploym«ntJi of Washington, in fiompany other ladies, bad witeefsad thajsal^*** a th® great dmtnft front » < at the end of the chamber. The j :mmediately retired, and ftfter with a few friends set o«« for Mono* iTernon in the chaise which hi* ed the n'ighfe at Queen A»»e s, the Potomftbal Georgetown »«p. ed their home just at sunset of OhrMt- mos eve, , t . t- Met at the borders of their estate by old Bishop, dressed in tbe English regl-' mentals in which he had served under Braddockf tbe octogenarian saluted an<i kissed their hands,'and then theypa«sod on to the west. door of their mansion, illumined by tho leveled rays of the sitting mm. The air was eweet and balmy as in May, and on the morrow Washington spent, mainly pa£ of doorp, bisflm Christmas at borne in eight long years. — "• OH AFTER; xxi. - , /THE FOtTNDEB OF THE EEPCBIJO. With What deep satisfaction the war- worn hero at last fonnd himself onoo more by his. own fireside and amid the scenes he so dearly loved only those acquainted with bis early life and hia interest in agricultural pursuits can understand.: Four days after his arrival a* Mount Vernon ha wrote a friend» "The scene is at last closed. I feel myself eased of a load of public care. I hope to spend the remainder of my daya in cultivating the affections of good men and in the practice of the domestic virtues." But rest, recreation, tbe privilege of pursuing his ownpeaoofnl way.Vera to., be denied him, as hitherto. Having giv. 'f~\ »•& ' ** >! vte* 4»W gsvisjg up . tO«D COJIKWALLIS. driilecj by Btenben, the commissariat bad b«eo strengthened by Greeue t hia nieu were f»ll of ardor and devoted to their leader. The lightning stroke was abcmt to fall, when a coward interposed, Ol all thing* in the world Wasfaington bated most» cowwd. Inospable Jbimseil cf the B^itSra«»t of ffflj», ae wold not ii ia o<&«?&, U fox be TV BIGHT'S PORTRAIT. OF vrAsniKGTbN. ulating upon his next movement to send re-enforcements until tpo late for use. And at the close of the' 1778 campaign^ ¥iftiiialiy~lhirfcinrth of ."The war, the local situation of the re'speotive armies did not .materially differ fr^m.tbataP the end of 1770, but with the advantages all in favor of the Americans. • CHAPTER XIX; '' TiaHTENraa THE COILS. . . "It is not a little pleasing nor less wonderful to contemplate," wrote Washington to a friend, in December, 1779, ?'that, after two years'maneuver- ing and undergoing the strangest' vicissitudes, both armies are brought baok to tho very point they set oiit from, and the offending party in the, beginning is now reduced to the pickaxe and spade for defense. The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this that be must bo worse than an infidoj that., lacks faith and more than wicked that has not'gratitude to acknowledge hia obligations." \. ,.'..'. The generally good results of Wafeh- ingtou's policy in playing ; a waiting game and closely following the British initiative were conspicuously manifest at the close of (this campaign, for the Americans bad gained a knowledge of war, confidence in* their prowess, valuable allies iu tho Freuoh and the active co-operation of a considerable army, as well as a navy. Tfae Jheater of war was transferred to the south by the sailing of a strong English force f row- Now York. Rhode Island was abandoned and all the northern army couoentra'ted at the city at tbe mouth .of the Hudson. But still Washington clung to 'his central idea and relaxed not at all bis grasp 011 West Point, where be bad valuable stores in magazine. .In iJaly, occurred the brilliant assault at Stony Potot by General Wayne, who, in reply to Washington's qnaation, "Will youe^orm it?" replied, "I will storm hell if ycwa wiU plan it" In August Major Lee drove the British from Paulas Hook, opposite New York, und General Sallivau exacted retribution for the Wyoming massacres. Oa the sen GUI' strength was iuoruaaiug,' aijd in yepte«tb«r Paul Jones oapiqrecl fiwo Britigb meji-irf-wsr aflee n uuo«« desperate battle iu ttM Kn^lish UuaUe to driv^i the British, fjtow New Yufk, yet Wa^iugton oitcusiiawited th» refused to receive any, compensation for hi3 services from the very outset he was at least entitled to his expenses, both ordinary and extraordinary. ; It .was while in Morristown that the commander was visited ;by the French minister and. a Spanish envoy, Don Juan Miralles, who brought a letter from the governor of Havana, and who had come ostensibly for the purpose of enabling the Spanish government to reach a. conclusion ar to the wisdom- and propriety of recognizing or aiding the new republic. , Spain was at that time coquetting with congress (even _a'a our, congress is now doquetTing with Cuba) and bad lifr tie dispositiou to negotiate an alliance, except on the b'asis of exclusive right to navigate the Mississippi and acknowledgment of her claims ia Florida. Washington did net, probably, coincide with the opinion expressed by Gouverneur .Morris, who • wrote. "Everybody knows that the rapidity of the Misaissip- pi current will forever prevent shipafrom sailing up it " But, althougn he could not predicate the steamboat, yet he believed that true diplomacy should leave the matter of navigation open for future negotiation, But Don Juan's mission was suddenly terminated by his death,- ia April, 1780, and he was buried in the local cemetery with auch wealth of diamonds 011 him that it was considered necessary to post a guard. ' above bis grave. The French fleet, with the Count de Eochambeau, arrived in July, and Washington went to Hartford to consult with the commander about a, ^plan of campaign: 1 It was while absent on this mission that the treason of Arnold was disclosed by the arrest and confession of Major Andre, the news of which met him on the return journey. Prompt aor tiqn was necessary to save West Point; and its valuable stores from the loss to which the traitor .had" exposed- it, and Washington's return was not a moment too soon tooheokinato the British scheme and save his posts. He strengthened them all as well as he was able, and the British commander gained absolutely nothing from Arnold's defection and Andre's ignominious death. But with an empty military chest and a barren commissariat it was then impossible for Washington to engage in an active ' "Greene, set forth for.the north again, to watch the discomfited Clinton raging in his self selected prison in New York. Although . Washington believed the end was nigh, and that JMis.last Ameri- would compel. the ~ can victory •wonI3~bpinpeIV the British parliament to accept peaoe, yet he.was still too. wary to ho caught defenseless. He uttered his protest to congress, as he had done many times before, against the weakening of the army, against failing in their obligations to the officers and soldiers who had brought them to the verge of peace.; They did not heed his reiterated'warnings, and it eventuated as Washington bad feared and predicted, Despairing of securing their just dues, so long withheld them, officers and soldiers approached dangerously, near to universal .mutiny. Bnt f qr tho love and tne~regard tbey-held for their command or the ill treated soldiers would have WASHINGTON nEFOSIliO A CROWN. •<• ' en to bis country 80 of the best years ol bis life, acting in various capacities of' explorer, statesman and (soldier, be was,. be thought, entitled to spend the re-, rnainder of bisdays in retirement. Still," neither bis own active nature and inter-.^ est in affairs nor the manifest will of [9-people^baHie-flheBld-again the front would allow him rest. During the- f next three years crowds of viaitort came to Mount Vernon, who consumed his time, and boats* of correspondents.' added to bis. labors,! { i, always amosfwol- , oomo visitor, for the lost time daring ', the life of his former chief, came to Bee him, and later, when Washington had ' been called to the presidency and Lafayette himself was a prisoner, his SOB, Georgo Washington Lafayette, found a welcome und a home here. Woshingtop still continued thoHO noble charities that endeared him to all his slaves and poor*' er neighbors and kept open house for' all. While a bountiful host;, and even lavish in.his entertainments, he yet kept watoh over the household economies and allowed nothing to be wasted. '• Returning from tber'wars, he had toun&' his estate embarrassed, and, despite his t WASHINGTON RESIGNING HIS COMMISSION. CHAPTER XX. TIP; ENEMY WTO TBB SEA. / Oae day about mid-September, 1781, the faonaehold ai Mount Veruon was sterUed by the unexpected arrival of itt) master. Six years had pinned siuce tie JUad crossed the threshold ef his home eiuoa he went forth to take command of tae^ontiueatijl armies, but even cow, sttux tiiiB long tibiouoo, he had no time fa? an iusi>e<3tiMj of hia favorite iiauiita, y m plunged the country into the horrors of civil strife. Indeed, eome Pennsylvania troops- did ' mutiny, but 'Washington sternly repressed the outbreak, showing scant merpy- to Iho - ringleaders. , Thus for the space of nearly two years, while definitive terms of peace were being arranged. Washington was the: mediator between the army and oongreaa, A$ last, however, ou the. 25th of November, 1788, the, Iftat redooaji left New York, and. after taking possession of the city from which he had beeu driven nearly eeveu years before, Wushingtoq flually said farewell to the" uijuy. On the 4th of December he set 'out for Philadelphia, where he rendered hia expense 30- counfc for his seven yews'service, which (he had drawn no pay) amounted to ths sum oj £15,000. ' ' . Then he ooiitiuued on to Anuapolia, qu the 28i| of Deaeraber resigned to oiu which for tso h&lti 34 a sacked oaljr oa the ex* Amarioasi that Jopg a period be had vast holdings, himself oa the verge fll > bankruptcy. As he had accepted uothiwg above bis expenses during his lone eery' ice as qpnjmander in obief, bis eejFabhe- gatlon in again: rstoruing ta pnblio-life J (ttill nnrewarded, except by the appro 1 *al of his couscieBce and the yeople) i? apparent. .But for Washington tt the oopatitntion woald never have ! acceptable to nor accepted by tho pie- Tbroqgh bis nnre.mitUBg o^,.^ spoodaiioe he bad prepared thorn, forjtha •.'' coBfttiiotiQu, and, W preaidun? of tba ooaveutioM tbe prestige of bis name aaff. the power of his reasoning won oyar alj opponents. * * ) "It is tb^ result of four months' d& liberatioa," be wrote Lafayett«. "If; m wow & obild of fortoae, to be fostered by- Bpnae ieoid baSeted by others Wbat w m, be the general opinion or the retjeptiou of jt in uot for sue to deoide, nor 8h»ji J/ eayjBytfai«§( top o* agaiuBt; ii It it fee; il spll vtwk its way • jecoil np«i ite " of

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