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CHAPTER II.

QUESTIONS OF MILITARY RANK.-POPULARITY OF PUTNAM.-ARRANGEMENTS AT HEAD-QUARTERS.-COLONEL MIFFLIN AND JOHN TRUMBULL, AIDES-DE-CAMP. -JOSEPH REED, WASHINGTON'S SECRETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL FRIEND.— GATES AS ADJUTANT-GENERAL.-HAZARDOUS SITUATION OF THE ARMY.— STRENGTHENING OF THE DEFENSES. EFFICIENCY OF PUTNAM. RAPID CHANGES.-NEW DISTRIBUTION OF THE FORCES.-RIGID DISCIPLINE.-LEE AND HIS CANE.-HIS IDEA AS TO STRONG BATTALIONS.-ARRIVAL OF RIFLE COMPANIES.-DANIEL MORGAN AND HIS SHARPSHOOTERS.-WASHINGTON DECLINES TO DETACH TROOPS TO DISTANT POINTS FOR THEIR PROTECTION.HIS REASONS FOR SO DOING.

HE justice and impartiality of Washington were called into exercise as soon as he entered upon his command, in allaying discontents among his general officers, caused by the recent appointments and promotions made by the Continental Congress. General Spencer was so offended that Putnam should be promoted over his head, that he left the army, without visiting the commander-in-chief; but was subsequently induced to return. General Thomas felt aggrieved by being outranked by the veteran Pomeroy; the latter, however, declining to serve, he found himself senior brigadier, and was appeased.

The sterling merits of Putnam soon made every one

ARRANGEMENTS AT HEAD-QUARTERS.

37

acquiesce in his promotion. There was a generosity and buoyancy about the brave old man that made him a favorite throughout the army; especially with the younger officers, who spoke of him familiarly and fondly as "Old Put;" a sobriquet by which he is called even in one of the private letters of the commander-in-chief.

The Congress of Massachusetts manifested considerate liberality with respect to head-quarters. According to their minutes, a committee was charged to procure a steward, a housekeeper, and two or three women cooksWashington, no doubt, having brought with him none but the black servants who had accompanied him to Philadelphia, and who were but little fitted for New England housekeeping. His wishes were to be consulted in regard to the supply of his table. This his station, as commander-in-chief, required should be kept up in ample and hospitable style. Every day a number of his officers dined with him. As he was in the neighborhood of the seat of the Provincial Government, he would occasionally have members of Congress and other functionaries at his board. Though social, however, he was not convivial in his habits. He received his guests with courtesy; but his mind and time were too much occupied by grave and anxious concerns, to permit him the genial indulgence of the table. His own diet was extremely simple. Sometimes nothing but baked apples or berries, with cream and milk. He would retire early from the board, leaving an aide-de-camp or one of his officers to take his place.

Colonel Mifflin was the first person who officiated as aidede-camp. He was a Philadelphia gentleman of high respectability, who had accompanied him from that city, and received his appointment shortly after their arrival at Cambridge. The second aide-de-camp was John Trumbull,* son of the governor of Connecticut. He had accompanied General Spencer to the camp, and had caught the favorable notice of Washington by some drawings which he had made of the enemy's works. "I now suddenly found myself," writes Trumbull, "in the family of one of the most distinguished and dignified men of the age; surrounded at his table by the principal officers of the army, and in constant intercourse with them-it was further my duty to receive company, and do the honors of the house to many of the first people of the country of both sexes." Trumbull was young, and unaccustomed to society, and soon found himself, he says, unequal to the elegant duties of his situation; he gladly exchanged it, therefore, for that of major of brigade.

The member of Washington's family most deserving of mention at present, was his secretary, Mr. Joseph Reed. With this gentleman he had formed an intimacy in the course of his visits to Philadelphia, to attend the sessions of the Continental Congress. Mr. Reed was an accomplished man, had studied law in America, and at the Temple in London, and had gained a high reputation at

* In after years distinguished as a historical painter.

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The Mittel

COL. THOS. MIFFLIN. (P. 38).

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