Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

“ ABOUT the same time another anonymous paper, purporting to be an address to the officers of the army, was handed about in a clandestine manner. A copy of this is marked No. 2.

6. To prevent any precipitate and dangerous resolutions from being taken at this perilous moment, while the passions were all inflamed; as soon as these things came to my knowledge, the next morning, I issued the enclosed order, No. 3—and in this situation the matter now rests.

“ Since writing the foregoing, another anonymous paper has been put in circulation, a copy of which is enclosed, No. 4.”

(No. 1, referred to in the foregoing paper.)

A MEETING of the general and field officers is requested at Al the public building, on Tuesday next, at 11 o'clock. A commissioned officer from each company is expected, and a delegate from the medical staff. The object of this convention is, to consider the late letter from our representatives in Philadelphia, and what measures (if any) should be adopted, to ob. tain that redress of grievances which they seem to have soli. cited in vain.

[ANONYMOUS.]

[ocr errors][merged small]

TO THE OFFICERS OF THE ARMY.
GENTLEMEN,

FELLOW-SOLDIER, whose interest and affections bind A him strongly to you, whose past sufferings have been as great, and whose future fortune may be as desperate as yours

would beg leave to address you. Age has its claims, and rank is not without its pretensions to advise : but, though unsupported by both, he fåtters himself, that the plain language of since. rity and experience will neither be unheard nor unregarded.Like many of you, he loved private life, and left it with regret. He left it, determined to retire, from the field, with the necessity that called him to it, and not 'till then not 'till the enemies of his country, the slaves of power, and the hirelings of injustice, were compelled to abandon their schemes, and acknowledge America as terrible in arms as she had been humble in remonstrance. With this object in view, he has long shared in your toils, and mingled in your dangers.--He has felt the cold hand of poverty without a murmur, and has seen the insolence of wealth without a sigh... But, too much under the direction of his wishes, and sometimes we'ak enough to mistake desire for opinion, he has 'till lately-very lately, believed in the justice of his country. He hoped, that as the clouds of adversity'scattered, and as the sunshine of peace and better fortune broke in upon us, the coldness and severity of government would relax, and that, more than "justice, that gratitude would blaze forth upon those hands, which had upheld her, 'in the darkest stages of her passage ; from impending servitude to acknowledged independence. But faith has its limits, as well as temper, and there are points, beyond which neither can be stretched, without sinking into cowardice,or plunging into credulity.—This, my friends, I conceive to be your situation. Hurried to the very verge of both, another step would ruin you forever. -To be tame and unprovoked when injuries press hard upon you, is more than weakness ; but to look up for kinder usage, without one manly effort of your own, would fix your character, and shew the world how richly you deserve those chains you broke. To guard against this evil, let us take a review of the ground upon which we now stand, and from thence carry our thoughts forward for a moment, into the unexplored field of expedient.

After a pursuit of seven long years, the object for which we set out is at length brought within our reach !-Yes, my friends, that suffering courage of yours, 'was active once-it has conducted the United States of America through a doubt, ful and a bloody war! It has placed her in the chair of independency, and peace returns again, to bless--whom? 'A country willing to redress your wrongs, cherish your worth and reward your services; a country courting your return to private life, with tears of gratitude, and smiles of admiration ; longing to divide with you that independency wbich your gallantry has given, and those riches which your wounds have preserved ! Is this the case ? or is it rather, a country that tramples upon your rights, disdains your cries and insults your distresses ? Have you not, more than once, suggested your wishes, and made known your wants to congress ? Wants and wishes which gratitude and policy should have anticipated, rather than evaded. And have you not lately, in the meek language of entreating memorial, begged from their justice, what you would no longer expect from their favor ? How have you been answered ? Let the letter which you are called to consider to-morrow make reply.

If this, then, be your treatment, while the swords you wear are necessary for the defence of America, what have you to expect from peace, when your voice shall sink, and your strength dissipate by division ?

When these very swords, the instruments and companions of your glory, shall be taken from your sides, and no remaining mark of military distinction left, but your wants, infirmities and scars! Can you then consent to be the only sufferers by this revolution, and retiring from the field, grow old in poverty, wretchedness and contempt? Can you consent to wade through the vile mire of dependency, and owe the miserable remnant of that life to charity, which has hitherto been spent in honor ! If you can, gozand carry with you the jest of tories and the the scorn of whigs—the ridicule, and what is worse, the pity of the world Go, starve, and be forgotten! But if your spirit should revolt at this ; if you have sense enough to discover, and spirit enough to oppose tyranny under whatever garb it may assume; whether it be the plain coat of republicanism, or the splendid robe of royalty : if you have yet learned to discriminate between a people and a cause; between men and principles-mawake!-attend to your situation and redress yourselves. If the present moment be lost, every future effort is in vain; and your threats then will be as empty as your entreaties now. I would advise you, therefore, to come to some final opinion, upon what you can bear, and what you will suffer. If your determination be in any proportion to your wrongs, carry your appeal from the justice to the fears of government---change the milk and water style of your last memorial ; assume a bolder tone-decent, but lively-spirited and determined ; and suspect the man who would advise to more moderation and longer forbearance. Let two or three men, who can feel as well as write, be appointed to draw up your last remonstrance ; for I would no longer give it the sueing, soft, unsuccessful epithet of memorial. Let it be represented (in language that will neither dishonor you by its rudeness, nor betray you by its fears) what has been promised by congress, and wliat has been per. formed—how long and how patiently you have suffered ; how little you have asked, and how much of that little has been denied. Tell them that though you were the first, and would wishi to be the last, to encounter danger; though despair itself can never drive you into dishonor, it may drive you from the field : that the wound often irritated, and never healed, may at length become incurable ; and that the slightest mark of indignity from congress now, must operate like the grave, and part you forever : that in any political event, the army has its alternative. If peace, that nothing shall separate you from your arts but death: if war, that courting the auspices and inviting the directions of your illustrious leader, you will retire to some unsettled country, smile in your turn, and “ mock when their fear cometh on.” But let it represent also, that should they comply with the request of your late memorial, it would make you more happy, and them more respectable : that while the war should continue, you would follow their standard into the field and when it came to an end, you would withdraw into the shade of private life, and give the world another subject of wonder and applause :-an army victorious over its enemięs-victorious over itself.

[ANONYMOUS.]

(No. 3.)

GENERAL ORDERS.

HEAD-QUARTERS, March 11, 1783. THE commander in chief having heard that a general meet

1 ing of the officers of the army was proposed to be held at the new building, in an anonymous paper, which was circulated yesterday by some unknown person, conceives, although he is fully persuaded that the good sense of the officers would induce them to pay very little attention to such an irregular invitation, his duty as well as the reputation and true interest of the army, requires his disapprobation of such disorderly proceedings. At the same time he requests the general and field officers, with one officer from each company, and a proper representative from the staff of the army, will assemble at 12 o'clock on Saturday next, at the new building, to hear the report of the committee of the army to congress. After mature deliberation, they will devise what farther measures ought to be adopted as most rational and best calculated to attain the just and important object in view. The senior officer in rank pre. sent will be pleased to preside, and report the result of their de. liberations to the commander in chief.

· (No. 4.)

...TO THE OFFICERS OF THE ARMY.

GENTLEMEN, "HE author of a late address, anxious to deserve, though 1 he should fail to engage, your esteem ; and determined at every risk to unfold your duty and discharge his own, would beg leave to solicit the further indulgence of a few moments attention.

« AnteriorContinuar »