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al of those troubles and distresses, which had so constantly followed him into winter quarters. That interval from active operations which was spent by his adversary in ease and peaceful enjoyment, was destined always to augment the labours and sufferings of the American commander. Engaged in battle, or in marching from post to post, the American soldiers, for the most part badly clothed and fed, had no leisure to brood over their grievances; but the moment they were provided with comfortable shelter from the severities of the weather, when their officers vied with each other in endeavours to relieve their wants, and to mitigate their sufferings, the spirit of complaint broke forth; the efforts to alleviate their distresses, served but to bring them more forcibly to their minds. Nor is it wonderful, that men who had borne so much, who had murmured so long in secret, in the vain hope that their calamities would soon end, should at length lose their patience with their faith in Congress, and break out into open revolt.
No army ever suffered more than that under the immediate command of Washington, from the beginning to the end of the revolution. Without clothes, without money, and frequently for four days together without a mouthful of bread; in many instances compelled to serve beyond their period of enlistment, without receiving their arrearages, and with no prospect of being paid for future services; put off from time to time with promises of redress by Congress, and constantly disappointed; it would be difficult to decide, whether they deserve praise more for their long and patient suffering, or for the spirit which at length prompted them to seek redress for themselves. Many new causes now combined to ripen the discon
tents of the army into open resistance. The new levies were to be supplied and paid by their respective states, and this produced an inequality in the supplies which could not fail to irritate the feelings of those who were neglected. Some of the new raised troops received their pay and bounty in gold, while those who had been long in service, had seen neither gold nor paper for twelve months. Those who had been enlisted to serve for three years, now at the expiration of that term, were told that their contract must be construed to extend to the termination of the war. The officers, instead of crushing in the bud the first symptoms of mutinous discontent, relaxed in their discipline, and required less of the soldiers, with a view to calm their irritation and stop their complaints. Nor were some of the officers themselves entirely free from the spirit of revolt: offended at some fancied preferences shown by the commander in chief, in his appointments, disgraceful parties were formed, who to show their resentment, sent in their resignations.
These causes, gradually strengthened by minor circumstances, at length produced the revolt of the Pennsylvania line; and the first day of the new year was signalized by their mutiny. About 1000 of them turned out under arms, and declared their resolution to march to Congress and obtain redress. General Wayne who had commanded them, and who was greatly esteemed and respected by them, used every exertion to quiet them; and for a time flattered bimself that his influence over them would bring them back to their duties. But, though they listened to him with patience, their resolutions were too firm to be shaken by his arguments. Wayne, whether un
consciously, in the ardour of his remonstrance, or designedly with a view to intimidate them, cocked his pistol; a hundred bayonets were instantly pointed at his breast, and the men cried out to him, "We love you, we respect you, but you are a dead man if you fire. Do not mistake us; we are not going to the enemy: on the contrary, were they now to come out, you should see us fight under your orders, with as much resolution and alacrity as ever." It was difficult to turn men of such feelings from their purpose, by arguments or remonstrance. Three of the regiments had at first refused to join the mutineers, and had paraded under their officers with a view to quell the insurrection; but the appeals and threats of their comrades soon brought them over, and the mutiny became general. They seized upon six pieces of cannon, compelled the artillerymen to join them, and marched from the camp at night to the number of 1300. General Wayne and three other officers, for whom the mutineers had always evinced affectionate respect, after forwarding provisions to them, with the view of preventing their plunder of the inhabitants on their march through the country, concluded the next day upon following and mixing with them, in order if possible to restrain any licentious conduct. These officers were obliged to precede their entrance into the camp of the revolters with a flag; they had already chosen a sergeant-major to be their leader, and had conferred upon him the high sounding title of MajorGeneral. They received the officers with great civilty, and treated their advice with respect, but resolutely refused to listen to any terms short of an immediate and full redress of grievances.
Sir Henry Clinton upon receiving intelligence of this revolt in the army of the United States, set every engine in motion to turn it to the advantage of his cause. Agents were sent to meet the insurgents at Princeton, whither they had arrived on the 4th, with proposals from Sir Henry, the substance of which was, that they should be taken under the protection of the British government; be paid the whole amount of their claims upon Congress; and receive a free pardon for all past offences, upon the single condition of laying down their arms, and returning to their allegiance. It was added as a further inducement, that no military service would be required, but that it would be accepted if voluntarily offered. The agents were directed to dwell particularly upon the inability of Congress to satisfy their demands, and upon the certain severity of their punishment if they returned to their former ranks; the route was pointed out which it would be proper for them to take, and an assurance given, that a body of British troops should be held in readiness to protect them whenever they desired it.
While his agents were thus at work, Sir Henry himself passed over to Staten Island with a large body of troops, and commenced such arrangements as would enable him to move at a moment's warning; while at the same time his naval force was ordered to be in readiness to act in concert whenever circumstances should render it necessary. There can be no doubt, that Sir Henry Clinton's conduct in this affair, was perfectly justifiable by the laws of war; and that his efforts to bring over the revolters by negotiation, was the wisest policy, which, under such circumstances, could have been adopted. It was not possible for
him, without risking more than the experiment was worth, to have passed directly to the continent, and have met this disorganized band of mutineers with the sword; for though it might have been easy and more honourable to have subdued them in battle, it was not so easy to reach them through a country, whose militia had so lately shown their inveterate hostility to the British name, and their active unanimity in support of their country's cause. But Sir Henry's schemes all failed. The mutineers had declared to Wayne in the outset, that they were "not going to the enemy," and they were faithful to their promise. Their conduct in relation to the agents of Sir Henry, is an extraordinary instance of the paramount influence of love of country over every other feeling, and of that singular combination of the noble and the vile, which is sometimes found mixed up in the formation of man. They not only spurned with disdain the favourable offers of Sir Henry, but delivered up his agents to General Wayne, to be dealt with according to the usages of war. The mutineers were soon after met at Princeton by a committee of the Pennsylvania council, who agreed to their demands, paid and dismissed those whose enlistment had expired, and about half of them went quietly home: the remainder continued their march te Trenton, where they arrived on the 9th, and were met by a committee of Congress, who in a few days made a satisfactory adjustment of their claims, and thus terminated this unhappy affai
A similar spirit of revolt manifested itself soon afterwards in the troops of New-Jersey, about 160 of whom, paraded under arms, with an intention to follow the example of the Pennsylvania line; but the