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teen thousand six hundred men, and called upon the other New England colonies to increase this number to thirty thousand. These acts were almost unnecessary, for the provincials crowded to the standard raised in defence of their rights, in numbers greater than could be maintained in the field; and placed themselves under the command of Generals Ward, Stark, Putnam, and other officers, as chance or their inclination suggested. The fortifications of Boston were considered sufficiently strong to preclude the hazard of an attack; and the number of the British in garrison was increased by the addition of ten thousand men, who arrived about the same time as Lord North's conciliatory resolution.

The provincials, however, formed a line of thirty miles in extent around the peninsula on which the town is built, entirely cutting off its connection with the surrounding country.

Thus stood these two armies in front of each other; the one on the heights of the town, and the other on the surrounding hills, each animated by powerful, but different impulses to begin that contest which was to decide the fate of American liberty. The British, weary of inactivity, thirsted to become participators in the glory which their new generals-Howe, Burgoyne, and Clinton— had won on every debated field in Europe, over the most disciplined and tried valor, and which they did not think could be perilled in open conflict with the raw, unorganized mobs of the colonies. Even those who shared in the former short struggle and sudden flight, could not admit that, on a fair field, and in battle order, they would not be an over-match for ten times their number of the provincials. Surrounding them was the ocean, over whose vast space spread their undisturbed dominion, while their enemies had not a single shallop or a mounted gun along their extended line of coast. Between them and their country, profuse in wealth, valor, and the munitions of war, there rose no barrier, nor could even coward's fear suggest the apprehension that a country without a single ship would attempt to intercept their convoys on that highway of nations, where the angry elements alone were supposed to be their rivals. The army was well provided with stores, and every thing necessary for aggression or defence. Their vessels of war were moored around the town, and so placed as not only to render the narrow accesses thereto impassable, but, if need be, to reduce the town itself to ashes in a single hour. And this fair and growing town was the capital of the province, contained most of

its wealth, was the seat of its provincial assembly, and inhabited by thirty thousand Americans; so that, if ever they were, as it seemed, blockaded in their city camp, they had in their power the lives of nearly twice their own number of the enemy, and not a shell could be thrown into their intrenchments without imminent risk of a conflagration, which would lay in ruins that proud, rising, though, as they thought, rebellious city, so justly an object of pride and love to the besieging army.

And, on the other hand, what was that army? By this time several officers had assumed the command of its different divisions; but they were independent of each other, and subject to no superior; nor did they derive their rank from any civil authority. They neither received nor expected pay for that dangerous service, and were kept together solely by virtuous patriotism. The troops, if such they might be called, acknowledged no control, and though they sat down before the city, prepared to brave danger and death, they were bound by no obligation, save their own courageous purpose. The army was, in fact, a multitude of men brought together by the impulsive enthusiasm of sudden emergency; but there was no instance of devotion in ancient or modern times to suggest a hope that, without provisions, ammunition, clothing, or pay, beyond the uncertain supplies which patriotism might furnish, they could be maintained, after the first flush of victory subsided, or necessity began to press upon them. They had scarcely any of the agencies, which, in all ages, enabled nations to wage successful war. Their first impulse to resistance arose from their aversion to taxation; and no one man in all the colonies would be bold enough to counsel the heavier tax necessary to meet the expenses of the country's defence; nor was there any constitutional or delegated authority competent to impose it. Perhaps that great struggle presented, in all its vicissitudes, no feature so singular and admirable as the mutual faith and trust which kept those thousands, with their chiefs, knit together, during the doubtful period that intervened between the battle of Lexington and the appointment by Congress, of a commander-in-chief, who was to reduce to order, discipline, and efficiency, the elements of resistance which his country presented, and lead these raw troops, at first to desperate struggles, sure of defeat, and finally to victory and glory.

In the provincial army there were many men of eminent abilities and tried patriotism. There were generals, and colonels, and captains; but among them all, there was not one moulding mind,

having confidence and power to undertake the management of the whole, so as to secure the means of making a permanent stand for the liberties of the country. The salvation of America, at this juncture, depended on the cordiality of co-operation which prevailed in the camp. Each chief confined the sphere of his action to his own immediate duties, and none thought of supplanting or overruling his brother officer, while every man in the army must have felt that his personal responsibility extended to the entire defence of his country. Hence, he was indifferent where, or under whom he served, and was eager to perform any duty, the only emulation between him and his fellows being, who could do the best service and incur the greater peril. There is no trial of a man's courage so severe as uncertainty; nor was there ever on earth an instance when uncertainty prevailed to as great an extent, as during the first struggle of the people of Massachusetts. They knew not what resolution the other states had come to. From the great extent of the country, and the delays and difficulties of holding communications, the people of New England might have been scattered by the invading army long before those of Virginia or the Carolinas had intelligence of their first resistance, or could even determine either on giving or refusing aid; yet was there none found to falter or to hesitate; and all trusted that the same just cause, in defence of which they took up arms, would find volunteers throughout every part of the continent. They calculated truly, for while the camp was recruited by almost every young man in Massachusetts, and even the old and feeble attended them with whatever means they could spare, and drove to the camp, from hamlet and farm, cart loads of provisions, which were bestowed not merely without a price, but with a benediction; the committees of correspondence in every other colony were actively engaged in preparing for the common defence.*

Meantime, while the British were thus penned up in Boston, an adventurous scheme was formed by two determined provincial leaders, Colonels Arnold and Allen. Collecting a small body of men in Connecticut, they proceeded against the fortresses of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, the keys of Canada; those against which so many expeditions were planned during the French War. Traversing, undiscovered, the immense wilderness which then stretched across the north of New England, they completely surprised and captured, without the loss of a man, both these important places, * Doheny's History of the American Revolution.

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each containing a valuable and much needed supply of military stores. Colonel Arnold was equally successful against a sloop of war lying at St. John's, and thus obtained the command of Lake Champlain, by the capture of the first vessel that ever belonged to the American Navy.

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EANWHILE the alarming state of the country, and the prospect of war at no very distant day, had led the people of the different provinces to form various schemes for the defence of their liberties and property. In Virginia, they resorted to the practice pursued by Pennsylvania and Maryland during the French war, of forming themselves into independent companies, throughout the different counties, for the purpose of military training, and to secure some degree of organization. These companies acted independently of each other, choosing their own officers, from the rank of captain down. They adopted such uniforms as they pleased, and provided themselves with arms, ammunition, drums, and colours. As soon as war was apprehended, several of these companies solicited Colonel Washington to take them under his command. He always acceded to these requests, and aided them materially in procuring

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