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southern states, will be a respectable force »» the neighbourhood ofNew York. 1 have hitherto been speakIng of our own resources; should a reinforcement arrive to the French fleet and anuy, the face of matters may, be intirely changed.
1 do not find that vve can, at any rate, have more than two thousand stand of arms to spare, perhaps not so many; for should the battalions, which are to compose this army, be coinpleat, or nearly so, they will take all that are in repair or repairable. The two thousand stand came in the Alliance from France, and I have kept them apart for ah exigency.
Our stock of ammunition, though competent to the defensive,,is, by a late estimate of the commanding officer of artillery, vastly short of an offensive operation of any consequence. Should clrcumstartces put it in our power to attempt such an one^ we must depend upon the private magaiines of the states and upon our allies; on the contrary, should the defensive plan be determined upon, what ammunition can be spared, will be undoubtedly sent to the southward.
Of cloathing we are in a manner exhausted. We have not enough for the few recruits which may be expected, and except that, which has been so long looked for and (al.ked of from France, should arrive, the troops must, next winter, go naked, unless their states can supply them*
From the foregoiiig representations, you will perceive that the proportion of the continental army already allotted to southern service is as much as, from present appearances, can be spared for that purpose; and that a supply of arms, ammunition or cloathing of any consequence must depend, in great measure, upon future purchases or importations.
Nothing which is within the compass of my power shall be wanting to give support to the southern states, but you may readily conceive how irksome a thing it must be to me to be called upon for assistance, when I have not the means of affording it.
I am with the greatest regard, dear sir.
Letter from Duplicate.
gen. Wash^ . . . _ _ f * . * . . , . , ,
ingtori. It is feared that the original miscarried with the
last weeks mail, which is missing, and is supposed te> have been taken and carried into New York.
Hon. Benjamin Harrison, Esq.
ADDRESS OF CONGRESS TO THE SEVERAL
The United States in Congress assem-
We are happy to observe that the present Address of ^ear j,atfo. been distinguished by the reduction of a thefeveral powerful British garrison in Virginia, and that our states. arms have also been prosperous in other parts of the
United States; but to infer that our inexorable foe is subdued beyond recovery may be attended with ruinous consequences; these events will yield but momentary advantages, unless supported by vigorous measures in future.
From an assurance that peace is best attained by preparations for war, and that in the cabinet of negociations those arguments carry with them the greatest weight which are enforced not only with a retrospect of important victories,, but by a well grounded prospect of future successes, we have called upon you for eight millions of dollars and for your respective deficiencies of the military establishment,
Seven years have nearly passed since the sword was Address of first unsheathed; the sums expended in sp long a period, in a just and necessary war must appear moderate, nor can this demand for peeuaiary aid be deemed exorbitant by those who compute the extent of public exigencies and the proportion of the requisition to the abilities of the states.
Suppose not that funds exist for our relief beyond the limits of these states. As the possessions of the citizens constitute our natural resources, and from a sense of their sufficiency the standard of war was erected against Great Britain, so on them alone we now rely. But even if loans were attainable, their amount would be merely commensurate with our ability and inclination to repay, and by nothing can "both be more satisfactorily evidenced than by a generous exertion amidst the languor of public,credit.
Arguing frqm the former dilatoriness of supplies., the enemy after having abandoned serious expectations 'of conquest by arms, anticipate it in imagination from the dissolution of our public credit. The}7 cannot however deny the firmness of the basis on which it may be placed, when they surve}' the wide limits of this confederate country, the fruitfulness of its soil and the industry of its people.
But the want of money is not the only source of our difficulties, nor do the enemy gather consolation from the state of our finances alone, we are distressed by the thinness of our battalions. So vulnerable does the boldness of navigation render the very bosom of these states, so dispersed in some parts is the population, and so japid our enemy in transportation, that they seize and exhaust large districts before their ravages can be checked. The requisition for the completion of your battalions is therefore not only reasonable but indispensable.
Tardiness in the collection of our troops has constantly encouraged in our enemy a suspicion, that American opposition is on the decline; hence rnoney, from time to time, is poured into thecqffers of our enemy, and the lender perhaps is allured by the prospect of receiving it with an usurious interest from the spoils of confiscation.
To whom then, rather than yourselves, who are called to the guardianship and sovereignty of your coup* Address of try, can these considerations be addressed? Joint lacongress to |3OUrerSj as we arCj ;n tne vvork of independence, dufy states*11 impels us to admonish, you of the crisis: We possess no funds, which do not originate with you—we can command no. levies, which are not raised under yonr own acts. Well shall we acquit ourselves to the world, should peace, towards the acquisition of which so illustrious a point hath been gained, now escape our embraces by the inadequacy of our army or our treasure: for an appeal to this exposition of your affairs will demonstrate our watchfulness of your happiness.
We conjure you to remember, what confidence we shall establish in the breast of that great Monarch, who has become a party in our political welfare, by a bold energetick display of our ability,
We therefore trust in your attention and zeal to avail yourselves at this important crisis, of the glorious advantages- lately obtained, by a full- compliance with.the requisitions of men and< money which we have made to you; the necessity .-of which--bath been pointed out to. us by the rnaturest consideration pn the present eircunir stances of theseUnited States. By order of Congress,
JOHN HANSON, President.
December 11th 1781.
The S,j^tk Of
- Letter from
Letter from General Waslvinglon to s&n, w^h
«/ o ingtohtothe
GrO'oernor of Virginia. • ff«s?ws of
y O Virginia.
Philadelphia, 19th 'December 178K'
You will have-been fu mis-lieu1 by his excellency the President, with the resolves of congress of the 10th instant, calling upon the several states to compleat tlieir respective quotas of troops by the first of March next. In order to ascertain the deficiencies, I am directed to transmit to the executives of tbe states, returns, under particular discriptions, of the number of men each has in service. The troops of your slate composing part of the southern army, it would occasion anMmnvense loss of lime were I first to call for the returns, arid ttjen transmit them them hack from hence or wherever I may happen to be; I have for that reason directed major general Greene to furnish your excellency with the state of your line and give you credit for any men you may have serving in the legionary corps or artillery, deducting that amount from the quota" assigned to you by the arrangement of the 3rd and 21st of October, 1780, will point out exactly your deficiency.
I flatter myself it is needless to impress upon your excellency the necessity of complying as fully as possible with the requisition of congress above mentiowed.
It is a well known fact, that the critical and dangerous situation to which all the southern states were"reduced, was owing to the want of a sufficient regular force to oppose to that of the enemy, who, taking advantage of the frequent dissolutions of our temporary armies, h,ad gained such footing in the four most southern, that their governments were totally subverted or debilitated, that they were not capable of exerting sufficient authority to bring a regular anrjy into the field. Happily, this scene is changed, and a moment is allowed us to rectify our past errors, and, if rightly improvec|3 to put ourselves in such a situation, that we