Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolution >> Page 39

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 39

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
They served a sufficient purpose on the pay list. Again
he writes—and the comment is upon the patriotism of these
men in buckram :
The pay and provision of the troops cannot be lowered at
present ; they don't feel themselves under a necessity to enter
the service for the support of themselves and families, and,
therefore, would refuse to enlist again."
Shortly after he writes again, and dwells more particularly
on this famous love of country which does not stop to button
its breeches :
" In my last, I mentioned to you that the troops enlisted
very slowly in general. I was in hopes then that ours,
(Rhode Island,) would not have deserted the cause of their
country ; but they seem to be so sick of this way of life, and
so homesick, that I fear the greater part, and the best of the
troops from our colony will go home. The Connecticut troops
are going home in shoals this day There
is a great defection among their troops." . . . . " I sent
home some recruiting officers, but they got scarcely a man, and
report that there are none to be had there. No public spirit
prevails Newp'rt, I believe, from the best
intelligence I can get, is determined to observe a strict neu-
trality this winter, and in the spring join the strongest party.
I feel for the honor of the colony, which I think in a fair way,
from the conduct of the people at home, and the troops abroad,
to receive a wound."
But precious little did these patriots, hungering always for
their bounty and month's pay, care for the wounds of honour
of the colony. Greene's next afflictions arise from the indig-
nation with which Washington expresses himself on the sub-
ject of New England patriotism. In labouring to extenuate
its short comings, he shows them up in beautiful colours :
" Ilis Excellency has not had time to make himself ac-
quainted with the genius of this people. They are naturally
as brave and spirited as the peasantry of any other country,
but you cannot expect veterans of a raw militia from only a