Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolution >> Page 40

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Page 40

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
few month's service. The common people are exceedingly
avaricious ; the genius of the people are commercial, from
their long intercourse with trade. The sentiment of honour,
the true characteristic of a soldier, has not yet got the better
of interest The country round here set no
bounds to their demands for pay, wood, and teaming. It has
given his Excellency a grew t deal of uneasiness that they
should take this opportunity to extort from the necessities of
the army at such enormous prices."
Simple General, to suppose that patriotism, like pork and
beans, having its value, should not also have its price. Gen-
eral Greene, perfectly well acquainted with what he faceti-
ously calls ' ` the genius of the people," devotes letter after
letter to the necessity of giving bounties. But neither Wash-
ington nor Congress can be brought to this ; and how should
they think it necessary, with a people fighting for their liber-
ties, and in the defence of their own soil and cities ? Enough
it is thought, is conceded them, when their extortionate prices
are yielded for the support of that army which fights their
battles, in putting all their militia on the pay list, and in g'v-
ing them the greater number of the general officers of the
This was another of the capital processes by which New England fed fat upon her patriotism. She filled the commissions of the army with the most incompetent drivellers in it. 'Most of the generals," says Greene," belong to the northern governments ;" of major-generals, New England had, in 1775, 2 ; New-York, 2 ; and Virginia 1—(Chas. Lee, an Englishman.) In 1776, New England had 5, and Virginia 1—(Horatio Gates, another Englishman.) In 1777, New England had 2, Virginia 1, New Jersey 1, (Lord Stirling ;) Pennsylvania 2, North Carolina 1, New-York 1, and France 4. In 1778, Prussia 1. In 1780, New England 1, A aryland 1. In 1181, France 1. In 1782, New England 1, South-Carolina 1. Total—New England 11 major-generals : the rest of the states together 11 ; of these Massachusetts had 5, Connecticut 4, and South-Carolina 1. Yet who will pretend to compare the public services of Ward, Lincoln, Thomas, and Heath, all