Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/81

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


sugar. In passing through the camp I also noticed soldiers wearing cotton night-caps under their hats, and some having for cloaks or great-coats, coarse woollen blankets, exactly like those provided for the patients in our French hospitals. I learned afterwards that these were the officers and generals.

Such, in strict truth, was,—at the time I came amongst them,—the appearance of this armed mob, the leader of whom was the man who has rendered the name of Washington famous; such were the colonists,—unskilled warriors who learned in a few years how to conquer the finest troops that England could send against them. Such also,—at the beginning of the War of Independence,—was the state of want in the insurgent army, and such was the scarcity of money, and the poverty of that government, now so rich, powerful, and prosperous, that its notes, called Continental Paper Money, were nearly valueless, like our own assignats in 1795.

Impressed by these sights, which had quite destroyed my illusions, I made my