Subjection "To Be a Vassal to His Low Commanders"
What universal cries of joy and what bumpers of Madiera are drunk to his prompt departure.
-- Captain Simeon Ecuyer on Sir Jeffrey Amherst's return to England
Is not Gage to be pitied? The war will be a tedious one, even though attended with success. Instead of decisive battles, woodland skirmishes; instead of colors and cannon, our trophies will be stinking scalps. Heaven preserve you, my friend, from a war conducted in a spirit of murder.
-- William Smith to Thomas Gage
They would rather die with their tomahawks in their hands than live in slavery. . . . Be persuaded that we will not finish the war with the English whilst there remains one of us red men.
-- Pontiac to Pierre Joseph Neyon de Villiers
Who was this new commander who so deserved to be "pitied"?1 Although his exact birth date is unknown, Thomas Gage was about 44 when he replaced Amherst. He would remain His Majesty's Commander in Chief for North America from 1763 until 1775. The man who commanded British forces during that twelve years of worsening strife, which exploded with the Battle of Lexington and Concord, not only genuinely liked Americans and life in the New World but married Margaret Kemble, a beautiful young woman from New Jersey.
His recall for failure to crush the revolution in 1775 would be an unfortunate end to a proficient though hardly illustrious military career. His father may have bought him an ensign's commission as early as 1736 but definitely