The Administration of the American Revolutionary Army

By Louis Clinton Hatch | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV.
FOREIGN OFFICERS.

THE difficulty of officering the army was much increased by numerous and importunate applications of foreigners, first for employment and then for promotion. Silas Deane, our first minister to France, declared that he was "well-nigh harassed to death with applications of officers to go out to America."1 Franklin wrote to a gentleman who had given him much assistance, but who had also troubled him with many recommendations: "You can have no conception how I am harassed. All my friends are sought out and teased to tease me. Great officers of all ranks, in all departments; ladies, great and small, besides professed solicitors, worry me from morning to night. The noise of every coach now that enters my court terrifies me. I am afraid to accept an invitation to dine abroad, being almost sure of meeting with some officer or officer's friend, who, as soon as I am put in good humor by a glass or two of champagne, begins his attack upon me. Luckily I do not often in my sleep dream of these vexatious situations, or I should be afraid of what are now my only hours of comfort. If, therefore, you have the least remaining kindness for me, if you would not help to drive me out of France, for God's sake, my dear friend, let this, your twenty-third application, be your last."2

In America, the president of Congress complained that French officers beset his door like bailiffs watching a debtor.3 Wash

____________________
1
Deane to Committee of Secret Correspondence, November 28, 1776, Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, ii. 198.
2
Franklin to Dr. Dubourg, 1777, Parton, Franklin, ii. 233.
3
Laurens to Livingston, April 19, 1778, Sedgwick, Livingston, 270.

-47-

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The Administration of the American Revolutionary Army
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • HARVARD HISTORICAL STUDIES i
  • Title Page iii
  • PREFACE. v
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter 1 - FORMATION OF THE ARMY. 1
  • Chapter II - CONGRESS AND THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. 18
  • Chapter III - APPOINTMENT AND PROMOTION. 35
  • Chapter IV - FOREIGN OFFICERS. 47
  • Chapter V - PAY AND HALF-PAY. 71
  • Chapter VI - SUPPLYING THE ARMY. 86
  • Chapter VII - MUTINIES OF 1781. 124
  • Chapter VIII - NEWBURG ADDRESSES. 142
  • Chapter IX - MUTINY OF 1783 AND DISBANDMENT OF THE ARMY. 179
  • APPENDICES. 197
  • INDEX. 217
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