By William Roscoe Thayer

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As much as could be shipped on boats went that way, but the loads that had to be carried in wagons formed a cavalcade twelve miles long, and with the attending regiment advanced barely more than two and a half miles a day. Washington, whose troops entered Philadelphia as soon as the British marched out, hung on the retreating column and at Monmouth engaged in a pitched battle, which was on the point of being a decisive victory for the Americans when, through the blunder of General Lee, it collapsed.

Persons of importance, perhaps of even greater importance than some of those who are known, would naturally do their utmost to prevent being found out. Two other enemies of Washington had unsavory reputations in their dealings with him. One of these was General Horatio Gates, who was known as ambitious to be made head of the American army in place of Washington. Gates won the Battle of Saratoga at which Burgoyne surrendered his British army. Washington at that time was struggling to keep his army in the Highlands, where he could watch the other British forces.

They know the delicacy of my situation, and that motives of policy deprive me of the defence, I might otherwise make against their insidious attacks. They know I cannot combat their insinuations, however injurious, without disclosing secrets, which it is of the utmost moment to conceal. But why should I expect to be exempt from censure, the unfailing lot of an elevated station? Merit and talents, with which I can have no pretensions of rivalship, have ever been subject to it. My heart tells me, that it has been my unremitted aim to do the best that circumstances would permit; yet I may have been very often mistaken in my judgment of the means, and may in many instances deserve the imputation of error.

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