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experienced from them in the performance of an arduous office.
"A contemplation of the complete attainment, at a period earlier than could have been expected, of the object for which we contended against so formidable a power, cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude. The disadvantageous circumstances, on our part, under which the war was undertaken, can never be forgotten. The signal interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition, were such as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving; while the unparalleled perseverance of the armies of the United States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement, for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.
"It is not the meaning, nor within the compass of this address, to detail the hardships peculiarly incident to our service, or to describe the distresses, which in several instances, have resulted from the extremes of hunger and nakedness, combined with the rigours of an inclement season; nor is it necessary to dwell on the dark side of our past affairs.
"Every American officer and soldier must now console himself, for any unpleasant cir
cumstance which may have occurred, by a recollection of the uncommon scenes in which he has been called to act no inglorious part, and the astonishing events of which he has been a witness; events, which have seldom, if ever before, taken place on the stage of human action; nor can they probably ever happen again. For who has before seen a disciplined army formed at once from such raw materials? Who, that was not a witness, could imagine, that the most violent local prejudices would cease so soon, and that men, who came from the different parts of the continent, strongly disposed by the habits of education to despise and quarrel with each other, would instantly become but one pa triotic band of brothers? Or who, that was not on the spot, can trace the steps by which such a wonderful revolution has been effected, and such a glorious period put to all our warlike toils?
"It is universally acknowledged, that the enlarged prospects of happiness opened by the confirmation of our independence and sovereignty, almost exceed the power of description; and shall not the brave men who have contributed so essentially to these inestimable acquisitions, retiring victorious from the field of war to the field of agricul
ture, participate in all the blessings which have been obtained? In such a republic, who will exclude them from the rights of citizens, and the fruits of their labours? In such a country, so happily circumstanced, the pursuits of commerce and the cultivation of the soil will unfold to industry the certain road to competence, To those hardy soldiers who are actuated by the spirit of adventure, the fisheries will afford ample and profitable employment; and the extensive and fertile regions of the west will yield a most happy asylum to those who, fond of domestic enjoyment, are seeking personal independence. Nor is it possible to conceive, that any one of the United States will prefer a national bankruptcy, and the dissolution of the union, to a compliance with the requisitions of congress, and the payment of its just debts; so that the officers and soldiers may expect considerable assistance, in recommencing their civil occupations, from the sums due to them from the public, which must and will most inevitably be paid.
"In order to effect this desirable purpose, and remove the prejudices which may have taken possession of the minds of any of the good people of the states, it is earnestly recommended to all the troops, that, with strong attachment
attachment to the union, they should carry with them into civil society the most conciliating dispositions; and that they should prove themselves not less virtuous and useful as citizens, than they have been victorious as soldiers. What though there should be some envious individuals, who are unwilling to pay. the debt the public has contracted, or to yield the tribute due to merit? Yet let such unworthy treatment produce no invective, or any instance of intemperate conduct. Let it be remembered, that the unbrassed voice of the free citizens of the United States has promised the just reward, and given the merited applause. Let it be known and remembered, that the reputation of the federal armies is established beyond the reach of malevolence; and let a consciousness of their achievements and fame still excite the men who composed them to honourable actions, under the persuasion, that the private virtues of economy, prudence, and industry, will not be less amiable in civil life, than the more splendid qualities of valour, perseverance, and enterprise were in the field. Every one may rest assured, that much, very much of the future happiness of the officers and men, will depend upon the wise and manly conduct which shall be adopted by them when they
are mingled with the great body of the community. And although the general has so frequently given it as his opinion, in the most public and explicit manner, that unless the principles of the federal government were properly supported, and the powers of the union increased, the honour, dignity, and justice of the nation would be lost for ever; yet he cannot help repeating on this occasion so interesting a sentiment, and leaving it as his last injunction, to every officer and every soldier who may view the subject in the same serious point of light, to add his best endeavours to those of his worthy fellowcitizens, towards effecting these great and valuable purposes, on which our very existence as a nation so materially depends.
"The commander in chief conceives little is now wanting, to enable the soldier to change the military character into that of the citizen, but that steady, decent tenor of behaviour which has generally distinguished, not only the army under his immediate command, but the different detachments and armies, through the course of the war. From their good sense and prudence he anticipates the happiest consequences; and while he congratulates them on the glorious occasion which renders their services in the field no