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to join any force whatever that came with hostile inten. tions against the settled power of the country. But even those expectations, if any such were formed, had been disappointed, and the whole object of the campaign had failed. This failure, he said, must have proceeded from either of these three causes ; first, that there must have been some essential defects in the plan ; secondly, that the means must not have been adequate to the object; and thirdly, that there must have arisen certain unforeseen contingencies, applicable to this campaign only, which had defeated the end. As he could not for a moment suspect that either of the two former could be held up to government as the causes of our failure in regard to themselves, or the commander, whose skill, enterprize, and perseverance were justly praised, he could only have recourse to the last, as the only probable cause that could be urged by ministers, of the calamities of the campaign. With this view, therefore, he would examine the contents of earl CORNWALLIS's dispatches, to see if his information would bear ministers out in this argument. He here turned to the gazette extraordinary, and by commenting on every passage, he shewed the House that the obstacles were not temporary, nor peculiar; they were not applicable only to this campaign, nor such as were either unforeseen or unexpected. They were obstacles incident to the nature of the war, and which we should always have to encounter and surmount, while the constitution of na. ture remained the same. They were the obstacles of rivers, of a deep intersected country, of impassable marshes, of a disaffected people, of “ timid friends, and of inveterate enemies." Such was the state of the couna try, that he could not procure provisions for his small army, while that of general Green, so much more nu
merous, found no such want. Such was the state of that service, that he had not been able even to procure intelligence. So timid, as he expressed it, were the friends of government in that country (represented as so favorable that they would be ready to flock to the royal standard on its approach) that they would not even venture to give him intelligence, much less assistance; or only give him delusive and false intelligence, by which he might be led into situations dangerous and difficult for his army. He made here a just distinction between the conduct of the friends of government in that country, and this. There they were so timid or rather treacherous, for that was the more applicable epithet, as to give no intelligence: here they were so audacious as to give us intelligence in immense quantities. They tell us every thing. Such was the abundance of intelligence with which they furnished us, that they had hurried us on from year to year, from effort to effort, from expence to expence, with an avidity which only could be equalled by the timidity and silence of those friends whom they had left behind. He wished to God, that those men, who had been so loquacious in England, had been in Carolina, where their audacity would have been of service; and that those timid friends had been in England in their stead; by which we might have been preserved from all that torrent of intelligence, which had influenced and hurried us into this war, and been provided with a little of it in the day of necessity, when information was necessary to safety, if not to success.
He proceeded next to the battle of Guildford, where the gazette asserted, we had obtained a signal victory. This term, he doubted not, was used by lord CornWallis in a very proper sense; for he could only attend to the disproportion between the two armies ; in which
point of view, no doubt, that a victory should be gained on our side was very astonishing, and highly honorable to the troops ; but if the consequences of the action were to be regarded, then he must understand the word signal in a very different sense ; and allow the victory to have been signalised, by drawing after it the same identical effects that might have been expected from a defeat. Had our army been vanquished, what course could they have taken ? Certainly they would have abandoned the field of action, and flown for refuge to the sea-side ; now these are precisely the measures we were obliged to adopt after the action at Guildford, the victorious army leaving the field, abandoning the future object of its expedition, and retiring to the fleet. Another term used by lord CornwALLIS he must also take notice of: he called his army a little one ; and well indeed might he give it that appellation, since his whole force did not amount at the utmost to three thousand men. He took that number merely to avoid a contradiction that might divert the current of debate into an improper channel ; for he was credibly informed the army did not amount to one half the number he had stated; but taking it at three thousand, then on what principle could ministers even justify confining the operations of this active and spirited general by so scanty a force ? Little indeed the army was, compared to the enemy it combated, but still less if compared to the army estimates voted this session; for it appeared by them, that no less than eighty three thousand men were employed in America, including a small number in the West Indies ; so that, in order to bring three thousand men into the field, the public were to pay for and provide eighty-three thousand. He did not mean absolutely to say, that so many were actually in
the service, perhaps not a tenth part of them could be produced ; but the account of them was to be seen on the table; and what language could properly describe the fraudulent conduct of ministers in imposing so grievous a burden on the people without necessity? He would take, however, if they pleased, the other alternative; he would suppose every man charged in the estimates to be really employed, and that it was necessary to keep eighty thousand on the defensive, that three thousand might be brought into the field : need there any thing else be urged to prove the ruinous tendency of the American war? For lord CORNWALLIS had stated as his opinion, that defensive measures would be certain ruin to our affairs; and yet we could not act offensively without keeping about a proportion of twenty-five to one in garrison; nor did this computation go far enough, as, besides the eighty-three thousand, our friends in America were to be reckoned nine-tenths of the whole ; instead of which, however, he was rather inclined to think a great part of the former number were necessarily employed to watch them, instead of their being anywise serviceable to our cause. From this he deduced the ab. surdity of attempting to contend with France in America: we had conquered that power in Germany last war, as it had been said : for his part he rather entertained a different opinion, believing that both powers found that conflict so expensive, that they retired from it mutually exhausted, and saw it answered to them the end of a war nearer home, by sufficiently weakening each other; but would that equality of expence exist in the present case ? Certainly not; for the ministry could not deny, that if we had a hundred thousand men in America, and France only twenty-five thousand, she could bring more troops into the field than we; but besides this, allowing we each brought the same number, our enemy would not incur one fifth part of our expences.
After dwelling a considerable time on the illustration of this doctrine, Mr. Fox wound up his comments on the gazette, by observing, that though lord Cornwallis had done every thing he proposed by penetrating into North Carolina, though he had been fortunate enough to come up with general Green, engaged, and defeated him, he had found no one good consequence of his success, not being joined by any body of Americans as he expected, nor even retaining the ground on which he had conquered. As therefore no unforeseen obstacles had presented themselves, and no ill conduct had attended the execution of the plan, it was undeniable, that the project was a vain one, similar to all the other enterprizes we had formed during the course of the war; for inimical as the inhabitants of the country were always found, and defended as they were by natural barriers, extensive conquests must ever be impracticable, and no abilities of the general or valor of the troops could avail to any substantial success. This was experienced by general BURGOYNE at Bennington ; by general Howe at Long Island; by lord CornwALLIS at Guildford ; and so it ever must be found while the constitution of things in America remained the same. Ministers had already tried the fortune of war in nearly all the thirteen provinces : they began with Massachuset's Bay, which was in the first commencement of the war supposed the only hostile part of the continent. An insurrection in the province of Massachụset’s Bay was the general phrase, and formed the preamble in every act of parliament for coercing America į of course, therefore, to suppress that insurec