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to obtain the like for the department in general, which was my desire. I labored hard for that purpose."
A serious oversight had forbidden to the disabled and deprived inmates of the hospitals the solace of religious instruction during the term of the war. Dr. Cochran, from the camp at Fishkill, October 9, 1781, thus directed the attention of Thomas McKean, President of Congress, to the subject : "Before I conclude permit me, Sir, to suggest that while we are endeavor. ing to provide for the care of the body, should we not pay some attention to the comfort of the souls of our sick soldiers in the Hospitals, by appointing a Chaplain to perform that duty. The Brigade Chaplains, either find it inconvenient, or have not an inclination to officiate in that capacity. It is customary to have a Chaplain to the Hospitals of other nations, to whom we would not wish to yield in point of Christianity." There is no record that the suggestion was acted upon. But it is certain that chaplains devoted to the welfare of the sick, wounded, and dying, in hospitals or field, have never since been wanting in our wars.
On the 30th of April, 1781, he announced to Abram Clark, chairman of the Medical Committee, from New Windsor : “As soon as my strength will enable me, I propose setting out for Philadelphia. On the 5th inst. I was taken with a pleurisy, which has confined me till yesterday, and has left me very weak.” On the 23d of March, 1781, from New Windsor he writes Dr. Craik that “his poor little boy lies ill of a fever." New Windsor, 30th June, 1781, he requested Dr. Townshend of Albany, to give his love to his son, “and give him some of your pious advice. You will oblige me much in enquiring of his tutor how he comes on, and acquaint me in your next. He has been hitherto too much neglected, which causes me more anxiety than perhaps I otherwise might feel." From Albany, 17th March, 1782, he informs Dr. Bond that he came there three weeks before " to settle my boys at school, and to endeavour to dispose of some of my property for their and my subsistence.” From Head Quarters east side of Hudson River, Aug. 29, 1781, he communicates to the Board of War: “Our Army, till within a few months, has been remarkably healthy. But Dysentery, Intermittent and remittent fevers, with a few putrid diseases begin to prevail," and again, Sept. 26th of the same year, from the Camp at Peekskill, that “the chief part of the sick in the Army and hospitals, is composed of the new levies and the three months men."
From these letters we catch glimpses of the man--a type of that heroism that consists in the consecration of self to duty, and in its beneficial and conscientious performance. The heroism of the soldier is eclipsed by the heroism of the surgeon; and however public sentiment may adopt the
VOL. XII.-No. 3.-17
captain of war as the hero of the day, the emancipator from the thraldom of prejudice and ignorance, the vindicator of humanity in the persons of its oppressed and suffering children, the steadfast disciple of the divinity of manhood, and the martyr to its assertion in adversity and persecutionthese shall survive as the heroes of the world, when the fame of the warrior shall have slaked and his laurels have withered in the light of a higher civilization. And so he who treads the endangered plain to alleviate and not to inflict, to retrieve and not to dissipate the crushed energies of life, who sedulously devotes his whole of man to the attainment of honor by a just comprehension of life's obligations, and by their thorough discharge becomes the heir of a glory truer and more consummate in the realms of time than the illusory gleam of the conquering sword. Dr. Cochran was of stately presence, of fair and florid complexion, features which testified his Scots-Irish descent, and an expression indicative of genial and benevolent qualities. His reliance was on the merit of which he was conscious, his credentials the evidence furnished by his deeds. The volunteer surgeon's mate of the French war, and the volunteer physician and surgeon of the war of the Revolution, became the head of the medical department of the army by superior expertness in the functions confided to him, and superior alacrity in their performance. An unusual degree of personal modesty precluded the expectation and quelled the desire of official preferment. Not only was his promotion unsolicited, but it was a surprise to the sincerity with which he had urged the undeniable qualifications of his friend and advocated his claims to the position. The separate trials to which he was exposed were but the enumerated perils that lay in the path of the Revolution. The necessities which paralyzed the officer were lamented only as impediments which prejudiced the service. The malignity which committed his dwelling to the flames, and the disease which afflicted his little son and prostrated himself, he suffered only in the contraction of his usefulness to his country. He pawned his personal credit to restore to the public service the property withheld from its use. The last sheets from his bed were bestowed on the exigencies of the wounded. A glowing humanity intensified his attention to the sick, and with an executive capacity as thorough as rare, he was author, adviser and director of multifarious reforms in the army. He was the support and buttress of the languishing and suffering medical department. He ineffectually appealed to Congress that exemption of the officers from liability to postage should remove from their correspondence an odious duty on their domestic affections. His effort was strenuous to compensate to both officers and men the depreciation of their pay, and having accomplished the full circuit of their temporal wants, he contributed to their spiritual welfare a tender and fervid appeal to the President of Congress, that the consolations of religion should be extended to the inmates of the hospitals by chaplains appointed for the purpose. With enviable patience, under troubled dispensations, and with faith in the rectitude of the cause of the people, he witnessed the return of health to the army, of prosperity to the country, and the establishment of a free and permanent government in a new world.
Such and like considerations are necessary to the comprehension of the true proportions of the war of the Revolution. Interesting and by no means uninstructive research might educe from the social condition and domestic relations of the people an important factor in the problem of rebellion. A country of unrestricted extent was sparsely occupied with a primitive and hardy race. In the far removed centers of population and wealth, social intercourse partook naturally of the habits engrafted by the early and intimate association of the colonies with the mother country, Fortunate opulence asserted against indigence the privileges of class, and forthwith intrenched itself in the pretentions, and assumed the cognizance of an aristocracy. Courtly English customs were reflected in the intercourse which regulated their life, and the interval between the people and the great families, when established, increased with their growth in significance and strength. Confessedly, the germ of American Independence found no root in the houses of the great. It sprang from the rugged bosom of the people. It was indigenous there. Not that it was unfaithfully protected or negligently cultivated by the magnates of the land. It was theirs by adoption ; not indeed in the primal vigor and purity of its uncomplying inception, which demanded separation, but in the subsidiary of compromise, which contemplated adjustment. Hence it is true, that the march of Revolution was vigorous and united ; but the consummate flower of Independence sprang rather from the humble homes of the tillers of the soil, than from the stately mansions of its opulent aristocracy.
In the light of a century it is difficult to exaggerate the grandeur of the victory. Popular institutions, responsible for the good government of millions engaged in the innumerable pursuits which construct the material prosperity and constitute the social and moral character of a people, an expansion of enterprise boundless except by the limits of the possible, an intensity of purpose concentrated upon the attempt, and devoted to the accomplishment of gigantic undertakings in every industrial department, and a position achieved in science, literature, and the arts, competing with European schools, reflect an extraordinary lustre upon the armies and their leaders, that raised us to an equality with the governments of the Old World, and made us first among the governments of the New.
But it is not this consummation that Americans should consult when measuring the proportious of the Revolutionary War. The magnitude of the conflict is more truly expressed in the condition of the opposing forces that waged it. A century had not sufficed to render practicable communication between the thirteen colonies, which, though of coincident boundaries, were separated by tracts of dense wilderness and ranges of impassable mountains. Population, grouped principally in isolated spots, near the sea-board, was small, but its area large and sparsely settled. In most part exposed to a rigorous climate, it suffered both the ravage of an inhospitable winter and the onset of a more inhospitable foe. The tillage of the soil made niggard return to the labor of the farmer. Individual subsistence depended on daily labor, and the want of public revenue implied an empty Treasury. Ignorant of arms, save as required by the exposure of frontier life, without military training, and destitute of the equipment, the stores, and the ammunition of war-a people thus unprovided, unprepared, and defenceless, were precipitated into war with a nation of vast and available resources, of incalculable power in the cabinet and field, with veteran armies and navies at command, and distinguished with the renown of enemies vanquished and victories won. Eight years the struggle continued. Its ruthless proportions were not remitted to the alleviation of a noble and generous nurture, nor were the resources of a high civilization counted in reserve among the energies of the Revolutionary army. The flame they followed by day, that warmed them by night, that lighted their darkness and guided all their way, was the flame of liberty, inextinguishable in their bosoms. This was their reserve, and to it must be ascribed the issue of the war-to the unquenchable patriotism of the commonalty of America.
ONE PHASE IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF VIRGINIA
It is an evidence of the great value of the “ Americana" in the “ John Carter Brown Library” in Providence, R. I., that a clergyman in what, especially in New England, we used to regard as a far-off city, in the northwest of our country, the city of Minneapolis, not long since sent to the librarian, to ascertain if a certain rare old sermon which he wished to consult was in the library. It might be taken for granted, with almost absolute certainty, that the coveted treasure was there, for Mr. Brown spared neither pains nor expense in procuring everything that would throw light on American history. In looking over this discourse, which was readily found in the Library, the writer of this article discovered some very interesting passages which had a special bearing upon one phase in the early colonial history of Virginia, to wit, the founding of Jamestown in 1606. It may not be without interest to direct the attention of the readers of the Magazine of American History to the matter referred to.
The story of the dreadful hardships and sufferings of all sorts which the Jamestown colony endured is familiar to all students of American history. Only the great genius and the remarkable qualities of character of the celebrated John Smith saved it from utter ruin. He had the good sense to see that those who had embarked at home with so much zeal in the enterprise, and had assumed such heavy pecuniary responsibilities in its promotion, had made the gravest mistakes in encouraging the emigration of such men as had come to Virginia. Of course, only failure befell the enterprise, to the disgust and indignation of the home corporation. “When you send again,” wrote Smith, “I entreat you rather send but thirty carpenters, husbandmen, gardners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons, and diggers of trees' sorts, well provided, than a thousand of such as we have."
The remonstrances of Smith availed but little to bring back men's minds to the sober conviction of the exact state of things in the colony, and the complete folly of the sanguine hopes which were indulged, that the most wonderful success would follow a continued prosecution of the work in which the Virginia Corporation was engaged. We are told that “the enthusiasm of the English seemed exalted by the train of misfortunes and more vast and honorable plans were conceived, which were to be