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Another American Account of Guilford

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

The enemy were so beaten that we should have disputed the victory could we have saved our artillery, but the general thought it was a necessary sacrifice. The spirits of the soldiery would have been affected if the cannon had been sent off the field, and in this woody country cannon cannot always be sent off in a critical moment.

The general, by his abilities and good conduct, and by his activity and bravery in the field, has gained the confidence and respect of the army and country, to an amazing degree. You would, from the countenances of our men, believe they had been decidedly victorious. They are in the highest spirits, and appear most ardently to wish to engage the enemy again. The enemy are much embarrassed by their wounded.

When we consider the nakedness of our troops, and of course their want of discipline, their numbers, and the loose, irregular manner in which they come into the field, I think we have done wonders. I rejoice at our success, and were our exertions and sacrifices published to the world, as some commanding officers would have published them, we should have received more applause than our modesty claims.

Many officers have not a shift of clothes, and few have a second vest or breeches. They have had no baggage since the first of January, and we have not pulled off our clothes at head-quarters since that time. We are, however, blessed with health and spirits, and are happy that our exertions and sufferings tend to repel the enemy, and put a period to the war.1


1 An officer in General Greene’s army. New Jersey Gazette, April 11.