The tribulations of Brig. Gen. Cushing, continued

Things did not improve for the Brigadier General between September and October 1814, although at least there was no British assault or serious threat of one during that time.  On the 11th, he wrote to William Jones, Governor of Rhode Island, as follows:

Your Excellencys letter of the 10th instant was received this morning, and the Gun carriages therein mentioned will be delivered to your order by Mr Tracy in Norwich, but as I have neither Quarter Master nor funds, it is out of my power to move them.

In my reply to my letter to the secretary of War, of which an extract was enclosed to your Excellency on the 27th of September, the Secretary says – “The enclosures relative to the fortifications at Rhode Island will be referred to General Swift who will have instructions to communicate with you and make the necessary arrangements for furnishing an Engineer to superintend such works as may be proper.

No new works have been recently ordered except when the state or town for whose security they are required, has loaned the necessary funds.  A disposition to make such loan is strongly manifested by the Governor of that State.”

I have not heard from General Swift since the receipt of the secretarys letter, nor do I know that it will be in his power to furnish an Engineer, I however hope to be relieved from the very disagreeable suspense in which I am now placed on this subject in a few days.

The Enemy has not returned to his station in this Quarter, since his last appearance off New Port, and we have seen only one ship and two Brigs during the last five days.  His land forces have not left the Chesapeak – those heretofore employed in the District of Maine are probably making for Canada or Halifax, and it is therefore not probable that any serious attempt on Rhode Island, by land and water, can be made within two or three weeks.  I hope the season may pass without any such attempt, but we ought to be prepared for the worst.

Rhode Island’s complaints are looking more justified, aren’t they?  “Sure, we can build defenses for you, but you’ve got to pay for them!”

A lot of that goes back to the terrible disorganization and lack of funding that dogged the American efforts in this war, but it hardly excused the national government in many people’s eyes, I would think.

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