Thesis: Deterioration of the Continental Army

Sample Thesis Paper

Another problem was that congress as the war went on did not have the funds they desperately needed to provide their armies with much need supplies. Even though his men at the time were in severe need of supplies, Washington refused to seize them from properties held by civilians. Washington did not want his army to be seen as ransackers or plunderers; rather he wanted the local population to see them as their protectors. The farmers had common complaints however, of soldiers stealing their fence railings for fuel and were vary of selling to the Continental army even though they were generally supported within the community. Washington knew that this support was fleeting and that if he imposed his will upon the people they would revolt into the hands of the enemy (Ferling, 2007, p.278-81).

By 1780 however, the conditions within the Continental army had deteriorated to a point, where it and the bankruptcy of congress prompted soldiers to desert their posts. Soldiers were called upon to keep their brethren from deserting their posts. Even Washington’s command which was once instrumental in keeping up the men’s moral was losing its effect. The conditions were so bad that even when Washington received aid in the form of six thousand troops and eight war ships under the command of Jean de Vimeur, Count de Rochambeau. He would not let the commander see his troops and not even allow the French to fight alongside them. Growing concerns over receiving half rations and sometimes no rations at all was one of the reasons the army was constantly on the verge of mutiny. Though, those who survived the winter found food, which slowly trickled into the camp (Bohannon, 2003, p.57-59).

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