The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        In compliance with these solicitations, in September, 1778, Howe was ordered to the headquarters of General Washington, and General Lincoln appointed to succeed him, and to repair immediately to Charleston. Howe was stationed on the Hudson river, and in 1780, was in commaud at West Point, where he rendered acceptable services, and for his energy and activity at this and other important commands he received the thanks of Washington.

        In January, 1780, a committee of the Georgia Legislature, appointed to consider the situation of the State since 29th of December, 1778, and extracts from the minutes of the assembly respecting the conduct of General Howe, were transmitted to the Commander in Chief, "with a request that he be directed to cause inquiry to be made into matters therein alleged, in such manner as he should judge proper."

        In pursuance of this order General Washington summoned a Court Martial of thirteen officers--Baron DeKalb presided as President. After a rigid examination of six weeks he was acquitted "with the highest honors."

        Extract from Journals of Congress, 24th January, 1782: "The acquittal of General Howe by Court Martial with the highest honors is approved by Congress." (Journal 1782, page 271.) Although the war was over General Howe continued active in service.

        In 1781, Howe was sent by Washington to suppress a revolt of the New Jersey troops. Hildreth, III, 359.

        Extract from Journals of Congress, Monday, 1st July, 1783, page 64, ordered by Mr. Hamilton, and reported from a committee of which he was the chairman, that "Major General Howe shall be directed to march such part of his force as he shall judge necessary to the State of Pennsylvania, in order that immediate measures may be taken to confine and bring to trial such persons belonging to the army as have been principally active in the late mutiny; to disarm the remainder, and to examine into all the circumstances relating thereto."

        In May, 1785, he was appointed by Congress to treat with the Western Indians.

        He remained at the North for some time awaiting the adjustment of his claims for losses to his estates in North Carolina, ravaged by the enemy, and which were rendered useless and unproductive, and, from the depreciation of the currency, he was reduced to want.

        From the Journals of Congress, page 65:

April 12th, 1785.

        "Mr. Hawkins introduced a resolution, paying 'for depreciation, to Major General Howe, on account of monies ($7,000) advanced.' "

        In the spring of 1785 he returned to North Carolina, and was welcomed by public honors at Fayetteville and by kind friends at home He was induced to allow his name to be used as a candidate as a member from Brunswick of the General Assembly. He was triumphantly elected. But exposure during the summer produced a severe bilious fever, from which he partially recovered, and in October started for the seat of Government. His first day's ride brought him to the house of his friend, General Clarke, about thirteen miles above Wilmington. Here he relapsed, and after two weeks' illness died in November, 1785.

        He had served his country from the first dawn of the Revolution till the end of the war, with fidelity and valor, and his services demand the remembrance and regard of his country. One whose opinion is valuable, styles him "The wit, the scholar, and the soldier."

        Drake describes General Howe as an officer of approved courage, well versed in military tactics, a skilful engineer, and a rigid disciplinarian, and a man of cultivated mind.

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