TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS
Head Quarters, New York, July 2, 1776
The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this armyÑOur cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expectÑWe have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country's Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to thc whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble ActionsÑThe Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of say" i ing them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for LIBERTY on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.
The General recommends to the officers great coolness in time of action, and to the soldiers a strict attention and obedience with a becoming firmness and spirit.
Any officer, or soldier, or any particular Corps, distinguishing ~ themselves by any acts of bravery, and courage, will assuredly I meet with notice and rewards; and on the other hand, those who behave ill, will as certainly be exposed and punishedÑ The General being resolved, as well for the Honor and Safty of the Country, as Army, to shew no favour to such as refuSe or neglect their duty at so important a crisis. .