The unattractive truth was that the arrival of the provisional treaty ending the war in April 1783 made the Continental Army superfluous, and the sooner it disappeared, the better. Congress eventually voted to provide full pay for five years for officers in lieu of half pay for life, but doing so was a purely rhetorical exercise, since there was no money in the federal coffers to pay anyone. Even that meaningless commitment generated widespread criticism, especially in New England, where returning officers were greeted with newspaper editorials describing them as blood-beaked vultures feeding at the public trough. At least in retrospect, the dissolution of the Continental Army in the spring of 1783 was one of the most poignant scenes in American history, as the men who had stayed the course and won the war were ushered off without pay, with paper pensions and only grudging recognition of their service.
Places to Visit
|Place||City Sort descending|
|Fort Morris State Historic Site||Midway||Earthwork fortification; building started in 1776 and it fell to the British in 1779.|
|Midway Church and Museum||Midway||Midway Church was burned during the war and rebuilt in 1792; the museum focuses on 18th and early 19th century life.|
|Savannah History Museum||Savannah||The 20,000 square foot museum stands on the site of the Battle of Savannah (1778).|
The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783—1789 (2015)