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.
|Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site||Bristol||Includes unearthed remnants of Fort William Henry and Fort Frederick.|
|Fort George||Castine||Built by the British in 1789 and location of the largest American amphibious operation of the war.|
|Montpelier – The General Henry Knox Museum||Thomaston||Built in 1794, Montpelier was constructed as the retirement home of Henry and Lucy Knox, and was in use by the family until 1854; it was razed in 1871. The current Montpelier is a recreation built in 1930 and includes some of Knox’s personal effects.|
|Sayward-Wheeler House||York Harbor||Well-preserved home of Jonathan Sayward, a merchant and a loyalist, originally built in 1718 and then enlarged.|
The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783—1789 (2015)