"Change Of Command"
December 3, 1780
By Werner Willis
A full history will be furnished with purchase of Canvas Edition..







 







Giclee Canvas
Unstreched
S/N Editio
n of 75
Size: 36" X 60"
Price $1400


Artist Werner Willis shows his beautiful 3 foot by 5 foot
"Change Of Command" canvas print.

 

 

Large Canvas

Giclee Canvas
Framed as shown
S/N Edition of 75
Size: 36" X 60"
Price $1950


Can be picked up at the gallery or will deliver in NC, VA, and SC. Delivery rate is $1.00 per mile to and from the destination Call 704-838-6153 if delivery is needed

Comes unstretched to be framed at your local Gallery
or framed in a beautiful 6 inch wide frame ready to hang.

 

Small Canvas

Giclee Canvas
Unstreched
S/N Edition of 350
Size: 24" X 40"
Price $750


Giclee Canvas
Framed
S/N Edition of 350
Size: 24" X 40"
Price $995


Can be picked up at the gallery or shipped.

Framed in the same moulding style but 3 inches wide.

All images copyright © by Artist Werner Willis. All rights reserved

Change Of Command
December 3, 1780
Charlotte, NC

After a long hard siege, General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered his remaining army and the city of Charleston, South Carolina, to Sir Henry Clinton in order to spare the civilians in the area from any further hardship. Over 5,500 American soldiers comprising the bulk of the patriot army in the South were now prisoners of war. As the army stacked arms and marched into captivity, one observer noticed "tears coursing down the cheeks of General Moultrie." The patriot cause had been dealt a severe blow.

The Continental Congress sent a new army marching southward led by General Horatio Gates, the "Hero of Saratoga," to halt the British advances. Gates had been singularly credited for the victory at Saratoga although the honor should have actually gone to his officers and men. In fact, Gates had not been in combat since the battle three years earlier that had brought him such fame as a hero and military genius.

Horatio Gates seemingly mesmerized by the many accolades received from the Saratoga triumph, moved forward without consulting any of his officers. This inflated ego, combined with his failure to involve his subordinates in the planning, led to inevitable disaster when his army engaged Lord Cornwallis and the British army on August 16, 1780, in Camden, South Carolina. General Gates, seeing the tide of battle turning against him, abandoned the field and rode his horse "like a man possessed" to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he stopped only long enough to change mounts before continuing to Hillsborough. His army, deserted by their commander, continued the fight to the death or capture. The "Hero of Saratoga" had quickly become the "Coward of Camden."

The Continental Congress, upon learning of his scandalous and embarrassing behavior, took immediate action to relieve and replace Gates. General Washington's endorsement enabled General Nathanael Greene, an accomplished and capable commander known as the "Fighting Quaker" due to his religious upbringing, to secure the command of patriot forces in the South. General Greene set off for Charlotte, North Carolina, where he hoped to find Gates and the remnants of his army. Nathanael Greene arrived in the little backcountry Carolina town on December 2. 1780, and arranged a change of command ceremony for the following day. Relations between Greene and Gates had never been friendly. Now, Greene was expected by Congress to convene a court of inquiry into Gates' conduct at Camden and prosecute him for his cowardice. Greene also knew that Gates had recently lost his only son in the war for independence.

The change of command took place on the old Salisbury Road, now North Tryon Street, in front of the Mecklenburg Court House on December 3, 1780 without fanfare. Officers participating in the ceremony included Lieutenant Colonel William Washington, Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, Colonel Otho Williams, Major General William Smallwood, Colonel Abraham Buford, Brigadier General William Davidson, Lieutenant Colonel John Eager Howard, Colonel Thomas Polk, Colonel Thaddeu Kosciuszko, Colonel William Richard Davie, and Brigadier General Isaac Huger.

It must have been discouraging to some of the officers and men present that Greene expressed no overbearing triumph and Gates no humiliation. Instead, there was respectful sympathy and dignified politeness. Their conduct was a lesson in elegant propriety. Gates was allowed to depart for Richmond, Virginia, as Greene, contrary to orders, dispensed with the idea of convening a court of inquiry. Instead, he summoned his officers into the courthouse to learn what his army and he were up against. The report was bleak. Greene really had only "the shadow of an army."

General Greene set about delegating authority, searching for ways to supply the army, recruiting and training the men, and imposing discipline. The first order of business was securing housing, weapons, and uniforms for the men at hand. Troops were expected to be neat and clean no matter how shabby the conditions. Desertion was not to be tolerated. This point was made clear when a deserter was tried, convicted, and hanged in front of the army. The word spread among the troops that "It is new lords and new laws."

The above is a partial history of the event. A full history will be furnished with purchase of Canvas Edition..