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1 780-1 782 

Of this Letter-press Edition 
•jso Copies ma ve been Printed for Sale 


^C?^^ fu2t4a^*^U^9-tm^ 

March, iS^i 






Vol. IX. 

1 780-1 782 


189 1 

Vn%t of 

G. P. Putsam's Sons 

New York 




To Governor Reed, October 19th .... I 

No distinction as to prisonen of war — Not belonging to Siftte 
— Cases of Simcoe and Cono]]jr — Ciliieni and militaty prisoners. 

To Major Lee, October 20th 4 

Proposed attempt to capture Arnold — He most be brought 
in alive — To be made a public example. 
To Major-General Heath, October 2lst ... 5 

Disposition of troop.t at West ^n^Rcmoval of stores — 
The French minister. 

To the President of Congress, October 21st . . 6 

The British in Carolina and at the north — Situation of Fort 
Pitt — Measures for its relief — Moremeiils of the English from 

To Major-General Greene, October 22d ... 9 

To George Mason, October 22d .... 12 

j/' InlroduciDg Major-Geaeral Greene — The distress of the 
l/'^ army — Living upon expedients — False hopes end temporary 
devices — A new plan essential — Details of the reform. 

To Major-General Gates, October 22d . . , 15 

Announcing the appointment of Greene — The inquiry into 
his conduct. 

To the Board of War, October 25th .... 16 

Sospidons of (reason to be cautiously follovFed — Doubts on 
the good motives of the deserter. 
To the Marquis de Lafayette, October 30th , 17 

Means, not wishes, to be considered— An enterprise on New 
York not warranted — Lack of intelligence. 
To Governor Nash, November 6th .... 18 

Thanking him for intelligence — Enemy xa3.y suffer in the 
/ southern colonies — Their detachments and objects — No aid con 

be sent from the main army. 



To Robert Carter Nicholas, November 7th 

Lcgiilation iigtinit loyalute — The ciue of Col. Fiirfax. 

To the President of Congress, November 7th . . 2tl 

,- Opmiiont in ihc nonh — Reinfnnctnenig »rat finm West 

tjr Point 10 Albany — Liltle ptos[i(fcli of migatinet — Enemy in 

(r New Vork well supplied — Neccuily (or Inwi BgsinM loiling 

wilh the enemy — Exchange of piisunenefTCTtcd — Funhec proper 

Btion* made — The <onvenlion troops. 

To Major-Gcncral Greene, November 8th . 

Finitncial dcpicsiion — CcmHraction ol flit-bottomed boats — 
A »ub»cript>on luggealcd — l'oi»er 10 enthBiijje piisoncrv — lin|K>t> 
able to lupply nnni — Movements of Ihc attnles. 

To William Fitzhugh, November 8th 

Prcupect of a favorable campaign vmliheJ — Accounu from 

the South — Kegulaliug and conipleliiig [he anny — Enorinoun 
expense ruinoui, 
To Governor Jefferson, November 8th 
. , ARain to the southward— The convention troops — Flat boats 
r to be provided. 

Tlo Major-General Heath, November i6th 
\\ Conduct of a foi«ee to cover another movenieoi. 

[o John Sullivan, November 20th .... ja^ 

Reform of the army — The call upon the Slates for specific 
Bupplie> — Multiplicity of busincu in Con^rcui an obstacle to 
improvemcnl — Executive mnlten«liuuld be commiltc'l to board* 
or Individual! — Problem of clothing the men — A (cmedy thiown 
out — A (iicci^ii loan indiipenuble — The (hifti of the \tM cam- 
paign cnnnot be tcpeuted — I'he leliof of Ihc tuulhcrn Staui. 

To Sir IIenr>' Clinton, November 20th . . . 37] 
PropositioDs (or an exchange of ptiionere. 

To John Sullivan, November 2Sth .... 39] 
PioDiotiona and the catc of Knox — Irreeulitr ptmnotioni 
work a permanent injury. 

To the President of Congress, November 28th . . 40! 
Winter quarters at New Windsor — General diiposilion of the 
army — The rciiignallon of Col. Scunmell — Tallmadcc's exploit. 

To the Marquis tie I-afayette, December 8th . . 43J 
Hit depgLtlure for the touth— Should depend upon the news 
ftooi Europe. 




To Gouvemeur Morris, December loth ... 45 
Eoterprtse tgunstNeirYork — Force of the enemy u)d of tlie 

AmericaD army — Not moDCf or credit to bay boardi for doon 
'^ to hats — No money for bis table — Ad attempt considered and 

abandoned — DifEcult eren to move anny to caatonment*. 

To Count de Rochambeau, December 10th . . 47 

French visitors — Approves quartering troops in Connecticut 
— lalellieence from New York. 
To Major-General Lincoln, December lith . . 49 
M isfortnaes of ■ temporary army — Places of deposit for provi- 
■ioos — Default on the part of some of the States — Wan t of clothing. 

To Major-General Greene, December 13th . . 52 

His new knowledge of the complicated difficulties of the 
army — Nothing to apprehend on the score of public dissatisfac- 
tion — Mrs. Greene — Discharge of the levies — The o&cc of 
Adjutant-Gener«1 . 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, December 14th . . 54 
No money for expresses — His command over the French at 
Rhode Island very limited — Best to postpone a cotreipondence 
with Spanish generals — The Spanish manixavres important — 
Exchange of Colonel Neuville. 

To Count de Rochambeau and the Chevalier de 

Temay, December 15th 57 

An embarkation of IheBritish— Importance of driving British 
from the south — No prospect of obtaining men there — An 
expedition by Spain against Florida — Proposes to co-operate 
with the Spanish — General outline of his plan — Reasons why 
the Spaniards should enter into the co-operation. 
To Governor Trumbull, December 17th ... 62 
Interference by a State with ihe cantonraent of troops. 

To John Sullivan, December 17th .... 63 

On promotions — Sometimes one army, sometimes thirteen 
armies — Lineal promotion tlie most equitable and satisfactory 
mode — The want 0/ 6ied principle the cause of difficulty and 
discontent^ — His efforts to destroy State distinctions — Under 
prevailing ideas, promotions should be lineal in each State to 
the rank of brigadier — The appointment of brigadieis — Of 
Dajor-gencrals — Present system regimental to captains, and in 
the line of the State beyond that — The case of the Jersey line — 
The propriety of new appointments — The less the States have to 
do with men in the field the better. 



To the President of Congress, December 2oth . 

. / On prouialiont — Agcnent rule proposed— RcmlUofiTTCf^lu 
r proano ti oiu — Bricidiec> >ad mijor-gnicrslt — Senioriljr tnd 

To Benjamin Franklin, December 20th ■ • * 73 

Ctuuicl lux— Forced iiuclioti of the inny—OpcMlioiis to iKe 

To Lieutenant-Colonel David Humphreys, De- 
cember 35d 


To James Duane, December 26th .... 

Gttatcf powcn in Congrcsi. and more rtsponsibility ind 
permanency In the cxccutire bodies — Wani of dolbing— 
NKCHily alone can juilify pmcnt modeof obtaining lupplio— 
An example— On promotion— Difficnlly of rentedying ui 
tmgiiiar promotion — General Knox, 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, December 26th . . 78 
Hi^ icrving in llie loulhcrii army — Inlelligvacc Irom France 
— Movements of the British. 

To Governor Jefferson. December 28th . . . 81 

'Hie reduction of Detroit impnitsol — No Continental tore* 
can be leol. but Continental »tor« mny be ustd — The men at 
Fort Pitt aiulLiblc — OHicen in State service recommended for 
Continental commitaiont. 


To the President of Congress, January 2d 

The cue of General .Starii — A raccasoiEor Colonel Scaumdl 
^-A tiriilih detachment to the froutb. 

To Brigadier-General Wayne, Janviary 3d . . . 87 
Meeting u( Ihe I'eniitylvnnia line — Opposition may drive th« 
men to the enemy— A removal of ConEreM. 

To the New England States January 5th. , . 
Circulir letter on the mutiny. 

To the President of Congress, Januar>' 6th 

The progrcaa of the nintiny — Adviied not to leave head* 
\\A lU'ff"*^''""''' CI'""" ready lo call out militia — CircoUr 
M teller to the Eatlem Stalct—Dangerout lo further tot the 
{latiencc of the army. 


To Br^dier-General Wayne, January 8th . . g(S 

Hi* decision to remain — Troops with him quiet — Jnttice lo 
mntiDeers, and ■ certain degree of generosity may conciliate or 
divide Ihein — Not to be driven to enemy or dispersed. 

To Major<General Greene, January 9th ... 98 
Sympathy for his difficulties — No clothing from Prasce — 
Diipnte between Baron Steuben and General Smallwood about 
rank — PrepoiEerons conduct in releasing pritonen. 

ToMajor-General St. Clair, January I2th . . . roo 
/j/[ DeSant attitnde of the mutineers — To contolt on the meM- 
1 an* to be taken. 

To Lieutenant-Colonel John Laurens, January 15th . 102 
Stale of American affairs — Succor from abroad indispensable 
—The " want of wealth " the true cause of embarrassment — 
Restontion of the credit of the currency — Specific supplies 
ineffectual and burthensome — Resource of domestic loans in- 
considerable — Patience of the army is exhausted — Heavy taxa- 
tion may not be endured — An aid of money essential, and aa 
active campaign of vast importance — A naval superiority on the 
coast the most interesting object — Reinforcement of troops 
desirable — But money more important — The credit of America 
— Several refieciions. 

To the President of Congress, January isth . . no 
On the expediency of removing the French troops to Virginia 
— Reasons for not going to the Pennsylvania line — A reserve 


To Mrs. Sarah Bache, January 15th .... 113 
Acknowledgment of the patriotic exertions of the women of 

To Count de Rochambeau, January 20th . . , 1 14 
Causes of the mutiny — In a train of being settled — Visit of 
. . some Frendi gentlemen — Chain of expresses — Unable to visit 

/ ' Newport at present — Enemy ready lo lake advantage of any 

disturbances — Colonel Laurens to confer with him. 

To the Executives of the States, January 22d . . 117 
Revolt of the Jersey line — Sharp measures taken to suppress 
it — Weakness of the garrison had prevented such action with 
the Pennsylvania as the circumstances called for — The settle- 
ment will have a pernicious influence — Call for supplies. 

cojvrsjvrs of vol. ix. 

To the officer commanding the British fleet at New 

York, January- 25th 

Suifcting o[ American naval priiotiera at New Vork — An «• 
•minatioii into ilieir ci^ndiliun ctctiEicd. 

To the Commissioners for redressing the grievances 
of the New Jersey line, January 27th , 

Determined to suppress disorder — ^tc«^U[^■« i»fcen — In doing 
justice Co ibcir ccmpliintt cnution neeeuary aboul enliitmenlB 
— Ermr in treating with die Pcnmiylvuiian*. 
To Major-General Howe, January 2gth 
Tnxips lo remain near the Jcrx? bri(;Mil«. 
To Robert R. Livingston, January 31st . 

Complaints of the ciliient of New Voric State — CommStlcct 
m^ proceed too f»r — Change! in adminirtrfttive lyMem required. 
To the President of Congress, I-'cbruary 3d 

Winl of ■ pcopei griilaliun of puiiihhtnentft — A ereal part of 
the vices of our diidptine due (0 thai — Captl^l punisHnienl loo 
// frequent — Chnngei suggested^ — Thein-.reaseol arbitrary paDiib- 
Rients — The £r:tiitiiig ol furloughh and discliargct. 

To Major-Genera] St. Clair, February 3d . 

Recniiling the PetmiylvanlK )in« — Initnictioni for recuiting 
i(;enlii — Fiamlulcnt discharge) — Should be treated a> deserters. 
To John Sullivan, February 4th .... 

Appuintineiit of miiiiKters — Colonel Hamilton — Improper 
inaiiagemeiit Ihe cauiie of discmoet — Accessiun of Maryland to 
the Confederation — Giant of Virginia — Scheme to borrow coined 
(pccle and plale — Traffic with New York enomiouii — Men of 
all dotcriptioni engaged in it — Incniate the powers of Congress. 
To Governor Jefferson, February 6th 
. Briiiih incursion inlo Virginia — Importance of sending a re- 

\^^ infotcement from Virginia to tlic southern army — Objecli of 
Arnold'* operation* — 1'hc Britith Heet hai suffered through a 

To Mrs. Francis, Mrs. Hillegas, Mrs. Clarkson, Mrs. 
Bachc, and Mrs. Blair, February 13th . 

The contribution for the army. 
To Count dc Kochambcau, February i^th 

The Chetapeake npediiion — A land forte ewentlal— Ha* 
pol under marching orders a deiacbincnt of troop* — Arnold's 
lotce — Importance of his capture. 







To Brigadier-General Knox, February l6th . . 144 

PiivBte inttrnctioiu. 
To the President of Congress, February 17th . . 145 
DanECT of too grot confidence in the tontheni States — AitC- 
^^ leiy for an attempt upon New York, 
To Abraham Skinner, February 17th . . . 147 

Ezdiange of oScen of the ConTentJon traopi — The exchange 
of BuTgOToe — Piisoners taken by State militia — Retumi for 
Governor Livingston — Desires him to reside near headqai.tteti. 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, February 20th . . 149 


To Elbridge Gerry, February 20th .... 152 
/ . Hurt by the general complexion of Mr. Lovell's letter — It* 
C^' publication by the enemy anfoitunate. 

To Governor Jefferson, February 21st . . . 153 
Expedition of Destouche« — March of Lafayette — Pilots. 

To Governor Trumbull, February 21st . . . iJS 
Clothing for recruits — Neglect of recniiting i^ents. 

To Major-General St. Clair, February 22d . . . 156 

Pennsylvania troops for the south — Tbeir transport. 

To Major-General Parsons, February 22d . . 158 

Tories in Stratford and Fairfield couotie* — A dangerous 

To the Chevalier Destouches, February 22d . . 159 

The Virginia expedition — Hope of blocking Arnold. 

To Count de Rochambeau, February 24th . . 161 

A prospect of an end to the war-^Anniverssry of his birthday 
— His visit to Rhode Island. 

To Governor Clinton, February 24th . . . 163 

.On leaving two regiments in the Stale— Cannot grant the 
wish — Detachments from the army make an increase necessary. 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, February 25th . . 164 
IntcUigence from New York — Increase of the British fleet at 
Gardiner's Bay checks operations of French — Boats for debark- 
ing troops — Provisions — Movements at the south. 

To John Mathews, February 26th .... 167 
Southern prisoners — Exchange of civil prisoners difficult to 




To the President of Congress, February 26th . 

SituKtion in (he H>utli alinning — Puliealu sumcsms luve 
prejudiced gentral and sulislanli»l prinvigilcs — The ¥noA 
iiK>vc(n«nI ibandoQcd— The pUn lo c>pliii« Amoid— Entptojr- 
iit«nl of American vnuU. 

To Major-Geneial Lincoln, February 27111 

Lad rent' departuro^PAjmiGat ol inrtlidi — Advice* (lom 
General Greene — Patdon (m dcsctting an encooragtment. 

To the Marc|uis de Lafayette, February 27th , 
DiicctioM tor hit openiiant. 

To John Parke Custis, February 28th . . . 
Shonld not be di«EUKteii when nuitrn aic not lo hU liking — 
Indicpenable dutjr of a patriot — Xeccsiity of • pctmanont force 
— The power* of Coogrcis — Ablett men thouU be in Congraa 
— A nominal hcail no longer of ivaiJ. 

To the Marquis de Lafayette. March tst . 

The French plan — Pieparationi for recei>ing the Bret — Lett 
Arnold may etcape, i;reateT latitude gircn. 

To Governor Hancock, March i/th .... 
Kcsreti hii inability to visit Bositon — Want of rcinforcenienu. 

To Benjamin Harrison, March 2lst .... 
The pr«paiiiion to peniioo hii mother. 

To Major-Gcncral Heath, March 2(st 

Complidni* of the Maukchiuctu ficld-ofliccn — Reasoni for 
the chan);e) in officers— Need of ficld-officerv — No intended 

To William Fitzhugh, March 25th .... 

political meaiuiet — Shoit mliktmeola — Powen ol Congret* 
—Southern aSairt — The failure of the expedition to Virginia. 

To M^joi'-Gencral Armstrong, March 26th 

Vim ei)>«ri«ace a Eutd« 10 fnture action — Inleipodtioni of 
divine government — Backwardneii of the Stale*. 
To Benjamin Harrison, March 27th .... 
EHoriE to protect the (ouihem State* — General iitualii>n m 
to men. amis, and clothin|>. 

To the Board of War, March 30th .... 

t ConifainBlkin of departmcntt^Danger atlending a ctiango 

at the opening of a oampugti — Criticiimi on the ccheme. 







To Major-General Lincoln, April 4th . . . 200 

1^ ESoTU of the enem)' to be concentrated igaiml the sonth — 
Reinforcements — The collection of militia. 
To the Marquis de Lafayette, April 6th . . . 202 
I Reinforcing Greene's command — Reasons for recalling bit 
I detachment and fonniog another — Gimat and Galvan. 
To Count de Rochambeau, April 7th . . . 205 

Junction shoald be deferred — French troops not essential 
until an attack on New York is determined — Intelligeace will 
To the President of Congress, April 8th . . . 207 
Uigent calls [or recruits disregarded — Reported recourse to 
I diort enlistments — Fnture operatioiis in consequence uncertain 

— Lafayette ordered lo join Grecae — The Pennsylvania corps — 
Dissatisfaction in the New York line for want of pay. 

To Colonel John Laurens, April gth .... 209 

Interesting events since his departure — The intended opera- 

- (ton to the south, and its failure — At this hour snipended in the 

^' balance — Deliverance mnst come now or never — Operatiotis 

practically suspended for want of money. 

To Cotint de Rochambeau, April loth . . . 213 

The Penobscot expedition — Circumstances to be considered. 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, April i ith . . 216 

His movements — Disaffecli on — No operation intended aj^ainst 
New Voiic — The New Jersey line stands next for detachment. 

To the President of Congress, April i6th . . . 218 

Exchange of Burgoyne. 
To Major-General Greene, April 18th . . . 220 
His policy commended — The position of Steuben — Thanks lo 
troops — The Pennsylvania mutiny — Good words spoken for him. 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, April 2 1 St . . . 223 

Wishes him to return to the main army. 
To the Marquis de Lafayette, April 22d . . . 224 

The question of his retam — His private letter to Lund Wash- 
ington — RivingtoD not to be trusted — The Hamilton incident. 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, April 22d . , . 227 
CoDcemed at the temper of his detachment, and the deser- 
tions — Defence of southern States committed lo Slates south of 
Pennsylvania — The altempt upon New York— General situation 
and prospects. 



To Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton. April 27th . 229 

Embarraaed bjr bis ie<]«ai — Ha lavit anl kbtlttj bajood 

To Count dc Rochambcau, April 30th . . 231 

Ilii inUKcpied letttf — Hu no oopr, tad kttcs nty have 
bMn changed by di« atwviT — Tt* gcnenl iNtp«tt — L«ucr • 
prvraie ooc — Hi* intention. 

To Major Benjamin TaHmadge, April jotb . . 234 

InldUgcncc (nsm itw Calpen. 
To Lund Washington. April 30th .... 236 
Conocmeii that he ihonld nipptj lh« monr with proruMBt 
— Bid ci>n|iJc ilun Mt — A rclnial (mlr ika«U b« |j*«n — Pr^ 
pared (or the lots tA ki* ncgreca and dotraction of hi* Iwaae. 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, May 4th . . . 238 

LbiuI Wuhingtoii's coadact condcniDcd — Hii JBdgment mit- 
Icd — I^pcn wanted. 

To the President of Congress, May 8th . . . 240 

jf The ia^iiiij into Gates' caiapaign — DiitTtn of the am^ tor 

^/^ p«xmdaii»— Atannikg itliutiMi ai evety p«t — Steps uketi to 

procure ftoor — Soppliet (or iKc Ftcncl) iroofM — Ilcavr ca>iion. 

To John Sullivan, May itth 244 

Priadpla o( pivmoiian iiil] auicted vpoa by Coagrei* — 
Absolute neecBtly o( detctsilning nine nl^The ease of Teod 
TIl(bai»n — Apf>o«nlaeBi a[ oxccuiivc officen — Th< want a( a 
iBBodcT ol chaiadtr. 

To Philip Schuyler, May t4th 246 

latcIligmce^Dupoaitiom o[ llic VcriBooten — At prcMnt ft 
dcftd wcifht, but may be ro»dc tA wmoe — Want o( provisions 
■t (ronbcr potti — Heath tent lo tlic taalern Statea. 

To the President of Congress, May 17th . . . 250 
An intcrrinw lo be held wiih the Froocb <»nini«nden — Sur> 
ptiM <>( an adranced pest. 

Substance of a conference between General Washing- 
ton and Count de Rochambcau at Weathersficid, 
22d May, 1781 251 

To the Chevalier de la Luzerne, May 23d . 254 

Intended march o( the Fteoch araiy — The object lo be New 
York — The Weit India fleet — Needed in the propoied opera- 


Grcular Letter to the States, May 24th . . . 256 

To the President of Congress, May 27th . . . 259 
The Weathenfield conference — Outline of (he coDclnnoiit — 
The bftiultoni to be completed — Nothing but the mott vigonnu 
eicitions will mffice — Invasion of the northern f rontiei — ETmcn- 
ition of Fort Schnjrler. 

To John Sullivan, May 29th 262 

Hit plui impracticable — The WeathenCeld ichetne of opera- 
thnw— The execntive oScen. 

To Major-General Greene, June 1st .... 265 
Hi* diCGcolt opeiatioii* will increase bis repntatioti — The 
combined plan of operation — Some British tent to the *onth — 
Recmili for hii armj. 

To Count de Rochambeau, June 4th .... 268 
Proposed alteration of plan — The bubor of Boston safer 
than that of Newport — Call for militia — Importance of haUeoing 
the division agsinlt New York. 
To the President of Congress, June 6th . . . 271 
The convention troops — Objection lo their beins exchanged 
— General Gates' position — Rule of promotion — The capture of 

To John Mathews, June 7th 273 

Hopefnl in spite of adverse circumstances — The appointment 
of Hoiris — American prisoners at Charleston — Difficnitietin the 
way of an exchange. 
To Governor Jefferson, June 8th .... 274 

Pnrposes of the enemj in Virginia — His presence at the 
tkOTth etiential — Southern States to be relieved b^ an operation 
against New York — Enemjr mnst be followed, if a move to the 
sonth is made. 
To Col. William Crawford, June 9th .... 277 
His western lands — Land grabber* in possession — How to be 
dealt with— Simpson. 

To Count de Rochambeau, June 13th . . . 280 

The second council of war — Urges that there be no deUy in 
his march — Intelligence from the south — Count de Gcaste and 
his movements — The attempt upon New York. 
To Governor Clinton, June 21st . , . 284 

The incorsion from Canada — The recall of the Continental 
troop* — Militia lo take their place — Brigadier'^ieneral Stark. 


COjVTSJVTS of vol. IX. 

To President Rccd. June 14th 2: 

Need of riflemen — Eipeiue to be Contincnlal — Conttitation 
«f the <Dip«. 

To Cotjnt de Rochambciti, June 30th 

F»viirablc opiiortunily lo Mrikc tc Now Yo*k — Mcuurtt to 
be tiken— Sutpiise of Dckncey — Secrecy enjoined. 

To Major-Gcncral Lincoln, July ist . . . . 2g\ 


To the President of Congress, July 6th 

March of thcanny — Atieupt npou DclNncey'scorp»— RetnltK 
giuned — The lervice of the French. 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, July 13th . 

Favorable tum lo the touthwjuil — A matter of importance 
to be coinmunicatcd — Mea»urt» to augment his lorce — Chain of 
To the Superintendent of Finance, July 13th . 30^ 

Subiiiting the army — Meat and rum — Fuluie suppUei. 

To Lord Stirling, July 14th 303,_ 


To Richard Henry Lee, July 15th . . * . 

No change of lenllnienli lo«-»rd» him— His plan for idicr- 
ing Virginia imprailicable — KruoiiiL againtl it— Rtsnlli of hi* 
intended operationa— Suto of the anojr — A nioriJ tiipecmacy 

Questions of Rochambcau and Washington's Replies, 

July igth 3 

To Brigadier^General Waterbury, July 2Ist ■ . 3K 

A movement to be made by the army — His direction! and 

To Thomas MfKciin, July 2ist 31< 

Intercepted letlen — Hii elcclion ai Frctidcnt of CoDgi*!*^ 
Foreign lnteili|[eacc requested — Pknliful crop*. 

To John Parke Custis, July 25th .... JlJ 
Alnandct'ii {irojiohitlonii — Pipei money and tu depreciation 
— Pew in VirE>Dia joined the enemy — Hia rcoonnoltrc 

To Major-Gcncral Greene, July 30th . . • • 

Approval of hit military conduct — Eflccli of faii moliont ncair 
New York— The condition of affain in South Carolina. 


Tothe Marquis de Lafayette, July 30th . . . 321 
Hit wish to be with maia army — A possible change of oper*- 
doDi — Moving the &niiy to the south — Tnining and fonning 
the militia — Impoituice of cavaliy — Return of British from 
Virginia — His command — Intelligence for General Greene. 

To the President of Congress, August 2d . . . 324 

Ann; no tlronger than when it moved from winin quarter* 
— HeasDi«s taken to complete it — Little success attending the 
teqnisitions — The general retnru. 
Crcular Letter to States, August 2d . . . . 329 / 
To the Superintendent of Finance, August 2d . . 330 

Intended movements — Shipping at Philadelphia. 
To the President of Congress, August 8th . . . 332 

Exchange of Biugojne — Exchange of full colonels by com- 
TaUie Marquis de Lafayette, August 15th , . 334 

New* of De Grasse — Position to be taken. 
To the Count de Grasse, August 17th . . . 336 

Change of intended operations — Aimy to move to the south 
— Contingencies that may arise and observations upon them — 
Vast importance of Charieaton — Shipping. 

To the Superintendent of Finance, August 17th . 341 

ProvisioDs — Vessels on the Delaware — One month's pay in 
specie for the anny. 
To Major-General Heath, August 19th . . 343 


To Robert Morris and Richard Peters, August 2ist . 347 
Scheme for reducing the anny — Not expedient at present — 
Officers and recruiti. 

Circular Letter to the States, August 21st ■ . 352 ,■■ 
To the Superintendent of Finance, August 27th . 353 

Transportation of troops by water to the southward — De- 
posits of provisions — One month's pay in specie for the army. 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, September 2d . . 356 
Prospects for having enough men fair — Ordnance and pro- 
visions — The French Seets. 

To the President of Congress, September isth . . 359 
Arrival at Williamsburg — Junction of the fleets — March of 
the army and supplies. 



To the Count de Grasse, September ISth . 

CotigniaUtioiB on kii uitra] tnd jkoctwa witli But*^— 
Wul of timniipoTli — Dairev >b lolerriew. 

To Major-General St. Clair, September 15 th 

PcaBijrlTMiii traofit to be Mnt on. 

Questions and Answers, September I^tli . 

To the Count de Grasse, September 3;th . . . 36^ 
Urtw p^jicTeiUKc in ite pUn deieniii»t>J npoa — The ai- 
loprae •£>iBH Vori certain — To fnuinie llwte (iratpveu 
would tnnlTB diignai sod toM^lmporunn of lu*iiig a B«vl 
in the Chciapcalic — An ■ItcrotiiTe scbeine — The BKiuli ftdroinl 
doc* iMi intend lo Aj^ht. 

To the President of Congress, October ist 

The •mlcs b«(on Yoik — QatpoMs •facaslcd bj tbc Britith 
ud oocwpied bjr the Aiaericati* — InTwtmcnt of the cmcidj 
pricticaliy coniplclc. 
To the Count dc Grasse, October ist ... 37J 

Sutkm of ihc Fren<h Acct— Some veucb seeded above the 
CiMinT'i pOBb on York River — Objects lo be Monvd — Jubm 
Rirer tecur^— Little eflect of Und baiieriet — Ptrc tfaipK. 
To Major-General Greene, October 6th . . . 3; 

Coaimcndt lib victur^— The .M>r<iai> — t.itlle ditteteact* of 
wbich tbe world will, be hopci, >«|uit him — Baroo Steuben. 

To Don Francisco Rendon, October 1 2tb ... 33 
DiipoiitioN of G*Iv«t — Cuinoi pto|ia«e anjr operation — Tke 
piMpecta of cajTjing ibe war into South Carolina and Coorgiia 
— B«M plan va move acainat East (lorida. 
To the President of Congress, October I2th 
l_ The 6nl parallel opened — Subvqueni opemioai — Ships 

Mid Iniuponi bumcd — Acknowledcnienu to llie French— 
Create*! hannonr exi»t> between tbe two ajiniei. 

To the President of Congress, October 16th 

J.- The leoond parallel completed^Diipoiition (or an aMautt — 
Succca* atteadlni;. il— Importance o( the po^tioiis captsicd and 
prMpecit — A >urti« by the enemy. 

To Lord Comwallis, October 18th .... 3! 

^- G«noi«l buii on which a capitulation mual lake place. 

To the President of Congress, October 19th . . 38 

Snneoder o( Comwallii — Emnktion of the whole armj — 
The French arni; and fleet commended — Praiic of individnnl*. 



To the Count de Grasse, October 20th . . -38' 

Further co-openCion again suggested — Charleston — For the 
French (o tenninate the war and dictate a peace — Wilmington 
an altenutive — A reinforcement to be sent to Greene, 

To David Ross, October 392 

Disposition (o be made of sUvea retaken from the enemj. 

To the President of Congress, October 27th . , 393 
Returns of captures at York and Gloucester — Disposition to 
be made of the troops — Reasons for his determination — Every 
axtaDgcmcnl should be made for an early campaign. 

To the Count de Grasse, October 28th . . , 398 
Outline for operations in May. 

To Major-General St. Clair, October 29th . . . 400 

To Major-General Lincoln, October 29th . . . 402 

To the President of Congress, October 31st . . 403 
Respecting General Dupoitail — Knox's claims to promotioa. 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, November 15th . . 405 
Death of John Parke Custis — Testimon)' of his high regards 
— Fntnre operations depend entirely upon a naval force — Con- 
gress to determine the land force. 

To the President of Congress, Kovember 15th . . 409 

Has done only his duty — The hand of Heaven conspicnooj 
in the result. 

To Benjamin Dulany, November 17th . . . 410 

The sale of Manley's tract — Reasons why he desires to 

To George Plater and Thomas Cockey Dey, Novem- 
ber 22d 415 

Answer to an address of the General Assembly of Maryland. 
To Governor Trumbull, November 28th . 416 

Fears thai a spirit of remissness may seize upon the States. 

To James McHenry, December nth. . , . 418 

His entrance into dvil life — To secure a good peace, we 
ought to be well prepared to carry on the war— No want of C^'' 
disposition in Congress — The States must determine future 



To Major-Gcncral Greene, December i sth 

Evtcmtlion ol Novlh Caralin* by ihe BrilUli — Tlie rc«aa- 
BCndation of CoJnnel WDU>id»— Po«*ilit« xtioa o( Ui> BritiA 
\m KkK (ouiheni State* — Pruonen lod r«laliaiioa. 

To the President of Congress. December 27lh . 

Tbc Auoculed Lo}-alHU In New Voile— Aconinti o( aaral 
pritooon — Proepccl* of •Muring llicir rcle«M — Rewltt of tlw 
waul of ijTMeiB. 



To Thomas Chittenden, January ist . 

Seettraeali u an iodmdmal— CUbu of the Vermont people 
— A polilkal nanoniTM — Iraposianccof ilic i|u<cliiw — Coercion 
on lti« port of Coigrav* to b« dreaded — Nt^tiatJoei with the 

To the Marquis de Lafayette, January 4th 

EHortt cA Conpca (or a vigorout cani]jiii|pi — MoDcj' and 
■aval aaiiMaKC wwtnl of fraDco— iatelliKence— ReaohUioiu of 

To Colonel Christian Fcbiger. January 12th . 

Refnul o( Ibc Viipnia dctacfanent lo mafcli — Iinpropriet)r of 
iBCti a tlcp—IndcpCMdesce not etlablitbod — Mtaxnie* of rcBet. 

Circular Letter to the States, Januar)' 22d 

Circular Letter to Some of the States, January 31st, 

To Major-General Schuyler. February 6th 

IIU Idler to Suit — Hn ardent with lo condbatc all coaten- 
lioa — Cannot recoomcod panicuUr nMdnof accomoMdalioa — 
VeiBoat leadt aeents t« Pliiladdpliia. 

To the Count de Rocharabeau, February 9th . 

Reloforceaiesl tor (iicen« — Pr*>«ntalioo of two licU-piMM 
b]r CoDgren— VirjinU's gn;iind( — Exchange of Lord Rcwdon. 

To the President of Congress, February i8th , , 

Exdiaageof LMrenaandCQuiMfalli*— Propodllontoe»A«iige 
Briiiah toldlcH (or Amcricaa Kssica. 

To Lieutenant-Colonel John Laurens, February iSth, 
Anotbet proof of Greene's iin{a1a( abilittey— Rcuifor te ta e iti 
fram lb* French— RepoiUd actiniy ol iIm EngJbiL 





To theTresident of Congress, February 2oth . . 447 
f' Public ind secret resolvei on prisoners — The secret 
[y onbuTBSseE him — Expense of sapporting priEoaers — Com- 
missioiicrs >boat W meet — Effect of the secret resolve — To 
retain Comwallis would prevent ■ cartel. 

To Major-General Heath, February 28th . . . 452 
Clothing for the annr — Contrsct of the Finandei and 
neaxores to carry it into operation. 

Circular Letter to the Eastern and Middle States, 

March 5th 454 

To Brigadier-General William Irvine, March 8th . 455 

To Brigadier-General Knox and Gouvemeur Morris, 
. March nth 456 

To James McHenry, March 12th .... 459 

Never were TigDnnii meosaresmoreconsonaDt to sound policj 
than at present — Ministers intent apon continuing the war — 
States may be blamed if the contest is prolonged — Volantarj 
enlistments impracticable — Qassingthe people makes every man 
a lecmiting officer — Affairs in the West Indies. 

To Major-General Greene, March i8th . . 462 

JeaJoDsy of partial treatment — No reinforcement from the ^^^ 
French — An evacuation by the British of the EOuthem States /'^ 
piobable-^Moveihcnt ffom New York. 

To Brigadier-General Knox and Gouverneur Morris, 

March 28th 465 

No persons from the enemy to be aUowed to land — Reason* 
for declaring territory neutral — Goods for the n*e of their 

To Colonel Matthias Ogden, March 28tb . . , 466 

To the General Officers, April 15th .... 467 

Inquiries upon future operations. 

To John Lewis, April 17th 470 

Disposal of lands in which he is interested — General descrip- 
tion of the Carolina lands. 


To the General and Field Officers, April igth . . 472 
Tbe oue of Ciptoin Jc«bii« Hnddjr. 

To Bartholomew Dandridge, April 20th . . 473 

Guudtui for Costis' childrm — Reasons for his declining the 
office — Sends accoants with remarks — Power of individuals to 
recover debts in Virginia — Paper money. 

To Sir Henry Clinton, April 21st . . . . 478 

Demands that Lippincot be given ap. 
To Major-General Greene, April 23d .... 479 
No detachment from New York probable — Progress of enlist- 
ments — Reinforcements must depend upon European in tell^ence 
' — Must be content with confining the enemj' to their lines and 
prevendiig ravines. 

To the Secretary at War, April 27th . . . . 481 
Suggests that the German prisoners be taken into the service 
— Should be recruited for tlie continent — Details and con. 
-■ sequences. 

To the Chevalier de La Luzerne, April 28th . . 48} 

Acknowledgments — Aid from the court of France — His 
present force — Opinion of militia — The soathem armj — Strength 
of the enemj — Distribution, 

To the President of Congress, April 30th . . . 488 
Commissioners report on exchange — Wishes instructions for 
future condact — The pardon of refugees recommended. 

Plan of Campaign, May tst 490 




Head Quarteks, Passaic Falls. 
ig Oclober, 1780. 


With respect to prisoners of War mentioned in 
your Excellency's Letter of the 3d. Inst, I beg leave 
to observe that it has been my wish from the begin- 
ning of the contest to the present day, that no dis- 
tinction should exist with respect to them ; that the 
whole should be considered on one general and 
liberal scale as belonging to the States, and not to 
this or that State ; be exchanged according to 
their rank and the order of their captivity — and that 
all military prisoners taken from the Enemy, no mat- 
ter where or by whom, should be deemed as belong- 
ing to the public at large, and be applied generally 
for the release of those in the Enemy's hands. This 
has been my wish, because it appeared to be just the 
only principle which could give general satisfaction. 
In conformity to it, all exchanges in the course of 
the War, resting solely with me and made by my 
directions, have been conducted ; and it has been my 
constant direction, where the point depended wholly 
on me, that the prisoners with the Enemy were to 
be exchanged agreeable to it. Particular cases, how- 




ever, may arise, where it may be proper to depart 
from the principle ; but these can be but rare, and the 
principle, where the business was entirely with me, 
has never been deviated from in a single instance. 

As to the case of Ll Colo. Simcoe, and Lt. Colo. 
Conolly : — the former was captured by the Jersey 
Militia before the Resolution passed which you in- 
close ; was confined by the State, who also made his 
exchange ; the exchange of the latter was directly in 
consequence of a requisition by the State of Mary-' 
land, who claimed him to the Honble. the Board of 
War. who thought their claim was first. This State^^ 
claimed it on the examples and practise of some" 
other States in like cases, who had made exchanges 
without the interference or consulting any but theii 
own authority. 

When I received the Board's Letter upon the sul 
ject — 1 informed ihem, (tlio 1 directed the exchange foi 
the reasons 1 have mentioned and the considerations 
subjoined) " that previous to their letter I had sup- 
posed that Citizens or Inltabiiants captured by th< 
Enemy were the objects to whom the .-^ct meant'' 
a preference should be given ; and thai all titers 
in captivity were to stand upon a common footing 
to be released on the principle of priority of cap- 
ture." But as the terms of the Act were not entirely 
explicit, and the opinion of the Board via& in favor — 
of the claim, the sentiments I entertained of LL-fl 
Colo. Ramsay's merit and indeed the recollection of 
the day of his capture, his conduct upon the occasion 
and the whole circumstances by which he was place 






in a situation that exposed him to more than a com- 
mon risk of falling, or being taken, determined me 
not to oppose the measure. I have upon the present 
occasion attended minutely to the Act — and I am 
fully persuaded from a recurrence to some of my cor- 
respondence on the subject of it, long previous to its 
being passed, that my ideas of it were right, and that 
the construction and operation I supposed it should 
have, was the true one. The Draft of it I find was 
in my possession for consideration, so far back as the 
Summer '79, as a Regulation intended for placing 
the business of prisoners and their exchanges upon a 
different footing from what it then was ; and I re- 
turned it with this observation, that the Regulations 
appeared judicious and proper — such as I had a long 
time wished to see take place ; adding, that it ap- 
peared to be the intention to make a distinction 
between prisoners and prisoners of War, which was 
no doubt a proper and necessary one. Under the 
first I meant to comprehend Citizens and Civil Char- 
acters, not usually considered or made prisoners of 
exchange, but whom nevertheless the Enemy were 
seizing and taking whenever they could, in order to 
release their ofilicers in our hands. Under the last. 
Officers and Soldiers of the Army or Militia actually 
taken in Arms. It was the practise of the States to 
exchange the former for military prisoners and par- 
ticular officers out of the order of their captivity, for 
officers they had taken, that excited the clamor and 
dissatisfaction among the officers in general, who 
were prisoners. I think there should be no prefer- 


[1780 • 

ence under the idea of State captures, with respect 
to the exchanges of Military prisoners. The terms 
of the act seem to require it. I think it was the 
intention ; and if it should have a different operation 
it does not remove, at least but in a very remote and 
partial degree, the causes which were complained of, 
and which appear evidently on examination from the 
introduction to have been the mischiefs intended to 
be remedied ; but on the contrary it would sanction 
partial or State exchanges of ofificers, and only 
change the mode of carrying the business into exe- 
cution by placing it in the hands of the Continental 
Commissary, instead of the Commissaries of the 
Individual States. And I am to observe further that 
the Resolution of Congress, by which I am author- 
ized to go into exchanges now in contemplation to 
be carried into effect, points out and directs priority 
of capture as a governing principle, 

1 have been thus particular for your satisfaction. 

TO Major lee. 

-,' the outlines of 

Dear Sir, 

The plan proposed for taking A 
which are communicated in your letter which was this 
moment put into my hands without a date, has every 
mark of a good one. I therefore agree to the prom- 
ised rewards, and have such entire confidence in your 
management of this business as to give it my fullest 

• AriMld. 


approbation ; and leave the whole to the guidance of 
your own judgment, with this express stipulation, and 

pointed injunction, that he, A d, is brought to me 

alive. No circumstance whatever shall obtain my 
consent to his being put to death. The idea which 
would accompany such an event would be that Ruf- 
fians had been hired to assassinate him. My aim is 
to make a public example of him — and this should 
be strongly impressed upon those who are employed 
to bring him off. The sergeant must be very circum- 
spect — too much zeal may create suspicion — and too 
much precipitancy may defeat the project. The 
most inviolable secrecy must be observed on all 
hands. I send you five guineas ; but I am not satis- 
fied of the propriety of the sergeant's appearing 
with much specie — this circumstance may also lead 
to suspicion as it is but too well known to the 
enemy that we do not deal much in this article. The 
Interviews between the party in and out of the city, 
should be managed with much caution and seeming 
indifference, or else the frequency of their meetings 
&c, may betray the design and involve bad conse- 
quences. » » * 


Head.Quartbrs, 31 October, 1780. 

Dear Sir, 

I have reed, your favor of the 20th. The disposi- 
tion you have made of the troops, at and near West 
Point, is agreeable to me. The two small Regiments, 
at present at King's Ferry, were purposely stationed 



there, because they could not be brigaded with con- 
venience. They are shortly to be reformed and in- 
corporated, and therefore had best remain where 
they arc until! that time. Genl. Greene had pro- 
posed to remove every superfluous store from those 
posts, so that, in case of necessity, they might b< 
evacuated with little loss. He was of opinion, that 
the enemy, would if they came up seriously, run an 
armed Vessel or two above them, and render the 
removal of the stores by water impracticable. This 
seemed so probable a conjecture, that 1 desired himfl 
to strip them of all but very few Stores. You wUI 
be pleased to follow that method. 

The Minister of France may soon be expectecjl 
from the Eastward. Should he take you in hi.s way,l 
or should you hear certainly of his approach, bel 
pleased to give me notice of it by Express. I am,| 



Silt 11 Octubrr. t^SO, 

I have been honored with your Excellency's favor 
of the loth and 14th Instants— The advance of th< 
British army towards the borders of North Carolina 
is an alarming circumstance, more especially as there 
is every reason to believe, that the force which lately 
sailed from New York is intended to cofiperate with 
them.' The enemy, by several accounts, received a 

' Gencikl Leilic lailed (roin New Vork on the ibth o( October, wjdi 
thrac ihouMiid imopf. H« wu tnttnicted lo ent«r the C)iMapr*ke •nd i 


reinforcement frum Europe in the last fleet. It is 
said by some to consist of two British regiments, 
about seven hundred German recruits, and some 
from Scotland. If so. this new accession is nearly 
equal to their late detachment : but others again say 
the reinforcement consists wholly of rixniits, I have 
heard nothing directly from the northward since my 
letter of the [6th. There are reports, that the 
enemy retired after destroying Fort Anne. Fort 
George, and burning some houses. It is thought 
and perhaps not without foundation, that this incur- 
sion was made upon a supposition, that Arnold's 
treachery had succeeded.' 

Colonel Brodhead has in many of his late letters 
expressed his apprehension of the consequences, 
which may result from the want of provisions, should 
the enemy, agreeably to their threats, invest the post 

Ibh a port on Eluabelh RiTcr, with lh« dcrign of cmling a iliTnnoD in faTor 
M Lord Comwailii' operation* In NorUi Carolina, (icnenl Lnlir wai to be 
' the commatiil ol l.oi'l CoitiwiiIKn. and in acl on Janie« KifM louiknlt 
Roanoke, lint nol to poxi Ihii latter river wilhoul niden from his com- 
Sboold Lard Comvallis meet with icrioui oppcuitian in croHlng the 
ITtilklti, It wah rc<umn>en<te<I to Gcnoai I.ctlic lo move upon Cape Fear 
Rirer. but tUi wai left to hh 'liscrelion. Sliuui'l > post be nlabli^cil on the 
□icupeakc, it wai Sir Ilciuy CEinion'i iotenlioD to rtinfoice it with more 
traopa. " B«l while Wathington remain* tn lucJi force." aald he, " and the 
Fi«BCh coatitmc at Khod< 1tlnii4, 1 An iiol think it ■ilvisaVik to weaken N<w 
Vork. If, hoftrvt. he ihouM lend any iletachiaenU to the touthward. I ihaJI 
1 likclj da the tame." — AfS. titter /rem Sir Hfnry CUittm lo Lord Gnrgt 

rmaiiu, November lolh. 

' Eaity in October the Biitiih *dTanccd upon Lake Champlain. October 
uxb. Fort Ann nx inveiled and mrrendercd, and three dayi later Fori George 
eafatnlatvd. After dctlruyin)' Mme propert]' in King* and Qntcntboroagh 
ttnraildp*, they tt^ired to Ticonderoga. where they remained until the Sid. 
■hen an advance toward* St. John wat begun, but taipended. probably be- 
CMM of Ihc propotibon* tor an ex>:h*ri|:c of priMncra niaile by Vttniont. 
(Sec ute to tVaikiHgtnt U Stkuyltr. t4 May, itBi. f^t. 



of Fort Pitt this winter. But by a letter from him of 
the 14th of September, matters had proceeded to 
such extremities, that the garrison, headed by the 
non-commissioned oflficers. had waited upon him. and 
he says in a decent manner remonstrated upon the 
hardship of having been without bread for five days. 
Upon being told that evcrj' thing would be done to 
relieve them, they retired in good order. Colonel 
Brodhead adds, that the country is not deficient in 
resources, but that public credit is exhausted, and 
will no longer procure supplies. Congress will there- 
fore see the necessity of either furnishing the com- 
missary to the westward with a competent sum of 
money, or of obtaining from the State of Pennsyl- 
vania an assurance, that the part of the quota of 
supplies demanded of her by the requisition of Con- 
gress of February last, and directed to be deposited 
in the magazines to the westward, which were in- 
tended for the support of Fort Pitt, shall be imme- 
diately laid in, if it has not been already done. The 
importance of that post to the whole western frontier 
is so great, as not to admit of its being left to any 
risk, if it can be avoided. • * • 

Since I began this letter, I have received advices 
from Governor Clinton at Albany, who mentions 
that a party of the enemy, which came from the 
northward, had retired by the way of Lake George ; 
but that another party from the westward had pene- 
trated as far as Schoharie, which valuable settlement 
they had destroyed. The Governor himself was 
going to Schenectady to make a disposition of the 


force in that quarter. I have sent up two Conti- 
nental regiments to his assistance, which I hope will 
be sufficient to repel the enemy, as they are not 
represented as very numerous. Fort Schuyler is 
well garrisoned, and has forty days' provision in it. 
I therefore hope no great danger is to be appre- 
liended from the present incursion. 

I have the honor to be, &c." 

to major-general greene. 


Congress having been pleased, by their resolution of the 5th 
instant, to authorize me to appoint an officer to the command of 
the southern army, in the room of Major-General Gates, till an 
inquiry can be had into his conduct as therein directed, I have 
thought proper to choose you for this purpose. You will, there- 
fore, proceed without delay to the Southern army, now in North 
Carolina, and take the command accordingly. Uninformed as I 
am of the enemy's force in that quarter, of our own, or of the re- 
sources, which it will be in our power to command for carrying 
on the war, I can give you no particular instructions, but must 
leave you to govern yourself entirely according to your own pru- 

' " I h»ie reed, your favora of the 18th and aad of September and 3d in. 
nant. I un obliged bjr the eiertioDS, yoa had been making to throw a present 
mpply of provisions into Fort Schuylei ; and congraluUte yoa upon your 
*occes» kgaiiut the party of savages, which opposed you in your march up. A 
company of artillery from Colonel Lamb's regiment is ordered to relieve Cap- 
tain Brown's. Wnmer's regiment will be incorporated the isC January. It will 
noi, therefore, be worth while to remove it from its present siaiion, as its time 
of existence will be so short. Spencer's will also aDdergo the same reform. 

" I am not sufficiently acquainted with the situation of the country above, 
to give an opinion upon the propriety of evacuating Fort Schuyler, and estab- 
Usliing a port lower down. At any rate, this could not be done before the new 
post was in sufficient forwardness to receive the garrison immediately upon the 
«Taciiati<ni of the old ; and this, I take it, under our present circumstances, 




deuce and judgmcot. and the circumstances in which you find 
yourself. I am aware, that the nature of the command will offer 
you embarrauments of a sin^^ular and complicated nature ; but I 
rely upon your abilities and exertions for every thing your meant 
will enable you to cflfcct. I give you a letter to the Honorable 
the Congress, mforming them of your appointment, and request- 
ing them to give you such powers and such support, as your situa* 
lion and the good of the service demand. You will take their 
Ofdern in your way to the Southward. 

I also propose to them to send the Baron de Steuben to the 
Southward with you. Mis talents, knowledge of service, teal, 
and activity will make him very useful to you in all respects, and 
particularly in the formation and regulation of the raw troops, 
who will principally the Southern army. You will give 
him a command suited to his rank, besides employing him as 
Inspector-General If Congress approve it, he will take your 
orders at Philadelphia. I have put Major Lee's corps under 
inarching orders, and. as soon as he is ready, shall detach hiu 
to join you. 

As it is necessary, the inquiry into the conduct of Major-Gen- 
eral Gales should be conducted in the quarter in which he has 
acted, where all the witnesses are, and where alone the reqtiisite 
information can be obtained, I have to desire, as soon as the situa- 
tion of atfairs will possibly permit, you will nominate a Court of 
Inquiry to examine into this case, agreeably to the aforemen- 
tioned resolution of Congress. Major-Gcncral the Baron dc Stcu- 

woald b« a wmk ol coniidenble line. It it ■ nutter, which will much depend 
l^on the prevailinx icnlimcnl in the Sutc, wlikh ji more immediately iotet- 
Wttd In the measure ; ind. >> yi^u have mentioned ynur uplnioii ujHia the tub* 
jcct to Hii Eic«ll«ncy the Governor, he wilt. 1 imagine, take the iiec««ai7 
tiepi to haTp the meaiuie idoplci. ihoiilci il be deemed eligible." — W^hing. 
Ivn Iv C^nil WtUiam Mali^m. Id Oelobcr, t78i>. 

On the 18th oJ October. Btij^adiei-Gcnen] Jamet Qiolon wu pUotd ia 
command of A]b«Ry, and iniliucled ta foUowt : 

" Yon will be particularly attentive to the pMl of Fori lichuyler, and do 
cmy thing in youi power to have it tnipplied with a good alock of provuion 
Uid alOTct ; and you will take every other pteuulion. which the means at youi 
command will permit, lor the iwcuiiiy of the (rondei, ([ivin^ me the moti early 
•dTice of any inconions of the cn*my." 


ben will preside at this Court, and the members will consist of such 
General and field officers of the Continental troops, as were not 
present at the battle of Camden, or, being present, are not wanted 
as witnesses, or are persons to whom Major-General Gates has no 
objection. I wish this affair to be conducted with the greatest 
impartiality, and with as much despatch as circumstances will 
permit You will, on your arrival at the army, take the sense in 
writing of the General Officers and other principal officers, con- 
cerning the practicability of an immediate inquiry. If they judge 
it practicable, on the principles of these instructions, you will have 
it carried into execution If they do not think it can take place 
immediately, you will inform General Gates of it, and transmit 
to me their determination ; and you will from time to time pur- 
sue the same mode, that any delay which may happen may appear, 
as I am persuaded it will really be, unavoidable. The Court 
need not consist of more than five, nor must it consist of less 
than three members ; and in all cases there must be three general 
officers. Should General Gates have any objection to the mode 
of inquiry, which he wishes to make to Congress or to me, you 
will suspend proceeding in the affair, till he transmits his objec- 
tion, and you receive further orders. You will keep me con- 
stantly advised of the state of your affairs, and of every material 
occurrence. My wannest wishes for your success, repuUtion, 
health, and happiness accompany you. Given at Head Quarters 
Preakness, October 22d, 1780.' 

' " I beg leave to mention Geoeral Greene, upon this occftsiOD, to Congreu 
u ■□ Officer in whose abilities, fortitude and integrity, from a long and inti- 
nate experience of them, 1 have the most entite confidence. — In the command 
ke ii going into he will have every disadvantage to struggle with. The confi- 
dence and inpport of Congress, which it will be his ambtlion to merit, will bo 
enential 10 his success. The defect of militaiy resources in the Southern de- 
partment — the confnsioa in which the aSain of it must (or some time be, 
Tcqoire thai the Commanding Officer should be vested with extensive powers. 
I dare say Congress will take their measures in a manner suited lo the exigency. 
— Genera] Greene waits upon ihem (or their orders. — 

" Aa, in * great measure, a new Army is to be formed to the Southward, the 
presence of the Baron de Steuben will in my opinion be of more essential 
Qtilityin that quarter than here, where through the ensuing Campaign, we shall 
have the greatett part of onr force raw Recruits, yet as we are organised and in 





Hbad^Quaktru, Pasmic Falls, 
33 October. itSo. 

Deak Sir, 

In consequence of a resolve of Congress directing 
an enquiry into the conduct of General Gates, and 
authorizing me to appoint some other ofHcer in his 
place during the enquiry, I have made choice of 
Major-Genera! Greene who will, I expect, have the 
honor of presenting you with this letter. 

I can venture to introduce this Gentleman to vou 
as a man of abilities, braverj' and coolness. He has 
a comprehensive knowledge of our afTairs, and is a 
man of fortitude and resources. 1 have not the small- 
est doubt therefore of his employing all the mcansj 

vtmt oriel, ilie »>.|)«cioti will suffice (or the purpoies of ihe dcpoMoieol. 
I Iharefora tubniil to Coii|;nst tlie propHcly ol ^sI1llin)■ On Buon dc Steuben 
to the Souihem Army. The sooner ihey ore pleMcd to announce their pleanic 
on ili» )ica4 (lie liclter." — ll'aiAii^Am le lit PrtiiJfnl t/ Cmgrta, 2»Oelobtt, 
17IU. To Sicuben Waihington wrote on the ume day : 

" Though I am tennble hov impoitanl your terricea wJU be In tUt quftrtcr, 
;c(, ■« to the Smithward there it aii army lo be created, tha mM* of which it 
■I preicnl without any fonnition .-it all, yinir ictvicn there will be ttUl niore 
e»ential ; and. ai 1 am pcniudcd thni ynur inclinlllon it to be uhercvcr yon 
can be inoai u>e(u>, I have rcconimcndoit it to C^ngreu to tend ynu wiih Gen- 
eral Greene to the Southern army. If Congnss approve, you will lake hii 
ordcn and proceed u cpecdily » pouible. I with you m*y have been able 
previoutly to obtain a utislacloiy citablishmotii of your dcpnrtmcnt, which, in 
your absence, will become more neccuaty thsa it hai been heretofore. Bnt, 
fl it ia not done, I would not have It detain you." 

CongrOH tiy a format rcMilrc approred (he appointm«it of Maiori.GFn<f«l 
Greene, and inteiced him with all tbe powcn {ormcrly confeficd on Cene««] 
Catet, and the additional one of neco[iat!ii|; an eichnn(;c of pfiuonera. Hit 
cummand included all llic (ct^ular troopi raised at the loulh. from the SlAM «( 
Delaware to Georgis indmive. — ytmmah. October 30th. 

Cot. Charter Wait^tati wat ordereil (o (o with Greene 10 lake coramaad ol 
he arlitlcfy, 

■ A limilar letter was written to Archibald Cai-y. Edmund Pcndlelott, Benja- 
min HarrJHOQ, and Batihw. Daadridge. 




which may be put into his hands to the best advan- 
tage — nor of his assisting in pointing out the most 
likcty ones to answer the puq>oses of his command. 
With this character, I take the liberty of recommend- 
ing him to your civilities and support, for I have no 
doubt, from the embarrassed situation of Southern 
affairs, of his standing much in need of the latter 
from every gentleman of influence in the Assemblies 
of those States. 

As General Greene can give you the most perfect 
information in detail of our present distresses, and 
future prospects. 1 shall content myself with giving 
the aggregate account of them. And with respect to 
the first, they arc so great and complicated, that it is 
scarcely within the powers of description to give an 
adequate idea of them — with regard to the second, 
unless there is a material change both in our military 
and civil policy, ic will be in vain to contend much 

We are without money, and have been so for a 
great length of time : without provision and forage, 
except what is taken by impress ; without cloathing, 
and shortly shall be (in a manner) without men. In 
a word we have lived upon expedients till we can live 
no longer, and it may truly be said that the history 
of this war, is a history of false hopes and temporary 
devices, instead of system, and oeconomy which 
results from it. 

If we mean to continue our struggles, (and it is to 
by hoped we shall not relinquish our claims) we must 
do it upon an entire new plan. Wc must have a per- 
manent force, not a force that is constantly fluctuat- 



ing and sliding from under us as a pedestal of k 
would do from a statue in a summer's day, involvinj 
us in cxpcnce that bafHes all calculation — an expence] 
which no funds are equal to. — Wc must at the' 
same time contrive ways and means to aid our Taxes 
by Loans, and put our 5nances upon a more certain' 
and stable footing than they are at present. Our| 
civil government must likewise undergo a reform — 
ample powers must be lodged in Congress as the 
head of the Federal union, adequate to all the pur-i 
poses of war. Unless these things are done, our 
efforts will be in vain, and only serve to accumulated 
expence. add to our perplexities, and dissatisfy the 
people without a prospect of obtaining the prize in 
view. But these sentiments do not appear well in a1 
hasty letter, without digestion or order. 1 have not 
time to give them otherwise, — and shall only assure 
you that they are well meant, however crude they 
may appear. With sincere affection, &c.' 

■*' I hopcUw AnembliA tlui ue now ntcing, or are about to nt, will not) 
lill lht7 pul ihrce thlnuii in a loir U proper train. 

" Kin), 10 (;ivr lull & complclc powcri lu Con^^n compslciit tu all purpOMt' 
of war. 

" SecoDdly, by l.oaiis & 1'ax«k, lu put out Hnantei od a more rckpcdaU* J 
loulin|- llian Ihey are at frracnl, and 

" Thirll; , that ihcy will endeavor lo ettablUh a penuBnenl force — Tbcae | 
thing* will »t<urc onr Indepradcucy bdyonil OUpol* — bul In ko on in our J 
pmcnt lytlem — Civil as well ax mtlilorr — is an ukIm* and vain altempi — II 
i> idle (0 (uppou Ihat raw iiid niidiicigillncd Men, arc (il to oppaie regular I 
Troops— «nd if Ihcjirvrc, uur p[w«nt MilitarySTMvm iiloo rxpenilTv for any 
fund CKoqit (hat ot an Eastern Nabob — ind in the Civil line, inMnd o( one 
head and director, wc have, »r vttta will li.tve, iliirlccn, which i: as mnch 
a nii>i>«l« in pnUllclu as il wouM bi- in the humaji [orm — Our prcu. dimreuck, 
and future prospects of dtsliest, anting Irom tbctc and similar caa>», is [tckI. 
beyond the powcrti of deurlptinn, and without aehnngcaiutt end in ouirain." 
— ff BKiin^ton It William FinAmgk. aa October. 17B0. 




Sir, a» October, 1780. 

I enclose you a resolution of Congress of the 5th 
instant, directing me to order a court of inquiry to be 
held on your conduct, as commander of the southern 
army, and to appoint an officer to command that 
army in your room, until such inquiry be made. In 
obedience to this order, I have appointed Major- 
General Greene to the command ; and i have in- 
structed him respecting the inquiry, in the manner 
which the enclosed extract from his instructions will 
show. It appeared to me, that the business could be 
nowhere so properly conducted as with the army, 
where the transactions, which will enter into the 
inquiry, took place, and where every kind of light can 
with the most facility be obtained. 1 could not, 
however, order it immediately to commence, because 
it is possible, that the situation of alTairs might render 
it impracticable ; but I have endeavored to take 
every precaution to prevent delay, if it is not unavoid- 
able. Should you have any objection to the mode 
proposed, I shall be obliged to you to communicate 
it to me, with your reasons ; in the fullest assurance, 
that it is my aim to execute the orders of Congress 
in the manner most consistent with justice to the 
public and to you. In this case. General Greene will 
suspend proceeding, till 1 receive your objections, 
and send him further instructions. I am, &a' 

' When General Greene joined the loutbeni mm;, il was General Gatei' 
wish that ihc court of inquiry might be immediBtely convened, *' It is true," 




ItKAD-QUAKTEU, 35 October, i7Sa 


I am honored with your letter of the 1 8th. The 
enemy seem to be practising the arts of corruption 
so extensively, that 1 think we cannot be too much 
upon our guard against Its effects, nor ought we to 
neglect any chics that may lead to discoveries ; but, 
on the other hand, we ought to be equally circumspect 
in admitting suspicious or proceeding upon them 
without sufficient evidence. It will be the policy of 
the enemy to distract us, as much as possible, by 
sowing jealousies, and, if we swallow the bait, no 
characters will be safe. There will be nothing but 
mutual distrust In the present case, from every 
thing I have heard of your informant. I should sus- 
pect him of the worst intentions ; and. notwithstand- 
ing what we are told about the motives, which obliged 
him to leave the enemy, \ still think it probable he 
came out as a spy, and that the assigned causes are 
either altogether fictitious, or, being real, were made 
the inducement with him for undertaking the errand 
to avoid punishment, as well as obtain a rcwarxi. 
The kind of information he is willing to give may be 

Mid Iw, " there are Mme erldcnee* I could widi were here, th±t cannot al 
|iTC*en( be ptocaml ; but innocence and integri1)r induce me to be coDfid«nl. 
Uial the hoaoi and jiulicc of the court of inquiry will moiie every allowattoe for 
Uiat deficiencj." A oouncll of general nITici-n. ilrciileit, however, (h«l fn the 
fUM of the army nt Ihal time ii wiu nnl praclitible for a court to bennnmoncd. 
Ti woald interfere "ilh importinl opcmliom, and render ii neceuary lo call 
Banm Steuben from Virginia, where hiii servlccn were cucniial. The lime of 
aucnililiiig I he courl ii«s accortlingly defemd, and General G«le retired tohb 
rMidence in the county of Berkeley in Virginia 




received ; but in my opinion it would be a very 
improper foundation for an inquiry, unless the cir- 
p cumstances of it have much more weight than the 
character of the witness. I have the honor to be, &c 


H£Ai>-(JttARTeas, 30 Oclobet, ijSo^ 

It is impossible, my dear Marquis, to desire more 
ardently than I do to terminate the campaign by some 
happy stroke ; but we must consult our means rather 
than our wishes, and not endeavor to better our 
affairs by attempting things, which for want of suc- 
cess may make them worse. VVc arc to lament, that 
there has been a misapprehension of our circumstances 
in Europe ; but, to endeavor to recover our reputa- 
tion, we should take care that we do not injure it 
more. Ever since it became evident, that the allied 
arms could not co-operate this campaign, I have had 
an eye to the point you mention, determined, if a 
favorable opening should offer, to embrace it ; but. 
so far as my information goes, the enterprise would 
not be warranted. It would in my opinion be impru- 
dent to throw an army of ten thousand men upon an 
island against nine thousand, exclusive of seamen and 
militia. This, from the accounts we have, appears to 
be the enemy's force. All wc can therefore at pres- 
ent do. is to endeavor to gain a more certain knowl- 
edge of their situation and act accordingly. This I 
have been some time employed in doing, but hitherto 
with little success. I shall thank you for any aids 

you can afford. Arnold's flight seems to have fright- 
ened all my intelligencers out of their senses. I am 
sincerely and affectionately yours.' 


6 Noveniber, 176a. 

I had the honor yesterday to receive your Excel- 
lency's letter of the 6th of October, and am extremely 
obliged to you for the intelligence contained in it. It 
is of so great importance, that the earliest and best 
intelligence of all the great movements and designs 
of the enemy, as well as of the situation of our own 
affairs, should be obtained, that 1 must entreat you 
will be so good as to favor me with such communica- 
tions, as may have any influence on our militarj- ar- 
rangements and operations. 

While I sincerely lament the distressed and ex- 
hausted situation of the southern States, 1 cannot but 
hope the enemy have committed themselves so far as 
to be made to repent their temerity ; especially since 
I have received information, of a more recent date than 
your letter, of the success of the militia against Colo- 

' The Msr([ui< dc La(>ifclle. Ijcing now in coniinand ol Ihc six li.ittalion* o( 
light infanti]-, ilaliontd in advance of the m«bi arm}", wai eitremclr ■nxioui 
to eltcci tome tmportitiit cmcrpriic before ihc campaign tliauM be broufhl to > 
clasc. A ritscent ujion Suiimi KUml IihiI hrm jimjcctccl. vhith wt* lo be 
condlicteil by hitn ; bul il mu imdcrcd impcacljoble by ihc want of boatt ao<I 
of other ncceuary prepBriiliont. He hod nrillcn ■ letter la (icnctsl Waibing- 
lim, 10 which the above w4h a [eg>ly. otjinK, (of various political rcaMiia, an 
attack upon the upper part of New York liiand. 





nel Ferguson. This I flatter myself will give a 
better aspect to your affairs, and will awaken more 
extensively that spirit of bravery and enterprise, 
which displayed itself so conspicuously on the 

The enemy seem again to have adopted the same 
system of policy they have before presented with but 
too much success, of making detachments to the 
southward at a time when our army is greatly reduced 
by the expiration of the services of the levies, who were 
raised for the campaign only. Besides the detachment 
under General Leslie, which has landed in Virginia, it 
is reported another embarkation is taking place at N. 
York. But 1 have great confidence in the exertion 
of the southern Stales, when their all is at stake, and 
in the abilities of General Greene to call forth and 
apply the resources of the country in the best and 
most effectual manner to its defence. Major-General 
the Baron Steuben, who accompanies him, possesses 
the most distinguished military talents, and has ren- 
dered signal service to this army as inspector-general. 
Major Lee has also marched to Join the southern army 
with his legion. The arrival of a reinforcement in 
New York, nearly equal to the !ate detachment, and 
the incursion of a large force (of which 1 have just 
received intelligence), from Canada on the northern 
and western frontiers of the State of New York, 
where great devastation has already been committed, 
will I fear render it impossible to make any further 
detachments from this army to the southward. I have 
the honor to be, &c 





HxAD-QuARTSRt, Pamaic Falls, 

Dear Sir, 7 Norcnher. itbol 

I am perswaded that the letters, of which the in- 
closed are copies, never reached your hands. I take 
the liberty of fonvarding a duplicate of the last and 
triplicate of the first — with the inclosures it refers to. 

Since mine of March to you, I have been favored 
with a third letter from our good friend Colonel Fair- 
fax, copy of which 1 also send, and should be happy 
in knowing that you had accepted the appointment he 
mentions, In order that 1 might direct all his Papers 
to be carefully packed up and sent to you. 

I hope, I trust, that no act of Legislation in the 
State of Virginia has affected, or can affect, the prop- 
erty of this gentleman, otherwise than in common 
with that of every good and well disposed citizen of 
America. It is a well known fact that his departure 
for England was not only antecedent to the present 
rupture with Great Britain, but before there was the 
most distant prospect of a serious dispute with that 
country', and if it is necessary to adduce proof of his 
attachment to the interests of America since his resi- 
dence there, and of the aid he has given to many of 
our distressed countrymen in that kingdom, abundant 
instances may be produced, not only by the Gentlemen 
alluded to in his letter of December 5, 1 779, but by 
others that arc known to me, and on whom justice to 
Col. Fairfax will make it necessary to call, if occasion 
should require the facts to be ascertained. 

About the time of my writing to you in March last, 


I communicated the contents of Col. Fairfax's letter 
of the 3d of August, 1 778, to Col. Lewis, and received 
for an answer, that the bad state of his health would 
render it impossible for him to discharge the trust 
Col. Fairfax wished to repose in you, or him, in a 
manner agreeable to himself, and therefore could not 
think of engaging in it if you (to whom I informed 
him I had written) should decline it ; but he recom- 
mended in case of your refusal, Mr. Francis Whiting 
(the former manager of Cols. Henry and William 
Fitzhugh's Estate) as a person most likely, in his 
opinion, to discharge the trust with punctuality. 

My best respects attend your lady & family, &c. 


HbaD'Quabteks, 7 November, 1760. 


I have been honored with your Excellency's favor 
of ist and am happy to find that my appointment of 
Major-General Greene to the command of the South- 
em Army meets the approbation of Congress. * * * 
By letters from Governor Clinton I find, that the 
enemy have gone off for the present from the Mo- 
hawk River, after totally destroying the Country as 
low down as Schoharie. Those upon the North- 
ern quarter had repassed Lake George, and were 
again proceeding towards St. John's, but suddenly 
returned with a reinforcement, and were, by accounts 
from Genl. Schuyler of the ist instt., assembled in 
so considerable force at Ticonderoga, that I have 




thought proper to send up the remainder of the New 
York Brigade from West Point to Albany, that they 
may be ready to act as circumstances may require. 
The destruction of the Grain upon the Western 
Frontier of the State of New York is likely to be at- 
tended with the most alarming consequences, in 
respect to the formation of Magazines upon the 
North River. We had prospects of establishing a 
very considerable Magazine of Flour in that quarter, 
previous to the late incursion. The settlement of 
Schoharie only would have delivered eighty thousand 
Bushels of Grain, but that fine district is now totally 
destroyed. 1 should view this calamity with less 
concern, did I see the least prospect of obtaining 
the necessary supplies of flour from the States of 
Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, previous to 
the interruption of transportation by frost and bad 
roads. • * • 

While our Army is experiencing almost daily want, 
that of the enemy at New York is deriving ample 
supplies from a trade with the adjacent States of New 
York, New jersey, and Connecticut, which has by 
degrees become so common, that it is hardly thought 
a Crime. It is true there are, in those States, Laws 
imposing a pcnaltj'upon this criminal commerce; but 
it is either so light or so little attended to. that 
it docs not prevent the practice. The Markctts 
of New York are so well supplied, that a great num- 
ber of mouths, which would otherwise be fed from 
the public Magazines, arc now supported upon the 
fresh Meats and flour of the Country, by which 




means the enemy have been often enabled to bear the 
disappointments of the arrival of their provision 
Fleets without much inconvenience ; and, if report 
be true, they would at this very time experience dis- 
tress for want of their long expected Irish Fleet, if 
the resources of the Country were effectually cut off 
from them. This cannot be done by military' meas- 
ures alone, except in cases of Blockade or Seigc, and 
much less will it be in my power to do it with our 
Army in the weak state it is verging to. I believe 
that most nations make it capital for their subjects to 
furnish their enemies with provisions and Military 
Stores during the War. — Was this done by the sev- 
eral States, and the laws rigidly put in execution in a 
few instances, the practice would be stopped. With- 
out something of the kind, the enemy will, while they 
have a species of money of superior value to ours, 
find little difficulty of making up the losses, which 
they ever>' now and then meet with at sea, and which 
would verj' much embarrass their operations, had 
they no immediate mode of making good the 

1 have the pleasure to inform Congress, that, at the 
late meeting of the respective Commissaries, the ex- 
changes of about one hundred and forty of our ofliicers, 
and all our privates in New York, amounting to four 
hundred and seventy-six, were effected. Among the 
former are Major-General Lincoln,' Brigr. -Generals 

* " I b«Te BOW the pIcAanre lo congratulate jrou upon youT exchange. . , . 
I donol naanby thUnolic* icihattrn your return lothe Army ; for that, alu I 
unpontheefcofitiuuiualdiuoliitiaa; canseigueiill}' of the enemy's attvaatagei. 

Thompson, Watcrbury, and Duportail, and Lt.-Colo. 
Laurens. Sir Henry Clinton having made a pro- 
posal of exchanging a further number of the Conven- 
tion Officers, without attaching men to them, I have 
acceded to it, by which we shall liberate ail our 
officers in this quarter, except one brigr.-general 
(Irvine), Nine Colonels, one Captain, and thirty-nine 
I^ieutenants. An offer is made by Sir Henrj' Clin- 
ton to exchange all those, for a division o( the Con- 
vention Troops, by Composition where Rank will 
not apply. To this I have refused to accede, unless 
Lieutt.-General Burgoyne is taken into the account. If 
they will agree to this, he alone will liberate nearly 
the whole of them. They have further proposed a 
general exchange of the Convention Troops, Officers 
and men, for our prisoners of War at the Southward. 
I have not thought proper to enter at all upon the busi- 
ness of southern prisoners, because I have but a very 
imperfect stale of them, and because 1 perceive by 
the powers granted to Major-Gen era! Greene, that he 
is at Liberty to negotiate the exchange of prisoners in 
that quarter. * * • 

I have the honor to be, &c.' 

I km of opinion, Ihat your Influence and cxerlLon in pcocuring ihe Slate's qaata of 
TroopE for Ihc war, pruviding funds for llie tulwitloncD of Uirni, MB(|;)i«nct, let., 
wHl be of infiniiely more importance in your own Sule this Wbter, llurn il «lii 
be to liecomc x inGrr hgicoulot. nr fellow huflerer ol t]ie hunger Rnit cold, frtiiB 
•canlinen of Pn^ritiun and Cloalhing. whidi t expvcl llip ttoM romainn of our 
tttuf will have to encounter in a icry ihort lime, and more than piotwbljr to 
eODtcnd withduriii); I lie wliil.'c. Kul al tUr haiiielime 1 |i;ivc lliinnaan opIniOD ; 
and I lenTt jroa at full liberty to punae the bt-ni uf your in i: linn lion and judg- 
ment."— Waikin/^eti t« MaJt'r.Grirral Lini«lii, i November. 1780, 

' RmmI In Congicv>. November ijih. Referred to Iluane. Henrf, iDd Cor- 






UsAD-QtiARms, yeAK PAtiAic Falu, 
Dear Sir, 8 Nox-«nbM. 178a 

I am favored with your letter of the 31st of Octo- 
ber, and am glad to find your Appointment so agree- 
able to the views and wishes of Congress. So fully 
sensible have I long been of the distressed situation 
of the army, not only in this quarter, but also to the 
Southward, and of all our great Departments, from 
the embarrassed stale of qwx finaiues, that it has been 
not only a constant subject of representation in the 
strongest terms to Congress and to the States indi- 
vidually, but particularly so to the M inister of France 
at our last interview ; and that a foreign Loan was 
absolutely necessary to retrieve our affairs. My ideas 
therefore must have been exceedingly misapprehended 
by him, or his by the Baron Steuben. 

I entirely approve of your Plan for forming a flying 
Army. And in addition to this, (if the Enemy should 
continue to harass those parts of Virginia, which are 
intersected with large navigable Rivers,) I would 
recommend the building a number of flat-bottomed 
Boats, of as large a construction as can be con- 
veniently transported on Carriages. This I conceive 
might be of great utility, by furnishing the means to 
take advantage of the enemy's situation by crossing 
those Rivers, which would otherwise be impassable. 
1 have also written to Governor Jefferson on the Sub- 
ject. If a spirit of Patriotism, or even a true policy, 
animates the merchants and Men of Property in the 
Southern States, a subscription may be attended with 




success ; at least the experiment can do no injury. 
General Knox has received directions to send forward 
the Compy. of Artillery. An order will be given 
for the thousand stand of Arms. Since writing the 
above I have received your favor of the 3d Inst. 

Lieutenant-Col. Laurens will have heard of his ex- 
change before this time, and is at liberty to go to the 
Southward if he thinks proper. With respect to the 
power Congress have invested you with, to make ex- 
changes. 1 should suppose it regarded the Prisoners^ 
taken in the Southern Department on the usual prin- 
ciples, without involving the Convention or any other 
Troops to the Northward. A pretty extensive ex- 
change has just taken place in this quarter. It is 
impossible, from the non-arrival of the French Arms, 
and the scarcity in the Eastern States, to furnish those 
requested by you. Nor do I think the Legion of the 
Duke de Lauzun can be detached from the French 
army. The fleet of Arbuthnot. which still blockades 
that of France in the harbor of Newport, effectually 
precludes the execution of the other plan. Our last 
advices from the Northward mentioned another in- 
cursion of the Enemy from Canada in greater force; 
in consequence of which the remainder of the York 
Brigade is ordered thither. There are reports, that 
an embarkation is about to be made at New York ; 
but the accounts are vague and contradictor)', and the 
fact not yet ascertained. I have to request you will 
be phiased to send by a flag of truce the enclosed 
Letter to Brigadier-Genl. Duportail, who is exchanged. 
I am, dear Sir, &c. 





Dear Sir. 
• « * 

S Novcniber, 1780. 

The favorable prospect, which at one 
stage of the campaign was held up to view, has van- 
ished like the morning dew, leaving scarce a trace 
behind it, but the recollection of past distresses on 
the score of Provisions, the want of which continues 
to threaten us. 

Our accounts from the Southward are vague and 
uncertain, but agreeable. If it be true that a body of 
French and Spanish Troops have landed in South 
Carolina, it may aid in the total destruction of Com- 
wallis' Army. Another Embarkation is talked of at 
New York — but this also is a matter suggestion^ not 
certainly as to numbers. 

It is devoutly to be wished that the late resolves of 
Congress for regulating the Army and completing 
the Regiments for the War may receive all the ener- 
getic force of the respective States. Certain I am 
that if this measure had been adopted four, or even 
three years ago, that we might, at this time, have been 
sitting under our vines and fig-trees in full enjoyment 
of Peace and Independence. To attain which, the 
delay of the measure is unfortunate, it does not make 
it too late, but more necessarj' to enter upon it vigor- 
ously at this late hour. 

An Army for the war, proper magazines, and suffi- 
cient powers in Congress for all purposes of war will 
soon put an end to it — but the expensive and ruinous 
system we were pursuing was more than the friends 




of any Nation upon Earth would bear, and served to 
increase the hopes of the enemy in proportion as the] 
minds of our people were depressed, by a boundless 
prospect of expencc, which was increasing as it rolled 
on like a snow ball. * * » 


Huu-QuAHTKHS, Passaic Falu. 
B Kovcmtxr, 1780. 


1 have been honored with Your Excellency's favors] 
of the 22d. 25th. and 26th ulto. We have already 
had reporM, that the enemy left Portsmouth pre- 
cipitately a few days after landing. I shall be happy I 
to hear it confirmed, as well as the cause to which 
their hurry is attributed, that of the appearance of a-j 
French or Spanish fleet upon the coast of Carolina. 
Should the account be premature, and should they 
establish a post in Virginia, 1 think it will be good 
policy to remove the troops of convention to a greaterH 
distance from them. General Phillips has applied ™ 
for passports for a flag-vessel to proceed to James 
River as heretofore, with clothing and other neces- 
saries for those troops. This will be granted ; and, 
should they be removed from Charlottesville, your 
Excellency will be pleased, upon the arrival of the 
vessel in James River, to give directions for her to 
proceed to the most convenient place of debarkation, 
relatively to where the troops may be. ^M 

I am glad to hear that you have permitted Gov- " 
ernor Hamilton and Major Hayes to go to New 




York ; while they remain there upon parole, they 
wilt be less capable of concerting mischief than in 
Virginia, and it will deprive the enemy of a pretext 
for complaining that they are treated with rigor. 
Another embarkation is said to be preparing at New 
York, and I think it a very probable circumstance, 
considering the situation of the enemy's affairs in 
South Carolina and ours in this quarter. They are 
well acquainted with the expiration of the times of 
the better half of our army the latter end of Decem- 
ber, and they know they may safely detach equal to 
the number we disband, from this time to the month 
of May or June next, which is as soon as we generally 
get our recruits into the field. Should the enemy 
continue in the lower parts of Virginia, they will have 
every advantage by being able to move up and down 
the rivers in small parties, while it will be out of our 
power to molest them for want of the means of sud- 
denly transporting ourselves across those rivers to 
come at them. This might be in a very great degree 
obviated, and they kt^pt in check, if we had a number 
of (say) Hat-boats upon travelling carriages attending 
the army collected to watch their motions. We could 
then move across from river to river with more 
rapidity than they could go down one and up 
another, and none of their detachments would be 
ever secure by having the water between them and 
us. Major-General Greene is perfectly acquainted 
with the kind of boats I have mentioned, and with 
the mode of fixing them. He will give the proper 
directions for having them constructed, should your 




Excellency approve the plan. Newcastle I think 
from it5 situation would be a good and safe place to 
build the boats. I have the honor to be, &c. 

Dear Sir HEAii^QiiAitTERS, i6Novenibci, 1780. 

Your forage will be made to subser\'e a project 
I have in view, the success of which depending upon 
a concurrence of things and upon causes that are 
unalterable. 1 have to request, that matters may be 
so ordered by you, as that the detachment employed 
on this occasion may be at White Plains, or as low 
down as you mean they shall go, by two o'clock on 
Thursday the 23d instant. They will remain there 
that night upon their arms ; and, as it is not unlikely 
that the enemy, (if they are in force at Kingsbridge,) 
may attempt to surprise them, a vigilant lookout is to 
be kept, and small parties of Horse and foot em- 
ployed in patrolling the different Koads leading from 
the Enemy's lines. 

It is my earnest wish, that you make your foraging 
party as strong, and have it as well officered, as pos- 
sible. 1 am of opinion, that you may trust the several 
works (as it will be for a few days only, and this body 
will be in advance of them) to the Invalids, and to 
such Troops as are rendered unfit for the field on 
accL of cloathing. The guard-boats should, upon 
this occasion, be uncommonly alert. They should 
proceed as low down as they can with safety, and so 




dispose of themselves as by signals to communicate 
the quickest intelligence of any movements on the 
River. A chain of expresses may also be fixed be- 
tween the foragers and yr. Quarters, for the purpose 
of speedy information of any extra event or occurrence 

It is unnecessary to be more explicit. Your own 
judgment and conviction of the precision, with which 
this business, especially in point of time, should be 
executed, will supply any omission of mine. This, 
that is the time of being at the White Plains in 
force, under the appearatue of a large forage, if you 
cannot make it real, is the first object to be attended 
to, I dare not commit my project to writing, for fear 
of a miscarriage of my letter ; but it is more than 
probable, that between this and the day of execution 
I shall send an officer to you with a detailed acct. of 
if * * • Sosoonas this comes to hand. I beg of you 
to send by water five Doats of the largest size that can 
be conveniently transported on Carriages to the Siote 
above Dobbs's Ferr)', where 1 will have them met by 
carriages, l-ct there be five good watermen from 
the Jersey line, if they have them, allotted (with their 
arms and accoutrements) to each boat, under the 
care of an active, intelligent Subaltern, who is also a 
good Waterman. If there should be any Armed 

' Ttiis project wai an attack on ibe posts in the nurtlicm part of New Votlc 
liland. Tbc foixginj; parly wu intended to operate u ■ feint, and la divert 
■br altrntioo ol the cneniy in Bnoihcr direction al tl>e lime of the attack. 
CcnenU SUik commanded the detachment, consisting of two Ihouwnd five 
kiiBdi«d aaeu, destined (or thii ob)ccl. He leli We*l Toint on the Iitl. ftiid 
mirchcd to Wliila l*lain>. — fftatk'i Mrmairt, p. sb^. 




Vessels in the River above Dobbs's Ferry let me 
know it, that I may order the Carriages to King's 
Ferry. The officer and men are to attend the boats 
by land as well as by water, * ♦ • 


I1i>.-Qbs., Passaic Falls. 30 Novenbet. 1780. 
Dr. Sir. 

You have obliged me very much by your friendly 
letter of the 12th, and I can assure you that I shall 
be very happy in a continuation oi them. You are 
too well acquainted with my course of business to 
expect frequent or long letters from me, but I can 
truly say that 1 shall write to none with more pleas- 
ure, when it is in my power to write at all, than I will 
do to you. The determination of Congress to raise 
an army for the war, and the honorable establishment 
on which the officers are placed, will, I am persuaded, 
be productive of much good. Had the first measure 
been adopted four, or even three years ago, 1 have 
not the smallest doubt in my mind but that we should 
at this day have been sitting under our own vines and 
fig-trees in the full enjoyment of Peace and Indepen- 
dence ; and I have as little doubt, that the value which 
I trust officers will now set upon their commissions 
will prove the surest basis of public oeconomy. 'T was 
idle to expect, that men who were suffering every 

' General Sullivui. hiving r«iigned hii comnuisioii in the >nDf. Mid been 
•p|Mini^ > ilrtcuMe to Conjpcu from New Munpthirc. took hii mkI in Uut 
bodj on Ui« 1 1th of Saptnnbot. 


species of present distress, with the (wospect erf in- 
evitable ruin before them, coold bear to hare the 
cord of discipline strained to its {»oper tune; and 
where that is not the case, it is no diAtcult matter to 
form an idea of the want of order, or to conTiDce 
military men of its consequent evils. 

It is to be lamented, that the c^ upon the States 
for specific supplies should c»me at this late hour, 
because it is much to be feared that, before those at a 
distance can be furnished with the resolves and make 
their arrangements, the season for Salting Provisioa 
will be irretrievably lost : and this leads me to a 
remark, which 1 could wish nes'er to make, and which 
is, that the multiplicity' of business, in which Congress 
are engaged, will not let them extend that seasonable 
and provident care to many matters, which private 
convenience and public ceconomy tndispensabl)' call 
for, and proves, in my opinion, the evident necessity 
of committing more of the executive business to small 
boards or responsible charairters. than U practised at 
present ; for 1 am ver\- well con^-inced. that, for want 
of system in the execution of business, and a proper 
timing of things, that our public expenditures are 
inconceivably greater than thej- ought to be. 

Many instances might be given in proof, but I will 
confine myself to the article of cloathing, as we are 
feelingly reminded of it. This, instead of Ixring 
ready in the Fall for deliver\% is then to be pr'>vid';d, 
or to be drawn from the Lord knows whith*rr; and. 
after forcing many Soldiers from the fieM for want fA 
it, is eked out at different periods, as it can 1^ had 




through ye winter, till spring, and in such a piecemeal 
way, that the Soldr. dcrivg. little comfort from it, is 
hurt both in appearance and pride, while the recruit- 
ing Service is greatly injured by it. Were this the 
result of necessity, not a word would be said ; but it is 
the effect of a dividd. attentn., or overmuch business ; 
for, at the periods of the extreme suffering of the 
army, we can hear of cloathing in different places 
falling a prey to moths, and canker-worms of a worse 
kind ; and I am much mistaken, too, if the cloathing 
system (if ours can be called a system) does not 
afford a fruitful field for stockjobbing, &c. 

It may be asked what remedy I would apply to 
these evils ? In my opinion there is a plain and easy 
one. It will not, I acknowledge, give relief to our 
immediate and pressing wants, no more than order 
can succeed confusion in a moment ; but, as both 
must have a beginning, let Congress without delay 
(for this is the season to be lookg. forwd. to the sup- 
plies for another year) employ some eminent mer- 
chant of approved integrity and abilities, to import. 
(in his own way,) materials for the annual cloathing 
of officers and men, agreeably to estimates to be fur- 
nished by the Cloathicr-Gcneral. Or, if ikey prefer 
it, let these imports be made by a committee of their 
own body. When a stock is once obtained, discon- 
tinue all Continental agents and State agents for 
Continental purposes, and confine the business of 
cloathing the army wholly to the Importer, Clothier- 
Genl., and regimental cloathiers. This would be easy 
and simple, and would soon extricate that department 



from those embarrassmenls and imposilions, which 
have a tendency to distress individuals and load the 
public with an enormous expense. At present we 
do not know where or to whom to apply. I have 
made the distresses of the army known to Congress, 
the Board of War. and the States individually, with- 
out learning from whence the supplies are to come, 
and can without the aid of a perspirctive sec a very 
gloomy prospect before us this Winter on the score 
of cloathing. 

1 have two reasons for preferring the materials for 
cloathing to ready made cloathcs ; first, because 1 
think we can have them made by the regimental 
Taylors to fit each man. and to suit the fashion of 
each RegimL ; and, secondly, because the materials 
will always be a more ready sale, if Peace takes 
place and the Troops are disbanded, than ready-made 
doathes. They wd. attract less notice, too, at the 
places of Export. Another question may arise here; 
Where are the means? Means must be found, or 
the Soldiers must go naked. But I will take the 
liberty in this place to give it as my opinion, that a 
foreign loan is indispensably necessary to the con- 
tinuance of the war. Congress will deceive them- 
selves, if they imagine that the army, or a State that 
is the theatre of war, can rub through a second cam- 
paign as the last. U would be as unreasonable as to 
suppose, that, because a man had rolled a snow-ball 
till it had acquired the size of a horse, that he might 
do so till it was as large as a house. Matters may be 
pushed to a certain point, beyond which we cannot 




move them. Ten months' pay is now due to the 
army. Everj* departmt. of it is so much indebted, 
that we have not credit for a single Express ; and 
some of the States are harassed and oppressed to a 
degree beyond bearing. To depend, under these 
circumstances, upon the resources of the Country, 
unassisted by foreign loans, wil], 1 am confident, be 
to lean on a broken Reed. 

The situation of the southern States is very embar- 
rassing, and I wish it were in my power to afford 
them rchef in the way you have mentioned, but it is 
not. The very measure you suggest, / urged as far 
as decency and policy would permit me to do at the 
Interview at Hartford, but to no effect.' I cannot 
be more particular on this subject, and what I now 
say is in confidence. 

The report of Sir Henr)' Clinton's going to the 
southward was groundless, and i believe few Troops 
have left New York since those under Leslie. I 
set out with telling you that 1 could not write long 
letters, but have ended with a flat contradiction of it. 
I am, with much esteem and regard, dear Sir, &c.' 

* Gencnl SuUiran hud lusgcuted Ibe «spedienc)r o( ordering the French fl««t 
Irom Newport lo BMIon, where Jt migjht remain bccuic till iclnfor<c'l, anti u( 
caQin); (he French Iro<i|i4 lo hr^-i|uum^. Such aii .imnftfineiit mould 
excite Sir Hrnry Clinlon'i (eart (or the nfetjr o( New York, atiil prevent liii 
lending detachment* to the (oulheni Staler, This mcaMirc wat preuiMi upon 
Ihe Frencli oflicrrt ■[ (he conlar«^cc in Harlfunl, anil it would neein tu hai« 
been the beii that could be adopkd, for the troops, who were dctadied from 
New Vork during the nintcr. constituted in eMenlla] part of the BdlUb 
Huihira army. 

' On th« aiit of November Wuhinglon had rancuted his plan* for an iludc 
npon New York, ind begin to iuue Ihe orden neccuary to effect it. Colonel 
(><niTioti wM directed to rcccinnoltre Ihe cnemf't work* from Foil Wuhington 



Hbad^uakteks, ao November, t7So. 


I am authorized by Congress to propose a meeting 
of commissioners, for the purpose of effecting an ex- 
change of all Continental prisoners of war now in your 
possession, and of the hostages given in Canada, as 
well as of all officers on parole, and officers violators 
of parole, and militia actually taken in arms and re- 
maining prisoners of war, for an' equal number of the 
convention troops, and other prisoners in our hands, 
rank for rank ; and, where similar rank will not apply, 

opvuds, and make ever; observatioD essential for fanning a pUa for turprixing 
tbem b7 a night attack. (31 NoTcmber.) Moylan wai ordered to parade hi( 
regimeDt at Totawa Bridge, at nine o'clock on the morning of the t4tll, 
detactuDg parties to secure all the croating- places on the Hackensack River, 
and prerentiiig any person (torn going with intelligence to the enemy. Major 
GoetKhins vas to patrol from the New Bridge downward*, lor ibe auiie pnr- 
poae. (ai NoTcmbei.) Brigadier-General Wa^oe waa to march on the Mma 
day to a mile belo* Acqnaqoenoc Bridge, advancing a regiment tuwarda New- 
ark, halting in about tnat position for farther ordeti, bat id the meanliDM 
loraging. (31 November.) To Pickering wai ialroMed the laik of Irantport' 
ing boati from the Notch to Acqoaqneooc Bridge, and bit pcrvwal atlcntina 
enjoined. (33 Novembet.) Lientenant-O^nel Hnmphnys waa despautiad 
to Wc>t Point to inform Heath of the iatcoded moveneal, aoA ibai/jt ttt 
White Plains, a-herc a detachment la; that wai U> move " preciiely •! t'mt 
o'clock, and commence a alow and regaiar march towarda Kingabiidgc." oali) 
ptcnmcerted s^nals should direct then to prcic forward with " the greaten 
iBpidity." Knoi waa to have iiis park of amOrTy naAf <m Friday " Ia ciw«r 
a body of troops in thcit f— "Tc" "^"f^ * river," while HhM'jn'* tegnB^nl 
and the Coonecticat State troop* were to csl ofl Frog't Nedi. *tA tbe rrf«];a( 
cops at Manisania. To ilajai Crane was acfgErtH the ;j<WBiAiitT lA thr'/WMf 
a body of troops tiwiAitrtt wrrr^. ij^ tLe iuasid. 

The intenliao tailed si the lae m>DB«E'- " Tut <l'jmma*Aa-^iJl^lM f/Ott 
a ^lolc campaign in tipeaiae this yrjjoa. b'jact, tbvuitiM 'm t/av<>iu^''.*r- 
riagei, were kept cosfUztiv wi^JL li« aron. lit Uar'^ca -^t Ijalajt^M, ai iLc 
head of the Ligh: IkUzot. vai vj h*ie marie U<e te-'-v^ n. Uit k,^^ Mb f 4«1 
WashingtoB- Tike pc»«f cb>kes i'x llua aejo^eiut waa Uw very Vmut, WIM* 

to pursue the exchange on the footing of composition, 
according to the valuation or tariff agreed on by the 
commissioners at Amboy in March last. In this busi- 
ness will of course come into contemplation an equita- 
ble adjustment and payment of the accounts of the 
convention troops. I think it necessary to apprize 
you of this circumstance, that there may be no mis- 
apprehension, and that, if the commissioners meet, 
they may come clothed with proper powers to render 
the meeting effectual. I request your speedy answer ; 
after which, the time and place of meeting may be 
regulated. * 

« 1 

the uDiy Here in break up iheli c&inp nnd nurch iiiti> iviniei-cjuarlen : «o that 
the Comnianitci-iii-Ctuet, moring in the iluik of the evening, would hare been 
on ihebanki of ihelludioD, with Iiii whole force, (o support the ■iinck. Never 
WHS u iilnii bcllcr uniiigeil. ftiicl never did circumotuices proiniK more ture or 
complele success. The British were doI oriljr unikimed, but our own troop* 
were likewise entirety mlngulded In the [r expectations. The accidental inter- 
venlion of some vesseli prevenled at Ihii time Ihe nllcmpl. which waa 
more thui once rcsumcil aflcrwaidi. Noiwiih&ianding this favoiilc project 
•raa not nltimalcly eflected, it was evidciilty nul Jcu bold ia conception or 
(eaaibi* in accompHsbment. than that attemjilcd so successful!)' at Trenton. 
or than thai which wu brought lo so glorious an issue in the successful 
litge at Voilttowiu" — Ltiltr ef CebntI Humphreys, lift »f Putnam, pp. 

IJ. 15- 

Woihingion merely wrote lo each of the commanding officcn that " dtentn- 
itances" had remtereil the prosEcutiun oF the dekign " lnei|)edient." 

The foraging npedidon was prosecuted, however, by General Stark near the 
enemy's lines, and with considerable success. 

' Sir Henty Clinton ns^entcd to the proposition contained in ihia Utter, but 
auggested thai the adjuttraenl of accounts should not be limited lo the conven- 
tion troops, but eilend lo all the prisoners that had been made on both sides 
durinj; Ihe war. an well Elriiihh ax Arnerican, Concerning ihiK poinl Watliing- 
loD replied that he had written to Congress on the snbject ; but, since il would 
take much time to collect and arrange the accounts, he thought U not licit to 
appoint commistioncra (or (he purpose till this should be done. In the mcan- 
liine the business of exchange might go forward, according to the principle* 
upon whicli both parties were agreed. 




>R. Sib. 


IlKAO-QUARinU. I'AfUIC Pau,*, 
gj Novvmbar, 178a 

* « * * • 

I intended in my last (but, having spun my letter 
to an enormous length, deferred it) to have obscr%'cd, 
that, as Congress had made one or two late promo- 
tions from brigadiers to major-generals, apparently 
on the principle of a State proportion (which by the 
way. if made a general rule, I am persuaded will be 
found hurtful), an idea has occurred to mc, that pos- 
sibly from the same principle, on a future occasion, 
one might take place which would be particularly 
injurious. I mean with respect to General Knox. 
Generals Parsons and Clinton have been superseded 
by Smallwood. Parsons is since restored to his rank. 
Except Clinton. Knox now stands first on the list. If 
from the consideration I have mentioned, or from his 
being at the head of the artiller)', he should be over- 
looked, and a younger officer preferred, he will un- 
doubtedly quit the service ; and you know his usefulness 
too well not to be convinced, that this would be an 
injur)' difficult to be repaired. 1 do not know, all 
things considered, who could replace him in his 
department. 1 am sure, if a question of this kind 
should be agitated when you were present, this inti- 
mation would be unnecessary to induce you to inter- 
pose ; but, lest you should be absent at the time, 
I think it would be advisable to apprize some other 
members, in whom you have confidence, to guard 
against it. Perhaps indeed for sores reed, by irregu- 




lar promotions or mistakes, tho' they may afterwards 
receive a plaister, does not always meet a cure, but 
proves that inattention or want of information was the 
cause of the wound. 

If the sentiments contained in my letter to Con- 
gress of this date respecting the Inspectorate depart- 
ment are happy enough to coincide with yours, I have 
no doubt of your giving them a proper support — To 
me it appears a matter of importance to keep the 
present Inspectors in office ; and sure I am, that it is 
the true interest and policy of Congress, to make 
these oflices more the object of desire by the ofBcers 
who fill them than of favor from tliem. In the one 
case the duties will be discharged properly ; In the 
other they maybe slighted or not executed at all — the 
additional pay necessary to make it adequate to the 
trouble and confinement incident to the office, would 
be very trifling — and the future one nothing, as they 
will not burthen the half pay list, being officers in the 
line, and receiving half pay accordingly, and no other. 

With great &c.' 

Sj[{ Morris Town, iS Norembei, 1780. 

I arrived at this place to-day, having yesterday 
broke up the Camp near the Passaic Falls, and de- 
tached the Troops to their different places of Canton- 
ment. I shall repair to New Windsor, where I purpose 

* In ■ letter t« the Prendent of ConKre», dated the 36tb of November, Gcn- 
Wtl Wuhinfton Mid : " 1'he death »! (hitl uhcful «t>il valu*bl« nficw, Mr. 
Xnkine, g««p«pli«t lo the irm;. makn it i«<|uiiite ihni a iui!cc«or ibould b* 
•pfMHntcd. I bi^ leave lo recommend Mr. Sineoiii Dewiti. Hu being in the 




to establish my Winter-Quarters, after having made 
some necessary regulations here and visited the Hos- 

The following will be the general position of the 
army during the Winter. The Pennsylvania line 
about four miles from hence in part of the huts, which 
were occupied by the Troops last Winter ; the Jersey 
line at Pompton, with a detachment from thence to 
secure the entrance of the Clove near Suffran's, (the 
design of these is not only to cover the Countrj' and 
our communication with the Delaware, but as much 
as possible to ease us in the article of transportation.) 
The Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island 
lines in the Highlands, upon the East side of Hud- 
son's River ; the Massachusetts line at West Point, 
Moylan's regiment of horse at Lancaster in Pennsyl- 
vania, and Sheldon's at Colchester in Connecticut 
One Regiment of New York is in Ciarrison at Fort 
Schuyler, and another is at Saratoga ; but to give 
more effectual security to the Northern and Western 
Frontiers, which are both much exposed and har- 
rassed, I propose, if provision can be had. which is 
exceedingly doubtful, to send the remainder of the 
line to Albany and Schenectady, where it will be 
ready to act as occasion may require, and the officers 
will have it more in their power to arrange themselves 
agreeably to the New Establishment. 

I have lately had a very pressing application from 

d«pwtnent gives tilin > prcicniiooi. md liib iblUties txt still belicr. From the 
chuacter Mf. Enkiac liways g>vc of him. «n[l from whai I liave seen of hii 
p«rionBMC«i, he wemi to be exlremcly well quatilicd." In compliance with 
tlu> reooinm«DdalioD, Mr. DcwItI wat appoinled geogrtpticr to the army. 




Colo, Scammell for liberty to resign the office of 
Adjutant-General, and resume the Command of his 
Regiment. Finding him determined upon the meas- 
ure, 1 thought it my duty to cast about for a proper 
person to succeed him in so important an office, before 
I mentioned his request. The Gentleman ! would 
recommend is Brigadier-General Hand, who I have 
sounded upon the occasion, and who I find will accept 
the appointment, should Congress think proper to 
confer it upon him. His rank, independent of his 
other qualities, is a circumstance of consequence. 
Besides giving weight and dignity to the office, it will 
take off any uneasiness, which might have arisen, had 
an officer younger than any of the present Inspectors 
been appointed ; because by the Regulations the 
Adjutt.-Genera] is Assistt. Inspector-General, and of 
course commands the others in that Department. I 
shall very reluctantly part with Colo. Scammell. as he 
has constantly performed his duty to my entire appro- 
bation, and to the satisfaction of the army ; but his 
reasons, (which 1 should have transmitted at length, 
had I not sent up his letter among my papers to New 
Windsor,) were such as I could not oppose, without 
requiring him to make greater sacrifices than he 
assured me his fortune would afford.' 

' EMtrail frem 0>lantt Stammill't UUer : "ConBTCM luivjni; put ihe wgi- 
nenE in |>oint of numben ■nd (onii of «crvict i>ii a irp^Ulilc fiiMiiii:. *ni] Iieing 
lo much itduced in property u noi to be able to equip mytflf for the office I 
*l ptetcnt have the honat lo hold. I bee youi Excellency will pleiielo granl ot 
obtain Iravc fnc mc (» trliie fram [hetialT ikjmilmcnt, ami rejuin my tf|;iiiienl 
by llie 111 of January next : that 1 may have an early opportunity la attend lo 
the inlenial police and iccnilling o( il. anil my iucceuoc, o( gaining a perfect 
koQwIedsc ol UiG buiincu of the dIScg prtviout lo lh« commencement of the 
nut campaign." — November t6th. 




Having received information, through Major Tall- 
madge (of the 2d Regiment of Dragoons,) that the 
enemy had collected a valuable Magazine of Forage 
at Coram upon Long Island, the destruction of which 
he at the same time offered to attempt with my per- 
mission, (which he obtained,) I do myself the honor 
to enclose a copy of his report by which Congress 
will perceive how very handsomely he acquitted him- 
self in the execution of his whole plan. There can be 
no stronger proof of the gallant behavior and good 
conduct of the Major and his Officers, and of the 
rbravery and fidelity of his men, than the recital of the 
' circumstances attending the affair throughout its 
progress. With great respect I have the honor to 
be. Ac' 


New Wihuor, B December, I7»* 

Mv Dear Marquis, 

Since mine of yesterday by the Count dc Custinc,' 
another opportunity has offered of writing to you 
more leisurely : and. as your departure for the south- 
ward, if that ultimately should be your determination, 
may be incommoded by delay, I have taken the lib* 
erty of facilitating your journey by the enclosed 

' Read ia C«nei«H, t^MCmbcT 4A. Rtfencd W SDDlTan, Cornell, ud 

' The CounI de Cuitine wa* in command o( ihe regiment of Sainlonge- 

' Wlicn ibe inny w«n( tnto winler-i|iiartert. the 1>i;lit Infanliy corps "hich 

I'bd been commiuidtd bjr Ivofajrclle, wax broken up, and ibo diflcrenl parli 

fMfotaed the Una uul reeimenti to which lh<}' originally belonged. Seeking 

•dirilr tad opportuailiM for diMin^iiiBhiDg himwH, l.aliyetle had fomcd a 




I beg you to be persuaded, however, that I do not 
mean by this to fix your determination of serving in 
the Southern Army. It is my earnest wish, (as 1 
mentioned at Morris Town,) that you shd. be gov- 
erned in this matter by European and Southern 
advices, wch. ought & alone can determine you with 
propriety — These you are more in the way of receiv- 
ing than I am. if there is a prospect of a naval 
superiority in these Seas, and an augmentation of the 
(French) land force at Rhode Island, 1 shall, with 
the freedom of a friend, give it as my opinion, that 
your going lo the Southern Army, (if you expect a 
command in this,) will answer no vahiable purpose, 
but must be fatiguing to yourself, and embarrassing 
to General [Greene.] as it may contravene a perma- 
nent arrangement, to the disgust of those, who, con- 
sidering themselves as belonging to that army, may 
be hurt by disappointments. On the other hand, 
if we are likely to remain in a state of inactivity in 
this quarter, your seeking ser\'ice to the Southward, 
where there is a more fruitful field for enterprise, is 
not only an evidence of your zeal, but will be sup- 
ported by every rule of military reasoning. Hence it 
is, I again repeat, that circumstances should alone 
decide. In all places, and at all times, my best wishes 
for your health, honor, and glory will accompany you. 
With much truth I can add. that 1 am. my dear Mar- 




proj«ct «f irsnitfcrriiii; hit nrvic«t lu the loutheni wmjr nntUr Geiwral GnmM 
during ilic winict, and had ukcd Gcnciil Wuhinglan'i ■itvjce. Ltf«yelu nru 
wtm in Philadelphia, having gone thither iniineUlaicljr alter ihc KiiamiDii ofhia 
(Utachmcnl of light inlaiitrr. 





New WiMiMoa, lo DeeoDber, iTta 

De.\r Sir, 

Your letter of the 28th ult I met with on my way 
to these quarters, where I arrived on the 6th insL 
The suggestions x:ontained in it required no apology, 
as it gives me pleasure at all times to know the senti- 
ments of others upon matters of pubHc utility. Those, 
however, which you have delivered relative to an 
enterprise against the enemy in New York, exhibit 
strong evidence how little the world is acquainted 
with the circumstances and strength of our army. A 
small second embarkation took place about the mid- 
dle of last month ; if another is in contemplation, to 
take effect at the reduction of our force, (which I 
think exceedingly probable.) it is too much in embryo 
to form more than conjectural opinions of it at this 
time. But I will suppose it large, and that not more 
than 6000 regular troops will be left behind. Where 
are the men? Where are the provisions? Where 
the clothes, the everything necessary to warrant the 
attempt you propose in an inclement season ? Our 
numbers, never equal to those of the enemy in New 
York. — our State lines, never half complete in men, 
but perfectly so in every species of want, were dimin- 
ished in the field so soon as the weather began to 
grow cold ; near 2000 men on account of clothes, 
which I had not to give, nor ought to have given 
(supposing a surplusage.) to the levies whose dismis- 
sion was near at hand. And now, to prevent the 
man who is a permanent soldier from starving, I am 




obliged, in place of calling in the aid of militia for 
new enterprises, to diminish the levies on account of 
the provision. Under this description of our circum- 
stances, (which is not high-coloured,) and when it is 
added that, instead of getting lumber from Albany 
for building barracks on York Island, in the manner 
and for the purpose you mention, that we have 
neither money nor credit adequate to the purchase 
of a few boards for doors to our log huts ; when 
every ounce of forage that has been used in the 
latter part of the campaign, and a good deal of 
the provision, has been taken at the point of the 
bayonet ; when we were from the month of May 
to the month of September assembling militia that 
ought to have been in the field by the middle of 
July, and then obliged to dismiss them for want 
of supplies : when we cannot despatch an officer or 
common express upon the most urgent occasion, for 
want of the means of support ; and when I further 
add — but this is a matter of trivial concern, because 
It is of a present nature — that I have not been able 
to obtain a farthing of public money for the support 
of my table for near two months, you can be at 
no loss, as I have before observed, to discover the 
impracticability of executing the measure you sug- 
gested, even supposing the enemy's numbers were 
reduced to your standard, but which, by the way. 
neither is nor will be the case till the reduction of 
our army takes place, the period (or which they 
know as well as we do, and will. 1 have little doubt, 
govern themselves accordingly. An earnest desire. 


however, of doang tbe campaign with edai, led me 
to investigate the means most tfaon w^ faly ol dotng 
it ; and my wishes had so far got the better tA my 
judgment, that I had actually made sane prect)' con- 
aderable advances in the proseoiticHi of a plan for 
the purpose, when, alas \ 1 found the means inade- 
quate to the end. and that it was with difficulty 
I could remove the arm)- to its respective places of 
cantonment, where it would be wdl for the troops if, 
like chameleons, they could live upon air. or, like the 
bear, suck their paws for sustenance during the rigor 
of the approaching winter. 1 am, &c. 


HfAD-QcAcm^ New Wdomok. 


I have received Your Eascdlencj's favors of the 
14th, 16th. 24th, 27th November and ist of this 
month. In apology for suffering so many of your let- 
ters to remain so long unanswered, 1 must assure you, 
that I have been constantly employed, ^nce I broke 
up my camp near Passaic Falls, in \-isiting the winter 
cantonments of the army between Morristown and 
this place. 1 have experienced the highest satisfac- 
tion in the visits, which Chevalier Chastellux, Vis- 
count Noailles, Count de Damas, Count de Custine. 
and the Marquis de Laval have done me the honor 
to make me.' 1 have only to regret, that their stay 

■ Tboe gotkaea wen oflkas in the Ftcadi umj uder Cooot de Rocham- 




with me was so short. I unfortunately missed seeing 
the Count de Deuxponts, who had left my quarters 
on his way to Philadelphia before I arrived at them. I 
however flatter myself, that 1 shall have the pleasure 
of seeing him on his return, 

I very much approve of your intention of quarter- 
ing the second division in Connecticut, rather than 
in Massachusetts. The troops will certainly be more 
convenient to the probable scene of operations.' I 
shall withdraw the chain of our dragoons, and shall in 
future send my despatches to the Duke de Lauzun at 
l-cbanon, as your Excellency desires. 1 wish it were 
in my power to furnish your Excellency with the New- 
York papers : but as our communication with that 
place is vcrj' irregular, I only obtain them accident- 
ally. I now enclose you one. which contains nothing 
material, but the account of the late dreadful hurri- 

' The wciiiid di*iiion o( the French iroopi destined (or Aincrica. which bad 
been bleck>iled in the hsrlioc of Brtst. wu expeclcil daily on the caiut. Counl 
dt RocbHinlicau hnil vitiicil New I.onitiiii, Norwich, Lehanon, WintJhasi, >i>d 
ether townt, and luettuneil that the Iroopi might be well prcmded ioi'va thoce 
l>Ucc«. .\i^ ihi( diviiion nercr aniTed. there wu nu tKXMinn (or (unhei pTe[>- 
KTttions. The French tirmy rcni*incd during the winter x\ Neirpofi, except the 
Dake de Lauiun'i legion, which wai canioned *l Leb«non, not fu from the 
mldcncc of Governor TnimbuU, where a tupply «( longe oould tie ciiil) 

The ion <A Count de Rochambeau, then * c«1one) Jn the timjr, wa* teal to 
France with dupolches conulnlni; the retuitt ol the Gan(erenee *X Harlfonl. 
and parlitiilarly a memoir Kiting forth the u-anli of the Americans in men. 
(hips, and money. In ease the vcmcI iJiould be in danger of capture, Colonel 
Kocliamlieau wa» mtiruetcil \a tink hit pajicrt, and make a verbal communka- 
tioD o( their oonlenis la Ihe miniiter. La Peronie commanded the frigaU. 
which wai lent with the«e dciiMtches. To ctcape the Riitith fleet. Chen block- 
ading Ihe baibor of Newport, he want to tea, on the sSrh of Ocloliei, In a rlo- 
lent gale of wind, and paued snharmed through the Brilish squadron. Ha 
wai chafed, and hit (tigalc wai diunaxted, bul not till it had |;ot beyond the reach 
a( the vnemjt. — Mrmnm 4l Reckamirau, lom, i., p, 3J6. — ^arkt. 



cane in the West Indies. I take the 0[^>ortuntt\' of 
sending this by Colooel Flean*. who returns to yottr 
army. I was made very h^tpy in ^ain seeing that 
amiable and valuable officer, whose services I have 
experienced upon so many occasions.' I have the 
honor to be. &c 


'Sam WmisoK. iiA Pilm^u. ■}•&. 

Mv Dear Sir, 

I have received your favors of the 25th and 28th of 
last Month, and it g^vcs mc vcrj- great pleasure to 
find that you are apfK>inted 10 a Committee the sub- 
ject of whose deliberations you arc so well acquainted 
with — and it adds not a little to my satisfaction to 
hear, that it is generally composed of Gentlemen re- 
markable for their good sense & patriotism, at a 
time when there never was greater occasion for men 
of those qualifications. 

The general good disposition prevailing in the 
State, to promote measures of public utility, is also a 
happy presage that matters will mend, in your quarter 
at least — But how unfortunate is it, that the fatal 
system of temporary enlistments should still have 
such an influence, as to have prevailed upon your 
Legislature to adopt the measure of raising their re- 
cruits for three years only ? which in other words, is 
nothing more nor less, than an inducement to the 
enemy to prosecute the War three years longer. 

' Cslmd Flcnt^. lO nwch .Usliiigiiiilicd (oi bU brsvciy al Fort Mifflin, 
StoBjr Pirint. anil nthtr ptaow, \t*A Uii ibc Amcricau Mrviea, and wu now m 
eer in ilic maj ol Cooni dc Roduunbean- 





You have, to your cost, been a witness to the per- 
nicious consequences attending a temporal^' army, 
and have therefore the better right to point out to 
your fellow Citizens what may be expected while the 
system is pursued. — I wil! still hope that they will 
upon a reconsideration of the matter, and conform- 
ably to the requisition of Congress, determine upon 
raising their men for the War only. 

I have, by this opportunity, transmitted to his 
Excellency the Governor an acct. of the places which 
will be. in my opinion, most convenient & proper for 
the deposit of Salt. Salt meat, & Rum — The Weekly, 
or Monthly supplies of Beef Cattle. & the places at 
which they are to be delivered, will be pointed out 
occasionally by the Commissary General — He is not 
at present with the Army— I can therefore only say, 
that if he has given no directions to the contrary, the 
present Monthly demand should be complied with. — - 
Should it amount to more than the consumption the 
best can be Salted down on tht^ir arrival here. — 

Your remarks on the last clause of the act of requi- 
sition are undoubtedly very just, and I am confident 
it will be found upon examination that some States 
have been largely deficient in their specific supplies ; 
otherwise we should not at this alarming period of 
the year, be destitute of l*'lour for which 1 sec no 
other chance of a supply than the state of New York 
being obliged to take measures that will be very dis- 
agreeable, & most oppressive to individuals. — It is a 
matter of delicacy with me to complain to Congress 
of the default of any of the States, or to criticize upon 
their own acts. And I should therefore be very 




happy to sec any of the Legislatures take the matter 
up, & point out the dangers arising from such a 
latitude as is given in the case to which you allude. 

To add to our other difficulties, the situation of 
the Army in respect to cloathing, is really distres- 
sing. — By collecting all our remnants, and those of a 
thousand colors & kinds, we shall scarcely make 
them comfortable. Uniformity, one of the essentials 
of discipline, & every thing in the appearance of a 
Soldier, must be dispensed with ; — and what makes 
the matter more mortifying is, that we have, I am 
positively assured Ten thousand compleat suits ready 
in France & laying there I>ecause our public agents 
cannot agree whose business it is to ship them — a 
quantity has also lain in the West Indies for more than 
Eighteen Months, owing probably to some such cause. 

You tell me there is cloathing enough lately arrived 
in private bottoms to supply the army. — This my dear 
Sir is only tantalizing the Naked — such is the miser- 
able stale of Continental credit that we cannot com- 
mand a yard of it. — Some of the States may, A I 
hope will derive an advantage from it, in which case 
I hope they will attend to the colors proper for their 
uniform — I informed them ail very lately, to what a 
miserable condition the Troops would be reduced ex- 
cept they would lay themselves out for Cloathing^ 
I am certain that had our supply of that artical been 
ample we could have enlisted a great proportion of 
the Levies who would for the sake of Cloaths have 
dispensed with the money bounty for the present. 

With every Sentiment of regard & affection I 
am, &c. 




DBAR Sir "** Wmoso*. ij December. 1780, 

It gives me much pleasure lo hear, that my letters 
of introduction were serviceable to you. 1 am per- 
suaded there is not wanting a disposition in Congress, 
or the individual States to the Southward, to afford 
you every support the unhappy state of our finance 
(which seems to be the source from whence flows all 
our difficulties) will admit ; but if any thing in my 
power can give a spring to their exertions, every mo- 
tive, which can flow from public and private consid- 
erations, will urge me to comply with y'r wishes. You 
have no doubt an arduous task in hand ; but where is 
the man charged with conducting public business in 
these days of public calamity, that is exempt from it ? 
Your difficulties I am persuaded are great; they may 
be insurmountable ; but you see them now through a 
different medium than you have ever done before, 
because the embarrassment of every department is 
now concentred or combined in the commanding offi- 
cer, exhibiting at one view a prospect of our compli- 
cated distresses. 

Your friends, and the great public, expect every 
thing from your abilities, that the means which may 
be put Into your hands are competent to ; but they 
both know full well the deranged situation of our 
Southern affairs ; and neither. 1 trust, are so unreason- 
able as to expect impossibitities. 1 therefore think, 
that you have nothing to apprehend on the score of 
public dissatisfaction ; on the contrary, that you may 
gain but cannot lose in your military reputation. 




I will put your letter under cover to Mrs. Greene. 
and request her to make use of the same channel o( 
conveyance back. I shall take much pleasure in for- 
warding the letters to and from her and think it the 
best medium of conveyance for safet>'. I have the 
pleasure to inform you that I learned by GenL Vamum 
(who went on to Congress yesterday) that Mrs. 
Greene and your family were well when he left Rhode 
Island. GenL McDougall talks of setting out for 
Congress the beginning of next week. but. if he 
reaches Phila. by the opening of next campaign it 
will be as much as 1 expect from his despatch. 

We reached our Winter-qrs. about the beginning of 
this month, and I have been driven by necessity to 
discharge the Levies. Want of cloathing rendered 
ihem unfit for duty, and want of Flour would have 
disbanded the whole army, if I had not adopted this 
expedient for the relief of the Soldiers for the war. 
Without knowing that Colo. Hamilton e\'er had an 
Eye to the office of AdJt.-GeneraL 1 did, upon the 
application of Colo. Scammell to resign it. recommend 
Genl. Hand for reasons which may occur lo you.' 
One of them, (and not the smallest. ) was, by having an 

' GcMra) Gf«en« had ei pwri • Jeiw U*t Hiwilloa Mifki rMdw A« 

lappolalBeiU of •dJMiaf.fcansL "rnliiMt Tr ■■■■!!." mU he, "pedMf* 

*{Q be pniawMod M lfc« nak nf bripdiw. At )m« If k>t been talked <d. 

Should this uke pliM. a new •diauni.feacnl *iD b« aeceauy : sad I ht% 

leiTe to I m< II tlM prapriet; of x^vlac this appVMtMcat MColond H««1Id«. 

Ha ■errin* wxj >ot be tra tsponast to foat ExnOcacr !• r««r liKDy bwi- 

■SI, if be only «aip(o7» * ^cpatf \.\mam€\mMf : aad I vm [iuia»1wf iW 

(■PTilwnnmi will be ncttKid atib ^ac gatii u i t , m I tm oaaidesl U b kk 

IwSib. br vhal be Hid WBM <^m bafara I Ml ta^'—Othmtrnd, Sanmbm 

ttqib. See LcOcr to Co^tcn, Kovcaber iMk. LafsfMU aad* tbe —mm 





officer of rank appointed, to guard against the discon- 
tents, which would have arisen In the Inspectorate 
department, if a junr. officer to the present Sub-In- 
spectors had been appointed ; for you know, that, by 
the present establishment of the Inspection, the AdjL- 
Genl. for the time being is the Second officer in that 
line. It would have been disagreeable therefore to 
the present Sub-Inspectors, some of whom are full 
Colonels, to have had a Lt. -colonel put over them. 
With much sincerity 1 am, dear Sir, &c. 


New WrKDEOK. 14 December, 17S0. 

Mv Dear Marquis, 

Soon after despatching my last letter to you, your 
favor dated at Paramus was put into my hands by 
Colo. Gouvion. Yesterday brought me your letters of 
the 4th. 5th, and 5th in the evening, and this day I 
have received another of the gth. The Chevr. de la 
Luzerne's despatches came in time for the, which 
is the only means left me for the conveyance of let- 
ters, there not being as much money in the hands of 
the Q.-M.-Genl. (I believe I might go further and say, 
in those of the whole army), as would bear the ex- 
pense of an express to Rhode Island. I could not 
get one the other day to ride so far as Pompton ! 

I am now writing to the Count de Rochambeau and 
the Chevr. de Ternay on the subject of your several 
letters. When their answer arrives, I will communi- 
cate the contents to you. You must be convinced, 
/rom what passed at the interview at Hartford, that 




my command of the Fremk Troops ai K. Id. stands 
upon a vet}' limited scale, and that it would be im- 
politic and fruitless in me to propose any measure of 
codpcration to a third power without their concur- 
rence; consequently an application from you ante- 
cedently to an official proposition from his Excellency 
the minister of France, the Gento. at the head of the 
French armament at Rhode Island, the Congress, or 
myself, cou'd only be considered as coming from a 
private Gentn. It is therefore my advice to you to post- 
pone your correspondence with the Spanish genets., 
and let your influence come in hereafter, as auxiliary 
to something more formal and official. I do not hesi- 
tate in giving it clearly as my opinion to you (but this 
opinion and this business should be concealed behind 
a curtain), that the favorable moment of the Spanish 
operations in the Floridas ought to be improved to 
the utmost extent of our means ; provided the Span- 
iards, by a junction of their maritime force with that 
of his Most Christian Majest)' under the command of 
the Chevalr. de Ternay, will give us a secure convoy, 
and engage not to leave us till the operations of the 
Campaign are at an end, or it can be done by consent 
of parties. 

I am very thankful to the minister for permitting, 
and to you for communicating to General Greene, the 
Intelligence of the Spanish movements towards the 
Floridas. It may have a happy influence on his 
measures ; it may be equally advantageous to the 
Spaniards. Your expressions of personal attachment 
and affection to me arc flattering and pleasing, and 




fill me with gratitude. Tt is unnecessary, 1 trust, on 
my part, to give you assurances of mutual regard, 
because I hope you are convinced of it ; and, as I 
have already put it absolutely in your own choice to 
go to the southern army, or to stay with this, circum- 
stances and inclination alone must govern you. It 
would add to my pleasure, if I could encourage your 
hope of Colo. Neville's exchange. L refused to inter- 
est myself in the exchange of my own aid. Genl. 
Lincoln's were exchanged with himself; and, upon 
that occasion, (for I know of no other,) Congress 
passed a resolve prohibiting exchanges out of the 
order of captivity. 

Under one general head 1 shall express my concern 
for your disappointment of letters, our disappoint- 
ment of cloaths, and disappointment in the mode of 
raising men ; but I shall congratulate you on the late 
change of the administration of France, as it seems 
to be consonant to your wishes, and to encourage 
hope.' I am much pleased at the friendly disposition 
of I'ortugal. Much good. I hope, will result from 
the combination of the maritime powers. I am in 
very confined quarters ; little better than those at 
Valley Forge : but such as they are, I shall welcome 
into them your friends on their return to Rhode 
Island. I am, &c. 

' M. d« Sartin«, the French Miniiirr of Marine, bed tciired, fttid been sti» 
ceedcd by [he Marqui* dc Cattriei. whom Lifjijeilc tepreicntcd w " ■ man of 
greet wnrth," Hho would like > more lively Interctt In the affaln of hU office, 
and ad Rith norf eflidriK'yilian hii pmlrGfuor. Count ilc Koihemlieail alio 
(kid : " He ii one of our beit lieuienanl-gcncrals. and a most firm man." B7 
the Kcench ciAven ceiieially, (he change aeemi ti> have been coniideted auipi- 
cioui for the opcraiiona tn America. 





Nbw WinmoK. 15 Deccmbef. \ita. 


Two days ago I did myself the honor to inform 
his Excellency the Count de Rochambeau, that Sir 
Henr>' Clinton was making another embarkation. 
This is since confirmed by other accounts ; but I 
have received none yet. which fix the particular corps 
or numbers with certainty, though al! agree, that this 
detachment is intended as a reinforcement to Lord 
Comwallis, that it is to consist of about two thousand 
five hundred, and that it is the intention of the enemy 
to push their operations to the southward this winter 
in the most vigorous manner. Official information is 
likewise lately received, that this is the resolution of 
the British cabinet, and that for this purpose a pow- 
erful reinforcement is to be sent to America with all 
possible despatch. 

When it is considered how essential it is to the 
independence of the United States, and how import- 
ant to the interest of their allies, that the common 
enemy should be obliged to relinquish their conquests 
in South Carolina and Georgia, your Excellencies will, 
I am confident, agree in opinion with mc, that no means 
ought to be left unessaycd to endeavor to dislodge 
them in the course of this winter and next spring. 

It is needless for me to enter into a detail of the 
situation of our affairs to the southward. Your 
Excellencies must know, that, from the great loss of 
men, artillery, and stores in Charleston, and from the 




defeat of our army near Camden, we can only hope 
to reassemble such a force, and that chiefly of raw 
troops, as will prevent the enemy from extending 
their conquests over North Carolina. To attempt 
the reduction of Charleston, supposing we had men 
sufKcient for the purpose, is a thing impracticable, 
while the transportation of artillery and all kinds of 
stores proper for a siege must be made from hence 
by land. 

I am informed by the Marquis de I^afayette, who 
is still at Philadelphia, that a vessel had just arrived 
at that place from L'Orient. which port she left the 
middle of October ; but as he makes no mention of 
the second division of land and sea forces, expected 
in America to reinforce the army and navy at pres- 
ent under your Excellencies' respective commands, 
I am led to believe, that the much desired event is 
more remote than under present circumstances is to 
be wished. 

A piece of intelligence, which has been communi- 
cated to mc in confidence by His Excellency the 
Minister Plenipotentiary of France, has turned my 
attention towards a new object, and brought into my 
mind the outlines of a plan, which, if it can be acceded 
to by the parties necessary to its execution, may be 
attended with the most solid and permanent advan- 
tages. The communication of Mis Excellency the 
minister is, that the court of Spain have in contem- 
plation two expeditions against the British settlements 
in the Floridas, Pensacola and St. Augustine. The 
first, consisting of four thousand men convoyed by 

• 780] 



eight ships of war, had sailed from Havana the i6th 
of October. The force destined against the last was 
Fclvc ships of the line, besides frigates and bomb- 
cetches, and ten thousand men. These were to leave 
the llavana some time in the present month. The 
plan, with which I am impressed, and which I would 
submit to your Excellency's consideration, is, the 
propriety of attempting to combine oiir force with 
that of Spain for the purpose of totally subduing the 
common enemy, not only in the Floridas. but in the 
States of South Carolina and Georgia. 

It is not for me. at this moment, to enter upon a 
detail of the business. My general ideas are, that a 
proposition or request should be made to the general 
and admiral of the Spanish forces (and through them 
to the governor of the Havana, if they are not them- 
selves at liberty to accede to the proposal,) to cooper- 
ate conjunctively or by diversion for the purpostis 1 
have mentioned. In case they do accede, their ships 
of war arc to be sent, as soon as they have made good 
the debarkation of their troops at St. Augustine, or 
at any other given point, to form a junction with the 
squadron of his Most Chri.stian Majesty at Rhode 
Island, and take under their convoy the French and 
American troops, destined for the expedition against 
Charleston ; the first of which will be embarked at 
Newport, the last at Philadelphia. I should make 
such drafts from this army, as would amount to two 
thousand men at least. His Excellency the Count 
de Rochambeau would, 1 should hope, be able to de- 
tach double that number, and leave a sufficiency with 




the militia, who might be called in upon the occasion, 
to give security to your works, hospitals, and spare 
stores, should you choose to leave the two last behind 
you. These corps, and the troops who will be col- 
lected under the command of General Greene, in 
conjunction with the force, which may be furnished 
by the Spaniards in the manner aforementioned, will 
form an army not to be resisted by any, which the 
British can draw together in that quarter, and capable 
of effecting the utmost wishes of the allied powers. 

It is unnecessary for me to remark, that the basis 
of my plan and propositions is, that the combined 
fleets shall be decidedly superior to that of the enemy, 
and that they shall cooperate to the completion of the 
enterprise, or until it shall be abandoned by general 
consent. To ensure so essential a point as that of a 
naval superiority, the propriety of a further requisition 
to the admiral. commanding his Most Christian Majes* 
ty's fleet in the West Indies, is submitted to your 
Excellencies' judgments. 

I persuade myself that your Excellencies will view 
these propositions with an eye to all their conse- 
quences, and candidly approve or reject them as they 
appear to you practicable or proper. In making them 
I am solely influenced by motives of general good, 
and would not wish them carried into execution, 
unless they shall be deemed as conducive to the inter- 
ests of the powers, who have generously stepped in to 
our relief, as to those of the United States. 

Should the plan happily meet your Excellencies 
approbations I have to request, that the Chevalier 
de Ternay would be good enough to despatch a 

■ 780] 



.frigate, if one can be spared, with the substance of 
lese propositions to the generals of his Most Catho- 
lic Majesty ; duplicate and triplicate of which I will 
sndeavor to forward via Philadelphia. If the com- 

^munication is to be made, no time should be lost in 
doing it, and procuring an answer. I think I could, in 
a month after hearing of the proposition being agreed 
to on the part of Spain, be ready to embark at Philadel- 
phia, if thi: state of the River Delaware will admit of it. 
1 cannot conclude this letter, without mentioning 
an argument, which in my opinion ought to induce 
the Spaniards to accept of these propositions. The 
force, which the British will be able to draw together 
in Soijth Carolina and Georgia, will be so much 
superior to the American, that they may. without 
putting matters to the risk, leave small garrisons in 
Savannah and Charleston, and throw such a reinforce- 
ment into St. Augustine, a very strong fortification, 
as will in all probability defeat the enterprise; where- 
as, if they find that measures are pursuing to divest 
them of those acquisitions, which I am convinced they 
mean to make the basis of a negotiation, 1 think it 
more than probable that they will abandon the Flori- 
das to their fate, and exert themselves to the utmost 
to retain the only apparent compensation for tlieir 
vast expenditure of blood and treasure. Besides this. 
the Spaniard ought to reflect, that, while Britain is in 
possession of Georgia and South Carolina, he must 
hold ye Floridas by a very precarious tenure or by a 
very expensive one. 1 have the honor to be, &c.' 

■ Tld* pJsn WM aol Kfi^iaicA hy Couni tie Kuchiimbcnii. Ntwi hkd Itlelj 
, afmcd of (he Kpfminlnicnt of ■ new Minister of Marine, of the pr«|>um1ion of 





IlKADQUAiiTtitti. New Wiku<iur, 
gl)( ■ 17 December. 1790. 

I submitted to the Interference of the State of 
Connecticut last year, with respect to the cantonment 
of the Horse without any animadversion or remark, 
because I was hopeful that the impropriety of it 
would appear to them and prevent the like in future. 
1 shall, (as it is the rt;quest of the State, and because 
it is my wish to harmonize as much as possible, with 
the civil authority, in the prosecution of a cause in 
which we are all equally interested) send Sheldon's 
regiment this winter to the State of Massachusetts; 

■ grand annsmenl M Bren, txtA ihe mcmbl!n|t nf > \xr^ Spunlth force at 
radii, which it v-ununori'd n-ould be under I he command of Counl d'Eslnng ; 
anil there wu evciy piobability. in Ihe opinion of Couni de Rochambeiu, thiti 
despatches from Ihe Fionch miQisUy woulit rrry loun arnvo. u-hich would cod- 
laln a plin of operations. In ihii view he could not with propriely engage in 
anjr nirasurtx, which iiiighl thwart Much a (ilan. It waH inuriovcr hU belief, 
ihal the Spanish commonder in the Weil tndieii hud hit coune of action 
inarkcd oul by dchnilc initiuctioni, And would not auume ihe responsbilily of 
lending a si|iiadn,in In lrans|H}rt llie French and Anirricun troojn (•> (he Hnitb. 
A|^in, the Chevalier dii Monieil, the French admifiil commanding in Iho Wctt 
Indict, had only a iniall force in those scat nnce the dcpailure ot M. de 
UnichrD (or Europe, au'l would not be able \o furnitli luch a number of vundi 
from hit xqtudfon, •* would eniute a naval sttperiorily on lh« American coasL 
The Chevalier de Temay died at Newport, on Ihe Ijth of I>ecember. after a 
short illnrta, Ho w«> •tivcerded in llic command of Ihe flc«t by the Gbrvalter 
netiDUcha, who replied to the above letter in relation to his depatlment, that 
the kcaton waa eitreinely unfavorable to the projecl in qoetllon. The notlh- 
culerly windi were so prcialcnt and Mnmg. Ihal ho did not think the Spanish 
venels could lie »l anchor off Rhode Island. And he also agreed »-ith Count 
d« Rochamlieaii in liellcving, ihal [he Spanish ofliccis would coiinidcr iheniKlvci 
so rigidly bound by their inilnictiont, ai 10 drier Ihem from liiltning to pro- 
po«U that would diveit them from the enterprise in which they were engaged. 
Ha added, ihat hit own tquadron irould not be put into a condition lo depart, by 
resson of a deficiency in the jupplita of hard bread. — MH, Ltlttref XttiamtfaM 
aiiJ DrsMitAtt. I>ecembcr lad.— ^rjtt. 




but 1 cannot help remonstrating very pointedly against 
a repetition of the practice, in future, for the follow- 
ing reasons : — Four things have always Influenced me 
in the distribution of the troops to their winter can- 
tonments, — security of our capital posts, which makes 
it necessary that they should have such a relative 
situation to each other as to afford the necessary 
succor : cover to the Country ; their own convenience ; 
and the convenience of the inhabitants where the two 
last were not incompatible with the two first — 

It is unnecessary', I am persuaded, for me to remark 
that if any one State can or will undertake to point 
out a cantonment for one part of the Army, another 
may with equal propriety do it for another part ; and 
that upon the same principle, and by the same parity 
of reasoning, that Connecticut undertakes to advise 
or direct Sheldon's Morse to Massachusetts, Massa- 
chusetts may order them to New Hampshire, and 
New Hampshire to some other Stale. !n a word, il 
is striking at the most essential privilege of the 
Commander in Chief, and is pregnant with every 
mischief that can be conceived. I have the honor to 
be. &c. 


Naw WiMinuK, 17 December, 17S0. 

Dear Sir, 

Your letter 9th is safe at hand and propounds a 
question respecting promotion, which 1 candidly ac- 
knowledge I am puzzled to answer with satisfaction 
to myself. If in all cases ours was ofu army, or M/V- 




teen armies allied for the common defence, there 
would be no difficulty in solving your question ; but 
we are occasionally both, and I should not be much out 
if I were to say, that we are sometimes ntiiher, but a 
compound of both. 

If we were considered in every point of view as one 
army, lineal promotion, as well from as to the rank of 
colonel, would undoubtedly be the most equitable and 
satisfactory mode of rising ; and no possible objection 
could be made to it by any State, or the Troops of a 
State ; or. if Congress, having regard to the number 
of Troops, which each State is to furnish to the Con- 
federated Anny, were to allow the number of General 
officers, which should be thought competent ihereto, 
there would be no difficulty here neither, because the 
promotion would be lineal in each State ; and. though 
it might fall hard upon the Colonels of such States ps 
only furnish one regiment for Continental Service, it 
would be incidental to their State quotas, and must 
be submitted to ; as the annexation of their Regi- 
ments to other State Troops, also, must be, to form 
Brigades. Hut it is our having no fixed principle, 
that / know of, and sometimes acting upon one and 
then the other of the cases before mentioned (as it 
happens to suit an individual State, or particular char- 
acters,) that creates our difficulties and the discontents 
that prevail. 

It is well known, that in the early stages of this 
war 1 used every means in my power to destroy all 
kinds' of State distinctions, and labored to have every 
part and parcel of the array considered as Continental, 




TTic steps, which have led to a different scntimt. and 
to our present system of politics, you are not to be 
informed of. We must take things as they are. 
And therefore, under the ideas that prevail, and our 
general practice, I am. though puzzled, more inclined 
to let all promotions be lineal in each State, to the 
rank of Brigadr. inclusive (where there is more than 
one regiment), than to any other mode ; because it is 
more consonant to the expectation of the Army than 
any other ; and because, under it. I believe a newly 
appointed brigadr. from the Southern Troops would 
at this day be disagreeable to an Eastern Brigade, 
and vice versa. How far State promotions beyond 
the Rank of Brigadrs. arc eligible or not, is a matter 
on which much may be said on both sides. On 
the one hand, it may be urged that the State, 
whicli sends more than a Brigade into the Field. 
has as good a right to accompany them with a Majr. 
Gcnl. as yc middling State has to furnish a Brigr., or 
the smallest a Colo., because neither has more than 
its due proportion of officers. On the other hand, it 
may be observed, that, as officers advance in rank 
and acquire that general knowledge, which is neces- 
sary to qualify them for extensive command, their 
feelings are more hurt, and the Service more injured, 
by placing juniors over them, than when it happens 
to inferiors ; though the same principle, which bars 
the rise of a Colo, where there is but one regiment, 
will apply to a Brigadr., where the State only furnishes 
a brigade. At prest. we want no new Majr.-Generals, 
(having rather a surplusage) ; but may not the follow- 




ing expedient answer in future, at least in a degree, 
the views of all : namely, to suffer the larger States 
to have Majr.-Genls. of their own line proportioned to 
the number of their Troops, and the other Majr.- 
Genls. to be promoted from Brigadiers according to 
seniority ? This, at the same time that it yields com- 
pliance to the views of the large States, does not pre- 
clude the Brigadiers of the smaller from promotion, 
as there must be Major-Generals for se|)arate comds., 
and for the wingn of the army, &c.. wch. cannot be 
supplied by the -State quotas of Troops, where there 
is no more than a just proportion of officers to men. 

Our present mode of promotion is regimentally to 
Captns. inclusively, and in the Line of the State after- 
wards. But I am convinced, as well from the reason 
and justice of the thing, as from several conversations 
1 have held with some of the most judicious officers 
of the army, that it would be more agreeable to tt. 
that all promotion should be lineal, instead of Regi- 
mental, in every State line ; for which reasons I shall 
recomd. the measure to Congrs. to take place with the 
New Establishnit. of the army. 

What I have here said with respect to promotion is 
general ; but there is a case before me in the Jersey 
line, which makes me wish that Congress would fix 
their principle. This State has three Regiments, 
which are to be reduced to two. Dayton is the Senr. 
Colonel, and among the oldest of that rank in the 
whole army, a valuable officer, and does not want to 
leave the Service. Shrcve is the next oldest Colo, in 
Jersey, and will net go out His character you are as 




well acquainted with as 1 am. Ogden is the youngest 
and extremely desirous of staying, but cannot continue 
if Colonel Dayton remains in Service in his present 
rank. The matter, therefore, (as it is related to me,) 
is brought to this Issue, that Dayton or Ogden is to 
go out, unless the former can be promoted, which 
would remove every difficulty, and be agreeable to 
the prest. system of Slate policy, as there is no Genl. 
officer in that line ; but if the promotion is delayed 
till after the first of Jany., or. in other words, till after 
Dayton or Ogden is deranged, the remedy will come 
too late ; because wc shall have sent out a valuable 
officer upon half-pay, and will, if Dayton is the per- 
son that goes, have a person to promote. Who ? 
But here I drop the curtain. It may suffice to say, 
that, if the State of New Jersey is to be allowed a 
ibrigr., it ought to be granted before the first of Janu- 
'ary for more reasons than that of (Economy. 

That you may have some data to judge of the pro- 
priety of new appointments. 1 shall take the liberty of 
observing, that the Stales, from New Hampshire to 
.Pennsylvania inclusively, with Hazen's RegimL, make 
>y the last requisition 29 battalions of Infantry. 
That three of these Battns., according to the present 
establishmt. of the army, will make as large a Brigade 
as four of the old, and that the number of Brigadiers 
in the States I havtt mentioned amounts at this time 
to no more than eight, viz., Stark, of N. Hampshire, 
Glover and Paterson uf Massachusetts, Huntington 
of Connecticut, Clinton of New York, and Wayne, 
Hand, and Irvine of Pcnnsylva. ; and these may be 




reduced to Seven, if Hand should be placed in the 
StafT, I am most firmly of opinion, that, after the 
States have brought their Troops into the Field, the 
less they have to do with them, or their supplies of 
Cloathing. &c.. &c., the better it will be for the 
common Interest; for reasons which manifest them- 
selves more and more every day, and for the clearest 
evidence of public ceconomy. I am, dear Sir, with 
much esteem, &c. 


Nkw WiNDHiit, 30 Docembor, i;8o. 


At a time when the Army is about to undergo a 
material change— when Congress and the States indi- 
vidually, are disposed to establish it upon the best 
principles for the equal administration of justice, and 
the preservation of the rights of the Officers. I am 
persuaded it will not be deemed presumptuous in me 
to offer any opinion which in my judgment, may serve 
to promote either of these ends and render our Mili- 
tary system as unexceptionable as possible — upon this 
ground therefore, I take the liberty of observing, 

That promotion in our Army according to the 
custom which prevails at present, is regimental to 
the rank of Captain — thence in each State line to the 
grade of Colonel — both inclusive. I do not at this 
time recollect the inducements which led to the regi- 
mental promotion, but as it has been found productive 
of many hard cases injurious to the feelings of Officers. 
1 would propose that all promotion in the respective 





State lines, lo the rank of Colonels inclusive should 
be lineaL — This may disappoint the hopes of a few 
Subalterns, who perchance stand high in the Regi- 
lenis they arc newly arranged to, but can do no 
'injustice to any of ihem, and will remedy the evils 
complained of as every vacancy will then be filled by 
the senior Officer of the next grade where there is no 
interposition in favor of extra merit, or exclusion for 
want of iL 

A regulation like this is so consonant to the prin- 
ciples of justice, and so agreeable to the wishes of the 
Army in general (as far as I have been able to collect 
the strntimcnts of it) that 1 think there can be no 
possible objection to the alteration proposed. 

By resignations (chiefly), deaths and other casual- 
ties, we have instances, and not a few of them Ser- 
geants, even in one regiment coming to the command 
of Companies, before Lieutenants in another. This, 
though submitted lo, has been the cause of much dis> 
content, as it always hurts the feelings of an Officer 
to obey those whom he has commanded. 

The Artillery and Cavalrj' have heretofore been 
considered in the same light as the line of a State, 
and rose accordingly ; that is regimenially to the rank 
of Captn. and in their respective lines afterwards ; 
and this mode I presume must still be continued, or 
their rise made wholly regimental (as the regiments 
are from different States) otherwise the Officers of 
different States would very soon get blended together 
which does not seem to be the intention of Congress 
by their apportioning of them to particular States, 




nor do I believe it to be the wish of the Officers. 
But to avoid discontent and the disputes which will 
arise from clashing interests, it is indispensably neces- 
sary to lay down some principle of promotion, de- 
claring it to be lineal, or regimental wholly or partly, 
as is mentioned before. 

It is more difficult, and may be more delicate for 
me to express a sentiment respecting the promotion 
of Colonels, and General Officers ; but as the good of 
the Service and the peace of the Army require that 
some principle should be established by which these 
promotions should be governed, 1 have no doubt of 
its being done. 

The custom of appointing the .Senior Colonels in 
each State line to be Brigadiers (where the number 
of Regiments are sufficient to form a Brigade, or 
more) has obtained consistency and gives general 
satisfaction — but the appointment of Major Generals 
seems to be under no fixed government ; for it some- 
times happens by seniority, at other times by State. 
— and has been a source of much discontent ; threat- 
ning the loss of very good Officers. I sec but two 
ways by which the promotion of Major Generals can 
take place upon any fixed or satisfactory ground, — and 
there is not a known rule for it, and if irregular promo- 
tions happen, the Service I am certain will be injured 
by it ; because Officers of their rank will not, nor can- 
not submit to a junior, unless there is some estab- 
lished principle to reconcile it to their feelings — The 
one is by seniority wholly — the other by seniority 
and Stales jointly — As thus : — 




If Congress shall judge it consistent with justice 
and policy to allow Major Generals to the State 
which have more Brigades than one in the field, let 
them rise in their own Slate line by seniority as other 
'Officers do. and as this will not furnish a sufficient 
number for the Ser\-ice (as there will be wanting for 
separate commands — for the wings of the Army. — 
light Infantry, &c) let the deficiency be taken from 
the Senior Brigadiers of the whoU line, to be suc- 
ceeded by the oldest Colonels of the Stale lines from 
whence they are taken — The first mode gives, in all 
cases, the Senior Brigadier for Major Generals — The 
second allows each State a compleat Corps of 
Officers to its quota of Men— and entitles every 
Brigadier in the line besides, to promotion, accord- 
ing to the date of his Commission. 

Which of these modes, or whether either of them 
will bt: adopted by Congress is submitted to their 
better judgment — all I aim at is to have some system 
established by which we may harmonize; for there 
is nothing more certain than that the promotion of 
junior Officers over the heads of Seniors, unless it is 
agreeable to some known and established principle, 
never fails to produce a great deal of discontent, iU- 
blood — and party, which are always injurious. — 

As I have gone so far into this subject of promo- 
tion, there is one point more I would beg leave to 
touch ujwn — and that is with respect to the Colonels 
of the smallest States, whose quota of Troops does 
not entitle them to a Brigadier, and who without 
some relief are not only cut of from all hope of pro* 




motion — the object of a Soldier's desire — but after 
years of faithful service, experience the frequent mor- 
tification of seeing themselves passed by — this must 
be exceedingly grating to a deserving officer, and is a 
personal injury, because the State having but one 
Regiment can have no claim to a Brigadier — For rem- 
edy however of the evil — and the sake of justice I 
would with all due deference suggest the propriety 
of promoting them, and others in like circumstances 
to the Rank of Brigadiers whenever they shall be- 
come the Senior Colonels of the whole line, and 
Brigadiers are wanting, which may often be the case 
for extra service — command of the light Infantry, &c. 

Congress will readily perceive that all these are 
expedients to accommodate matters (in the best man- 
ner the nature of the case will admit of) to the 
system of State Troops — for if we were one Army 
instead of a confederated Army lineal promotion by 
the common course of succession — where merit or 
demerit did not interfere — would be the easiest sim- 
plest and most equitablf: of any ; but as this is not 
the case, and we are considered as a fcedcral body, 
we have three interests to attend to viz : — the com- 
mon interest — State interest — and individual interest. 
— Whether any of the expedients 1 have proposed 
are likely to answer the ends in view, is submitted 
with all possible deference, and without further 
apology by your Exy's &c — 

P. S. 26th. This letter has been unavoidably de- 
layed for want of a conveyance.' 

■ Read in Congno, Jtnuaiy lit. Ref«ncd to Sullivnn, Varnam, Bland, Mtd 





Hd.<Qm., Nbw WtNDSOk. 30 D«c«nil>CT. 1780^ 


A few days since, by ye Chevr. de Chatelleaux, I 
had the honor to receive your favor of the iQih of 
March introductory of him ; and thank you for bring- 
, injj me acquainted with a gentln. of his merit, knowl- 
edge, and agreeable manners. I spent several days 
very happily with him at our camp near the Great 
Falls of Passaic in New Jersey, before the army sepa- 
rated for its cantonments, the principal of which is at 
West point in the vicinity of this place, where I make 
my own Quarters. 

Disappointed of the second division of French 
troops, but more especially in the expected naval 
superiority, which was the pivot upon wch. e%'cry 
thing turned, we have been compelled to spend an in- 
active Campaign, after a flattering prospect at the 
opening of it, and vigorous struggles to make it a 
decisive one on our part. Latterly we have been 
obliged to become spectators of a succession of de- 
tachments from the army at New York, in aid of Lord 
Cornwallis, while our naval weakness, and the politi- 
cal dissolution of a large part of our army, put it out 
of our power to counteract them at the southward, or 
take advantage of them here. 

The movements of Lord Cornwallis during the last 
month or two have been retrograde. What turn the 
late reinforcements, which have been sent to him, 
may give to his affairs, remains to be known. 1 have 
reinforc'd also principally with Horse, but the length 




of the march is so much opposed to the measure, that 
evy. corps is in a greater or lesser degree ruined that 
encounters it. I am happy, however, in assurg. you, 
that a better disposition never prevailed in the Legis- 
latures of the several States, than at this time. The 
folly of temporar)' expedients are seen into and ex- 
ploded, and vigorous efforts will be used to obtain a 
permanent army, and carry on the war systematically, 
if the obstinacy of Great Britain should compel us to 
continue it. We want nothing but the aid of a loan 
to enable us to put our Finance into a tolerable train. 
The Countr)' does not want resources, but we the 
means of drawing them forth. 

It is unnecessary for me to go into a more detailed 
acct. of our affairs, as you are doubtless officially ad- 
vised of every material occurrence. 1 shall therefore 
only add my Compliments to Mr. Adams, and the 
strongest assurances of being, with the greatest esteem 
and respect, dear Sir. yours, &c. 



You will take command of such of the Detachments of Water 
Guards, now on the River, as you may think necessary, and with 
them attempt (o surprise and hria|[ o9 Genl. Knyphausen from 

' Colonel Ilumphrcyt was jirovided with two whale-boau and a b«rse. «od 
•CCOinpxniEd b]r CipUin WcIIh. I.ieiilcnaiit Hart, and iwcnt;-el|>hl other pei- 
tont, inctudmf; non^ammivnoned oRic«n and privilei. Thvy left l)« Amert- 
can jKMi at Dobb'i Fcriy in the evening of Uie flsth, having agreed on dio 
waiehwnrd " Succcu," and inicndlni; to rtiutn ihc tiine nmhi. The vmd rai 
•o high during U< nighl, that, not being abl« to land, thejr were (lriv«n b*kMr 

Morris's House on York Island, or Sir Hcniy Clinton from K«ii- 
nedy's House in the City, if. from the Tide, Weather, and other 
Circumstances, you shall judge (he Enterprist^ to be practicible. 
In the execution of it, you will t>e guided by your own diKcrelion ; 
and 1 havt: only to suggest, that secrecy, rapidity, and prudence 
in tnaking good your retreat, will be indispensably necessary to in- 
sure success. Given at Head-Quarters, 13d of December, 17S0. 


Sew Windmk, 36 Decnnber. 1780, 

My Dear Sir, 

I received with much thanlcfulni:s.s your confidential 
letter of the 9th. Inst., and am greatly obliged by the 
affectionate expressions of personal regard which are 
contained in it. An unreserved communication of 
sentiments, accompanying such information as you 
are at libertj' to give, will ever be pleasing to me. 
and cannot fail of being useful. In this light I view 
and value your last letter, some parts of which are 
new, agreeable and instructive — while that part of it 

which relates to the transaction at the Ct. of V , 

is wonderfully astonishing. 

There are two things (as I have often declared) 
which in my opinion, arc indispensably necessary to 
the well being and good Government of our public 
affairs ; these are, greater powers to Congress, and 
more responsibility and permanency in the executive 

tbe city. Oac o( the bonu w^t forced nearly <lown to Sandy Hook. Anoibet 
CM Mhon oa Sutrn Iiland. Tliejr were «II ii len^di lakin lo Bninivric, 
wkcnoe Colonel Humphccyt «nd hit patty [tiumed lo the army. Th« detaiU 
of tltit attcinpl mere tominiinicaUil by a " gcenera! olTicer" lo a Bnliih ipy, 
who fftrt (beni to the Brilith early in Vthru»iy.~~AfagatiHt ef AmrHton HU- 
tfry. «-. 41). 414. 




bodies. If individual States conceive themselves at 
liberty to reject, or alter any act of Congress, which 
in a full representation of them has been solemnly 
debated, and decided on ; it will be madness in us, to 
think of prosecuting the war. And if Congress sup- 
pose, that Boards composed of their own body, and 
always fluctuating, are competent to the great business 
of war. (which requires not only close application, 
but a constant and uniform train of thinking and 
acting), they will most assuredly deceive themselves. 
Many, many instances might be adduced in proof of 
this, but to a mind as observant as yours, there is no 
need to enumerate them. One, however, as wc feel- 
ingly experience it. I shall name. It is the want of 
cloathing, when 1 have every reason to be convinced 
that the expence which the Public is run to in this 
article would cloath our army as well as any troops 
in Europe — in place of it we have enumerable objects 
of distressing want. 

Necessity alone can justify the present mode of 
obtaining supplies, for besides the hazard and difficulty 
we meet with in procuring them. I am well convinced, 
that the public is charged with double what it receives, 
and what it receives is doubly charged, so expensive 
and precarious is the present system. When the 
army marched \illegible\ for winter Quarters. I visited 
the Hospitals and back communication from Pcnsa. 
to this place. In the neighborhood of Pittstown I 
fell in with a parcel of cattle that were going to be 
slaughtered and salted, and can assure you upon my 
honor, that besides being immensely poor, they were 

so small that 1 am convinced they would not average 
1 75 lbs. the 4 nett quarters — some couM not exceed 
one hundd. weight, and others were mere calves. 
These pass by the head, and the State or States that 
furnish them, will have the reputation of supplying 
that number of merchantable bullocks, when the fact 
is that next summer a starving man would scarce eat 
the beef they were about to put up) after the salt had 
extracted the little fat and juice that were in it. 
There were about roo in the drove I saw, and my 
information extended to about 8 or 900 more of the 
same kind, in the neighborhood. 1 directed the 
Commissary to select the best for salting, and let the 
others be eaten fresh, as it would be a waste of salt, 
barrels, and time to put it up. I relate this as a 
matter coming under my own observation. Many 
other instances of a similar nature might be given 
from information, but I avoid it. 

This letter will accompany one to Congress on the 
subject of promotion. That of lineal, instead of 
regimental, 1 am perswaded, as well from the opinions 
I have heard, as from the reason and the nature of 
the thing, will be the most consistent with justice, 
and most pleasing to each state line. With respect 
to the rise of Colonels and promotion of General 
officers. I have no wish to gratify, except that which 
I have expressed in my public letter, of fixing some 
principle to avoid discontent and the consequences 
which flow from it. Irregular promotion, unless there 
is obvious cause for it, is not only injurious in any 
service, but in ours is derogatory of the dignity of 




Congress, for the officer who is superceded, and aCler- 
wards restored, is hurt by the first act, and docs not 
feel himself obliged by the latter (considering it as an 
act of justice only) ; while the two acts stand as an 
undeniable proof on record, that there is an established 
principle wanting, or that there is a want of informa- 
tion, or a want of firmness in Congress to resist 
importunity, because the restoring act. as I have 
observed, is an incontestable proof of one or the 
other of these three things. 

At present we are in no want of Major Generals — 
in this part of the army at least. But while I am on 
the subject of promotion, and while the thing is in 
my mind, I will beg leave to mention, that if at any 
time hereafter there should be a brigadier junior to 
Gen'l Knox promoted before him, he will be lost to 
the service, tho' he should thereafter be restored to 
his place. 1 mention it because under the idea of 
State promotion he can never rise, and because 1 am 
well perswadcd that the want of him at the head of 
the artillery, would be irrepairablc. * • « 


Nvw WlHDtoR, 36 December, 1780. 

Mv Dear Marquis, 

Since my letter of the t4th Instt. by Majr. Franks 
(for the Post once a Week & travellers accidentally 
— are all the conveyances 1 have) your favors of the 
1 6th & 19th are both come to hand. 

My sentiments, respecting your serving in thcSouth- 





ern Army this winter, were fully, though concisely, 
explained in my lasL If I were to add aught to the 
opinion therein given, it should be to wait, (as we are 
hourly expecting it,) something more explicit from 
France. It is impossible for us to remain much 
longer in uncertainty, with respect to the second 
division of French troops. Vessels daily arriving 
from that Kingdom, tho' they may not bring us offi- 
cial advices, must realize or destroy our hope of an 
early succor. In a letter, which came to my hands 
a few days ago from Count de Rochambeau, dated at 
Boston the 13th InstL, are these words. 

"On arriving at thU place, I found very interesting news, 
brought by an ameiican VencI, which left the river of Naniz on 
(he 4ih of Novr. She has given me the annexed lift of vc§sels, 
which arc coming from Brest, destined for America, with a con- 
voy which is preparing at Brest. She tell.i me, that there is a 
change in our Ministry ; that Mr. Sartine rctircit, and that Monsr. 
dc Castries succeeds him ; that Ihc MaiK. an American vessel of 
twenty guns, would dcpan a little while after her, charged with 
deapalchea for u». Although there is something extraordinary in 
all this nen-s, it appears to me so circumstantial, that it gives an 
air of truth to what regards the annamcnl." He adds, ihal " all 
Ihc other vessels had rejoined the Spaniards at Cadiz, to atlcmpl 
the reduction of Gibraitar, which was short of Provisions." 

I have received no letter yet from the Count, 
in answer to mine respecting the Expedition of the 
Spaniards to the Southward. The Chevr. de Ter- 
nay, to whom my letter was equally addressed, is 
dead, as you will have learnt from the despatches, 
which I forwarded to the Minister a few daj-s ago. 
If circumstances, which you can easier explain than I 




conjecture, should make a visit from me to Rhode 
Island necessary. I certainly should be most happy in 
your company. But do not let this influence your 

The light Infantry and Grenadiers, who were under 
orders for Embarkation at New York, and had actu- 

' Lafayette ab.iiidDticil his idea oi going to the Wutb, which will be CXplaiiMd 
bjr the loItowJDg extracts from his tellers : 

" I most hcartilf thank you for the kind and friendly lellen you have been 
ploMtl to tend Hie. I am no happyin your fri«nd*liiii, thai every mark of yoor 
■ffectian for me gjvei me a degree of pleaiure greater than I can eIpm^, 
There it JntelliEcnoe of ihjpi and troopt hanng been put in rcadine» at lircu. 
A Spanish ofTiccr may |)oii»ibly wait 011 you to convert a cofipetation. We tie 
al«i> to expect tiewii from my Itiend the new minister of Itie French navy, and 
before ihej arrive you would not like my departure. Two other rcaioni alio 
h»ve weight with me, Kirvt. if the enemy make thil dctachmeiil, without 
which nothing maletial will happen in the south, and if the inielltgence be tnie 
about the fast recruiting of Ihe kIx monthi' men, tometbin); may pouibly be 
done in ihiii iiuarler. Seconilly, for rcMOns, whtth 1 will explnin to you whea 
we meel. a visit ftom yoa lo Ihe French umy it much to be wished, and in thi» 
case you will be glad, ihac 1 may accompany you." — Pkiiadt^kia, Deccmba 

"Colonel Lauicni. hiving been appointed to go 10 France and tolidl ■Oc- 
cam (or Ihe iieil caiiipaijjii, \\t \\ia aUo been directed to take youi ordcn at 
htad.quattets. t nm by order of Coogrc^i lo hare a conference with him, and 
I inlcnd giving him many letlctt for France. Ai, in giving yout instrucliemi 
10 Laurcrih, the prekenceof ■>ne who knuwt the |)eop1e may be agreeable 10 you, 
1 shall del oul for head-tjuarien on Friday or Saturday morning.*' — December 

In a letter front Colond Laurcnii himacH, thU wbjeet la mentioned tu 
follow* : — " Your Gacellency will be not a little lurpriied to 1mm, thai Cod- 
gicu have been determined to tend mc lo France, for the special purpose 
of rcpieirenting the pretont ktale oJ our afltutt and aollclting Ihe ncMMuy 
(uccoun. I was in great hopes, that Congress would have iTailcd ihrmtelvr* 
of the ahilities of Colonel Hamilton for these imporlanl objects, and that 
I (huuld have been tuffored to peidOTT* in a line of duty, 10 which I feel my- 
self mote adequate. But, unfortunately (or America. Colonel Hamilton wat 
not tulTiciently known to Congress lo unite iheu satTmges in his favor, and I 
wa* iHurcd that there temained no other alirtnatSve than the total failure of 
the bnnnesB. Thus circumsiinccd, I was induced to sobmil. and renounce my 
pltD «( fMtticipating in Ihe kouthern campaign." — Philadtifhia, December syl. 





ally prepared for it, were countermanded, and other 

Troops sent in their place ; but whether Knyphauscn 
goes or not, since this change has taken place, 1 am 
not able to say. A confirmation of the British Fleet 
in the Channel having suffered by a storm, and of the 
African Princes having excluded the British arm'd 
vessels front their ports, as also of Tarleton's defeat, 
would be most welcomely reed. I had the pleasure 
of the Chcvr. dc Chastcllcaux's company on his way 
to Albany ; but the Viscount de Noailles and Count 
Damas passed on the other side of the river without 
calling. Mrs. Washington & Tilghman, (who is the 
only person of my family, that is with me at present) 
join in best wishes to you. — Please make an offering 
of my respectful complimts, to the Chevr. de la Luzerne 
& Mr. Marbois & believe me to be, as I really am, &c. 

C, „ N«w WiKOSOi. »8 tkccmUr, 1780. 

Your Excellency's favor of the 13th reached me this 
day. I have ever been of opinion, that the reduction 
of the post of Detroit would be the only certain means 
of giving peace and security to the whole western fron- 
tier, and 1 have constantly kept my eye upon that 
object ; but, such has been the reduced state of our 
Continental force, and such the low ebb of our funds, 
especially of late, that 1 have never had it in my 
power to make the attempt 1 shall think it a most 
happy circumstance, should your State, with the aid 


of Continental stores which you require, be able to 
accomplish it. I am so well convinced of the general 
public utility with which the expedition, if successful, 
will be attended, that I do not hesitate a moment in 
giving directions to the commandant at Fort Pitt to 
deliver to Colonel Clark the articles which you re- 
quest, or so many of them as he may be able to 
furnish. I have also directed him to form such a 
detachment of Continental troops as he can s.ifely 
spare, and put them under the command of Colonel 
Clark. There is a Continental company of artillery 
at Fort Pitt, which I have likewise ordered upon the 
expedition, should it be prosecuted. The officers of 
this company will be competent to the management 
of the mortar and howitzers. 

1 do not know for what particular purpose Colonel 
Clark may want the six-pound cannon ; but, if he 
expects to derive advantage from them in the reduc- 
tion of works of any strength, he will find himself 
disappointed. They are not equal to battering a 
common log blockhouse, at the shortest range. This 
we have found upon experience. 1 would therefore 
advise him to consider this point, and leave them 
behind, except he sees a probability of wanting them 
in the field. 1 have enclosed the letter for Colonel 
Brodhead commanding at Fort Pitt, which Colonel 
Clark may deliver whenever he sees fit. It is possible, 
that some advantage may arise from keeping the true 
destination of the expedition a secret as long as cir- 
cumstances will admit. If so, the fewer who are 
entrusted the better. 





Since 1 began this letter I have been furnished by 
GcnI. Knox, commanding officer of the Artillery, and 
by the Qr. Mr. Genl. with Returns of the stores in 
their several departments which are at Fort Pitt, and 
I find they fall very far short of your Excellency's 
requisition. I have therefore formed my order to 
Co!o. Brodhead in proportion to the stock in his 
hands.' There is no mortar at Fort Pitt, but the 8 Inch 
Howit7cr will answer the purpose, and is more con- 
venient for transportation. The \ntutilaied\ two of 

The matter, which the house of delegates have 
referred to my detennination. stands thus. A board 
of general officers in the year 17 78 determined, that 
officers bearing Continental commissions should take 

' "Vonr good lentM viU, I un convincod, miaIc you view thi* inaller In lu 
trac ligtil. 'ni« inabitity a\ the Continent to nndcciakc ihc r^ductiuii ot 
Detroit, wluch. wliile in continun in poueujon of the enemy, will be ■ con. 
•unl *ource o( tronhle ID the whole Weitem frontier, ha* of neceuily impotcd 
Ihc laJi upoo the State ot Virginia, hikI of conhtquencc m^ke* it eipcllctii to 
cootcr the oomnund ui>on an offitTr of (liic State, 'Wvt tieinj' lhi< cate. 1 do 
nM think the chit|[e of the cnlcrprise could have been conimitled to better 
haada thtn Colo. Cluk't. 1 have not the ptcuurc of knowing the Gentleman : 
but, independent of the proofi he ha> (^reii of Ida activiiy and addreu. the 
iiiiboBnd«l confidence, which I am told the Western people repote in him, \% 
■ aatter of rut importmec : as I inuipiie a toniideriible pntt n( hin force will 
coAiiat of Volunleen and Militia, who ate not to lie govrrned by military laws, 
Imii BSil he held by the tici of coiitidcnce and affection to their leader. 

"I AbD conclude wiih rteomme'idinj; ti. you, in |i;eiierat, In ^-ive every 
countenance and auittance to ibii enterprise, ihould no drcnmilances intervene 
to prevent iti eiecullon. One ihinjj you may ml atiuied of. and that ii. thai, 
while oSeniire opctaliout aie C*'"!! (orwd. aijainit Detroit and Ihc Indiana in 
■niaiKe with the Britiih in Ihnt iiuatler, your I'usts with imall Garriioii* in 
■hem and proper vigilance will be perfectly lecure. For thia reason, and the 
capeitilioii depcniting upon the >up)i]iei> here rci|d.. I nhall expect a punctual 
camplianoe with thii order, and am, with rra] esteem and tegaid. &c." — 
Waikiitgt»H te Colrnfl BraJJuad, zg December, 1780. 




rank of those having State commissions only while 
their regiments continued upon a State establishment ; 
but that, when such regiments became Continental, 
the officers should be entitled to receive Continental 
commissions from the date of their State appoint- 
ments. Thus you see. it is not in my power to rec- 
ommend them to Congress for Continental commis- 
sions, while in .State regiments, without infringing an 
established rule. As to the second point, " Whether 
such officers shall take promotion in the line, or be 
confined to the saJd two regiments," I think that 
they had best, for the sake of peace and harmony, be 
confined to the two regiments. For many of those 
officers left the Continental line in very low ranks, 
and obtained very high in that of the State. This 
created much uneasines.s when the troops came 
together in service ; and it was with difficulty that 
many of the Continental officers could be made to 
brook being commanded by those, who had been 
their inferiors the preceding campaign. 1 am there- 
fore of opinion, that an attempt to introduce those 
gentlemen now into the Continental tine would create 
a source of infinite discontent and uneasiness, more 
especially as you have a sufficient number of officers, 
at home and in captivity (and vacancies ought in 
justice to be reserved for such of the latter as wish to 
serve again), for the quota of Continental troops 
assigned to the State by the last establishment. I 
have the honor to be, &c.' 

' " The llonhlc. IhcConjcicu hnviii);. in order lo remove allotUMof joloaijr 
and ditcoDtent bclwc«ii the Slate* of PcniurWania and Connccticui, directed 


Nxw WlNDioR, 3 Jnnuiiy, 1781. 


I have been honored with yoUr Excellency's favor 
of the 2 1 St ulto., in which Congress have been pleased 
to refer the propriety of granting Genl. Stark's re<iuest 
to them, to me. His health is undoubtedly so much 
impaired, that he has been able to do but very little 
duty the preceding Campaign, and retirement for a 
time seems therefore necessary. Congress will either 
direct his return to the Army at a certain period, 
or they will leave it at large, as they may judge 
proper. I beg leave to call the attention of Congress 
to my letter, of the 28th Novcmr. last from Morris 
Town in which 1 mentioned Colo. Scammell's desire 
to quit the Office of Adjutant-General. I had not at 
that time his letter on the* subject with me. I now 
enclose a Copy of it, in which his reasons for wishing 
to return to the line are fully set forth. I find him 
still determined in his resolution, and 1 shall there- 
fore. I hope, be excused for pressing Congress to 
appoint a successor. 

1 have at length, thro' a Channel on which I can 

otc to vlibdMir Ihe ptctenl C>rri'iOn uf Wyoming, and 10 replace them with 
Iroop* tiom the Continental Arm)-, not belonging to the line of I'ennsjrlvani* 
: Ownecticui, of Citi«n» o( either of the Mid State*, I have for that puqioM 
red Capt. Mitchell o( Ihe Jerney line to tellcve yoH, Von will, therefore, 
I hit ■rrival. ilcliviT u|> the pml tu liim. and maroh i in nicd Intel y with all 
^Ihe men ai pmcnl unticr yotir comtnand and join the Aim}' in the neighbor- 
I at Ihi.1 place. . , . Vnu will, before you march, give Captain Mitchell 
ttj nnanary informaliun mi>evliiig Ihe (ilualion uf the Counlry. ami make 
him ai;qnainted with thotc chanicien, upon whom he can depend for advice 
And iotclllgence, in cite of nn lncur>ien of the Enemy." — IVoiiiHglsn A> 
t/ Zttitlm BuUtT, 9i) December, 1780. 




depend, gained an account, as accurate as circum- 
stances will admit, of the embarkation which sailed 
from New York on the 20th ulto. It consisted of 
about sixteen hundred Men, and was chiefly composed 
of detachments from the British. German, and pro- 
vincial Corps. The Queen's Rangers are said to be 
the only intire Corps. Arnold commands, which, my 
informant says, gives disgust to many of the other 
officers. The destination was not reduced to a cer- 
tainty, but from the preparations, and the Refugees 
who embarked in the fleet, it was generally thought to 
be to the southward. I have the honor to be, &c.' 

' In eDn»<|uence of the memorable dc/eai of the Britiih delnchincnt under 
Colonel Ferguwn >l King's Mountnin, l^ril K«v(ilim, by order ol l.oni Cora- 
wallii, wrol« to General Ledie. Ihen in Ihe Chenpi^nke. jugg^ling lh< exp«> 
diency of hit ii(lvancin)[ to North Carolm*. " No fotcc hAi prcientcd itaelf to 
111," Mill Lurd Ktwdon, " wbow oppiHitSou could b« thought leriouf to Ihb 
Army ; but then wc have little ^opct of ever brinein£ the alTaii la *n action. 
Tlw enomj *rc mvili)' mounlcd milili*. not lo be avciuken \if our mfjiiilry, 
nor 10 be ufely pumed in tbis iimng country by our ovalr;. Our fetr it, 
that, initead of meeting ui, they would d.ip by us into this province were we to 
proCMtl far from it. and inl^ht again slimulale (he diuflecltd lo teriout ln«Dr- 
rrctioQ. This apprehension must gtcally circumscribe oar elTorti." — Lard 
Jiawdi>H IB Gmeral /.iiHf, October a4:h. For these reaioni n speedy co^pcta. 
tion wan dckircd. but not orilered. It was Icfl wholly lo Ibe ditcrction ol G«n< 
eral Leilie. who, on reci'iiinj; this tetter, reiolred lo move ai loon u poiol^Je 
by water to Cape Fear River. That his purpose mighl be uiuutpected, he 
engaged pllatt for Jamei Klver, and nobody but liiiniKcK and two officer* were 
entnibled with the iccrel of hii destination. He left the Chesapeake on the 
34tb of November, and weni lo tea. He did not itop at Cape Fear, at he ftl 
fint proponed, but arrived in Chitleiion on the Ijlh of Dvrcmlier, after a tem- 
paluouK voya(;c ; and marched thence with a \mrji/e part of hit force lu form a 
junction with Lord Comwallii. 

' In tonuijuence of (hia niovcmetit of General l.calie, it wat rewlved to »end 
another body of ttoopi lu the Chriiapeake. 

" Thii detachment." laid Sir Henry Clinton tn a letter lo Lord Gcors^ Ger- 
■naine, " i> under the command of General Arnold, with whom I ihou(;hi it right 
to lend Colonels Dandaa and Simcoe. u bein(; oRicen of experience and much 




P. & Capt. Mitchell of the Jersey line has marched 
with a Company to relieve Colo. Butler at Wyoming." 


Mv Dear Sir. Nkw wixi,«.i.. 3 j.nn«i7. «jSi. 

!, to^ay, at Noon reed, yours of the 2d in the 
morning by Majr. Fishbourn who has given me a full 
account of the unhappy and alarming defection of the 
Pennsylvania line. The officers ha%'e given convin- 
cing proofs, that every thing possible was done by 
them to check the mutiny upon its first appearance, 
and it is to be regrctntd, that some of them have 
fallen sacrifices to their zeal. I very much approve of 

in iDj eonSdencv. The objects of thii expedition are nearly the laine x) those 

I «f tbe one under Major-Gcncral LmUc, but rather more potitiTC u to the eslab- 

[lUhaeal of *{>0«l U PorUmOUIh ui) the Kli»il)c(h Ktvnr. I have alg» tliretled 

Genenl Arnold to |>Rp*re maierioli for building a number of bonis, that we 

May, u MMMi u pouible, hive a naval force In Albemarle Sound, which force, 

wfacn ibt anson it Km far sdonccd (or [i to ftctj in thont; u-aiirTs, may be em- 

f jAoyed la great idTantage in the riren of the ChcMpeake." — MS. Ltiitr, 

Deeenbci (6, 1780. 

The eupMiti'in cviDMsttd of wntcni iiiinilred mn! nine effectives. \ stvere 
gale lepanted the fleet on the a6th and ayih of December, but n reunion *a» 
I -aiBectoil al ibe ('apet of the Chesapeake, sikI the fleet entered Hampton Roads 
on tlw Joth, eKOtjit Ihroc traniports and one armed vessel, with upu-iids uf (our 
bondred men 00 board. These arrived on the 4th of January. Half of the 
cavalry bonet were loal, and Mveral Kunt were thrown overboard. Arnold wat 
I tnitTuct«d to Urike al the magatines of the Americans, shontd an opjiortunity 
L«( doing il withont rifk offer itielf ; and to ouemble and arm (he loyaliiti. but 
I 'WM to encoufa|>e any to join him, till there waii the faiicil firii^pect of protec- 
ting them. In alt ciks Arnold wax to con<iu]l Dundaii and Simcoe, before un. 
dcTUkiof; any impotUni meaiurc, lie wa» to coKipetate with Lord Cornwallii, 
(boald It be the united opinion of thoac two ofliccrx, or thould he receive n poii- 
tiva onl(T from Lord CorawilliH to that effect, The whole tenor of the insiruc- 
[ tionc diom a dutnul of Arnold, and a nricl ira,tchfulneu over hit Mndnct. — 

' Raad in Consres), January 8th. 




the determination of yourself, Colo. Richard Butler, 
and Colo. Waller Stewart, to keep with the troops, if 
they will admit of it, as. after the first transports of 
passion, there may be some favorable intervals, which 
may be improved. I do not know where this may 
find you or in what situation. 1 can therefore only 
advise what seems to me most proper at this distance, 
and upon a consideration of all circumstances. 

Opposition, as it did not succeed in the first in- 
stance, cannot be effectual while the men remain 
together, but will keep alive resentment, and may 
tempt them to turn about and go in a body to the 
Enemy, who, by their emissaries, will use everj- argu- 
ment and mean in their power to persuade them that 
it is their only asylum ; which, if they find their pas- 
sage stopped at the Delaware, and hear that the 
Jersey militia are collecting in their rear, they may 
think but too probable. I would therefore recom- 
mend it to you to cross the Delaware with them, 
draw from them what they conceive to be their prin- 
cipal grievances, and promise faithfully to represent 
lo Congress and to the Stale the substance of them, 
and to endeavor to obtain a redress. If they could 
be stopped at Bristol or G. T. the better. I look 
upon it, that if you can bring them to a negotiation, 
matters may be afterwards accommodated ; but that 
an attempt to reduce them by force will cither drive 
them to the Enemy, or dissipate them in such a 
manner, that they will never be recovered.' Major 

' On January 6ih. ClinioD. who received in(elliE«nce of ih« revolt al Iht 
wtms hour a Wuhinglon. nrni ilioui five iliouund men. under the cammand 
of General Robetiian. to Sialcn Iiiand. to rccoivs and |irotTC( (he madneen 
ihould thcjr tcck to join the Bhtiih. 

Fishbourn informs me, that GcnI. Potter and Colo. 
Johnston had gone forward lo apprize Congress of 
this unfortunate event, and to advise them to go out 
of the way to avoid the first burst of the Storm. It 
was exceedingly proper to give Congress and the 
State notice of the affair, that they might be pre- 
I>ared ; but the removal of Congress, waving the in- 
dignitj', might have a verj' unhappy influence. The 
Mutineers, finding the Body before whom they were 
determined to lay their grievances fled, might take a 
new turn and wreak their vengeance upon the per- 
sons and property of the Citizens ; and, in a town of 
the size of Philada., there arc numbers who would 
join them in such a business. I would therefore wish 
you. if you have time, to recall that advice, and rather 
recommend it to them to wait and hear what proposi- 
tions the Soldiers have to make. 

Immediately upon the receipt of your letter, I took 
measures to inform myself of the temper of the troops 
in this quarter, and have sent into the Country for a 
small Escort of Horse to come to me ; and if nothing 
alarming appears here, and I hear nothing farther 
from you, I shall to-morrow morning set out towards 
Philadelphia, by the Route of Chester, Warwick, 
Colonel Seward's, Davenport's Mill, Morristown. 
Somerset, Princeton, Trenton, on which route you 
will direct any despatches for me. As I shall be ex- 
ceedingly anxious to hear what turn matters have 
taken, or in what situation they remain, you will be 
pleased to let me hear from you. I am, &c.* 

' Tbc Pcantytvanfi line, hy the new arraiijEemeni of the army, hid been re- 
daeed (ram el«r«ti lo lii regimeni*. These weie lUtioned !•» ih« winter in 




P. S. yanuary 4/A, seven o'clock, a. m. — Upon 
Second thoughts I am in doubt whether I shall come 
down, because the Mutineers must have returned to 

the hut» neir Mofriiitown, which had been occupied bjr the army as wintei- 
■{uarlen Ihe prccedinif year. The regitncnls were undet the iminediMe coin- 
mand of (rcneral Wnjiiie, who wrote as followi in Ihc leller of which Hajoi 
PUbbourn was ihe beater. 

" A mndt i^Acral and unhappy niiiljny su'ldenly look place in Ihe reonsyU 
vania tine about nine o'clock last night, A great proportion of the troopii, with 
wme ailillery, are marching towards Philadelphia. Every exertion hai be«n 
inftde by the officers lo divide (hem In Iheir dclcrminalion to revolt. Il ha& 
tucceeded in a temporary manner with neu one half. Hou' long it wQl la>t. 
God knows. 

" I have ordered the Jeney brigade to Chatham, where Ihe mlUila are tI*o 
asteiDhting, le»[ llie enemy tliould Okc advantage of Ihii alarming crisit. In* 
deed, the alnrm.gnni have been lired, and the beaconi kindled towardi Eluoi- 
bclhlown ; peihapi occacioned by our unhappy affair. I am thii moment, with 
CoioneU Butler and SlewHrl, taking lior-ie lo try la halt them on their march 
lowvd* Princeton. At a U&l resort, I am idviied lo colled them, and move 
alowly towaidii Pennsylvania. What their temper may be, 1 cannol tell. We 
had an escape last nighl. Perhaps we may be equally fortunate to-day. Cap- 
tain BLillngii U killed ; Capialn Talbot mortally wounded ; tome other* are *lao 
hurt." — January ad. nine o'clock A.M. 

General Wayne overlook the mutincen the tame day on their march low. 
aiiln PHncctoii. lie wak adviwd not lo go amung lliem ; but. when they 
hailed for Ihe nighl, he >ent lu them and requnlrd ihil one icrgcani or more 
ftoa each rtctmcnt should be delegated to mcci al hii quarlen, and make 
known (heir grlevancet. Thit mat done, mil among ihe others came a »et- 
geani, one Williamn, l " |Kiur creature or fond of liquor." and a deserter from 
the British, having been taken priioner al Princelon, enlisted in De [.nncey's 
battalion, and (leierled al IC in gt bridge, whom the mutineers had ch<scn to be 
their commander. Their complain ti were, that many toldien hod been detained 
beyond the term of their enliitmeni ; ihal Ihe arreartgct of pay and the de- 
preciation had niit been made up ; and that they were auflerfng every privation 
for want of mono)- and clothet. A mode of redreu was pointed out by Gen- 
eral Wayne and the ColoneU, which leemed lo iitiafy the deleealed teif eanti, 
and they agieed to uae ihcii efloni (i> bring aver the mlndt of the other*. 
But the attempt wat ineflectnat, and they all marched the next day, January 
4lh, to Princelon. Those who were well dUposed. Bod willing to leparate 
from the mntineerx. were requCMled by ihe officer* to march in the name body, 
ai it was hoped their presence and infiurnce might stive lo moderate lbs 
violence of Ihe leaders, and check the contagion of iheir eiample. — Sfarkt. 

their duty, or the business be in the hands of Con- 
gress, before 1 could reach yon, and because 1 am 
advised by such of the General Officers, as I have 
seen, not to leave this post in the present situation of 
things, temper of the troops, and distress of the Gar- 
rison for want of Flour, Cloathing, and in short 
every thing. 


Hbad-Qcahtkrs, Nkw Windmm, 
Sm 5 Januiry, i;8l. 

It is with extreme anxiety and pain of mind, I lind myself con- 
strained to inform yoti, that the event I have long apprehended 
irould be the consequence of the complicated distresses of the 
Anny, has at length taken place. — On the night of the ist instant, 
a mutiny was excited by the non-commissioned officers and pri- 
vates of the Pennsylvania line, which soon became so univetsa) 
as to defy all opposition. In attempting to (]ticll this tumuli in 
tbe first instance, some officers were killed, others wonnded, and 
the lives of several common soldiers lost. Deaf to the argu- 
ments, entreaties, and utmost efforts of all ihtir offi.<ers, to stop 
them, the men moved off from Morristown, the place of their 
cantonment, with their arms, and six pieces of Artillery : and 
from accounts just received by General Wayne's Aid de Camp, 
they were still in a body, on their march to Philadelphia, to de- 
mand a redress of their grievances. At what point this defection 
will stop, or how extensive it may prove, God only knows ; at 
present the troops at the important posts in this vicinity remain 
quiet, not being acquainted with this unhappy and aJarming 
affair. How long they will continue so, cannot be ascertained, as 
they labor under some of the pressing hardships with the troops 
who have revolted. 

The aggravated calamities and distresses that have resulted 
from the total want of pay, for nearly twelve months, the want of 
cloathing at a severe season, and not unfrcqucntly the want of 




provisions, are beyond description. The circumstances will now 
point out much more forcibly what ought to be done, than any 
thing that can possibly be said by me, on (he subject. 

It is not within the .iphere of my duty to make refiuixitions 
without the nulhority of Congress from individual states ; but at 
such a crisis as this, and circumstanced as we arc, my own heart 
will acquit me, and Congrcsii and the Sutes (eastward of this) 
whom, for the salcu of despatch, I address, I am persuaded will 
excuse me when once for all I give it decidedly as my opinion, 
that it is vain to think an army can be kept together much longer, 
under such a variety of sufferings as ours has experienced ; and 
that unless some immediate and spirited measures are adopted to 
furnish at lea&l three months pay to the troops, in money which 
win be of .tome value to them — and at the sxtae. time way« and 
means arc devised to clothe and feed them better (more regularly 
I mean), than they have been — the worst that can befall us may 
be expected. 

I have transmitted Congress a copy of this letter, and have in 
the most pressing terms rccjucsted them to adopt the measure 
which 1 have above recommended, or something similar to it, and 
as I will not doubt of their compliance, 1 have thought it proper 10 
give you this previous notice, that you may be prepared to answer 
the requisition. 

As I have used every endeavor in my power to avert the evil 
that has come upon us, so will 1 continue to exert every mean 1 
am possessed of, to prevent an extension of the mischief, but I 
can neither foretell or be answerable for the issue. 

That you may have every information that an officer of rank 
and abilities can give, of the true situation of our affairs, and the 
condition and temper of the troops. 1 have prevailed upon Briga- 
dier General Knox to be the bearer of this letter ; lo him 1 beg 
leave 10 refer you, for many matters, which would be too tedious 
for a letter.' 

' "VoD will proceed with (he deipatchot, whb whicli yon are charged, to 
■ha [iKrmnn >>( ilie Siiici tA (Connecticut, Khndc I>>Iinil, MaiAtchuwita, and 
10 the jjmidcnt of New llampihite. V'ou ^re Mquainted wtih ihr sabject ol 
(hose <l«>.patches, in which the (>callein«n to whom ihcy mc addrcued ue re- 
(MT«d to Tou (or mar* ;)irticu1ar tccouRl of the lilustion of (h« Araiy, tb« 





Hkad-Qvaktbks, Niw Wihdsok, 
Sir, * J«io«y. I7«i. 

Congress must have been long ere this, informed 
by General Wayne of the Mutiny of the Pennsylva- 
nia Troops on the ist instant, and I have no doubt 

caaae* of di*malent in il, uid the probable iiMaiu of Eiviiig ntiifaction to dw 
■Soldlerjr. Upon Ihe fmi Xviq head*, you hare no need of any loilnicIiMU. 
What iftaix to ma nMit vMcniUlly n<cnn*ry lo anhwci the mil of (be ihtnl. U 
■n inntedMle rapply of Money and ClaAlhing ; of tbe fitil a sum cqunl lo three 
moaUu' pay M lei^l o( ihe new emUuon, or tome other ai eqiut vkliie ; of ihe 
■ lut • conpleal Soil of Ctolhn, nol only for llic Mcu non' in MTvice, bnl for 
■lie member of Recruiti who ue lo join. 

" Thai yon tnay be able lo «pe>k fatly npon ibe Article of Cloalhlng, I will 
• infcnn you minulcly of uur preivn! supply and fulurc pnispcctK. The few 
Men. »ho remain in lemrc. wUl wilh diffitulty find ■ luffiiiency of Shirti, 
Vcilk, Brcrclm, and SiockinKn to carry lliciti iliro' the winter. Of Coan 
se are very de6dcat. When tbose which am in the hands of tbe Agenit are 
btoughl forwaid, there will not be more than one thinl of whal are wanling. 
Tbn yon perceiv*. that the old Soldicn will have ocraiion for i full lupply of 
Ctoathing when they laltc Ihe tield, and that Ibe Recrnili, except they ore fni- 
Biihvd by their lopeclive Stktr*. niu«i tw ahiiuluiel} desiiiuie. Wc may 
oliuin vraue ntppliet from France between Ibis time and the Spring, but ve 
have been k> often diiappoinled from that quaxtei. that prudence dictate* Ihe 
impolicy of placing itejicndcnor upon il. 

" I hare been spraking of the Nurlhcm Army only. Central Greene reprc- 
acnta Ihe aouthem at lileiilly naked, and thcicfore, thould there be an arrival 
fr(>m Europe, a great pan mnbl be applied to that Army, at the tout hem Slate* 
haTc not tcMWCe* within ihcm. I .have hitherto only ipoken of • mm of 
moitay equal to three montha' pay ; but it Ji pouiblc that a further mm may be 
neccaory. and thai of ii>ecie, lo give now Bountiri tu Ihoie Soldian, who were 
esrif ealtiUsd (or the Wat upon very low terma. There can no ill result froin 
MCuHag wch a fund ; (or. if it thoold not be warned for that purpose, It may 
be applied usefully tu a thoiirand ulhert." — iHtlTuilium la BrigaJiir.Otmrat 
AWjt, 7 Jarinniy, 1781. 

Oa ibc rcprrteiilallona made by General Knoi, Ihe Icjiitlaturel ot Mai- 
HcbaaMts and New Hampshire votcl to lend forward imincdiatdy lu the 
•ray a graCniiy of twenty-four dollars in hard money for each of the non-com- 
minioMd olBcora and »oldier» belonging to thoae States, who were eneaged to 
•en^e duing the war. 




but he has kept them regularly advised of what 
happened afterwards. I have heard nothing particu- 
lar from those troops since they reached the neigh- 
borhood of Somerset Court House, at which place 
they shewed some signs of a better disposition than at 
first. The only favorable circumstance is. their not 
having attempted to make a push for the Enemy, i 
should have immediately, upon the receipt of this 
alarming intelligence, proceeded to Morristown, and 
from thence to wherever the troops might be. had 
matters been in such a situation here, as to have jus. 
tified my leaving these important posts, without 
being well assured of the temper and affections of the 
Garrison, who labor under nearly the same distresses. 
and have in some degree the same cause of complaint 
as the Pennsylvanians, and, more especially as the 
Officers had, a little time ago, acquainted mc, that 
they had discovered some symptoms of a similar inten- 
tion. Luckily, however, no such disposition has yet 
appeared. But as the distresses of the Troops for 
Flour and for some species of Cloathing are great, 
and they may only want some plausible pretext for 
breaking out, I am strongly advised by the General 
Officers present, not to leave this place, particularly 
as the River is intirely free of Ice, and therefore 
favorable for the enemy to take advantage of such an 
event should it unfortunately happen. 

General Wayne. Colo. R. Butler and Colo. Stewart 
will keep with the Line, and as they are extremely 
popular officers, they will I think have every possible 
effect upon the Men. I wrote to General Wayne 
upon the subject of what appeared to me the proper 




mode of conducting himself and desired him to for- 
ward a copy of my letter to Congress. 

I ever)' moment Kxpcct further intcllifjcncc from 
below, and should matters seem indispensably to 
require my presence I will set out. His Kxcelly. 
Govt. Clinton is here, and will remain in the neigh- 
borhood, ready to call in his Militia should there be 
any defection in the Continental Troops. 

I do myself the honor to enclose the Copy of a let- 
ter which I have written to the four Eastern States, 
preparatorj' to the requisition, which I most earnestly 
intreat Congress may make upon them and the others 
for an advance of pay and supplies, if the public funds 
are not in condition to furnish what is necessary for 
the purpose. Matters are now come to a Crisis, and I 
should be wanting in duty to my Country, and unwor- 
thy of that confidence which Congress have been 
pleased in so many instances to repose in me were I 
to hesitate in giving it as my opinion that altho' 
the other troops, who are more generally composed 
of Natives, and may therefore have attachments of a 
stronger nature, may bear their distresses somewhat 
longer than the Pen nsy Ivan ians, yet. that it will be 
dangerous to put their patience further to the test. 
They may, for what I know, be only waiting to see the 
efTects of the Pennsylvania insurrection ; and it will 
be therefore far better to meet them with a part of 
their just dues, than to put them to the necessity of 
demanding them in a manner disreputable and preju- 
dicial to the service, and the Cause, and totally sub- 
versive of all military discipline. * 

« I 

' Rml in Congrcii, JaDusiry I5lh. 




to bkcgadier-general wayne. 

Dear Sir, 

I have received your favor of the 4th with the en- 
closures by the Express the Evening before last. I 
had been deliberating in my own mind, whether to 
continue at this place or set out for Prince Town ; but 
am advised by the Governor of this State, and the 
General Officers with me, (and which seems to be con- 
sonant to your opinion also,) to remain here, as the 
ultimate measures might probably be taken before I 
could arrive ; and as the personal influence of yourself 
and the Gentlemen with you, together with that of the 
Governor and Council of the State, might effect what- 
ever could be done in that way. 

I am now happy to inform you, the Troops at the 
several Posts in this vicinity continue still quiet, with- 
out giving indications of outrage or defection. At 
this distance, and under your present circumstances, 
it is impossible to recommend (if advice could reach 
you in time) any particular line of conduct, but only 
in general to observe, that such measures founded in 
justice, and a proper degree of generosity, as will 
have a tendency to conciliate or divide the men, ap- 
pear most likely to succeed. Certain it is, that, should 
they finally be driven to the Enemy, they will be a 
considerable augmentation of strength against us ; or. 
should they be dispersed, their loss to the service will 
be severely felt. Both these evils are therefore to be 
avoided, if there is any proper ground on which it 
can be done. The circumstances of the moment will 





point out the measures necessary to be pursued, 
taking into view at the same time the consequences 
which will be involved, with respect to other Troops, 
who arc nearly in the same situation. 

I have such entire confidence in the zeal, ability, 
and inBucncc of the Gentlemen concerned in the 
negotiation ; let the issue be what it may. I shall have 
the consolation of believing, that whatever could be 
done on the occasion has been faithfully and strenu- 
ously attempted. 1 am, dear Sir, &c.' 

' WIicD the news of the ravcll reached Philadelphia, a commitlca waa ap- 
pointed br CoRRTea. ai ax o'clock on Janaary 3d. consisting o( Ceneril SulU- 
««n, Mr. W ilhenpaon, and Mr, Mathcwa, »ho were initnielcd to confei with 
tbs fKMCVtive of PenQsylvania on iho tubtccl. 'I'hii oimuiilter. and Governor 
Reed o« the pnrt of the Council of Pcnniylvania, lei off to meet the iroopt. 
Ob tbe 51I1 Mr. Bland and Mr. Alice were added to the congrcuianal eom- 
■littc«. Moaaltme General Waynr remaincil wilb Ihcni x\ Prineclun. It vcm 
•KcriaiDcd thai overtures were aboui to be made to the itmitgcnii by the 
cncraif. to which il «*» feared Ihey would hkteii, and for two »i ihice dtyi, the 
«Aoen were in a «tMe of extreme anxiety. They were aomtwhal retirred bjr 
AM tnddcnl, which ii ihns related in a letter from (icneral Wapic : 

" Alioal (onr o'clock y«lTriUy moriiirij; we were wakrd hy two >ier|;eanl«, 
who produced a letter from the eaemy. encloied in a tmall piei'v of tfa-ttcit. 
Tliey alM btonght under guard tu'o caitilTi, who undertook to deliver it to the 
leaden o(lli«maI(cunienlit. One of ih«iiecnl(>rity«ityi-hcisaicr)ieant in Odcll'a 
newlf raited eotpi, and «u ptomiied n comidcrablc reward un bringing back 
■B amwcr. The loldicre in general aRecl lo ipum at the idea of Intning 
ArnoUi. B» tticyeipnn it. We iiaireiiws! every address to ln(l«mc their minds 
against wtelchci. vho wovLd dare lo imult thmi by imaf-ining Ibem Iraitori ; 
for, bad the} tbought ibcm rlrtuoiu, they would not have carried those over- 
IKTc*." — PrimrlrM. January Sib. The "two caitiffk" were John Miuun and 
J«ne« Ogden (of Scrath River). Clinton'* metsage, addtesMd ■' lo the person 
I sppodDlod by the Penniylvania Line lo lead thetn in their prueot struggle (or 
their liberty and righl*," offered (be proleelioii of the British Govenimcnt, a 
free poidan (or ill former offences, and the pay that waadue Ihem by Congress, 
«itlio«t eapeetalion of mllitdry lervice. 

Uovemot Re«d arriied ai I'rincelon, and the eomrnittee of Congteu at Tren- 
ton. Tbe following proposaU were offered to the mutineer* : 

" t. To dUcharge all thote, who had enliited indtjimltly lot three yt*x%. or 






• 9 Janasrx, 17O1. 

Mv Dear Sir, 

I have been duly favored with your letters of the 
7th and 8th of Deer., together with the returns of the 
army under your command. 

It is impossible for anyone to sympathize more 
feelingly with you. in the sufferings and distresses of 
the troops, than 1 do ; and nothing could aggravate 
my unhappiness so much as the want of ability to 
remedy or even alleviate the calamities, which they 
suffer, and in which we participate but too largely. 
None of the clothing so long expected from France 
has yet arrived. We are compelled therefore to have 
recourse to the States, and the supplies are ver)' inade- 
quate to our wants. Should the French clothing be 
brought in, you may depend upon having a full pro- 
portion of it. You will be persuaded in the mean 
time, that 1 am perfectly sensible of the innumerable 
embarrassments and hardships you have to struggle 

during the war : Ili« fuel lo b« inquired into by tbrae caanint»i«ner> to b« ap- 
pointed bj ihe cxecatJTc. ftnd to be uccruincd. where (he unKin') cn]i«lin<ni 
could not lie prmluueit, l>j- the o»lh ol (he lolJior. 

" 3. To giTe immediaie cenitit^la for tbe depredation on Ihcir pay, and lo 
Kttle average) u toon ■* circiint>>iancci would admit. 

" 3. To furiiUli them immcliately with certain tpecified article* of (lathing, 
which were greatly wanted." 

Thcic lermi were accepted, and reiulied In the dubandinj; ol a very lar)[c 
portion of the inio|it. aiid a icmpurary dinolnlion of ihc line. 

Theeminarin, or ipiei, mere given up, tried by acoaii'iniirlial, and executed 
on the I llh of Janaati". A full collection of the iilKtial l>at<er* ciucemini; lt>* 
revolt of the Pciini}rlvanla line iit puUiihed in the iccond volume of Itaiard'a 
RtgiiUr •/ PtnmylvoHio. See alao Marahall't Uft of Waikmgl9n, »oL i»,, 
PP- 393-403.— Sit Henry Clinton's itaiement cA the affair may t>e (ounil in lite 
Rrmrm^ratutr. vol. xl., p. I4S 




with, in such an exhausted country, and that I should 
be happy to be able to afford the wished relief. The 
brilliant action of General Sumpter, and the stratagem 
of Colonel Washington, deserve great commendation. 
It gives me inexpressible pleasure to find, that such a 
spirit of enterprise and intrepidity still prevails. 

I was much surprised, that any dispute about rank 
was like to arise between Baron Steuben and General 
Smallwood ; nor can I conceive upon what principles 
the latter can found his claim of seniority. For, if the 
date of his commission is to be carried back to any 
given period previous to his appointment, it may 
supersede not only that of the officer now in question, 
but many others, and indeed derange and throw into 
confusion the rank of the whole line of major-generals. 
But as the services of the Baron may be extremely 
necessary in Virginia, it may not be amiss for him to 
continue there, till the principles of Major-General 
Smallwood on the subject are more clearly ascertained, 
and a decision is made by Congress, if the dispute 
cannot be otherwise determined. 

The preposterous conduct of those concerned in 
releasing, instead of exchanging, the prisoners lately 
taken to the southward, is really astonishing. 1 had 
entertained hopes, that a considerable number of our 
prisoners in Charlestown might have been obtained 
for them. In this quarter an extensive exchange has 
taken place. We have few officers and no privates 
remaining in the hands of the enemy. I advised 
you on the 2nd insL of the sailing of a fleet from 
N. York, with about 1600 troops on board, nothing 
has been heard respecting it since. * * • 





HSAU Quarters. N«w WiNti9f>«, 
t>J«nuir]', ijai. 

Dear Sir, 

The receipt of your letter of the gth. enclosing one 
from General Wayne, has, if possible, added to my 
embarrassments. I had heard from General Sullivan 
and Lord Stirling, that the mutineers had delivered 
up the British emissaries immediately upon their 
arrival in Princeton. From this I was in hopes, that 
they had precluded themselves from all assistance 
from that quarter, and that the reduction of them by 
force, should matters come to extremities, would not 
be diflficult. But now their conduct appears to me in 
this light ; they have made known the propositions 
ofTered by Sir Henry Clinton only by way of threat, 
and seem to say, if you do not grant our terms, we 
can obtain them elsewhere." 

At the meeting with the general and field officers 
yesterday, it was almost a universal opinion, that their 

* " I thiDk it appears by the Icllor, which hat faU«a into jout htndi. that 
there hai not bcm much if any intctcaune between Ihe mulineen and Sii 
Henry Clinton : and, if the fulnie cnrrcspaiidcncc c:iin be inircrciited. It will 
«mbKrr»u (he Brili-Ji and (he Itoopa. Ymi will have been Ihe bnt jud^ of 
the kind of anawCT, which it would be proper to give (o Sir Henry '» menage ; 
but ai we had not force i.u(iicicnt ti> with \a ilrcoy him nul. pefhapk it wilt 
have bceri mi^iti pnidcal to antwet him in the negative. 1 am certain, that, ib 
coDBcquence of my letter of the 8th to General Wayne, ereiy offer that could 
with propriety be made hat been made. Whil (urihet iii to be done can be 
belter iudftcd by yiiu on the »put, than by me at a diitanct. The itepi you 
have hilhetto taken are judjcioui and tiriclly proper. Be pleated to ihank the 
Marquti and Colonel Laurent lor ihelr lellcn, which a pro* nf buhitint pte- 
T«nta me from antweritij;." — IVtuiin/^aii It St, Clair, lo January, ITS I. 

St. Clair. lAfaycllc. and I.auren( had gone to Princeton to arj^e with tlia 
matioecn. but wen not allowed to communicate wilh Ihem, and ordered to 
leave Ihe place. 

men might be depended on. I therefore gave direc- 
tions (or a detachment of one thousand to be pre* 
pared and held in readiness.' If things are in a train 
of negotiation, as would seem to be the case from 
General Wayne's postscript, to move a force between 
Trenton and the enemy might create suspicions in 
the minds of the mutineers, and make them fly to the 
enemy for safely. I do not think it prudent to write 
to the committee of Congress, to Governor Reed, or 
to General Wayne, lest my letter should be stopped. 
1 think, therefore, from a consideration of the subject 
in every light, tliat it will be bt^it for you to go down 
to the Pennsylvania side, opposite Trenton, and send 
for some of the gentlemen over. There inquire 
minutely into tlie situation of affairs, and if there are 
no hopes of a reasonable compromise, get from them 
an opinion of what ought ultimately to be done. If 
force should b<; determined upon, the governors of 
Pennsylvania and Jersey should instantly make ar- 
rangements for bringing out as many of their militia 
as can be follected, while the detachment above men- 
tioned is marching from hence, that the intercourse 
between Trenton and this place may be as expedi- 

I Ft** hMlalians, (oat be!ag New Bngbnd Itdo|>*. »a4 ihe 6((h made np of 
Eluea'i coups, were drawo out on mucliing onlere, to ba cummmniUd bf 
li^^r-Geoienl Robcn Howe. 

" M«JM.<^iMral llowo •jipliad to in« ywlcriUx for the camnund of the de- 
tadment In point of rifht he ought lo have it ; bnl in point of paiiey it 
Dugbt lie belter to give il to cither General Taitont or Gcoeral Glover ; and 
tbU I told tuB. twl nltinuiely dtkirtd liiea to fix Die mailer with fou, and tb« 
other two fcntleinen. who might be more competnol judgM o( the weight of 
my oh wr r a tioot to him than I could be taj*e\l. Oetenaine ai yon will ; I 
ttHU be uliifiad."— U'aikiHxttn ta Htatk, la Jaonai;, 1781. 




tious as possible. Desire Colonel Nelson to fix a re- 
lay of expresses from the neighborhood of Trenton to 
Morristown, and let the quartermaster at Morristown 
continue them from thence to this place. 

1 am, dear Sir, &c.' 


Dear Sir. '*■* w«dso«. •$ J«.u«y. 1781. 

In compliance with your request 1 shall commit to 
writing the result of our conferences on the present 

' In ■ letter from Genetal W»yne, of the »roe d«t< «i the ibove, he »)«: 
" Tlie condition* now maile anit *giceil to kk the )oiiit act d( Ihc commiltcc 
«f CoDgm* md the governor of I'cnni^lvaniii, to whom Ihc fiirmer <lelc](tlcd 
dw(r pmren. The routineers m yet hold command, but we have expecialioni 
of raclaiminjj it. in ap|jeanince al Icxht, cither ihit evening or lo-roomnv mom- 
ing. Howerei. 1 believe it will be the mui^l advi^alile nmrnirc to diMoIvc th« 
line, and collect ii anew, ai well and eipeditiouily as we c«n. The »pi« 
were eieculed yevlenlajr puisiunt to thcii mntcncc." — Trittlan, January oib. 

Ciencnl Ilcalh hftd taken Mtne indirect moaxum to aacertain Ihr Aentimcnti 
of the toldlen, ai to the conduct of the Pennsylvania line. paiticuJatly of ihoM 
conttilnting the detachment ordtred to be in rcadincM lo march. A womui 
ms tent into one regiment to lixen to Ihe conversation of the men, ami >Im 
beaid Ihcm uiy Ihai they vould have no hand in pniling down the Penniyl- 
luiUat. The reprctcntaiioni of ■ t«r)>eant had Ijeen recei>'ed'>nd credited in 
inotfaercw* ; utd General Keith's steward told him that be had heard the 
men declare that they would not naich froro West Point till they were pnid 
and clothed, 

" The subject of yours ol yesterday is of to dclii:otc a nature, thai I am 
■Imott afraid it will be productive of ill coniequenccs (o have it handled even 
by Ihc iiioit pruiUnt oAicvi*. in the moM cautioua manner. To teem to draw 
into question the fidelity and firmnen of Ihe soldiers, or even to cipren a 
doubt of their obedience, may occaaon snch a relaxation of ditcipiine, at 
would not oihenvikc exist. I could wlih lo have thr>ic maitert treated wlUi 
Ihe gteaiesi prudence by the ollicen, and not conversed upon before their 
d»mr»tics, at 1 am apprelieni^ivc has sometimes incaolicnisly been practised. " 
— Waikiiii;l->n le HtaOi. 14 January. I7S(. 

' In cocformiCy with Ihe insttuiiiuns from Congras to Colonel I^aotens, that 
be ihould cumuli General Washington on Ibe objects of his mitsioo before his 




state of American affatni, in which 1 have given you 
my ideas with that freedom and expiicitness. which 
the objects of your commission, my entire confidence 
in you, and the exigency demand. To me it appears 
evident : 

■St. That, considering the diffused population of 
these States, the consequent difficulty of drawing 
together its resources, the composition and temper of 
a part of the inhabitants, the want of a sufficient 
slock of national wealth as a foundation for revenue, 
and the almost total extinction of commerce, the 
efforts we have been compelled to make for carrying 
on the war have exceeded the natural abilities of this 
country, and by degrees brought it to a crisis, which 
renders immediate and efficacious succors from abroad 
indispensable to its safety. 

2dly. That, notwithstanding, from the confusion 
always attendant on a revolution, from our having 
bad governments to frame and every species of civil 
and military institutions to create, from that inexperi- 
ence in affairs necessarily incident to a nation in its 
commencement, some errors may have been committed 
in the administration of our finances, to which a part 

deputDfe (or France, he proceeded to head-quarlen for thai purpoce. The 
MbttasM ti ihclr cnnRulUlioiit was embodied in the fomi n( ■ l«t(er, which it 
'U inltiidtd Colonel Laurens should use in sach ■ manner as he might ibink 
pcoper. He inlroduccd copious eiimcu from it into a memorint, whidi he 
pTCtcnted to Couiil Jc Vef^ennes. ami which is coniained in the Jiiftamati' 
CfTrftpirnd(*<t ef Ihf Amtriian Rrpaluliiin, vol. ii., p. 111. Those eitracU 
dificr ID Miinc ilighi parliculon from ihe copy here prinicd. which a lAlccn 
(romOeneial Wahhlnglon'* Islter-booki. The oHginal Iclter. in Ihc handwrlling 
of Ocseral Waihingkui, was liktrwise lenl lo Count de Vei^cnnei. by Colond 
LxiirMi* at Dr. FisskltD, and ii sitll preserved unong the Americati Papen in 
dM ArcUre* of Poraifpi Aflain in Parit. — Xfiarti. 




of our embarrassments arc to be attributed ; yet they 
are principally to be ascribed to an essential defect of 
means, to the want of a sufficient stock of wealth, as 
mentioned in the first article, which, continuing to 
operate, will make it impossible by any merely interior 
exertions to extricate ourselves from those embarrass- 
ments, restore public credit, and furnish the funds 
requisite for the support of the war. 

3dly. That experience has demonstrated the im- 
practicability long to maintain a paper credit without 
funds for its redemption. The depreciation of our 
currency was in the main a necessar)' effect of the 
want of those funds ; and its restoration is impossible 
for the same reason, to which the general diffidence 
that has taken place among the people is an addi- 
tional and, in the present state of things, an insuperable 

4thly. 'l"hat the mode, which for want of money 
has been substituted for supplying the army, by 
assessing a proportion of the productions of the earth, 
has hitherto been found ineffectual, has frequently 
exposed the army to the most calamitous distress, 
and, from its novelty and incompatibility with ancient 
habits, is regarded by the people as burthensome and 
oppressive, has excited serious discontents, and in 
some places alarming symptoms of opposition. This 
mode has, besides, many particular inconveniences, 
which contribute to make it inad(K]uate to our wants, 
and ineligible but as an auxlliar)'. 

5thly. That, from the best estimates of the annual 
expense of the war and the annual revenues which 




these States are capable of affording, there is a lar^e 
balance 10 be supplied by public credit. The resource 
of domestic loans is inconsiderable, because there are 
properly speaking few moneyed men. and the few 
there are can employ their money more profitably 
otherwise ; added to which, the instability of the 
currency and the deficiency of funds have impaired 
the public credit. 

6thly. That the patience of the army, from an 
almost uninterrupted series of complicated distress, is 
now nearly exhausted, and their discontents matured 
to an extremity, which has recently had very dis- 
agreeable consequences, and which demonstrates the 
absolute necessity of speedy relief, a relief not within 
the compass of our means. You are too well ac- 
quainted with all their sufferings for want of clothing, 
for want of provisions, for want of pay. 

7thly. That, the people being dissatisfied with the 
mode of supporting the war, there is cause to appre- 
hend, that evils actually felt in the prosecution may 
weaken those sentiments which began it, founded, not 
on immediate sufferings, but on a speculative appre- 
hension of future sufferings from the loss of their 
liberties. There is danger, that a commercial and 
free people, little accustomed to heavy burthens, 
pressed by impositions of a new and odious kind, may 
not make a proper allowance for the necessity of the 
conjuncture, and may imagine they have only ex- 
changed one tyranny for another. 

8th!y. That, from all the foregoing considerations 
result, 1st, absolute necessity of an immediate, ample, 




and efficacious succor in money, large enough to be 
a foundation for substantial arrangements of Bnance, 
to revive public credit, and give vigor to future oper- 
ations ; 2dly, the vast importance of a decided effort 
of the allied arms on this continent, the ensuing 
campaign, to effectuate once for all the great objects 
of the alliance, the liberty and independence of these 
States. Without the first we may make a feeble and 
expiring effort the next campaign, in all probability the 
period to our opposition. With it, we should be in a 
condition to continue the war, as long as the obsti- 
nacy of the enemy might require. The first is essen- 
tial to the latter ; both combined would bring the 
contest to a glorious issue, crown the obligations, 
which America already feels to the magnanimity and 
generosity of her ally, and perpetuate the union by all 
the ties of gratitude and affection, as well as mutual 
advantage, which alone can render it solid and indis- 

Qthly. That, next to a loan of money, a constant 
naval superiority on these coasts is the object most 
interesting. This would instantly reduce the enemy 
to a difficult defensive, and, by removing all prospect 
of extending their acquisitions, would take away the 
motives for prosecuting the war. Indeed, it is not to 
be conceived how they could subsist a large force in 
this country, if we had the command of the seas, to 
interrupt the regular transmission of supplies from 
Europe. This superiority, (with an aid in money,) 
would enable us to convert the war into a vigorous 
offensive. I say nothing of the advantages to the 




trade of both nations, nor how infinitely it would 
facilitate our supplies. With respect to us, it seems 
to be one of two deciding points ; and it appears, too, 
to be the interest of our allies, abstracted from the 
immediate benefits to this countr)-. to transfer the 
naval war to America. The number of ports friendly 
to them, hostile to the British, the materials for re- 
pairing their disabled ships, the extensive supplies 
towards the subsistence of their fleet, are circum- 
stances which would give them a palpable advantage 
in the contest of these seas. 

lothly. That an additional succor in troops would 
be extremely desirable. Besides a reinforcement of 
numbers, the excellence of French troops, that perfect 
discipline and order in the corps already sent, which 
have so happily tended to improve the respect and 
confidence of the people for our allies, the conciliating 
disposition and the zeal for the service, which distin- 
guish every rank, sure indications of lasting harmony. 
— all these considerations evince the immense utility 
of an accession of force to the corps now here. Corre- 
spondent with these motives, the enclosed minutes of 
a conference between their Excellencies the Count de 
Rochambeau, the Chevalier de Ternay, and myself 
will inform you. that an augmentation to fifteen thou- 
sand men was judged expedient for the next cam- 
paign : and it has been signified to me. that an appli- 
cation has been made to the court of France to this 
^effect. But if the sending so large a succor in troops 
should necessarily diminish the pecuniar>' aid, which 
our allies may be disposed to grant, it were preferable 




to diminish the aid In men ; for the same sum of 
money, which would transport from France and 
maintain here a body of troops with all the necessary 
apparatus, being put into our hands to be employed 
by us, would serve to give activity to a larger force 
within ourselves, and its influence would pervade the 
whole administration. 

iilhly. That no nation will have it more in its 
power to repay what it borrows than this. Our debts 
are hitherto small. The vast and valuable tracts of 
unlocated lands, the variety and fertility of climates 
and soils, the advantages of every kind which wc 
possess for commerce, insure to this country a rapid 
advancement in population and prosperity, and a 
certainty, its independence being established, of 
redeeming in a short term of years the compara- 
tively inconsiderable debts it may have occasion to 

That, notwithstanding the difficulties under which 
wc labor, and the inquietudes prevailing among the 
people, there is still a fund of inclination and resource 
in the country, equal to great and continued exertions, 
provided we have it in our power to stop the progress 
of disgust, by changing the present system, and adopt- 
ing another more consonant with the spirit of the na- 
tion, and more capable of activity and energy in public 
measures ; of which a powerful succor of money must 
be the basis. The people are discontented ; but it is 
with the feeble and oppressive mode of conducting 
the war, not with the war itself. They are not un- 
willing to contribute to its support, but they are un- 




willing to do it in a way that renders private property 
precarious; a necessary consequence of the fluctua- 
tion of the national currency, and of the inability of 
government to perform its engagements oftentimes 
coercively made. A lai^ majority are still firmly 
attached to the independence of these States, abhor 
a reunion with Great Britain, and are affectionate to 
the alliance with France ; but this disposition cannot 
supply the place of means customary and essential in 
war, nor can we rely on its duration amidst the per- 
plexities, oppressions, and misfortunes, that attend 
the want of them. 

If the foregoing observations are of any use to you, 
I shall be happy. I wish you a safe and pleasant 
voyage, the full accomplishment of your mission, and 
a speedy return ; being, with sentiments of perfect 
friendship, regard, and affection, dear Sir, &c' 

' In tnuoducins Col. Ldoreni lo rnnklin. Wuhiiifton wrole ; 
" The pnscfil inliniiely critical poinire of our iffain mode ii uscnliil. iti 
the opinraa of Congnu. lo iciid (roiii bcnce a jicnon. who hail heen an eye- 
witkc» of lh«il progrea, and who was capable of placing; (hem litforc the court 
of Prance In a eoore full and linking poinl of iijiht, than vr» proper or even 
pnclicaM( by any wiiitcii vommunication. It wat bIw> juilged of k^M im- 
portaoce. ihAI the perioii should be ililc to give a militU7 vie^v oE (hrm. anil to 
enter ieto miliUry deiaiU and arrange menli. The choice hu fallen upon Colo- 
nel LaurenK, %\ a genilcmxn wlio unites ill ihetc atlvaniagCH. and Hd<!> to ihcm 
an ialcgiily and an independence of character, which render him mperior lo 
•By iptrii of pi'ly- 

" What I hare ul<t lo him, I beg le«va lo repeal lo you, that 10 me nathlng 
BppeMi more erndeoi, than thai the period of our o[ipaiiIiim will very shortly 
sirinc, if oui ollict cannot afford ut that effecluil aid. puiicularly in money, 
>ad in a aaval npcriorily, which are now Rnliclicd. Colonel I^uien> (a m 
folly pcEuetsed of my ideas of our litualion and wants, and hat hitntrlf ao thor- 
' oa(b ■ knowledge of tbcm, that I should irouble you to no purpoie by enlarging. 
Voa may place entire conlidenc* in hitn, aini in the aMutiiice that I am, with 
Ihe warmest veotimenti of respect eiteem, and regard, dear Sir, Ac' 

I to 




Nsw Windsor, 15 Januiiy, lyti. 


The unhappy mutiny of the non-corad [officersj 
and Privates of the Pensylvania line, the perplexed 
state of affairs in this quarter, the distressed condi- 
tion of the Troops at West Point and in the vicinity 
of it, on acct. of Provision and ■iome essential articles 
of cloalhing, combined with other embarrassments of 
less importance, have engrossed my whole time and 
attention, and must be offered as an apology for not 
complying sooner with the order of Congress of the 
1st inst., enclosed in your Excellency's Letter of the 
Second, relative to the expediency of removing the 
French Troops to Virginia. 

Congress, being no strangers to the blockade of 
the French Squadron at Rhode island, must have had 
in contemplation a land march of the French army to 
the above State ; to which the season, length of the 
way. badness of the roads, difficulty of Transporta- 
tion, and possibly want of covering in a good Military 
position when there, the expectation of the second 
division, and the arrangements which are made in 
consequence by the French General, might be offered 
as weighty objections by Auxiliary Troops against 
the measure. But, as Congress have been pleased to 
ask my opinion of the expediency of it, 1 think it a 
duty incumbent on me to add, that it is not agreeable 
to the sentiments, (perhaps to the orders,) of the offi- 
cers commanding the Land and Naval force at Rhode 
Island to separate, white the latter is awed by a 



■ II 

superior Marine. The experiment has already been 

i shall act to the best of my judgment in a further 
exchange of prisoners ; and will carry the views of 
Congress into effect, as far as 1 am able. 

In my last of the 6th 1 communicated the reasons 
which prevented my departure for Morris Town upon 
the first information 1 received of the revolt of the 
Pensylvania line, and the contingencies on which my 
going thither then depended. 1 found, notwithstand- 
ing my utmost exertion and all the aid I could derive 
from the Governor of this State, that I could only 
supply the garrison from day to day with Provisions ; 
that it was a doubtful point, the' the Troop.s appeared 
tolerably quiet in this quarter, how far they were to 
be depended ujjon, in a serious and spirited attempt 
to quell others, whose declared intention was to seek 
redress of those grievances, of which they themselves 
participated, and were constantly complaining ; while 
the propriety of weakening the Garrison, supposing 
the utmost reliance was to be had on them, without 
Provisions in the Magazine or Works, was not less 
questionable. On the other hand, all authority in the 
Officers of the Pensylvania line over their Men being 
at an end, and the influence of those who remained 

' ** TtiCM i* ft cooln»i lietVfccn Wulihicton And M. de Rocbunbeau ; Ihi 

ilttf*ciiern \% 00 the pirt of (he American Cenenl, ourt it ignorant of th« 

I rcMon. He hai ^ven mc orders to go willi a letter (rotn him and to mform 

Vjrtelf o( the reatoD lor hia diiconteol, to hoi the liTcath if posulilc. or U 

rilw affair be more %t%y< to report to him the Caute." — /■'rrstn. tt in Fatktr, 14 

I'JkiMat)', 17S1. A lcil«T flam Rochambeau to Wixhington. dated 13th Jano. 

uy Introduces the Count de Chartut. ion of the Mmquia de Catlrlea, but tlier* 

it no hint of diSarenca. Ilia noit it dated the tQlh. 




with them employed to no purpose, I was convinced 
that the unhappy precedent they had set, and the 
shock which discipline had received by the revolt, 
would only be increased by my appearance among 
them, without the means of enforcing obedience ; the 
necessity of doing which, for the support of Military 
authority, was so essential as to be attempted at 
almost every hazard. But to choose for the best, in 
such perplexing circumstances t was driven to, was 
not very easy. Ultimately, however, I determined to 
prepare a detachment of a thousand men, and directed 
Genera! St. Clair, (who was at Morristown.) to pro- 
ceed immediately to the Committee of Congress at 
Trenton, and, if matters were not settled, or in their 
opinion in a favorable train for it, to make the ulte- 
rior arrangements for Militia with Mr. President Reed 
and Governor Livingston, that, with their assistance, 
the detachment from hence might be enabled to act 
effectually. Thus the matter stood when a letter 
from the Comee. advised me that the business was 
likely to be accommodated to mutual satisfaction. 

It would be happy for us, and favorable to the 
probable operations of the next Campaign, if. instead 
of living chiefly upon the Supplitrs of this State, they 
and those of Jersey could be held as a kind of reserve 
Magazine. Proper attention has been paid to such 
officers of the Continental lines under my immediate 
command, as now are or have been prisoners with the 
enemy, in making the new arrangement of the 
army ; and 1 have no doubt but equal regard will be 
had to those in the southern army. I shall write to 




General Greene on this head, and will transmit to 
him a copy of the resolve explaining the sense of 
Congress on this matter. 1 have the honor to be, &c.' 


New WiNDiiOR, tj January, ■;&■, 

Dear Madam. 

I should have done myself the pleasure to acknowl- 
edge the receipt of the letter you did me the favor to 
write on the 26th of December, at the moment of its 
receipt, had not some affairs of a very unusual nature 
(which are too recent and notorious to require expla- 
nation), engaged my whole attention. I pray you 
now to be persuaded, that a sense of the patriotic ex- 
ertions of yourself and the ladies, who have furnished 
so handsome and useful a gratuity for the army, at so 
critical and severe a season, will not easily be effaced, 
and that the value of the donation will be greatly en- 
hanced by a consideration of the hands by which it 
was made and presented. 

Amidst all the distresses and sufferings of the army. 
from whatever sources they have arisen, it must be 
a consolation to our virtuous coutilry women, that 

' Read is Congress, Jatiuacy ijit. 

* Mn. Bacbe wis on« of itic ladici who (upFrintcmdod ttiE mntriliutiont in 
^hllatlclphia (ot Iht bencAi of ihe soldicB, She wrote lo Gencfml Waihing- 
"loo : " Wc packed u|> llic lliins In three lii^tes, and ilctivereii ihcm lo Colonel 
HUes, willi a Te<)ucst that h« would lend thvm lo Trenton immcitiiilcly, lest tho 
river dHMiId clou : where ihej now »-»it your Eicellcncy's orclctv There are 
two tbooauid viil live iii nuniher. They would have been a1 camp long before 
tbik, had DOt the gen«nJ ucknc>« giieventcd. W« wish ihem to be worn with 
•* much pleaiDic ai Ihey were made." 




they ha%'e never been accused of withholding their 
most zealous efforts to support tht: cause we are en- 
gaged in, and encourage those who are defending 
them in the field. The army do not want gratitude, 
nor do they misplace it in this instance. 

Although the friendship of your father may oblige 
him to see some things through too partial a medium, 
yet the indulgent manner in which he is pleased to 
express himself respecting me is indeed very pleasing ; 
for nothing in human life can afford a liberal mind 
more rational and exquisite satisfaction, than the ap- 
probation of a wise, a great, and virtuous man.' Mrs. 
Washington requests me to present her comphments 
to Mr. Bache and yourself, with which you will both 
be pleased to accept of mine, and believe me to be, 
with great consideration and esteem, dear Madam. &c. 


HKAU.Q(IAKTtlil., Ntw WDOttOK. 
so January, 17B1. 


I should have done myself the honor of writing 
sooner to Your Excellency, on the late disturbance in 
the Pensylvania Line, had I not relied, that General 
Knox first, and afterwards Count des Ueux Ponts. ' 

' Mn. [I.ichc w» llic ilaughlei ot Dr. Fianklin, aixl slic hml uicl : " My 
(ather, in one of his Iwi Icttcn, »»y». ' !f you »ee Gcnctnl Washington, auure 
Um oi my veiy great and alncere rexpect, and (cU him Thai aJI Ihe old j^nerali 
h<N asiutc IhetiiMlvM in itudying ilic iici;iiuiiia uf hiv i)|>rratioa*, and approv* 
hil^y of hiii condtKt.' " 

' Two colofflcb of ihii name were wiib Ihe Freni:li umy, Coont Cbrulita and 
Conol Culllaume. 

would give you the most accurate account of this affair 
— and had I not been watting to hear the event of it 
and collect the particulars to enable me to give you a 
more perfect idea of it. The causes of complaint of 
this line, mostly composed of foreigners, and having 
even some British deserters, must in great part be 
known to your Excellency. The absolute want of pay 
and cloathing — the great scarcity of provisions were 
too severe a trial for men, a great proportion of whom 
could not be deeply impressed with the feelings of 
citizens. Some cause of complaint as to their inlist- 
ments and perhaps the instigations of internal enemies 
added to their discontents and contributed to bring 
them to so disagreeable an issue. The beginning of 
the disturbance you had from General Knox and the 
subsequent proceedings have no doubt been related 
to your Excellency by the Count des Deux Fonts, 
who being an eye witness had an opportunity of 
knowing all circumstances. 1 shall therefore content 
myself with adding that the civil authority having un- 
dertaken to settle the dispute there would have been 
an impropriety in my interfering in their conciliatory 
mea.surcs, which would not have suited the principles 
of military discipline ; — and that the matter is in a 
train of being terminated as well as the manner in 
which il was taken up gave us reason to expect. 

It is somewhat extraordinary, that these men, how- 
ever lost to a sense of duty had so far retained that 
of honor, as to reject the most advantageous proposi- 
tions from the enemy. The rest of our Army (the 
Jersey troops excepted) being chiefly composed of 



1 1 781 

natives, I would flatter myself, will continue to strug- 
gle under the same difficulties, they have hitherto 
endured, which I cannot help remarking seem to reach 
the bounds of human patience. 

I had last evening the pleasure of seeing at my 
quarters Count de Charlus — Count de Dillon ' and 
Monsr. Du Mat* The first of these Gentlemen 
acquainted me with the object of his journey to 
Philadelphia, which he is preparing to pursue agree- 
able to your desire. 

I cannot forbear lamenting. Sir, that the absolute 
want of money, an evil too well known in our army. 
obliged me to interrupt the chain of communication. 

But the conveyance by the post is so dilatory, and 
it is so important we should speedily hear from each 
other, that 1 am going to renew the chain from this 
place to Hartford and propose to you the expediency 
of having it continued to Rhode Island. 

Nothing could give me greater pleasure than to 
have the honor of waiting on you at New Port and 
improving the opportunity to make a more extensive 
acquaintance with the troops under your orders. Be- 
sides the satisfaction. 1 should feel in seeing you again 
I think it very useful that we should have a further 
conversation on our affairs, in which I may avail my- 
self of your opinion. But our circumstances have 
been such, that it has hitherto been out of my power 
to execute this favorite project of mine. The moment 
I do not think my presence at West Point essential, 
shall be devoted to a visit to your Excellency. 

' Count Arltini DUton, of Lauiun** t«flon. 
* M. Uumas. one of Koctumbau'i >idt. 

The reduction of my family by various contingen- 
cies, so that I had for some days hut a single Aide — 
and the additional weight of business which of course 
devolved upon mc, have prevented my writing to 
your Excellency lately as often as I wished. 

By intelligence from New York, we hear the en- 
emy have collected transports on the North River — 
It is probable that hearing of discontents among our 
troops, ihey mean to be in a situation to improve any 
opening that may offer. 

Li. CoL Laurens one of my Aide dc Camps having 
been appointed by Congress to repair to the Court of 
France, to negotiate matters relative to our finances, 
as well as to other articles of great importance to 
our Army, they have directed him to confer before 
his departure with your Excellency and Monsieur 

In consequenceof his instructions, I expect he will 
be shortly at New Port, where he will both receive 
your orders for France and avail himself of any 
advice your Excellency may be pleased to favour 
him with. 

With sentiments of the most perfect regard and 
attachment, I have, &c. 


HSAD QUARTCKS, Nbw Windsor, 
Sir: ujanu«y. 1781. 

I have (cceivcd the disagreeable intelligence, that a part of the 
Jersey line had followed ihe example of that of the Pennsylvania ; 

' New Hampibire, Muuichuietti, Conn«cticul. Rhode IiUnd, and N«tr 
York. The leiien were iliflcieni in unlmjioilaiit detiiU. 




and when the *dvicM came away, it wascxpcctcd ihe revolt would 
be general. The precise intention of the mutineers was not 
known, but their complaints and demands were similar to those 
of the Pcnnsylvanians. 

Persuaded that wiihotit some decisive^ effort, at all hazard's, to 
suppress this dangerous spirit, it would speedily infect the whole 
army, I have ordered as large a Detachment as we could spare 
from these posts, to march under Major General Howe, with or- 
ders to compel the mutineers to unconditional submission — to 
listen to no terms while they were in a state of resistance, and on 
their reduction, to execute instantly a few of the most active, and 
most incendiary leaders. 1 sxa not certain what part the troops 
detached for this purpose will act, but I flatter myself they will 
do their duty. I prefer any extremity to which the Jersey troops 
may be driven to a compromise.' 

The weakness of the garrison, but still more its embarrassing 
distress for want of provisions, made it impossible to prosecute 
such measures with the Pcnnsylvanians, as the nature of the case 
demanded— and while we were makini^ arrangements, as far a« 
practicable to supply these defects, an accommodation took place 

' Waiihini;ti)n rewivcd (rom CeJ, Slireve intelli^niir of i*wilt of (he J«wy 
line >i lu o'clock on the night of the list, tad ordered Heath lo molce > de- 
Uchmcnl of live or til hundred men from the {;Rrriu3in of XVmi Folnl, "uflh« 
DKMt tnbuM «nd lieni cloxheil, properly officered and provided." He wrote 
that he would lie nl the foint in the morning. He wrote lo Shteve, should he 
bave lufiicienl lotce, lo " compel the niulinecrv lo iincundilional lubminion. 
The mote •leclMvcly you arc able to act (he boiler." To Co). FrelinghuirMii : 
" I mutt entreat yon lo employ kU your innuenoe lo Iniplie the militia with a 
dtipoiilion to eoapcraie with ui, by repreMniltiK liic fatal coniequeacta of th« 
pment temper of llic wldicry not only lo military luboidination but lo dvjl 
liberty. In reality both Eire fundamentally ilrack al by their unilFrtikin); in 
•rmt 10 dictate lerms lo (heir country. " — 31 January'. I7S(. And to (iovemor 
I.lviniftion ; " I doubl not we thall derive e*ery aid from the good people of 
your suie in tupprciung this mniiny, not only from a con vied on of ihc dan|[<r> 
«□> tendency of «ich procecdin)[t to clli-rt ihe entire diuulution of the army, 
bal, an >l ni»y (Hcd civil vt well at military authort(y to have a rediru of 
£riFvaDc«s demuidcd with armi, and alio fruin a )>eni« of (he uiimK)nabl« 
tonducl of (he Jcney iroop* in rcvoliliig al a lime when the $(ate waseserting 
itMlf to redxeuaU llicir rsa] Erievaac«."^33 January, lySi. 





vliich will not only subvert the Pennsylvanu line, but have anrjr 
pernicious inllucncc on the whole anny. I meAn howevtt \ff 
these rcmnrks, only to give xri idea of the miserable situation we 
arc in, not to blame a mcAsure which perhaps in our circum- 
stances was the best that could have been adopted. The same 
em barras&naenfs operate against coercion at thin moment, but not 
in so great a degree ; the Jersey troops noi being, from theii 
DiimbcTS, so formidable as were the FennsylvanUns. 

I dare not detail the risks wc run from the scantiness of sup- 
plies. We have received few or no calitc (or some lime past, nor 
do know of any shortly to be expected. The salted meat we 
ought to have reserved in the garrison, is now nearly exhausted. 
1 cannot but renew my solicitations with your state to every 
expedience for contributing to our immediate relief, 

With perfect respect, &c. 




Sir. a5j»n.i.ty. 1781. 

Through a variety of channels, representations of 
too serious a nature to be disregarded have come to 
us, that the American naval prisoners in the harbor 
of New York are suffering all the extremities of dis- 
tress, from a too crowded and in all respects disagree- 
able and unwholesome situation, on board the prison- 
ships, and from the want of food and other necessaries. 
The picture given us of their sufferings is truly calami- 
tous and deplorable. If just, it Is the obvious Interest 
of both parties, (to omit the plea of humanity,) that 
the causes should be without delay inquired into and 
removed ; if false, it is equally desirable, that effec- 
tual measures should be taken to obviate misappre- 




hensions. This can only be done by permitting an 
officer, of confidence on both sides, to visit the pris- 
oners in their respective confinements, and to examine 
into their true condition. This will either at once 
satisfy you, that, by some abuse of trust in the persons 
immediately charged with the care of the prisoners, 
their treatment is really such as has been described to 
us, and requires a change ; or it will convince us, that 
the clamors are ill grounded. A disposition to ag- 
gravate the miseries of captivity is too illiberal to be 
imputed to any but those subordinate characters, who, 
in every service, are too often remiss or unprincipled. 
This reflection assures mc, that you will acquiesce in 
the mode proposed for ascertaining the truth, and 
detecting delinquency on one side, or falsehood on 
the other. 

The discussions and asperities, which have had too 
much place on the subject of prisoners, are so irksome 
in themselves, and have had so many ill consequences, 
that it is infinitely to be wished, that there may be no 
room given to revive them. The mode I have sug- 
gested appears to me calculated to bring the present 
case to a fair, direct, and satisfactory- issue. I am not 
sensible of any inconveniences it can be attended with, 
and I therefore hope for your concurrence. I shall 
be glad, as soon as possible, to hear from you on the 
subject. I have the honor to be, &c.' 

'Thit l«t(«r wuuiiwcitd by Admiral Arbnthnoi, throe monttiiafiMUxlai*, 


" RovAL Oak, orv New Vokk. si April, 1781. 

" t( I h«'l not been veo' hxxvj, wlion I trccivcd your trllrr listed the 35lh of 
Jaauwy lut, complaining uf [he tmLtmcui of the naval prisonrn at thii place. 





Gentlemen, ringwood. aj January. 17B1. 

The fatal tendency of that spirit, which has shown 

itself in the Pennsylvania and Jersey lines, and which 
derived so mucii encouragement from impunity in 
the case of the former, determined me at atl events to 
pursue a dtfTerent conduct with respect to the latter. 
For this purpose I detached a body of troops under 
Major-Gcncraj Howe, with orders to compel the 
mutineers to unconditional submission, and execute 
on the spot a few of the principal incendiaries. This 
has been effected this morning; and we have reason 
to believe the mutinous disposition of the troops is 
now completely subdued, and succeeded by a genuine 

I certainly ithonld have answered it liefore ihli, lime ; and, nniwithdcantling I 
then thought, ta I now do, that my own l»limony would have lieen fuffidcDt 
ta pal the mth pMt a doubt, I ordered the ilriclcM scrutiny to be mode into 
IIm eOfidutt of all pattle* concerned in the Tieiu^Kng and treaimeni of IhoM 
safoTtunBie people. Their Kreral tntimonici you rauil have icen. and 1 give 
you my hooor, that the iranuclion was conducted with luch alrict catu and 
UnpMiialily, that you may rely on Us validity. 

" Pennit ■< now. Sir, to rcqueil. thai you wfll tilt« the proper ttc[ii locauu* 
l(t. Bradford, your commiiury, and ihe Jailor nt Philadelphia, to abate that 
t&hoaianily. which they exercise iixllki^rimlnalcly upnii all people, who are to 
nnforlunato m lo be curried into thai place. I will nut trouble you. Sir. wilh 
k cntalogtie of grieranccs, further than to rcquect. that Ihe anfortunnie may 
(nl at lillle of the hevcrllick of uar, at (he circumslances of the [lin< will |ier- 
■lit. that in future they may ntit be fed in winter with sailed clanu, and Ihal 
they may be afforded aiuflicienc)' of fuel." 

' " The ninlinecrt were uneipedcdly tuirounded and awed Into an uncondi- 
tional nirrendfr with liltle heMlalion and no teiislance. Two of the principal 
acton were eiecuteJ on the ipot. ihe reil pardoned. The spirit of mutiny 
M<mi now to have cum]jlr(ety tululdcd, and lo have pven place lo a genuine 
repcBti»c«. Thit was ver; far from being the cue previout to this ilep, not' 




But having punished guiit and supported authority, 
it now becomes proper to do justice. I therefore 
wish the commissioners, as soon as convenient, to 
enter upon the objects for which they have been 
appointed. Bui I think it my duty to observe to 
them the necessity of the greatest caution in discuss- 
ing one article, the terms of the enlistments of the 
troops. In transacting this with the Pennsylvanians, 
for want of proper care, the greater part of the line 
has been dismissed, though only a small proportion 
was entitled to a dismission. Authentic and unequivo- 
cal proofs have been since found, that a majority of 
the discharged men were fairly and explicitly enlisted 
for the war. This evil arose from admitting the oaths 
of the individuals themselves, before the vouchers 
could be assembled. From the temper of the sol- 
diery, who will avoid no means of getting rid of the 
service, it becomes necessary to admit none but the 

wilhstanding [h« apparent tubmisiian which lh« a^nnnces of redren had 
produced : they slill conlinucd insolent and lefnictuij, and disobedienl lo (he 
cnmmandii of llieir nf)icCT>, A general paidon was pramUed by Colonel Day- 
Ion, on tondition o( an immediate and fiilt iriuin In duly. This conditioD vu 
not perfiirmeil on the pan of the inutinccn, and <A cnune they were tiot 
enliilcd In tlir bonefil o( eIip ptomise. bnidet which the exislence of the atnj 
alltd for an example." — WaikiHgloH to Cfft^fmer Liviitgilei, 17 January. 17B1. 
The two pcrioni eieculed were iJaiid (iiltnnre of the Somertcl County i^i- 
Bicnl, and liaac TuttU of the Motrit County r«gitnenl. The matiiiccn were 
taid to have been led by one Geoige GibdI. a icrgeant-miior of the 3d New 
Jeisey rej[imenl. and a dewrtet (lucn the Briltsh. 

Tlic conduct of (he detachment under General [lo^e drew out high praiia 
Erom Washington. " I cannot omit doing juilicc 10 the detachment whkb wat 
•cm on thii tervloe. There wan in ilt behavior every mark of fidelily, <^edl- 
cnce. diiapprohation of the conduct of the mulineen, and a conviction of the 
neceuity of bringing them to tubmii&inn and punishment. They made a long 
march over mouniainnut roadh and through a deep innw with the greaical 
patience, and obeyed every order with alactitj,"— Wwii'uf^wi to iftihHh 
WMrf, January, 17S1. 




■ost unsuspicious evidence in their favor. Generally 

OD investigation the complaints on this head have 

appeared ill founded ; and as the presumption is 

strong against the soldier, the proofs of an unfair 

detention ought to be equally strong. Men are ex- 

Ercmely wanted, it is at an infinite expense that they 

are procured, and they ought not lightly to be released 

from their engagements.' 

Whenever a complaint has been made to me, 1 have 
invariably directed an inquiry ; for I have ever con- 
sidered it as not less impolitic than unjust in our 
service to use fraud in engaging or retaining men. 
But as I mentioned above, the complaint has much 
oftener been found to originate in the levity of the 
soldier than in truth. I have the honor to be, &c 


New Windsor, aq Janurj. 1781. 

Dear Sir, 

I have received your letter of this day with the 
papers accompanying it. For fear of a revival of the 
discontents in the jersey line, 1 think it advisable 

' " Von will havi? tic&rd of Ch« defection of the I'^nniylrania line, and the 
dlfagrcc*ble compconilw made wllh them. It hat ended in it lemparmry dlsM- 
hiliDn of the line. One half hu liocn ■hsolutely iliKlil[];e(! , unit the remiindet 
tMTc liecn [iirloughed to rca«enibl« in the beginning; of A|ml, The oilhs c4 
(Iw men tctpeclinu the letiiit of ihdt enllatmctilt were precipitately admitted 
bafuie the document! could be produced ; by which it »fleTwir<l» appmred. 
that the grealet p«tl had perjured ihemsclvei to get tidof the serrice. Weh«d 
h MM In oui pawet to cniploj' coenion in the Rm Innutnce, ovine '" '^^ ^'*- 
UBca ihfjr vate from the miin ninijr, and ■ variety of other impediment*, 
wbich jtcm will eaiiily conceive. I am told the line will »oon be re-«liblisht4 
oa a better tootini; by new cnliattncnlg. Fortuiiatnly a part of the Jeney tine 
lines lolloved their example, and gave ui an opporliinil^. after comprlling all 
the iDDtiDcen to an unconditional tutrendei, to make exunplci of two of the 




there should remain near them other troops on whose 
fidelity we can more perfectly rely. On this account 
I approve the detention of the New Hampshire de- 
tachment and the aniller)', till we hear something 
more of the movements on Staten Island. Perhaps 
on receiving intelligence of what has happened in the 
Jersey line, General Robertson' may desist from his 
supposed intention.' To march the jersey troops 
alone to Morristown might only be one temptation 
the more ; and to harass other troops with that march 
in the present state of things would, in my opinion, 
be inexpedient on more accounts than one. If the 
Massachusetts detachment is prett>'Commodiously sit- 
uated, it may remain where it is till we receive further 
intelligence ; if not, let it return to West PoinL In 
this case you will yourself also return. Signify, if you 
please, to Colonel Barber my approbation of his keep- 
ing the New Hampshire detachment and the artillery 
till further orders. I am, with great regard. Sir, &c. 


Dear Sir, ^''"' w'i»i>»o«, ji j»na»fT. »78i- 

The disagreeable events wch. have taken place in 
the Pennsylvania and New Jersey tines, the general 

xaa%\ sclivo leadfn. The perfect lubmiioiaii and penitence, which •pf>e>ra), 
made it unailviBble to extend the leeerily. 1 believe we ihall have no mora 
tioubie at pieient (toro a iplril of ihii kind." — Waikit^en te Sttttitn, 6 Feb- 
tiwrj, 1781. 

' Wuhinglon wrote Reiiiuan, 

* General Robcnion wu on Stalen IiJand wllh ■ lar^e detachment of Brititll 
Iroopt. walehing the movcincnCl !n Jenej'. and prepued.aiit <rai tup)io*Mi, to 
nuke an incunioa for the purpoie cither of drmwing over the malecoDteDti, oe 
al Mijklag ■ blow in thai quarter, aa circiimAABce* ini)>hi leem to warranL 




discontent of the army for want of pay, doathing. 
and Provisions, added to the usual course of business 
(which increases with our perplexities) will, I am 
persuaded, be admitted as a sufficient apology for my 
not acknowledging the receipt of your confidential 
and obliging letter of the 8th till now. 

To learn from so good authority as your informa- 
tion, that the distresses of the citizens of this State 
are maturing into complaints, which are likely to 
produce serious consequences, is a circumstance as 
necessary' to be known, as it is unpleasing to hear, 
and I thank you for the communication. The com- 
mittees now forming are at this crisis disagreeable 
things : and if they cannot be counteracted, or diverted 
from their original purposes, may outgo the views of 
the well-meaning members of them, and plunge this 
Country into deeper distress and confusion, than it 
has hitherto experienced ; though 1 have no doubt 
but that the same bountiful Providence, which has 
relieved us in a variety of difficulties heretofore, will 
enable us to emerge from them ultimately, and crown 
our struggles with success. 

To trace these evils to their sources is by no means 
difficult ; and errors once discovered are more than 
half corrected. This I hope is our case at present ; 
but there can be no radical cure till Congress is 
vested, by the several States, with full and ample 
Powers to enact Laws for general purposes, and till 
the executive business is placed in the hands of able 
men and responsible characters. Requisitions then 
will be supported by Law. Jealousies, and those 



ruinous delays and ill-timed compliances, arising from] 
distrust and the fear of doing more than a Sister] 
State, will cease. Business will be properly arranged ;| 
sj-stem and order will take place ; and ceconomy must ' 
follow ; but not till we have corrected the fundamental 
errors enumerated above. I 

It would be no difificult matter to prove, that less 
than half the present expenditures, (including certifi- 
cates,) is more than sufficient, if we had money, and , 
these alterations in our political movements were] 
adopted, to answer all our purposes. Taxes of coursej 
would be lessened, the burden would be equal and 
light, and men sharing a common lot would neither, 
murmur nor despond. 

The picture you have drawn of the distresses of 
the People of this State I am persuaded is true ; and 
I have taken the liberty in a late letter, and in as 
delicate terms as I could express my sentiments, to 
hint lo Congress the propriety of the policy of leaving 
the resources of this State and the Jersey as a kind 
of reserve More than this might bring on me the 
charge of an intermeddler, till I could speak decisivelyj 
from my own knowledge. ♦ ♦ • 


Hbap Quartrrs. Ni:w Wihi»o«, 


1 have on different occasions done myself the honor' 
to represent lo Congress the inconveniences arising 
from the want of a proper gradation of punishments 







in otir military code; but. as no determination has 
been communicated to me, I conclude a multiplicity 
of business may have diverted their attention from 
the object. As 1 am convinced a great part of the 
vices of our discipline springs from this source, 1 
lake the liberty again to mention the subject. The 
highest corpora) punishment wc are allowed to give 
is a hundred lashes ; between that and death there 
are no degrees. I nstances dayty occurring of offences 
/or which the former is entirely inadequate, Courts- 
Martial, in order to preserve some proportion between 
the crime and the punishment, are obliged to pro- 
nounce sentence of death. Capital sentences on this 
account become more frequent in our service, than in 
any other : so frequent as to render their execution 
in most cases inexpedient ; and it happens from this, 
that the greater offences often escape punishment, 
while lesser are commonly punished ; which cannot 
but operate as an encouragement to the commission 
of the former. 

The inconveniences of this defect are obvious. 
Congress are sensible of the necessity of punishment 
in an army, of the justice and policy of a due propor- 
tion between the crime and the penalty, and, of 
course, of the necessity of proper degrees in the 
latter. I shall therefore content myself with ob- 
serving, that it appears to me indispensable that 
there should be an extension of the present corporal 
punishment, and also that it would be useful to 
authorize Courts-Martial to sentence delinquents to 
labor at public works; perhaps even for some crimes. 




particularly desertion, to transfer them from the land 
to the sea service, where they have less opportunity to 
indulge their inconstancy. A variety in punishment 
is of utility, as well as a proportion. The number of 
lashes may either be indefinite, left to the discretion 
of the Court to fix or limited to a larger number. In 
this case t would recommend five hundred. 

There is one evil, however, which I shall particu- 
larize, resulting from the imperfection of our regula- 
tions in this respect. It is the increase of arbitrarj' 
punishments. Officers, finding discipline cannot be 
maintained by a regular course of proceeding, axe 
tempted to use their own discretion, which sometimes 
occasions excesses ; to correct which, the interests of 
discipline will not permit much rigor. Prompt and 
therefore arbitrary punishments are not to be avoided 
in an army ; but the necessity for them will be more 
or less, in proportion as the military laws have more 
or less vigor. 

There is another thing in our articles of war, which 
I beg leave to suggest to Congress the propriety of 
altering, it is the 2d article of the 4th section, allow- 
ing commanding officers of corps to fuHough their 
soldiers. This privilege, if suffered to operate, would 
often deprive the army of more men than it could 
spare. It has been attended with abuses, it is dis- 
agreeable for a general order to restrain the exercise 
of a privilege granted by authority of Congress. To 
prevent uneasiness and discussion, it were to b* 
wished Congress would think proper to repeal this 
article, and vest the power of designating the mode 
of granting furloughs in the Commander-in-chief, or 




commanding officer of a separate army. It would 
perhaps be useful to prescribe a printed form, for 
which purpose I have taken the liberty to enclose 
one. This would hinder counterfeits and impositions. 
On the same principle I enclose the form of a dis* 
H charge. It would in my opinion be a good regula- 
" tion, that a soldier returning home, either on furlough 
or dischai^ed, who did not in ten days after his re- 
turn produce to the nearest Magistrate his printed 
certificate, should be apprehended by the magistrate 
as a deserter, and through the governor be reported 
to the general officer commanding in the State or 
^department. This regulation, published in the army 
^fand in the sevenil States, would have a tendency to 
I discourage desertion. Something of this kind has 
been lately adopted in Virginia, and I doubt not will 
have a good effect. It were to be wished its utility 
may become general. If Congress approve 1 wish 
the Board of War may be directed to have a number 
^^of printed copies made of the furloughs and passes. 
Hi have the honor to be, &c. 

^" P. S. I have just received the agreeable account 
contained in a letter from the Count de Rochambeau 
of which the enclosed is a copy.' 

^■Oear Sir, 

^P The unexpected reduction of the Pennsylvania line, 

^from the unfortunate affair, adds to the necessity of 


Nkw WlNtlsoR, 3 February, 178I. 

' R«ad ill CongKU, Pebtuaiy tfia. 

Rcrcrred to Jone», McDougall, uid 




the greatest attention to improve the measures 
adopted for recruiting it I do not know precisely 
what these are ; but I am informed in general that 
money is raising for the purpose, and that the 
recruiting ser\'ice goes on with success. In order to 
have it conducted with regularity and activitj', I am 
to request you will undertake to superintend it, and 
make your arrangements with the State accordingly. 
Enclosed you will find a copy of the instructions to 
the recruiting officers of the other parts of the army, 
which will also be proper for the government of 
those of your State. We have found from ex- 
perience, that, by some means or other, numbers of 
men are lost between the place of enlistment and 
the place of rendezvous. To prevent this, as far as 
possible, will be worthy your particular attention. I 
have permitted General Wayne to retire for a while. 
General Irvine will immediately assist you in the 
execution of the business. 

It seems a great part of the soldiers of your line 
have fraudulently procured a discharge, by the pre- 
cipitate admission of their oaths before the papers 
relative to their enlistments could be produced. In 
right, this cannot exempt them from their engage- 
ments, and after what has happened, if it were 
thought expedient to compel the return of such, as 
being explicitly engaged for the war, have thus per- 
jured themselves, I should have no doubt of its jus- 
tice ; and would take the most effectual and convenient 
measures to notify them, that if they did not immedi- 
ately return to their duty, they should be considered 




13 1 

and treated as deserters. I perceive there are objec- 
tions to the measure, and. unacquainted as I am with 
all the circumstances. I cannot competently judge of 
its propriety. I therefore shall be obliged to you for 
your opinion. Let me hear from time to time of 
your arrangements and progress. I am. with great 
esteem and regard, &c. 


New Windsob, 4 Febnwiy, 1781. 

Dear Sir, 

Colo. Armand delivered me your favor of the agth 
ulto. last Evening, and I thank you for the sevl. com- 
munications contained in it. The measure adopted 
by Congress of appointing Ministers of War, Finance, 
and for Foreign Affairs, I think a very wise one. To 
give efficacy to it, proper characters will, no doubt, 
be chosen to conduct the business of these depart- 
ments. How far Colo. Hamilton, of whom you ask 
my opinion as a financier, has turned his thoughts to 
that particular study, I am unable to ansr., because I 
never entered upon a discussion of this point with 
him. But this I can venture to advance, from a 
thorough knowledge of him, that there are few men 
to be found, of his age, who has a more general 
knowledge than he possesses; and none, whose soul 
is more firmly engaged in the cause, or who exceeds 
hira in probity and sterling virtue.' 

' Id rcptjr to ihi* puMg« Geocnl Sullivan ^aid : " I am glad to lin<], that 
j«a entoUia the tame tenliments o( ibc virtue* and abiliiiei of Colonel Ham- 
ihoa, aa I karc ever done inytlf. After I w«iir, I loiiml llie tyca o( Cont^ss 




I am clearly in sentiment with you, that our cause 
only became distressed, and apparently desperate, 
from an improper management of it ; and that errors 
once discovered are more than half mended. I have 
no doubt of our abilities or resources, but we must 
not slumber nor Sleep ; they never will be drawn forth 
if we do ; nor will violent exertions, which subside 
with the occasion, answer our purposes. It Is a prov- 
ident foresight, a proper arrangement of business, 
system and order in the execution, that is to be pro- 
ductive of that ceconomy, which is to defeat the 
efforts and hopes of Great Britain ; and I am happy, 
thrice happy, on private as well as public accts., to 
ftnd, that these are in train. For it will ease my 
shoulders of an immense burthen, which the deranged 
and perplexed situation of our affairs, and the dis* 
tresses of every department of the army, which con- 
centered in the Com r, -in-chief, had placc<l upon them. 

1 am not less pleased to hear that Maryland has 
acceded to the confederation, and that Virginia has 
relinquished its claim to the Land West of the Ohio, 
which, for fertility of Soil, pleasantness of clime, and 

Iiu-ncil upon Robert Momt m (iDUicior, I did not therefoic nomimlc Colonel 
Himilton, lb I forctiiw ir would be a vun fttlcin|it." — March Qlh, A tew dajrt 
adcnvartli, Robrn Morrii wai chotco, Samuel Adnmi ind (Jencml Wwd, tA 
the Muutcliutells dclc|>jili>n, drc-liiiiiig to bailiil. 

Uvncnl Sullivan aJilcd : " The choice of a minister of w>r it ptntponrd (o 
the III of October. Thii wos i mantruvrc oJ Samuel Aduni and otbctt from 
the north, forini: that, >< I wai in nomiiiutimi, the choke would fall on me, 
who, hiTing aputit.iliicd frum llie true New Kngland failli bytometiDKn volin); 
with the lomhem Suies, am not eligible. They were not, however, acijuainled 
irilh all the clrcunidancrt. t wah iiominatcil at^nkl nty will, and, if choten, 
thould not bivo iicceplcd. General McDougnll ii appointed miciiilcT of 

other natural advantages, is equal to any known tract 
of Country in the Universe, of the same extent, tak- 
ing the great Lakes for its northern boundary.' 

I wish most devoutly a happy completion to your 
plan of finance, (which you say is near finished,) and 
much success to your scheme of borrowing coined 
specie and plate. But in what manner do you pror 
pose to apply the latter ? As a fund to redeem its 
value in Paper to be emitted, or to coin it? If the 
latter, it will add one more to a thousand other 
reasons, wch. might be offered in proof of the neces- 
sity of vesting legislative or dictatorial powers in 
Congress, to make Laws of general utility for the 

* " I un equally w«Il pIcMcd at the rclioqniihintnt at tlte claim o( Vii^nU 
to the liod irc^l of Ohio, Inillvldual. ts welt at ijcneril poUcf, tn my opinion, 
rtqnind it ol her ; tot I am burc the atvti could goicm the settlen u/ that 
csieniive country. 1 hope the reservitliont arc not eicepiionatile onc»," — 
WiuAiiigtni to yirin Malkrait, 14 Fcbr\i«ry. 1781. 

" It ii with peculiar plcuure I bear that Maryland ha* acceded to the Con- 
tcdicratian, and ilut Vi^nia has yielilcci h«r rUim to the country west of the 
Ohio, (itcai pmA. I h<>pc. will remll fiom tlic>e nieoture*. The lint wtU, 
ludoabtcdly enable Congresi to ipc«k with mote Ucdsion in ihdr [cquiiitioni 
sA ibc ropcclivc State:^ — wiihciui whlth it ii. phjrticnlly inijioiAlblc to piOMCute 
the war with nicccBi, (crcal »s out eipencei are. 1'he other will smooth the 
way & aid taitdon by reconciling jaTiing inleieiii. removing jealousies, and 
olabliibing 1 fund. 

" There ire Mhet measures lately aduplcd iti Congieu with which I am 
bigbty pleiBrd — the niabliihing of minivers (in place of Boaidi) for the dcpitn- 
nenla of War, Finance, and foreign .ifTalts — Proper I*owera to and a judicioui 
choice of men to Gil thete de|>artnipntB. wilt toon leail us to Hyitmi, order, & 
geooiwmy — vithout which our aBain. alrcndy on the brink of ruin, would loon 
hsve been pasted rcdeiit|iti(in. I enjoy liy antldpaiion the benelii ol these 
retolrea — I hear with infinite pleaiure (lliuugh no nomination has yet taken 
place) that you ate generally ipoken of for the dcpattmcnl of War. At the 
uune lime I Icani with pain from Colo. Hamilton that your acceptance of it il 
donbtfvl if the choice ihould Call on you. 

" t am perfccity awnre of alt your objections 1 [eel their lattx, but they 
oqfilit not to prerail. Our aflain are brought to an :iwlu1 cHHii. Nothing wilt 
raoover Ibem but the rigorous ciertions of men of abilitiei, who know our 



purposes of war, so that they might prohibit, under 
the pains and penalty of death, specie and provisions 
from going to the Enemy for Goods. The Traffic 
with New York is immense. Individual States will 
not make it felony, lest, (among other reasons.) it 
should not become genl. ; and nothing short of it will 
ever check, much less stop a practice, which, at the 
same time that it serves to drain us of our Provision 
and Specie, removes the barrier between us and the , 
enemy, corrupts the morals of our people by a lucra- ■ 
live traffic, by degrees weakens the opposition, affords ~ 
a means for obtaining regular and perfect intelligence 
of every thing among us, while even in this respect 

waoti, & th«beitm«uis a\ nipptying them — (hue, sir, withoal • complnnenl, 
I think -joa |M)iseui. Why then. Ihc dcparlmenl being necctatiy, thould yofl 
*hrink tniin llic diiiieiol it? Tht i-reatcr the i-li»t«. tin; RrcWcr will \m yont 
merit in bringing forth oiilei— and to aipect to (read the dillcrent mJlu of 
public life without envy ^nd iu mnconiiiantt, is more lli*ii lian yet f*llen t» 
the lot of human kind." — Waihiagtfn lo PhUif StMiyler, ao Febnaary. 1781. 

" 1 cannot mpp«e, although «>mc may mention me for the office, that Cott- 
gjCM will be *o iBipru<leni wllh itspecl 10 thrmtclvcM. or indrllcaic in rexanl (ft 
me. at lo oRer il. unce I hive explicitly on another occasion, and ia writing. 
declared my inienlion never to bold any oHicc uiidei Ihcm, nnlcu acrampanied 
with a rektoralion of my military rank ; and I ciiiulldly pointed at the incoo- 
renieiiGct, whidi would rcauli to ibcmselves from sudi a reitoiatiun, •> it not 
neceiMrily give umbrage to many officers.*' — Srkuyler M WaiMngtvti, 3; Fd>- 
mary, 1781. 

In March Waihinglon wm informed that " by a manceuvre, looprotoand for 
my undentanding. if it ii intended for the public good, the choice of a minister 
of war la jMMl)M>neil lill October. I bnvc heard no itaaon auigncd lor it, aad 
am UDchiritable enough to believe, that no geo4»iu can be given.*' — H'aihimg^ 
ton to SckKyUr, 13 March, 1781. 

" The motivcx, which led CnngrcM lo potipone iillinK Ihe war deparliaaBt, 
have leaded out, and been comrauni(:ated to me. General Gates waa in bomI- 
nation : but bis friends reDeclini;. that the impropriety of appointing him, 
liefore he had exculpated himself fioiii the iiiiputntiuci nf nil*condiicl ia hit 
mmmand. uruuld bo too gUrin); an abuie of poser, deferred it in hopci ihftt 
by an acquittal the public confidence will be rulorcd to hiro." — SiAmyltr It 
Washineltn, j April, 17S1. 





we benefit nothing from a fear of discovery. Men of 
ail descriptions are now indiscriminately engaging in 
it. Whig, Tory, Speculator. By its being practised 
by those of the latter class <n a Manner with impu- 
nity, men, who two or three yrs. ago would have 
shuddered at the idea of such connexions, now pursue 
it with avidity, and reconcile it to themselves (in 
which their profits plead powerfully) upon a principle 
of equality with the Tor)', who, being actuated by 
principle (favorable to us), and knowing that a for- 
feiture of the Goods to the Informer was all he had 
to dread, and that this was to be eluded by an agreemt. 
not to inform against each other, went into the meas- 
ure without risk. 

This is a digression ; but the subject is of so serious 
a natureandsointerestingtoourwellbeingas a nation, 
that 1 never expect to see a happy termination of the 
war, nor great national concerns well conducted in 
Peace, till there is something more than a recommen- 
datory power in Congress. It is not possible in time 
of war, that business can be conducted well without 
it. The last words therefore of my letter, and the 
first wish of my heart, concur in favor of it I am 
with much esteem and respect, &c. 


Nbw WiKDSOB, 6 FebniMy. 1781. 

I am much obliged to your Excellency for your 
letter of the loth of January, giving me an account 
of the enemy's incursion into your State. Baron 





Steuben has informed me of their successive opera- 
tions to five miles below Hood's. It is mortifying to ^ 
see so inconsiderable a party committing such exten-H 
sive depredations with impunity ; but. considering " 
the situation of your State, it is to be wondered you^J 
have hitherto suffered so Httle molestation. I amfl 
apprehensive you will experience more in future : nor 
should 1 be surprised if the enemy were to establish a 
post in Virginia, till the season for opening the cam- 
paign here. But as the evils you have to apprehend 
from these predatory incursions are not to be com- 
pared with the injury to the common cause, and with 
the danger to your Slate in particular, from the con- 
quest of the States to the southward of you, 1 am 
persuaded the attention to your immediate safety will 
not divert you from the measures intended to rein- 
force the southern army, and put it in a condition to 
stop the progress of the enemy in that quarter. The 
late accession of force makes them very formidable in 
Carolina, too powerful to be resisted without pow- 
erful succors from Virginia; and it is certainly her 
policy, as well as the interest of America, to keep the 
weight of the war at a distance from her. There is 
no doubt that the principal object of Arnold's opera- 
tions is to make a diversion in favor of Cornwaliis ; 
and to remove this motive, by disappointing the in- 
tention, will be one of the surest ways for removing^ 
the enemy. ^ 

We have just received an account, that the enemy's 
fleet, employed in blockading that of our allies at 
Rhode Island, has lately suffered severely by a storm. 




One seventy-four is said to have been stranded and 
entirely lost on the cast end of Lon^ Island, another 
(some accounts say two others) dismasted and towed 
into Gardiner's Hay. and a ninety-g\in driven to sea 
in great distress. 1 expect every moment a confirma- 
tion of this agreeable intelligence, and the particulars. 
1 have the honor to be, &c.' 

' The Brilbh ujuadion, tmplojrcd in bli>ckading the French fleel at New- 
pon, wu xlatloncd iluiint; Ihe winlcr in Gardiner** Biy al llic can end of Lonj; 
Idsnd. The vonels tint anchored in a line Iielwecn Gardiner'i liUnd anil 
Phtm Itland. Th« nan) foix« kcpl on thu •(ntion woi of coune i>uperior to 
that of the Pnnch at Newport, ll conkSslcd of one hlit]> o\ ninrtj kiiin, (our 
o( temitjr.foar. three of sixtjr-fcnir. one of fifl;. and two or three (rigalea. 

On the loth of Januar)- two French frteala and a tranipoil, lailen with 
rariaiM luppUn for the Heel, ^1 kiill from Bo>it»a hartinr. Tlioy wrived safely 
al Newpoil. after eii«ninlcring three severe galea. The cominander of the 
Briliah iquadton hail ([tlncd inielUgcnee of their depaiturc from Itiwlcin. nnd 
(«nl oni two line^f-battle t,hi(>ii md two frigsteB lo intrrtr]il Ihem, Thew 
«wmIs *«r« driven b.ick tiir the violence of the vindi, and in the night of the 
ssd Biacb damOj^ wa* tualained l>y the ItriiiNh fleet in Uanliner'* ll«y. When 
Ihe monting dawneil, a lixtjr-four was discovered sLanding to the south of 
MoHtauk Poinl under jnn'.ninili : the Culhiirti, icventy-four. wax on n reef 
new Catdioci'i. [kland ; and the BfJ/erJ, teveniy-fout, w»» oil New l.unilon. 
■U htr Biasti having be«n carried auay and her npjier tier o( guns thrown over- 
board. The Cmlladtn ira< finally IihI, hut her ni^sla and C"nK were used to 
repair the two other >>hi|i«. The Amerirn. » siily-four, wai driven out lo »r«, 
and was su)>posed at &rsl to be lost ; but ihe returned on ihe Sih of Fcbmaiy 
witbottt injury. 

At MOn at the newt of thia diuttor reached M. Dctluuohet, he despatchoil 
«n al&c«i to Plum Island, to observe the condition of the British fleet, intend- 
tB]l to go out with all his force and allack it. nhoulii eircuRi)iIftii>.'cs encourage 
Oi* alicmpl. By the olfioer'n report, however, the fleel appeared too strong, 
nolwiihstandicg iti recent injuries, and the anchorage loo judiciously chosen 
between the iilandt, lo render an attack ndvi^lile. 

M. DeMouchcs immediately reiolveil on anolher scheme, which the present 
state of aflain enabled him to cieculc. The tThevalicr dc la Luientc, at the 
■oMdlaiton of the governor of Virj-lni.-i ami of C»ngrvu, h«<l rci)ursle(l ihni if 
possible a »hip of Ihe line and some Irigite*^ might be tent into the Chesapeake 
Bay lo oppose Arnold. The lirilith force wa» so much welliened by the 
doffla^e done to tile Ihrccahipt, lliut M. Ue^loucbo toulil now wilhoul homd 





New WiNDSok, 13 FebruMy, 17B1. 


The benevolent office, which added lustre to the 
qualities that ornamented your deceased friend." could 
not have descended to more zealous or more deserv- 
ing successors. The contributions of the association 
you represent have exceeded what could have been 
expected, and the spirit that animated the members 
of it entitles them to an equal place with any. who 
have preceded them in the walk of female patriotism. 
It embellishes the American character with a new 
trait, by proving that the love of country is blended 
with those softer domestic virtues, which have always 
been allowed to be more peculiarly /(Jwr own. 

You have not acquired admiration in your own 
country' only ; it is paid to you abroad, and, you will 
learn with pleasure, by a part of your own sex, where 
female accomplishments have attained their highest 
perfection, and who from the commencement have 
been the patronesses of American liberty. f 

The army ought not to regret its sacrifices or 

ipare a correipondlng deUchnicnl from his own Heel. He dctcnoincd, there- 
fore, to Mnd a lixty-Iour and (wo (Hi;atck 10 ihc CliCM|ic*kc fnr the piirpoM 
of blocking np Amold'i KjniJron, nnd of co-opcialing »-ilh the Amcrioii 
troopt on land. This detachment wai cinnm«nd«d bj M. dc Tilly, and Mlled 
from Newport on the qth of >'«bru»ry. Count ile Knchamlieiiu olTcrtd 10 fur- 
nlih a iljvikion of land fotcet ; but thii wai thouf-ht anneceuary and inex- 
pcdioni, t» the movement wat intended to be rapid, and only to cut oB 
Arnold's communication by water, il being ptcmmcil thai (he Continental 
Ifoopt and miiiiio in Virginia were igifioicnt to operate igainit htm by Land. — 
ftfthambtau'i MS. Lttltri, Januaiy 39th. February 3d, Sih. tllh. — Sfarki. 

' Mn. Keed of fhllvielphia. who hail liccn principally active in originalinf 
the Auociation of Indict for collecting conliibutions to aid of the toldien. 




sufferings, when they meet with so flattering a reward, 
as in the sympathy of your sex ; nor can it fear that 
its interests will be neglected, while espoused by 
advocates as powerful as they are amiable. I can 
only answer to the sentiments, which you do me the 
honor to express for me personally, that they would 
more than repay a life devoted to the service of the 
public and to testimonies of gratitude to yourselves. 
Accept the assurances of the perfect respect and 
esteem, with which I am. Ladies, vour most obedient, 


Nbw WiKDSOK, IS Kcbmirr, 17S1. 


The Count de St. Maime ' last evening did me the 
honor to deliver me your letter of the 3d instant' It 

> H. d« Saint Mmne uru «olon«l of Ibe SonwninM* r^ment. 

'Thete •ciTicci "■cfr from Count de Rochambcau, daicil Febniary 31I, h!ni- 
iDg at X pinn |>ni|)(i>crl liv M , Drslouvhcii (or dcapatchiiig llim ut four lenels 
o( bb iqufldtun to the ChcMpcukc. u mt^ntioncd hctttnforc. The idea «p- 
pediFod in v> favoraUi! a lighi lo Wuliinglan, tlial. ^llioui^h be ivM nn the eve 
o( a d«]i*rture for Nnrport. tie delayed hit (ourney lo iirtpaie (01 sending 
* dMoclmcnl of land foTMi to co-operate with luch an cKpcdilion. 

"SoMe advices, wlilch I have tcr-civol, tvlll ilculn me here longer than I 
■kpWUd- I am lo •)e<ire you mill immcdinlcly have a1) Ihe lighl cumpaniet of 
■be lioofH under your command completed to 6f(y rnnk and Iilc each, and will 
Bwcral>Ie the irhole wilhoui delay al I'eeki^Jiill. They mutt be completed with 
thoM, and Ik far ai |io>»ihIc with alt cilher noceiaarict for a niari-h in Mnrrii- 
tovn. Aa it will be a prcltj- expeditious one, it is ao addiiional reawn Ita 
having Ihe men roliutl. and In other reiipecU well choaen. The adlulant- 
gcncnl mutt carefully inkpcci tliein when (tinnrd, mid eichange all whom lie 
(kw* not approve, t wish Ibe light troopi 10 be ready lo match from Peekikill 
b]r the iqlh at (anh»L I thall initrucl the (tuArtermailet-jfeneral to prepare 
w*g^t. The olfi<on< miikl take ihcir li^ht l'agK-''K** "'■'' 'here niual be a 
•erseant added lo each company." — W-tihin^n It Mojar-Gftttrai Iltath, \% 
Febnuiy, 1781. 





appears by the report of the naval officer, that the 
enemy were inferior to the Chevalier Destouches, 
and, from the situation of the Bedford and the 
America, would probably remain so for some time. 
It appears also to have been your Excellency's expec- 
tation, that M. Destouches would either go with his 
whole fleet, or send a detachment to Chesapeake Bay 
in quest of Arnold. 

There are a variety of positions where Arnold, by 
putting his vessels under protection of land batteries, 
may defy a naval attack, and, by collecting the pro- 
visions with which the country abounds and raising a 
few works, may remain in security till the enemy, by 
repairing their damaged ships, should regain their 
superiority at sea and come to his relief. Portsmouth, 
where he was by the last accounts, is particularly fa- 
vorable to his security in this view. Unless therefore 
the ships, which M. Destouches may have sent, 
should by good fortune suddenly fall in with him, 
embarked and moving from one place to another, 
they will have little prospect of success. 

From these considerations, if the object is judged 
of sufficient importance, it is in my opinion essential 
that there should be a codperation of land and naval 
forces, and that M. Destouches should protect the 
expedition with his whole fleet. How far this will 
be safe or advisable, he can best judge ; but it has 
appeared to me probable, that he would prefer going 
with his whole fleet, to a separation ; as, by making 
a detachment he would lose his superiority and would 
give Mr. Arbuthnot an opportunity to escort his dis- 


abled ships safe to New York, and follow his detach- 
ment with the remainder. 

Imagining it to be not unlikely, that he may think 
it advisable to employ his whole fleet upon the occa- 
sion, and that your Excellency would approve a co- 
operation with 3 part of your army, the propriety of 
U'hich, for want of a knowledge of your local situa- 
tion, I cannot judge ; to give the enterprise all pos- 
sible chance of success. I have put under marching 
orders a detachment of twelve hundred men, which 
will proceed in a few days towards the Head of Elk 
River, there to embark and proceed to a co5pcration. 
I did not delay the march of this detachment till 1 
could hear from M. Destouches and you. as there is 
not a moment to be lost, if the expedition is to be 
undertaken : and the inconvenience of moving the 
troops to no purpose will be small, in comparison 
with the advantage of gaining time. I should have 
made it more considerable, could I have spared the 
troops. It may arrive at its destination of operation 
in about four weeks from this time. 

If the Chevalier Destouches and your Excellency 
should approve the project of a cooperation, in which 
the whole fleet shall be employed, it will be desirable 
that you could embark about a thousand troops on 
board the ships, and as many pieces of siege artillery, 
with the necessary apparatus, as you will think 
proper. This will give a degree of certainty to the 
;nterprise, which will be precarious without it, 
Arnold's force consists of about fifteen hundred 
As these will be in intrenchments, (though 





not formidable,) an inferior regular force with 
militia will find it difficult to reduce them ; but, with 
the addition of the detachments I have proposed tof 
you to send, the affair would soon be terminated. This 
addition is of importance ; but the sending of artil- 
lery is absolutely necessary, as it would be productive 
of too much delay and expense to send heavy pieces 
with their stores from hence by land at this season. 

As by this movement the troops will be exposed 
to a disagreeable march, and some expense will be h 
incurred. I shall be glad that both inconveniences B 
may cease as soon as possible, if the project is not 
carried into execution ; and I therefore request yourfl 
Excellency will favor me with an immediate answer. 
The capture of Arnold and his detachment will be an 
event particularly agreeable to this country, a great 
relief to the southern States, and of important utility 
in our future operations." 

I regret that the present prospect will compel me 
to postpone setting out for Rhode Island till I hear 
from you, and will deprive me still longer of the 
pleasure, for which I impatiently wish, of seei 
your Excellency and the army. I am, &c 


' Ai Coanl de Rochambciu liid n<>l receive IhU letter till the tgih, Hhidi 
Kit dsfs oficrr the departure of M. de Tllty'i dctuchment, It wu iioi ihcn 
licible for him aixl M. Heilourhn to unito in <nn7ing the plan lirce mggviled 
into effect: mncc tspccinlly u the firitiih bloduding tqundroD bad been 
ttreDgthcnctl by repRirinE the duttbled Tcueln. &nd thai of M. OtxiouctiM wu 
weakened by the thncncc of ihtac of his tliipt. in IhJK slate of thioga tbera 
wonlil b« loo grcit a riik in going lo tea with • fcice m much inferior. Connt 
de Rochambefto wratc. that, if the above plan had i^oine Iq hit handabefoie (h« 
Miling ol the ileucbtiictii to Vir|;iiiia, il was piobabl« M. Dnloucbe* wonld 
have dctemuncd lu go out with hii whole fleet, and in thai cate hodioald ba<r« 
tpored one thouund land troops for the enlerjiiiM. 





February i^h. — The destruction of the corps 
under the command of Arnold is of such immense 
importance to the welfare of the southern States, 
that I have resolved to attempt it with the detach- 
ment I now send, in conjunction with the militia, 
even if it should not be convenient to your Excel- 
lency to detach a part of your force, provided M. 
Destouches is able to protect our operation by such 
a disposition of his fleet, as will give us the command 
of the Bay, and prevent succors being sent from New 
York. By a letter I have just received from Major 
General the Baron de Steuben, who commands in 
Virginia, it appears we may expect every thing from 
the temper of the militia, of which militia are capable ; 
but an additional regular force to that I am sending 
would no doubt make the success much more prompt 
and certain. If M. Destouches should send any ships 
into the Bay, on the principle of a co-operation, it 
r Vfill be necessary that a light frigate should come up 
^■0 the Head of Elk to protect the passage of the 
Hp-oops across the Bay. I impatiently wait to be 
Favored with your Excellency's answer on these 
points. With the truest respect, &c.' 

■ When lliit Idler wu written, the departure of M. de Tnijr'* little tqutdron 
(cv the CbtMpnke •ccms aot in Iiavc bcrn kiiiTwn. lithoiigh it took plue ten 
Axf* before ; but th< intcUis«t)CB must hav« come quickly after wrilmi; the 
letler, »i it a meotioneil b the inkiructinns to Lafayette the next day. M. de 
Ttlty lelunted (■> Newjiort on %\\e J.|lli «l FehniHrj. having been ahhcnt only 
fitteeo 4»y%. Near th« enirance of the Chrupeake Bay he cultured the 
Jt*tmmiiu. • Britiih frit[>ic of forty- four guns. He iIm> took two privateers, 
one of eighteen and the otlier of fouitci^Ti guns, sent (our prijct la Vorktawn. 
Mid bnml fotir otlicrv About five hundred prtiuners were tnkcn. Admiral 
AibnlhiiiOt had tent a mcuenger to .Vrnold, giving lnIcUigence of the approach 
el lbs F[«Dcli fijaaiiKiii, *nd had thus put liiin on bii< guard. He had with- 







Hbau Quarters. 16 Febniuy. 13 
In the conference between the Count de Rochanibeau and' 
myself, it was agreed, Ibal if by the aid of our Allies, ne can 
have a Naval Superiority tlirough the next Campaign, and an 
army of thirty thousand men (or double the force of the enemy 
& it« dependencies) early enough in ihe season to operate in 
that quarter, we ought to prefer it to evry other object, as the 
most important and decisive, and applications have been made 
to the Court of France in this spirit vrhtch it is to be hoped will 
produce the desired effect. ^k 

It is therefore incumbent upon us to make evry necessary*' 
preparation on our pari for the Siege of New York as far as our 
funds and meanit render practicable — Applications have been 
also made to Ihe Court of France for a large supply of powder, 
amis, heavy cannon, and several other essential articles in your 
Department— But we cannot ascertain the extent of the success 
these applications will meet with, and as they only go to such 
articles as are less within the compass of our own internal means, 
we ought not to neglect any exertion in our power for procuring 
within ourselves those things of which we shall stand in need. 

drawn hi* frigauc, one of forty-four and two oUi«n of ihirty-Iwo guns «adi, m> 
tu|[h dp itic Klliabeih Rii'cr. Uial lliey could not be tpprtucbcil by the EvHIU, 
the largest Ftnich vvsicl : kiitl »nc ol (lie Frcncli frigaiot, the Surwiilaiilf, ran 
aground in that river, and Han |^l ciS oiil;> by taking ont her sum and cukt of 
water. All extract from M. de Till]r'> letter 10 the Chevalier de la Interne will 
nplain his BiliutiOTi and the inulivct for hi» iclum. ^H 

■' Whatever dciire I may hat-e," tald he. " to comply with the wiihei of 11."^^ 
Uctluuchet, anil irani-porl mytclf to all ihe parti of the Chetapeak« Bay, Into 
which the forci-iof Arnold could be withdrawn, it is not pcmiblo for m« with 
my veiiiel to penetnie to the retreat in which he hoi taken ihcllet. The 
shalluwnCM of the water doei' not allow me to akccnd nearer to him than wilbin 
about four leagues. I ihoulil run Ihe haiard of being blockaded mywlf, if I 
were to remain long here ; and, without a hope of doing hann 10 the enemy, I 
should enfeeble ihe force al Newport. The»e consideration*, and the npint 
ordcn of M. Destouohet 10 employ no more lime in the expedition than would 
ba abaolulely neocuary, haTe determined me to pul lo tea."— J/.S'. jjltrr, Fet>- 
ruaiy iiib,.—S^kt. 

1 give you ihis communicatjon of what is in prospect that you 
nayiake your measuret accordingly by making «uch estimates 
and demands, and other arTangmcnls a^ may appear to you best 
cilculatcd lo produce what wc want— And you may rely upon all 
the support it will be in my power to give— In your calculalions, 
you will estimate the force on our side at about twenty thousand 
men ; the remainder with a proper liege and field apparatus are 
lo be supposed lo be furnished by our allies — You are well 
icfjiiiintcd with New York and its defences, and you can there- 
fore judge of the means requisite for its reduction by a Siege. — 
Tbe general idea of the plan of operations is this (if we are able 
10 procure the force we count upon) to make two attacks, one 
against the works on York Island and the other against the works 
of Brooklyn on Long Island — the latter will probably be conducted 
by our Allies — ulterior operations must depend on circumstances 
— If wc should find ourselves unable to undertake this most 
capita) expedition, and if wc have means equal to it we shall 
attempt a secondary object, the reduction of Charles Town— 
Savanah, Penobscot may successively come into contemplation — 
Your dispositions will have reference to these different objects 
though indeed a preparation for Ibc principal one will substan> 
tially comprehend every lesser — These instructions would have 
l>eeii earlier given to you — but for the commotions in the army 
which suspended my attention. 


N«w WiNnsos, 17 Fcbrttary, 1781. 

[ I have been honored with your Excellency's favors 

I of the 9th instant. 

General Morgan's signal victory over Colo. Tarleton 
with the flower of the British army reflects the highest 
honor upon our Arms, and I hope will at least be 
attended with this advantage, that it will check the 

offensive operations of the Enemy, untill General 
Greene shall have collected a much more respectable 
force than he had under his command by the last ac- 
counts from him. I am apprehensive, that the Southern 
States will look upon this victory as much more deci- 
sive in its consequences than it really is, and will relax 
in their exertions. It Is to be wished, that the Gentle- 
men of Congress, who have interest in those States, 
would remove such ideas, if any such should be found 
to exist, and rather stimulate them to redouble their 
efforts to crush an enemy, pretty severely shaken by 
the two successful strokes upon Ferguson and Tarle- 
ton. * • * 

1 shall not fail to communicate to Major-General 
Parsons, and the Officers and Men who were under 
his command, the very flattering notice which Con- 
gress has been pleased to take of their expedition to 

Upon General Knox's return from the Eastward, 1 
desired him to form an Estimate of the Artillery and 
Ordnance Stores necessary for an operation upon the 
largest scale, which would bt: that against New York. 
He has accordingly furnished one. Copy of which 1 
do myself the honor to enclose for the information of 
Congress, and that application may be made in time 
to the States possessed of the heaviest Cannon for 
the loan of them and other Stores, should they be 
wanted, and that directions may be given to the 

* A deuchm«nt under Bri)[adier-GeaeT>l Pmonf and Colonel Hull bad M^H 
■tn>yt>I ill* liamckt miil wiue Itn-ni: at Murriiiariii. ticloncinj; ti> Delinccy't 
corps, taken Hfty-ino priioiiin, brou^jhl off tome hurici and catllt, and 
dutroyed a bridge acroi* the ilailcm. Theenicrpiite was efleclcd on the night 
ol January 3it1, and mehtcd [bo " liighni praise." 




Board of War, and to those Boards whose Busi- 
ness it is to provide Ammunition, &c., to endeavor to 
procure the deficiency of the estimate. We ought 
wilhout doubt to be prepared for an operation against 
New York. Should circumstances make it requisite 
to lessen the object, the overplus Stores would never- 
iheless form not only a valuable but such a Magazine 
as we ought ever to have in reserve. The impossi- 
bility of crossing the North River with Horses, and 
some unforeseen Business, have hitherto prevented 
ray journey to Newport, and makes the time of my 
setting out precarious. 

I have the honor to be, &c.' 



Hkad Quarters, Nkw Winusos, 
t; February, 1781. 

You are informed of a number of officers of the 
Convention troops, who have been ordered to Eliza- 
beth Town for the purpose of going into New York 
to be exchanged. 1 am now to direct you will ex- 
change them in the following manner : Ail those who 
have no similar ranks in possession of the enemy, you 
will place against such of our colonels as have been 
longest in captivity, the others, you will exchange 
against an equal number rank for rank. 

But as two thirds of the ofificers of the Convention 
troops arc now nearly exchanged, the enemy are bound 
on their own principles to let hint* enter into imme- 

' Read in Coiigres*. Febiuaiy aOlIi. Referred to ihe Board of W«. 
' Tlie tetter U thui warded, but Ihe scnie U Incoiaplete. Uurguyne is 
probably intended. 




diate contemplation for exchange ; and we ought iatj 
justice to ourselves to insist upon it. 

Besides Lt. General Burgoyne the enemy owe us 
for three or four hundred private men who may now 
be applied in conjunction with General Burgoyne to 
the exchange of all our officers remaining on Long 



You will therefore immediately make the following 
proposition to the enemy — to place Lt.-General Bur- 
goyne, the officers of Convention on their way to 
Elizabeth Town and the above mentioned privates, 
in opposition to our officers prisoners in this quarter ; 
— the ballance which will be due us to be paid by the 
release of such officers of the Southern prisoners as^ 
wc shall name to the amount of that ballance. ^| 

This proposition is so reasonable that I dare say it 
will be readily complied with by the enemy ; especially 
as they must be sensible that the continuing to make 
any difficulties about Lt. General Burgoyne will neces- 
sarily operate to the prejudice of future exchanges. 

It is not however to prevent the immediate eX' 
change of the officers on their march as this is a point 
already agreed upon. 

Governor Livingston has represented to mc that 
some dissatisfactions have arisen about the manner of 
disposing of the prisoners made by the militia of the 
State. You are to observe the following rule : 

To put all the persons taken in arms by the militia 
in a common stock to be exchanged indifferently for 
any prisoners of war in the hands of the enemy 
whether Continental troops or Militia according to 
priority of capture. 


To exchange all mere citizens, persons not taken 
ID arms for the citizens of the State whose militia has 
captured them. 

The equity of the first rule must be obvious, as all 
the prisoners made by the Continental troops are 
applied indifferently to the exchange of themselves 
and the Militia taken in arms by the same rule of 
priority of capture ; and without reciprocity there 
would be an evident disadvantage on the side of the 
Continental troops. 

As the Governor also mtintions some inconvenience 
for want of information on these points, 1 am to 
desire you will make him monthly reports of all ex- 
changes of the Militia and citizens of the State made 
by you and of the prisoners made by the Militia 
who have come into your hands. 

I wish you too immediately to give him an account 
of what has been done in these respects since you 
have been in the department that he may see the 
State is not injured by our arrangements. 

I am frequently at a loss for want of your presence 
at Head Quarters. — I am therefore to desire you will 
reside constantly near it. When any particular busi- 
ness calls you else where you will represent it at 
Head Quarters. I am, &c 



■ StR, 

H I have ordered a detachment to bi: made at this post, to 

™ rendezvous at Pcekxkill ihe 19th in&tant, which, together with 

XDOthcr to be formed at Morristown from the Jersey troops, will 

UQOunt to about twelve hundred rank and file. The destination 




<A this detachment is to act against the corps of the enemy now " 
in Virginiii, in conjunction with the militia, and some ships from 
the fleet of ttie Chevalier Destouches, which he infonns me sailed 
the 9th instant from Newjiori, 

You will take the command of this detachment, which you witt,fl 
in the first instance march by battalions towards Pompton, there 
to rendezvous and afterwards proceed with all possible despatch 
to the Head of Elk Vou will make your arranneroenls with (he| 
qu a rtemi aster-general concerning the route you are to take, con- 
cerning transportation, tents, intrenching tools and other article*'^ 
in his departmcni, of which you may stand in need : with the 
commi»ary-);enera! concerning provisions ; with the clothier 
concerning clothes, shoes &c. ; and with General Knox con-l 
cerning the artjllcr)- and stores you will want for the expedition.] 
The result of these seveiaJ arrangements you will report at head- 

When you arrive at Trenton, if the Delaware is open and boat 
arc readily to be had, you will save time by going from thenc 
by water to Christiana Bridge, Marcus Hook, or Chester ; if yoa^ 
cannot avail yourself of this mode, you must proceed by land, by 
the route which (he quartermaster and commissary may designate 
as most convenient for covering and supplies. You are not to 
suffer the detachment to be delayed for want of cither provision, 
forage, or wagons on the route Where the ordinary means will 
not suffice with certainty, you will have recourse lo military 
impress. Vou will take your measures with the quartermaster-^— 
general In such a manner, that vessels may be ready by youi^| 
arrival at the Head of Klk to convey you down the Bay to 
Hampton Roads, or to the point of operation ; and you will 
open a previous communication with the ofRccr commanding the 
ships of his Christian Majesty, to concert your cooperations, and 
10 engage him to send, (if it can be spared,) a frigate up ihe Ba| 
lo cover your passage, without which, or some other armed 
vessels, might be otherwise insecure. 

When you arrive at your destination, you must act as your owl 
judgment and the circumsiances shall direct. You will open 
correspondence with the Baron de Steuben, who nnw command! 
in Virginia, informing him of your approach, and requesting him 


to have a sufficieni body of militia ready to act in conjunction 
with your detachment. It will be advisable for him to procure 
persons in whom he can confide, well acquainted with the coun- 
try at Portsmouth and in the vicinity ; some, who are capable of 
giving you a military idea of it, and otherx to serve as guides. 

Vou should give the earliest attention to acquiring a knowledge 
of the different rivers, but particularly James River, that you may 
know what harbors can best afford shdtcr and security to the co- 
operating squadron, in case of blockade by a su]>erior force. 
You are to do no act whatever with Arnold, that directly or by 
implication may screen him from the punishment due to Ms 
treason and desertion, which, if he should fall into your bands, 
you wiil execute in the most summary way. 

Having recommended it to Count de Rochambeau to detach a 
land force with the fleet, that it may be destined for the Chesa- 
peake Bay (though, from the disposition which has already taken 
place, it is not probable that land force will be sent yet), if the 
recommendation should be complied with, you will govern your- 
self in coiiperating with the oRieen commanding the French 
troops, agreeably to the intentions and instructions of his Most 
Christian Majesty, of which you were the bearer, and which, being 
still in your possession, it is unnecessary for me to recite. 

Vou will keep me regularly advised of your movements and 
progress : and, when the object of the detachment is fulfilled 
(or unfortunately disappointed), you will return with it by the 
same rout, if circumstances admit of it, and with as much 
expedition as possible to this post. I wish you a successful 
issue to the enterprise, and all the glory which I am persuaded 
yon will deserve. Given at Head-Quarters, New Windsor, Feb- 
ruary 30(b, 1781.' 

' Tlii» lejicr was iKompanicd by ihe following nolE : " The cnclotcd are 
jroar inhtmcliiiiu, in the |nx4ea)liiiD of wliirh, ■( yuu bhould itttivc antheiitie 
inteUiKCDC? of (h« eiwmy'i having l«lt Viisinia, at, by advene fortune, the 
deuchincni itma Monileut Dcttouchct hu lost ili tuperioriijr in Ihat State, 
and i) diwbiocl ilieicby to Lo^pc-ralv. you will roluiii witli (he dotachmvot iiuder 
your conunand, .11 the enemy cannot be nftected by ii while they have the com- 
mand of tbc walcit ; but ihe detachmcol may be uijiilally injuicd by committing 
lueU <m Ibc mi«r." 





New WntDSOn, so February. 1711. 

Dear Sir, 

The mail of last week brought me your letter of 
the 7th. 

Never having entertained a doubt of your friend- 
ship, the trouble you have taken to remove a supposed 
suspicion of it would have given me concern were It 
not overbalanced by the pleasure I feel at receiving 
in the same instant fresh assurances of your esteem 
and regard for mc Declarations thereof on your 
part require candor & confidence on mine. I do 
not scruple therefore to confess, that I was not a little 
hurt by the implications, and the general complexion 
of Mr. Lovell's letter, — and was not a little embar- 
rassed in determining upon a line of conduct proper 
for me to observe on the occasion. 

Conscious that (neither directly nor indirectly) no 
act, word or thought of mine had given birth to the 
motion transmitted you, it was not a very pleasant 
thing to see a letter published, the natural interpre- 
tation of which, held out very different ideas. 

The paragraph immediately following the motion 
is perfectly enigmatical to an uninformed mind ; but 
from the context and other circumstances, must be 
supposed to relate to the same person and subject. 
I have heard it did not, but the combination was 
remarkable, and its failing into the hands of the 
enemy, and being exposed to public view, unfortu- 

' ThU matter li mentioned In AuiHn. Lift e/ E^riigi Gtnjr, f.. 337-J44. 



21 Febniuy, i;Si. 

I do myself the honor to communicate to your 
Excellency a circumstance, which I hope will be fol- 
lowed by the most salutary' consequences to the State 
of Virginia in particular, and which may ultimately 
have the happiest effect upon the interests of America 
in General. The Chevalier dcs Touche commanding 
his Most Christian Majesty's Squadron in the Har- 
bour of New Port, fmdinjj himself enabled, since the 
late misfortune which happened to the British Fleet 
in Gardener's Bay. to make a detachment, has dis- 
patched a ship of the Line of 64 Guns and three 
Frigates to Chesapeak in hopes of finding there and 
destroying the Fleet under the direction of Arnold. 
The French Ships sailed the 9th instant from New- 
port with a fair Wind — They have taken on board a 
quantity of Arms and Cloathing which had arrived 
there on account of the State of Virginia. 

It is more than probable that these Ships will have 
arrived in the Chesapeak before my letter reaches you, 
but should they be retarded by adverse Winds or 
other accidents, your Excellency need not be told 
that the most profound secrecy will be necessary on 
such an occasion, for should the least hint escape, 
and Arnold come to the knowledge of it, he would 
not hesitate to take the opportunity of pushing out 
of the Bay. The Ships once arrived at their stations 
— the Matter becomes of public Notoriety without 
aay disadvantage. 




From an apprehension, that the Enemy may take 
such a position, as will enable them to defend them- 
selves and their shipping without a land co-operation, 
and knowing that militia cannot be depended on for 
the vigorous measures that it may be necessary to 
pursue, I have put a respectable detachment from 
this Army in motion. It is commanded by Major 
General the Marquis de la Fayette. It will proceed 
by land to the Head of Elk, at which I calculate it 
will arrive by the 6th of March at farthest, and will 
fall down the Chesapeak in Transports. 

I have written to the Baron de Steuben by this 
conveyance — given him the foregoing intelligence, 
and some directions relative to the position which he 
is to take with the Militia — collecting magazines, etc. 
It will be highly necessary that an immediate, safe 
and expeditious communication should be opened be- 
tween the commanding officer of the French Squad- 
ron and the commanding officer on Shore — In this, 
and every other measure tending to promote the 
public good, I am con6dent of your Excellency's 
assistance, and I have desired the Baron to make 
application to you in every case where your counte- 
nance may be wanting. The Marquis de la Fay- 
ette, who is the Senior officer, will take the command 
upon his arrival — I recollect but one thing further 
which will require your Excellency's more immediate 
attention, and that is the Business of providing the 
most experienced and trusty Bay and River Pilots 
(should it not have been done before this reaches 
you) and sending them to the commanding officer 

to be forwaided to the Fleet This trouble must 
necessarily devolve upon your Excellency or some 
Gentlemen appointed by you, because our officers, 
being strangers, might be imposed upon in this most 
material point — I have, &c. 

P. S. Should you have occasion to write to the 
Marquis de la Fayette let your first letter go by 
land under cover to the Quarter Master at the Head 
of Elk, and subsequent ones by Boats to the same 
place, because they will meet the transports in the 


HicAi>gi.'AKTKKs. New Wikdsor, 
31 Febniaiy. 1781. 

Dear Sir, 

Having been obliged to make a very considerable 
temporary detachment from the army, 1 am under 
the necessity of immediately calling in what recruits 
may be raised in the neighboring States to replace 
it, I have directed the superintending officers at the 
different places of rendezvous to do this, but I must 
request your Excellency, if it possibly can be done, 
to furnish them in whole or in part with clothing, as 
1 do not believe our whole stock on hand consists of 
more than waist coats and breeches for 2000 men. 
If the recruits could be made tolerably comfortable 
they might do garrison duty which is what they will 
be employed in until the Spring. 

I cannot avoid mentioning a matter to your Ex- 
cellency which is well worth your attention and that 




of the Legislature. It is the shameful neglect, not 
to call it worse, of those persons appointed by law to 
muster and pass the recruits. General Parsons in- 
forms that the first which came from your State 
seven in number, were all totally unfit for service. 
He has sent them to Hartford, that the Legislature 
may themselves be witnesses of the imposition which 
has been put upon the public and which will be prac- 
tised in numberless instances, while any but military 
men, interested in having healthy sound soldiers, are 
to be judges of the sufficiency of the recruit. To en- 
deavor to remedy this evil. I have ordered a good field- 
officer to be stationed at each place of rendezvous, 
and if any man is brought in not qualified for the 
service, he is to refuse receiving him and to send him 
Immediately back to the town which furnished him. 

I had the honor of receiving your Excellency's 
favor of the 5th by the Duke de Lauzun. The 
Corps of Invalids are stationed, by order of Congress, 
at Philadelphia and Boston, and it is not therefore in 
my power to send the invalids of the army to any 
other places except by the authority- of Congress. 

I have honor to be, &c 


Nkw Windsor, 13 F«btnuy, 1761. 

Dear Sir. 

You will, by the time this reaches you, be 
quainted with the destination of the detachment 
under the command of the Marquis de Lafayette. 






which, though as large as could be aiforded from the 

troops in this quarter, is not so competent to the cer- 

lain completion of the object in view as I could wish. 

By some accounts from Philadelphia, I am led to 

hope that further assistance may be derived from the 

Pennsylvania line. M you find it practicable to form a 

battalion of eight companies of fifty rank and file each, 

three officers to a company, and two field-officers to a 

battalion, in such time as the Marquis shall think will 

answer his purpose, you will be pleased to do it, and 

put it under his command. The detachment will be 

but temporar)'. The nomination of the field-officers I 

leave to you. 

It is possible that the battalion may be formed, 
but not in time to embark at the Head of Elk with 
the other troops. This will not be so material, pro- 
vided it can be done in a short time afterwards. 
That time you and the Marquis will determine. If 
the companies cannot be completed to fifty each, I 
would take them at forty rather than lose the rein- 
forcement, or even half a battalion of two hundred 
under the command of one field-otificer rather than 
none. Transports can be provided and held ready at 
the Head of Elk. should they not embark with the 
other troops. The places of rendezvous of the first, 
second, fifth, and sixth battalions are none of them 
very distant from Elk. and I should imagine the de- 
tachment would be most readily and conveniently 
formed from them. But this I leave to your judg- 
menL f am. &c.* 

' " Counts. 0* fou will tutTc been informed, have determined that (be Peitn- 
qrlv*ala line «h>tl comjia^c jmri of (lie Muihera *n&y. ami have oMered ii lo 



Nrw WixmoN, 31 FebruuT, tjti. 

Captain Walker has communicated to me some 
discoveries made of a plot among the Tories of Strat- 
ford and Fairfield county, of which 1 have directed 
him to give you the particulars. It seems a clue has 
been found to it. which, if rightly improved, will ena- 
ble us to detect the affair in all its extent, and punish 
the principals and their accomplices. I need not 
observe to you, of how dangerous a tendency com- 
binations of this nature are, nor of how much im- 
portance it is to put an effectual stop to them. Your 
knowledge of the country and characters of the people 
will enable you best to conduct the investigation ; 
and, as you live in one of the counties where it seems 
to originate, you may do it with the less risk of 

I am therefore to request, you will undertake the 

proceed lo Vuginia in deuehmenu, u they mity lie in Tcailinc» lu mtrch. I 
have iprcn Oencral Si. Clair direclions lo carry th« tc&olvc Into exccnlJOD ki 
Gxpciiiliuuilf » potniblc. 1 think iteucntiKl. that oneof the hrlgadlcnBhonlil 
procccrd with (he fan delachnieiii, ihui hr mny tic x\ hinil lu rccH*e anil form 
the reiDRindcr as they irrive. Tliis iDiy bt? the more ncvcuaiy, as the preiKncc 
ul an officer of authoric)' and rinlc may lie requmiie la r«<lcirc ihat ilJKipline, 
which the laic convuUion will hi«e In some degree dosiroyed. Gener«l Inine 
being employed U|n>n ihc rcurvilin); buunni. this duly of Connie devolvct ujioii 

" I have adriied General .St. Clair, il drcumitancet will itdmit of tlie dciach- 
ment under ihec^mimnd odho Manjuii going down the Ch4iii|>eake by water, 
lo endcuvor lo lalic the opportunity o( Mnding at many men as poiiible by ihe 
lime conveyance. Voa will, in iliat case, cither make me of the water paMag*, 
or proceed liy lanil aiir] meet the troops at their place oi debaikalian. u yon 
may think beat. But 1 imiEine you will prefer the former, when ibe Matqutt 
informi you of the objccl of the delachoiGnt."— ffo/Aii^m i» 
Ctntral \V»ynt, 36 February, 1781. 

aiTair in the manner you think most hkcly to succeed, 
aod will set about it immediately. You may want a 
party of men, when you have matured the discovcrj', 
10 seize the persons concerned. These you may 
take from the Connecticut line, as a guard to the part 
of ihe country where they will be necessary. In the 
present state of our force they cannot exceed a sub- 
altern's command. The two points most essential 
will be, to detect any characters of importance, who 
maybe concerned in it, and if possible to get into our 
hands the register of the associators' names. The 
person, who will serve you as a spy. must be assured 
of some generous compensation, such as will be an 
object to his family, and secure his fidelity. This I 
leave to you to manage. 

I am, with great regard, &c. 



Hd-Qks., Nkw WiKDSDi. H FtHiTUaiy, 1781. 

I received two days since, the letter which you did 
me the honor to write me of the i 7th instant. 

The desire you express of being useful to these 
States, evinced by the measure you have taken to rid 
the coasts of Virginia of very troublesome and de- 
structive neighbors, has a title to our acknowledg- 
ments. I hope the ships you have sent will meet with 
immediate success ; but I am rather apprehensive the 
enemy will be able to secure their vessels under the 
protection of land batteries. 




The Count de Rochambeau will have communi- 
cated to you my proi>ositions. The detachment 
mentioned to him has marched, and may arrive at the 
Head of Elk by the 5th or 6th of March, to proceed 
thence by water to the point of operation. The in- 
formation you were pleased to give me. that you 
held the remainder of your fleet ready to protect your 
expedition in the Bay, was a motive (or accelerating 
its motions. If you have it in your power to block 
up Arnold in the Bay, and make such a general dis- 
position with your Beet, as will at the same time 
prevent succors going from this quarter to him, I 
shall flatter myself that this cooperation will effect the 
reduction of the corps now in Virginia, and the ships 
will then of course fall into your hands. I am sensible 
the safe return of the America may make a material 
difference in your arrangements ; but, however this 
may be, 1 wait your determination to regulate my 
ulterior measures. 

If the late important and agreeable intelligence of 
the success of Count d'Estaing is confirmed,' we may 
flatter ourselves that it will at once lead to a decisive 
and glorious issue to the war. I am impatient to have 
it in my power to congratulate you on its certainly. 
With sentiments of perfect consideration and attach- 
ment, I have the honor to be, &c.' 

' Rfport <>r ft nara] eiigagsmcnt between Coiint cl'Ettaing aad AdminI Hoed 
in the West lodio. which proved nol lo be w«ll founded. 

* Immediately aftct the return of the ihice vessels from the (rhesapealce, M. 
Deitouchci revolved lo tet un (nol anolher npedlliun with his irholo naral 

"Th« kucn," taid Count de Rochambeau, " found on board the vecMla 
Uk«D by M. d« Tilly, havcdeeided M. D»loueh<a totoUow in full lh« plan 






,^^^ N«w WiKsxoii, 94 Febrnuy, 1781. 


] am honored with Your Excellency's letters of the 
8th. 1 2th and i8th since mine to you of the 19th. 

The important intelligence you do me the favor to 
communicate comes so many ways, and with so many 
marks of authenticity, that we have the greatest rea- 
son to hope it is tnic. If so, without the interference 
of other powers, of which there seems to be no prob- 
ability, 1 think we may regard it as an event decisive 
of a speedy and glorious termination of the war, and 
that his Britannic Majesty, in sptte of his last speech, 
will be obliged to receive the law. In mine of the 

givea \ff jrout EiccUency, and to risk every thing to hinder Ainoid from rstib* 
tiihiDi; hitiiicit al Porlimoulb iii VifEin'". M . Dntiiuchm U arming; with llie 
ErcMntdiUccncc the fortf-faur-gun^hip that wm taken, and hehopei Ihal this, 
with lbefh|[alei. will faoblclogo up EJUabclh River. Ife will pralcct lhi> eipe- 
<Illioa with hit whole Heel, Vour ExcL-llency li^iHp>-cn mo orders to jnin thereto 
one thouMndmcn. I wiil send eleven liundrcd and iwenty. All mjr gctna- 
(Uenand chastcun wilJ be ihcre. The cnrpi- will be commanded by the BMon 
daViinn^U. I will add (our {our-pouniterit. fdur Iwclve-poundsrs, anil loor 
phuirn. The navjr will famish iwenty .four-pounder» if ncceuary, but it 
U pnauBleil that *|[aiii«l earthen intrenchmentii the twclvc-pounden will be 

" A* to loving our road and harbor without defence, though 1 shall have a 
great many tianapoita to ptolecl, and very llllte artillery of a lonj; reach, with 
•boat tw«aly-fi*a hondrtd men under atm», 1 u ill do my bett lu prevent our 
Iniupott* at roa£uinet from rcceiviag any damage. 1 propose asking the 
Stale* of Mauachntellk and Rhode Klaiid to trnd tne lea that \n\i\iix two 
Ibonaand miiilta, to ttay bent while this expedition may last. 1 hope jour 
Excelleocy will appirove of my making use of your name, in my demand to 
llic goTCRion of both of these .Slates. The great conjequence. that your 
ExcsUvBcy icenied to attach to the eslablishment of Arnold at Fortimouth, 
hu determined M. Dniouchet to sActilice every other object to this one. 1 
CXpcO tiX thit armament to \x ready eight dayi hence." — AtS. IjtUr of Ctunt 
dt Xttiamifau, Februaty )S(b> 

1 6a 



19th I informed you of my ultimate determination, 
respecting the detachment from this army. The en- 
closed for the Chevalier Destouches, (which, after 
perusal, I beg you to seal and transmit.) communi- 
cates its march, the time of its expected arrival at its^ 
destination, and my present views. 

There are rumors from New York, that Sir Henry] 
Clinton had received orders to concentre his force atl 
one point, but, as they come through a suspected' 
channel, I give them no credit ; yet. if the enemy 
have received the blow of which our West India 
accounts speak, this would be a natural consequence. M 

The flattering distinction paid to the anniversary'^ 
of my birth-day is an honor for which I dare not at- 
tempt to express my gratitude. I confide in your 
Excellency's sensibility to interpret my feelings for 
this, and for the obliging manner in which you are 
pleased to announce it. The measures we have been 
taking for the expedition to Virginia will delay some . 
time my visit to Rhode Island. 1 wait to see whctherfl 
Sir Henry Clinton may form any new project in con- 
sequence. When this is ascertained, and the addi- 
tional precautions we are taking for security here are j 
completed. I shall yield to my impatience for testify-W 
ing personally my attachment to your Excellency and 
your army. 1 have the honor to be, &c.' 

' A>viB Cevnl dt RiHhamteau'i reply : " I li»vc n!C»i*cd y<Mi Esodloiej'l 
f»fot of the X4th initaiii. All lliai regards tlis Un<l foiwi wilt be wAj in 
iwcnty-tour hourt, bul the nftvy ma/ yd be ei^hl Unyti licforc cvety lIuBg w3l 
be ready ou her [itiit. I!c mural, that, on my part. notlitii|[ ihall be waaltaf . 
Id nuke the greatcil diligence." — February 17lh. 

Tkrtt t'(U(k, P. M.—" I have ihiii monieni received an exprcsa from 
too, with the good neirs, that the frigate Attree, commanded by M. d 

New WiNUMiR, 14 FctiRuty. I7lt. 

In answer to your Excellency's letter of the 14th 
I wrote fully on the 19th, since which I have had the 
honor to receive your favor of the 20th. The reit- 
erated request of both Houses of Assembly, to leave 
the two regiments of the State in the quarter where 
they now are, places me in a delicate and painful 
situation. I have already assured your Excellency, 
and through you the legislature, of my perfect dispo- 
sition to comply with the wishes of the State, as far 
as I have the means, to which indeed its exertions 
entitle it ; but, as an officer intrusted with the gen- 
eral interest of the confederacy, in expectation of an 
offensive campaign, under engagements which 1 shall 
at any rate find it difficult to fulfil, I cannot, in policy, 
in justice to the United States, in good faith to our 
allies, consent to divest myself of so considerable a 
part of my efficient force, as the two regiments in 
question. The good of the ser\'ice, joined to my 
regard for the State, will always prompt me, as it has 
heretofore done, to every effort in my power to pre- 
vent or repel attacks upon it ; but to give an assur- 

P^roitte, has jnit am*ed, and Ihat ihc brings mooqr *itd despatches ftom 
Cosil, anil thxt ihe ^apliin was [o land them (he next ilay." 

ManA /It. — " I tend an ciliscl from (ha niinisteriBl l(tl«n. which I have 
fcceivcd by the Irignie eomniandcU by M. do la Ferouse. Voii will tee that 
my iKia h»* htajed, by order o( hit MajcMy, !■> wnii (urt)ic rtsuU nf « defiiiitivo 
project. By private leUets Irom Versailles we learn, thai the t'riace de Mont- 
barrey hat given in his le&ignation. and is succeeded by the Marquii dc ScgUT 
one oi our moit ditllngulihcd liculenaiil-j'cnGtaU, sii iiitimste ul the MnrquU 
de Castries, and that there are great movements in the mintitry." 




ance, that its troops shall remain as a cover to the 
western and northern frontier from an apprehended 
invasion, ts more than I could answer, while our views 
extend beyond a mere defensive. 

Other applications similar to that from this State 
have been made to me, a compliance with which 
would leave us without a competent garrison for the 
defence of West Point. A heavy detachment from 
this part of the army, for an important service, has 
obliged me to draw in all my outposts, and to call six 
companies of the York line from Albany, as the 
smallest possible number necessary for the security 
of West Point. 

While I am compelled to deliver these sentiments, 
I entreat your Excellency to assure the Assembly, 
that it is impossible to feel more than I do for the 
distresses of the State, and that, as far as it can be 
made consistent with my general duty, no person 
will do more to serve it I have the honor lo be, &c. 


New>mn. >s Febrauy, itSi. 

Mv Dear Marquis, 

I have received your favors of the i%d. from Pom|>* 
ton by Captn. Castaign. You may make yourself 
perfectly easy as to ships of the line being at New 
York. The Iris and the others mentioned by Hag- 
erty are frigates. This man relates a circumstance 
to me. that he does not seem to have informed you 
of. It is, that a reinforcement of six hundred men is 


preparing for Arnold, and that the convoy is to be 
the Farges Indiaman, which ts 6tting up, but that she 
will not be ready till the end of this week. I do not 
give much credit to any thing he says ; but, if it is 
so, Colonel Dayton will probably be able to gain 
some knowledge of it. 

The return of clothing wanting for the detachment 
was so long coming to hand, that I had directed the 
clothier to despatch a parcel, which he did some days 
ago, and I am glad to find that the essential articles 
all exceed your demand. It will be too late to send 
a further supply of shoes from hence. You must 
endeavor to get them in Philadelphia. * • * 

The America of sixty-four guns had got into Gar- 
diner's Bay, after being long out. The Bedford was 
remasted. This again gives Admiral Arbuthnot the 
superiority, and puts it out of M. Destouches's power 
to give us any further assistance. * * * 

I have already hinted to you the necessity of hav- 
ing a number of Boats for debarking the Troops at 
the point of destination. — This is a matter, to which 
the Qr. Mr. Genl. must pay particular attention to. — 
I therefore repeat it. — It is also of essential import- 
ance to keep fast Sailing Vessels (Pilot-Boats would 
be best) plying from the Hd. of Elk to Hampton 
Road for the purpose of corresponding with the 
French Commodore, or to apprize; you of any danger, 
which may arise from a change of circumstances ; as 
I am not without apprehensions, that the detachment 
from Monsr. Destouches's squadron will be followed 
by a superior one from Gardiner's bay, as soon as 

1 66 



the destination of the former is known. — This evinces 
strongly the necessity of despatch, which depends 
upon great exertion in providing the Transports. 

With the Comy.-Genl. of Issues, as I mentioned 
in a former letter, or his Deputy at Phila., and Colo. 
Pickering, you will make the necessarj' arrangemt. 
for Provisions for your Corps. If it could be done 
solely with the latter, the business would be in fewer 
hands. — As your march will be rapid to the head of 
Elk. leave good officers to bring up the tired, lazy, 
and drunken soldiers. 

February i^tk.' — I do not think it verj' probable, 
that three hundred dragoons will trust themselves in 
the heart of Connecticut, with a superior regular 
corps and the force of the country to oppose them, 
but I have nevertheless given the intelligence to the 
Duke de Lauzun.' 

Upon your arrival in Philadelphia, if not before, 
you will hear that a body of men, supposed to be 
a reinforcement under General Provost from Europe, 
had landed at Cape fear, in consequence of which 
the whole Pennsylvania line are ordered to the south- 
ward.* 1 have therefore directed General St Clair, 

< A icpanite lell«r, accenting lo the ^raft. 

' Inlelllgence had come finm New Vntk thai three hundied honcnten had 
crowtd over to Long Islam) kiid procndcd ratlward, ind thai boatt liai) at Iha 
Mroe time be«n sent np ihc Sound. Jt wai inferred that this party woald pus 
fram Long Iiland ioConnct:licDt,and^Bllcmpt to Intercept General WMlun£loa 
on hih way ti> Mcwpori, u-. it vtn Knp|iOMd his intended joumanr itm known 10 
the enemy. Lafayette lugccsieil. thai ihe Duke de Lautun should be informed 
o( ihit movement as soon ii poisible, that he miKhl be prepnied wiih hit 
cavalry, then dalloned at Lebanon, to repel the invkden. 

' The party which landed at Cape F<«i contitted of Ihite hundred men 
detached from Charlolon nndei Major Craig. 


instead of confining himself to a single battalion, to 
send as many as he can down the Chesapeake with 
your detachment, if circumstances should admit of 
your embarkation. 

If the troops landed at Cape May are from 
Europe, I do not imagine their convoy is more than 
a frigate or two. Will it not be weil, when matters 
are ripe for discovering your object, to endeavor to 
get the Ariel, the Taimbull. and any other public 
vessels of war, which may be in the Delaware, to go 
round to the Chesapeake ? A combination of vessels, 
though of unequal rate, might perplex and distress 
the small squadron of our ally. This you can urge 
to the gentlemen of the marine department. If 
nothing unforeseen occurs, I shall set out for Rhode 
Island when General Duportail arrives here. I think 
I may expect him about the ist of next month. I 
am, &c. 



s6 Fcl)ni»«y, 1781. 

Dear Sir. 

Your favor of the 15th was not received until this 
morning. I am so totally unacquainted with the 
state of the southern prisoners, that I did not clioose 
to enter into a negotiation with Sir Henry Clinton. 
on the idea of a general exchange, although liberty 
was given me by Congress. Nothing particular has 
therefore been done respecting the gentlemen, who 
are confined at St. Augustine ; as it could not be 




supposed, that the enemy would consent to a partial 
exchange of persons of the most considerable influ- 
ence in the southern States, and who, besides, are 
pretended to have rendered themselves obnoxious. 
Indeed, whenever a negotiation is entered upon. I 
foresee difficulties in procuring the liberation of 
those gentlemen, who arc must of them of eminence 
in the civil line, as we have none of similar rank In 
our possession to exchange for them. However, 
whenever the matter is gone into, you may be 
assured that all possible attention shall &e paid to 
them, not only from my own inclination to serve 
them, but in obedience to an act of Congress, which 
directs that particular regard shall be had to them in 
the negotiation of the exchanges of southern pris- 
oners. The interest you take in them will be an 
additional consideration. 1 have the honor to 
be, &c, 


Hkad Qu Altos. New Wikdiok, 
Sir '^ FcbniaiT, vf^t, 

I had the honor of receiving last night your Ex- 
cellency's two letters of the 30th instant one of them 
in Congress, with their Inclosures. 

The situation of the southern States is alarming ; 
the more so, as the measure of providing a regular 
and permanent force was by my last advices stilljl 
unattempted. where the danger was most pressing 
and immediate. Unless all the states enter in good 
earnest upon this plan, wc have little to expect but 
their successive subjugation. Particular successes. 




obtained against all the chances of war, have had 
too much influence, to the prejudice of general and 
substantial principles. 

In obedience to the orders of Congress, I have 
imparted their wish to His Excellency the Count 
de Rochambeau. informing him that the proposal 
was made on the presumption of a naval superiority. 
But. as this superiority has ceased by the safe return 
of the America, a sixty-four, which was missing and 
supposed to be dismasted, and by a detachment of 
one vessel of the line and two or three frigates into 
the Chesapeake Bay, it will of course be out of the 
power of our allies to transport the whole or any 
pari of their troops to the succor of the southern 
States. Besides this obstacle, the present instruc- 
tions and expectations of the French General and 
naval commander are opposed to an immediate 
change of position. 

The order for the Pensylvania line to march to 
the Southward interferes with the conditional ar- 
rangements of the next campaign ; but in the present 
exigency of accumulating danger in that quarter. I 
am entirely of opinion that these troops ought to be 

On the first notice of tlie storm and its ill effects, 
I intimated to the French general the possibility and 
importance of improving the opportunity in an at- 
tempt upon Arnold. When 1 received a more dis- 
tinct account of the damage sustained by the British 
Heet, (which was a long time coming to me,) I im- 
mediately put in motion as large a part of my small 
force here, as I could with any prudence spare to 




proceed under the command of the Marquis de La- 1 
fayette to the Head of Elk, and made without delay 
a proposal for a cooperation in the Chesapeake Bay 
with the whole of the fleet of our allies and a part of 
their land force. Before my proposition arrived, in 
consequence of an application to him through the 
Chevalier de la Luzerne, Mr. Destouches had sent | 
the force I have already mentioned to Chesapeake 
Bay. This separation, and the return of the America, 
prevented the execution of my plan ; but the Marquis 
de Lafayette still continues his march to attempt 
whatever circumstances will permit. ^1 

It is probable Congress, before this reaches them, 
will have heard of the arrival of the ships in the Bay ; 
but, if they should have met with any delay. 1 need 
not observe how necessary it will be to conceal our 
expectations ; as the only chance of success to a 
merely maritime operation depends on surprise. 1 
take the liberty to suggest, that the American 
frigates in the Delaware may perhaps at this junc- 
ture be usefully employed in Chesapeake or Cape 
Fear. The latter may be preferable, but secrecy and 
despatch will be essential. * * • 

I have the honor to be, &c' 

y., c- New Wikdsob, 97 Febniiiy, ijBi. 

Dear Sir, 

I have received your favor of the 15th ; I am glad 
to hear of Colonel Lauren-s's departure. He wrote 
to me a few days before he sailed, and mentioned in 

' Read in Congreu, March ad. 




the warmest manner your exertions to get the ship 
manned. The few Continental soldiers you spared 
on the occasion were well bestowed, considering the 
importance of Colonel Laurens's mission.' 

By a resolve of Congress of the 4th of January 
the Board of War seemed to have the payment of the 
invalids ; the resolve is as follows: " That the Board 
of War draw no more warrants on the Paymaster 
except for the invalid Regiments and the regiment 
of artificers in the Department of the Commissary 
General military stores until the further order of Con- 
gress." From this I should imagine the commanding 
officer at Boston should regularly transmit his muster 
rolls and abstract to the Board and obtain a warrant. 

The late Lt. Colo. Loring's case is referred to me 
by Congress and I shall take it into consideration. 

Our last advices from General Greene are of the 
31st of January. Lord CornwalHs. with twenty-five 
hundred men entirely divested of baggage, had made 

' On tbc knital tA Colonel Laurcni in BoMon, Janiuiy sjlli. he fonad thai 
Itic Alliuce \aA noi compldeil her ciew, and thai the pracpcci ot moo dmng 
it <rai vilmmcljt anfavuisblv. The UaMacIiuiclls N»7 Bcaril enconrageil 
bio) to b«IicTc that the power of improiing seimcn foi this special Krrice 
night lie (ibiaincd from Ihc iq^liJatiuc; and, while Ihc Bo«rd wtu punsiaK 
th< apptication, he made a thort nsil toCouni dr KuchambMu il N«a-poTl, 
iibn«D it WIS imfmrtanl (or him to coiuuJt on Ihc mbjccl or his minion. Th« 
lc(ltlatiire (k-i:llnc<l Kranling ihc povei lo iitiprcu. and ihc mmot that such a 
thioE was in agitation had avai*nc«(l llio Milon. thai »oine coiic*^i1c<l theinulvct, 
and otben ft«d from the town. Whtn Colontl Laurens rctumnl, thBmfore, 
leiy Itlitc progrcu hud been maile in oblainine men. The Iqpilattire offctcil 
an in'ritami bounty iiut of (heir <>n-n chtM. with pmtlutoo to cnlltl State 
troops then on duty at the C«st]«. Several lecruitB were thut procnml ; !)ut 
uiU there was a delidcn>:<r, which General Lincoln made up by tAking men 
from the Continnnial trqojw, who ircce qualifitxl (oi the marine kcrvice. Colo- 
nel Laureai vent to tea on the ijth ol February, after having been win'l-bouml 
for Kereral days in Nsniukci Road.— jV5. Lttttri rf UncflK anJ /jutreni, 
Fcbnwry 4<l> and (Sih,— Jj»iwi<. 




a push against General Morgan, and was near recov- 
ering the prisoners taken upon the 17th of Januarj*; 
but General Morgan got them off, and they had 
crossed the Yadkin on their way to Virginia. Lord 
Cornwallis was still advancing, and General Greene 
studiously avoiding an engagement, except he could 
draw together a greater force of militia than he had 
much prospect of. I am very anxious for the issue 
of this manceuvre, which may be productive of the 
most important consequences. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Lee with his legion had surprised Georgetown. I 
have not many particulars. He took Lieutenant- 
Colonel Campbell and several other officers prisoners, 
and killed a Major I rvine. A good many privates were 
killed ; few taken. Our loss one killed, two wounded. 
I have tried the efficacy of proclamations of par- 
don to deserters so often, and havt: found so tittle 
good resulting from them, that 1 am inclined to think 
desertion is rather encouraged than remedied by a fre- 
quent repetition of them. The soldier goes ofT, remains 
at home after a furlough, and looks for a proclamation 
as a thing of course. I am, &c. 


Naw Windsor, 8 o'clock. P.H.. 

Mv Dear Marquis. aj Kebn..r7. 1781. 

I have this moment received a letter from the Count 
de Rochambeau with intelligence, of which the en- 
closed is a copy. By this it appears, that the first 
squadron had returned to Newport ; but that M. Des- 
touches was 6tting up the Romulus with an Intent to 




despatch her, and I suppose the frigates, for Chesa- 
peake, as bein^ of better construction for the navi- 
gation of that Bay, than the ships which were before 
there. I have written to Count de Rochambeau and 
to M. Destouches, and have informed them, that you 
are prosecuting your march to the Head of Elk, 
that you will embark there and wait only for a certain 
knowledge that the French squadron is again in the 
Bay of Chesapeake, to determine you to proceed to 
a cO(3peraiion. 1 hope the squadron will have again 
sailed before my letter reaches Newport 

Upon your arrival at the Head of Elk, you will 
immediately embark the troops if the transports are 
ready, that not a moment's time be lost, after you re- 
ceive certain advices that our friends are below. But 
until that matter is ascertained beyond a doubt, you 
will on no account leave Elk River. You will write 
immediately to the Baron Steuben, and infonn him 
that he may expect the return of the squadron, and 
that he is to continue every preparation and make 
every arrangement before directed for the prosecu- 
tion of the cooperation. 

With the warmest attachment. I am. &c. 

P.S. You will readily perceive the propriety of 
keeping parts of this letter and intelligence secret 


Dear Custis, ''**' ^^'"™«'"' "* Fet>f"*n'. 't*«- 

If you will accept a hasty letter in return for yours 
of last month, 1 will devote a few moments to this 
purpose, and conhne myself to an interesting point 




or two. I do not suppose, that so young a senator 
as you arc, little versed in political disquisitions, can 
yet have much influence in a populous assembly, 
composed of Gentln. of various talents and of differ- 
ent views. But it is in your power to be punctual in 
your attendance (and duty to the trust reposed in 
you exacts it of you), to hear dispassionately and de- 
termine coolly all great questions. To be disgusted 
at the decision of questions, because they are not con- 
sonant to our own ideas, and to withdraw ourselves 
ftom public assemblies, or to neglect our attendance 
at them, upon suspicion that there is a party formed, 
who are inimical to our cause and to the true interest 
of our country, is wrong, because these things may 
originate in a difference of opinion ; but. supposing 
the fact is otherwise, and that our suspicions are well 
founded, it is the indispensable duty of every patriot 
to counteract them by the most steady and uniform 
opposition. This advice is the result of information, 
that, you and others being dissatisfied at the pro- 
ceedings of the Virginia Assembly, and thinking 
your attendance of little avail (as there is always a 
majority for measures, which you and a minority 
conceive to be repugnant to the interest of your 
Country), are indifferent about the Assembly. 

The next and f believe the last thing 1 shall have 
time to touch upon, is our military establishment ; 
and here, if 1 thought the conviction of having a per- 
manent force had not ere this flashed upon every 
man's mind, 1 could write a volume in support of the 
utility of it ; for no day or hour arrives unaccompc 




vrith proof of some loss, some expense, or some mis- 
fortune consequent of the want of it. No operation 
of war, offensive or defensive, can be carried on for 
anylength of timewithout it. No funds arc adequate 
lo the supplies of a fluctuating army, tho' it may go 
under the denomination of a regular one ; much less 
are they competent to the support of militia. In a 
word, for it is unnecessary to go into all the reasons 
the subject will admit of, we have brought a cause, 
which might have been happily terminated years ago 
by the adoption of proper measures, to the vci^e 
of ruin by temporary enlistments and a reliance on 
militia. The sums expended in bounties, waste of 
arms, consumption of military stores, Provisions, and 
Camp utensils, to say nothing of cloathing. which 
temporary soldiers are always receiving and always in 
want of, arc too great for the resources of any nation, 
and prove the fallacy and danger of temporary ex- 
pedients, which are no more than mushrooms, and of 
as short duration, but leave a sting, that is, a debt 
(which is continually revolving upon us) behind 

It must be a settled plan, founded in system, order, 
and occonomy, that is to carry us triumphantly 
through the war. Supineness and indifference to the 
distresses and cries of a sister State, when danger is 
far off, and a general but momentarj' resort to arms 
when it comes to our doors, are equally impolitic and 
dangerous, and prove the necessity of a controlling 
power in Congress to regulate and direct all matters 
of general concern — without it the great business of 




war never can be well conducted, if it can be con- 
ducted at ail, while the powers of Congress are only 
recommendatory. While one State yields obedience, 
and another refuses it, while a third mutilates and 
adopts the measure in part only, and all vary in time 
and manner, it is scarcely possible our affairs should 
prosper, or that any thing but disappointmt. can fol- 
low the best concerted plans. The willing States are 
almost ruined by their exertions; distrust and jeal- 
ousy succeeds to it Hence proceed neglect and ill 
timed compliances, one State waiting to see what 
another will do. This thwarts all our measures, after 
a heavy tho' inefTeccual expense is incurred. ^1 

Does not these things show, that in ye most strilc^ 
ing point of view, the indispensable necessity, the 
great and good policy, of each State sending its 
ablest and best men to Congress ; men, who have 
a perfect understanding of the constitution of their 
Country, of its policy and interests; and of vesting 
that body with competent powers? Our Indepen- 
dence depends upon it, our respectability and conse- 
quence in Europe depends upon it, our greatness as 
a nation hereafter depends upon it. The fear of 
giving sufificient powers to Congress, for the purposes 
I have mentioned, is futile, without it our Indepen- 
dence fails and each Assembly, under its present 
constitution, will be annihilated, and we must once 
more return to the Government of G. Britain, and be 
made to kiss the rod preparing for our correction. 
A nominal head, which at present is but another 
name for Congress, will no longer do. That honor- 




able body, after hearing the interests and views of 
the several States fairly discussed and explained by 
their respective representatives, must dictate, and 
not merely recommend and leave it to the States 
afterwards to do as they please, which, as I have 
observed before, is in many cases to do nothing at 

When 1 began this letter. I did not expect to have 
filled more than one side of the sheet, but I have run 
on insensibly. If you are at home, give my love to 
Nelly and the children ; if at Richmond, present my 
complimts. to any inquiring friends. I am sincerely 
and affectionately, &c. 

P. S. The Public Gazette will give you all the 
news of this quarter — our eyes are anxiously towards 
the South for events. 

H - HeAi>-Qu*t'T<iis, I Marck. ijlt. 

V Dear Marquis. 

I have just received letters from the Count de 
Rochambeau and the Chevalier Destouches, informing 
me of their intention to operate in the Chesapeake 
Bay with their whole ticct, and a dctichmcnt of eleven 
hundred French troops, grenadiers and chasseurs in- 
cluded. The Chevalier expected to sail the 5th of 
this month, so that you will arrive at the Head of Elk, 
before he appears in the Bay. He seems to make a 
difficulty, which I do not comprehend, about protect- 
ing the passage of your detachment down the Bay ; 

■ 78 



but, as it is entirely without foundation, I take for 
granted it will cease on his arrival. It is of the great- 
est importance to the expedition, as well as for the 
honor of our arms, that you should be on the spot to 

The Count de Rochambeau requests me to send 
an aid-de-camp to the commanding officer in Virginia, 
to assemble the militia and have every thing else ready 
against the arrival of the fleet. You know all the 
necessary directions have been given ; but, to gratify 
the Count, I am to desire you will send Colonel 
Gouvion without delay to the Baron De Steuben to 
communicate this latter intelligence, and press the 
preparations, directing the Baron on the arrival of 
(he French troops to enter immediately into their 
views. You know the infinite value of secrecy in an 
expedition circumstanced like this. The Baron de 
Viom^nil will command the French detachment. 1 
set out in the morning for Rhode Island, where I 
hope to arrive before the fleet sails, to levfl all diffi- 
culties and be in the way to improve circumstances. 

Since writing the above. I have received a letter 
from General Greene, by which it appears, Corn- 
wallts, with twenty-five hundred men. was penetrating 
the country with great rapidity, and Greene, with a 
much inferior force, retiring before him, having deter- 
mined to pass the Roanoke. This intelligence, and an 
apprehension that Arnold may make his escape before 
the fleet can arrive in the Bay, induce me to give 
you greater latitude than you had in your original 
instructions. You are at liberty to concert a plan 




with the French general and naval commander for a 
descent into North Carolina, to cut off the detach- 
ment of the enemy, which had ascended Cape Fear 
River, intercept if possible Cornwallis, and relieve 
General Greene and the soiithern States. This, 
however. I think ought to be a secondary object, and 
only attempted in case of Arnold's retreat to New 
York, or in case you should think his reduction would 
be attended with too much delay, and that the other 
enterprise would be more easy. and. was from circum- 
stances, more necessary. There should be strong 
reasons to induce a change of our first plan against 
Arnold, if he is still in Virginia. With a view to the 
second enterprise, you must be making your arrange- 
ments for transportation and supplies, and must en- 
deavor to gain all the information you can about the 
country, which may be the scene of your operations. 
Your continuing your march, after the fleet had 
withdrawn itself from the Bay, may excite suspicions 
of their intended return. You can cover your design 
by saying you are going to the assistance of General 
Greene. You will remember, that your corps is a 
part of this army, and will let this idea have proper 
weight in your determinations. I am, &c.' 

■ GMienI Wtuhinelon lefi hctd.qu*rteK en the id. " Thft 1I17 [fith] Gen- 
nal Wuhlnglon, whn wu cxiiedrd, arrived \ti\ Newport] abnui iwo o'clock. 
lie fir»l went to the Dm .ii BurgogHt, where bU our generals were. He then 
landed ; *]1 the tioopa were iiniler armi ; [ wu piesentcil In him. IIU (ace 
b haDdiomc, noble wiA mild. Kv ii tiil fat llir kul, live (eet, eight iiithet). 
!■ the cTtninn, I wu ui sup[>er with him. 1 murk as a fortunate iaf, ihit 
In which I have beta atile to licbold a man (i> liuly Great." — yoitrital t/ 
ClaitJt Blititiard, tfy Tlie land forcei weto embarked, and the Hcct uilcd 
on the evening o( the Sih. and on the lolh (be Britith fleet tailed from 

i&> THE WRITINGS OF [1781 



IlAKTroKii. 17 Mwdi. 17S1 


It would have -afforded me the greatest pleasure, 
had I been able lo have extended my late visit to 
Newport as far as Boston ; but the important opera- 
tions, which may be expected at the southward, 
made it necessarj' for me to return as soon as possi- 
ble to the North River, that I might be more imme- 
diately in the way of receiving intelligence, and 
communicating any which might be essential to the 
common interest to Count de Rochambeau. The 
present is a most important moment. The success 
of the expedition now in agitation seems to depend 

Gardiner's B»y. (i>( llie Cl>cs«pcakc, He reiiiBinei] fovrml dny* tt Neirport, 
and nude such amngemcnti with Count dc Rochambeaa (or ihc opet^ttiont of 
th« cainpait^i, .u ihi: pitiient slate vE >ilair« would waiianl. lie wjit *b- 
Mnl ninrleeti days from New Windsor, during which lime General Hexh 

The day after the fleet went lo sea frotn ti*rdinet't Bay, Admiral Arbuthnot 
wrote SI follows lo Sir Henry Clinton: " Before Ibii time yon will have 
rceeived the intelligence of the French having quilted Rhmle loland with their 
thlpt and troopt, suppoied for Ihe Chcmpeske. and thst they have ditmantled 
their furti. I detached Ihc Pearl and Isi* two da)-t ago, to reconnoitre New- 
port harbour. They rejoined me ycMeidny momingt, and icqualiited me, thai 
none of the enemy't ships remain there. In eonxi^ucDcc oi which I proc<«d 
in qucit of tbeni directly (or Ihe Chesapeake with the unnoil expedition ; 
Captain Hudson's veucts beinn sntScient tn ctcori any troops you may in<)ine 
■o detach after me to r«in(arcE*Ucneral Arnold in Virginia." — MS. Lttler.ol 
int. March nth. 

The tlntemcnl about diimojiiUng the forts It of connc an error, ai only 
between eleven and lwcl*e hundred of the French troopt accompanied the 

(General rhilUjis commanded the detachmeni tent to coApetatc with Arnold 
in Virginia. All the troops tn that quarter were intended to act in concert 
with the plans of Lord ComwallJs. By hit initmctiont General Phillipn vaa 
directed, in case I.(ird CumwatliH thoiilil be tucctMful in the Carolina*, lo 
move up the Chesapeake wiih a large force lo Baltimore ; and to i*k« poet 

upon a naval superiority, and the force of the two 
fleets is so equal, that we must rather hope for, than 
entertain an assurance of victor)'. The attempt, 
however, made by our allies to dislodge the enemy 
in Virginia, is certainly a bold one. and. should it 
fail, will nevertheless entitle them to the thanks of 
the public. 

The army under my immediate command is so 
much reduced by the detachment, which 1 have 
made to cooperate with the French troops in Vir- 
ginia, that I have been under the necessity of calling 
for the recruits, which are raised in the neighboring 
States. Few have yet come in ; and I plainly per- 
ceive, that, unless very vigorous exertions are made. 

Mat the SaH]uch«iiiu, and on the «uteni Aon of the Gicsip«>1(e Bay, 
when tb« loyiliw* vera uiJ la he numciaun. Tbe nlttinkte object wu to 
fctie apon the xtorci and »niuin«nti in Pcnnxrlvuiia. and to obstruct the 
Indc of tbe nclawarc. "I am prcporinj:." aajd Sir Henry Clioton, "for 
trtrf «xertion within Ihfl cump«» oi my very reduced tons, wMch, after the 
,itre»l Iari£e ddadiments tent to th« loudiward, unoantt to no more than 
6tTS anxiliaty tioopa. 4597 regular Britith, anO 906 ProvindaU. ready (or tb« 
the &c\A."—ifS. Ltiltr to Ltr4 Gnrgf Crmaiat. A>» Yivt, April Slh. 

Acain. Sii IIcDiy Clinton wrote to General Phillips : " The lecurity of th« 
Caioltnai >* of the ^mtcst mnintnl, bui the ticti con>c(|ucncct may be 
npccled frocn an operation up the Chesapeake- 1^1 itie lame cxpoiimcni be 
tried IhCTc. which hat hitherto been «a unincccuful at the MUth. Virginia 
kai been locdced upon «> aiuTcmlly hoitiU ; Marylaiul tcu *o, but haa not 
beca tried : but in Penniylvania. on both sides ȣ ihc Susquehanna, and 
belvecn th« Cheupeake and Delaware, the friendt of the King't inierot* are 
Mid to be Dumeroui. Support tbould be rcndorcl to ihcra, and means of 
prvring that fidelity put into their hands. If Lord Comwallis can ipnie such 
part of bi* forces aa to effect this movement, it is f'rcaily to be dciired." — -MS. 
UUer. April llth. 

At the same lime I.«rd Comwallii wrote to Sir Henry Clinton; " 1 cannot 
help expressing my wUhes. thai the Chesapeake may becyme the leal of war. 
e<ien, if aeetnary. at the eipenie of abandoning New York. Until Virginia 
it in • naBDcr fulidued, our hold upon the Carolinu muil be difficult if not 
precariom.*' — Wilmingien, April lotb. 




the quotas of the several States will be not onlyj 
short, but exceedingly late in the field. I must 
therefore entreat the interference of your Excellen- 
cy's countenance and authority with the persons in 
the different townships, whose business it may be to ^ 
procure the levies, not only to send forward those tofl 
the places of rendezvous, which have been raised, 
hut attend to completing the deficiencies where anyfl 
may have happened. There is the greater necessity^ 
for a strict compliance with the number of men 
required by Congress, as the Pennsylvania linejf 
which was to have composed part of the northern 
army, has lately been ordered to the southward. Aj 
regular and full compliance with the specific requi-^ 
sition of provision is a matter of equal importance 
with the foregoing, to which I beg leave to call youi^ 
Excellency's attention also. I have the honor to be, 
with most perfect respect and esteem. &a 


New WmosoK, ii MMth, 1781. 

My Dear Sik, 

Upon my return to this place last night, I met 
your private and friendly letter of the 25th of Feb- 
ruary. I do not delay a moment to thank you for 
the interesting matter contained in it, and to express 
surprize at that part which respects a pension for my, 
mother. \ 

True it is, I am but little acquainted with her/f«> 
ent situation or distresses, if she is under any. As 




true it is, a year or two before 1 left Virginia (to 
make her latter days comfortable and free from care) 
I did, at her request, but at my own expencc, pur> 
chase a commodious house, garden and Lotts (of her 
own choosing) in Fredericksburg, that she might be 
near my sister Lewis, her only daughter, — and did 
moreover agree to take her land and negroes at a 
certain yearly rent, to be fixed by Colo. Lewis and 
others (of her own nomination) which has been an 
annual expence to me ever since, as the estate never 
raised one half the rent I was to pay. Before 1 left 
Virginia I answered all her calls for money ; and 
since that period have directed my steward to do the 
same. Whence her distresses can arise, therefore, I 
know not, never having received any complaint of 
bis inattention or neglect on that head ; tho' his 
inability to pay my own taxes, is such I know, as to 
oblige me to sell negroes for this purpose — the taxes 
being the most unequal (I am told) in the world — 
some persons paying for things of equal value, four 
times, nay ten times, the rate that others do, — But 
putting these things aside, which I could not avoid 
mentioning in exculpation of a presumptive want of 
duty on my part ; confident I am that she has not a 
child that would not divide the last sixpence to 
relieve her from real distress. This she has been 
repeatedly assured of by me ; and all of us I am 
certain, would feel much hurt, at having our mother 
a pensioner, while we had the means of supporting 
her; but in fact she has an ample income of her own. 
I lament accordingly that your letter, which con- 



rae toV 

ms, if j 

veyed the first hint of this matter, did not come to 
my hands sooner ; but I request, in pointed terms, if 
the matter is now in agitation in your Assembly, that 
all proceedings on it may be stopped, or in case of a 
decision in her favor, that it may be done away and 
repealed at my request 

I must defer answering your public letter till the 
next post. This is written in much haste to go by 
the present mail, which is on the point of closing. 
The measures I had taken previous to the date of 
your letter (for the reduction of Arnold's corps) 
were, you may be assured, every thing that was 
possible in my circumstances to do. If the States 
will not, or cannot provide me with the means, it is 
in vain for them to look to me for the end and 
accomplishment of their wishes. Bricks are not to 
be made without straw. As our eyes are turned to 
your quarter for interesting events, we have few 
occurrences of moment here, none pleasing. I shall 
only add an expression of my sincere concern for the 
damage and losses I hear you have sustained by that 
arch traitor Arnold, and my assurances of being. &c' 

' "■I »mTtiJ, my dear Chevalr,, nt tliwe my Qunrlcm in tW forenoon ol 
yeittrday. iftct poiidns ovei very bad road*, and riillng thro' very (onl 
sveaiher withiiut any dfti>ia|;c. . . . G. Britain it at war willi Ihe Dutch. 
Tlw maniftrtio and deciaraiion ai thai conit I have dene myiell ihe honi. to 
trantmil to the Count de Rochambcau. We have Jl by rrferi, thai Artml. 
Dcttoachet i« hair arrived in Hampton Koad. A uiunber of militia under the 
conuoand of Baron dc Sleiiben wtr* hoiveiing round Amolil. ready to co- 
operate with (ienl. Viom^nil and (he Marqa. At I.a(ayett«. in the momenl 
uf lh«ir ilcliarkaiinn ; (he Ulicr of whom had advanced hit delafhmeDt to 
Annapolu. lo receive more readily (he protection and convoy of the Frigate* 
of M. DealFin[hes."~ffiijAiaj-A»> tf lie Cli-ntiii'T Jt Cikaittilax, ai M 


TO ma;or<gen'eral heath. 



Nbw Windsor, ii March. 1781. 

)ear Sir. 

Upon my arrival at this place yesterday. I found 
your letter of the 2d., enclosing the complaint of 
Sundry field-officers of the Massachusetts line' It 
is a painful rcHcction, that the best meant endeavors 
to promote the service is subject to. and often meets 
with, the most unfavorable constructions ; and that 
the numerous embarrassments which the distressed 
situation of our affairs unavoidably involves us in. 
should be increased by ill-founded jealousies and 
groundless suspicions. 

If the Gentn.. who addressed you, on the 27th 
ulto. were hurt at the appointment of Colo. Jamat 
[Gimat] and Major Galvan, to command in the 
lietachmt. which marched, and which I presume to 
be the case, a candid investigation of the cause would 
have evinced, in a moment the principle and that it 
was not a prcdiliction in favor of those gentn., or 

' Tb« p*pcr conlaining ih« complaint wm triKned tiy mtch ficld-officmt^ 
After tpeakiog a( their wTvk«i and sacHficn in the army, siid thctr tlvvolcd- 
■ea 10 ihe cause of tlieir coiinlry, they odd . " \Vc flaiicr ouriclvct, that wr 
terc gaionl amt poKicvi thf alTei'liuii •>! our u^Micty. VVc litvc certainly so 
amcb confidence in them, that ve are willing 10 aco'>inpany them not only on 
(Min ol kooor, but 10 eocounlcr willi Ihciii (alijinc-' and ilxii^cr. whidi «rc 
thiali wc have a rij-hi tu exjiccl. Hut uc urc \0Tty to lioic hi far lt»t the con- 
lidcnce of onr general officer*, that, when coniiilernbly mere than one half of 
on men hare been dctacbed for command, one ficld-olliccr only front (he lino 
bw been permilled to attend tlirm. while nine remain lo endure the sentible 
mortification at comnundinE between them a !ct> iinmliet, ihc grealer part of 
tthon arc on detached and extra tErrlt-e. 'rhln|;A thus clrciitiiH(aiii:cd niu»t 
pointedly wound the (nlintpi oif n Diilitnr}' charaticr. ami they do certainly 
moit senifbly outs." ThU complaint wb» preienlcd 10 (icncnll llcfilh, and 
*»■. lorwariled by him to the Commander-ln-eliief. 




a want of confidence in the complainants, but the ' 
peculiar circumstances of the army that gave birth i 
to the measure. dl 

At the time the detachment was ordered, there 
was not, by the adjutant's return (and it was called 
for on purpose), but two rej;iments if my memory 
serves me. in camp, that had more than one field- 
ofificer, namely Hazen's and Webb's. Nothing there- 
fore but necessity could have justified my leaving 
a regiment without one, at a time when the new 
levies were ordered to join, and momently expected 
from every State, and when an equal and impartial 
distribution of them was to be made, and the whole j 
to be provided for. Under such circumstances, no 
one. I am persud.. who considers the good of the 
service and the consequences of such <i want, can I 
blame me for taking officers, who were eligible to 
command and unoccupied by other duties, to accom^H 
pany the detachment. ^ 

These, and these only were the reasons, why no 
more than one field-officer was taken from the line 
of Massachusetts bay. and not as I have said before 
from a want of confidence in them or because I pre- 
ferred those that did go. Thus much justice has 
dictated and I insert, to remove the idea which these 
Gentn. seem to have imbibed of an intended slight, 
but they must excuse me for adding, that I concieve 
it to be a right inherent with command to appoint 
particular officers for special purposes. 

That part of your letter, wch. seems to respect 
yourself personally, needs no explanation ; (or I 
never can suppose that you deem it a slight, not 

to have been taken from thr comd. of the most 
important post in America wt. 4.000 men. to head 
a detachment from that Post of only 80a If this 
is not your allusion. I am ignorant of your mean* 
ing ; but shall take this occasion to observe once for 
all, that I am not conscious of exercising a partiality 
in favor of one line, one Corps, or one man, more 
than another; and that where appearances have been 
Dlhttrwise, in the eyes of those who were unac- 
quainted with all the circumstances, I could easily 
have explained them ; that I never did, nor never 
will hurt, intentionally, the feelings of any deserving 
officer unless 1 can be justified upon genl. principles 
and good is to result from it — but if officers will not 
see into the political motives by which I am some- 
times governed in my appointments, and which the 
good of the common cause renders indispensably 
necessary, it is unfortunate ; but cannot, because It 
ought not, divert me from the practice of a duty, 
which I think promotive of the interest of the united 
States, and consistent with the views of that power 
under which I act 

1 have been thus particular because it is my wish 
to convince every officer over whom I have the honor 
to be placed of the sincerity of niy disposition to 
make him as happy as the times and our circum- 
stances will admit of ; and that can be done consist- 
ent with the observance of that steady line of con- 
duct I ever have and mean to pursue. 1 am, with 
esteem, &c.' 

' Tlie tetult of tiiU UD«aam«*a in Ibc afficcn irnt the tuddsn del erm I nation on 
At put at WMMn^toe 10 RCill [he dclnchmenl under Lafsyoll* in thr tooth. 





Dear Sir n^wWixihok. as M>rcb, 1781. 

A few days ago brought me the honor of your favoi 
of the 7th from Marlborough. Your other letter o 
Jany. the 20th came duly to hand — for both I thank 
you ; without offering an apology for suffering the 
Utter to remain unacknowledged till this time, b< 
cause I am satis5ed you will attribute my silence t 
any cause rather than disrespect, and to none soone; 
than the true one— vizt., the load of business whic 
continually presses upon me. It was with sincerecon- 
cem that I heard of the injury you sustained in you 
property at the mouth of the Patuxent, but it is only 
adding another specimen to the catalogue of British 
clemency and wasted generosity. 

wtA tofomi * nc* not which «'oulil dclcrmlncr ihe gricvani-ch. Thr ittattkm' 
of Gnese, bowerer, led to n change of onlen. S« Wathitigten to La/ayetu, 
ft April, 1781. 

la • printc letter to Biron Steuben WMhingluii wrote on April jotb : 
*' At ikii noMeQI. I will frankly contet* lo you. I am eilreniely perplexed and 
tUitietIM llw i)ne9.tlRcu &: diicontenl which prevoif amnngatl iheOdicenortlie 
R<(*l ot Lt. InfiQtry lo which Miijor G&lilii it now animrit, willi rcNpectlo the 
caalbiKt of ikii (ienltcman— Krom tbciricmominuicct, and the Unirertol report, 
It kpfwan Ihil ht^ lirliavior \vif tiecn ui untonarti & <li«ibll|[in|;, a* to create 
itM gttalcst i!ii)[uit in all thr Ciirpt, & » will trail euieiilially lo injure ihe ler- 
«i(« — T*if, logtlher tviih hit having be«n in the Ughi Corps, the Um Canv- 
fMipi, WMihl iiMtuce me Ii> otiti him lo be relteved. If ihe eoiiiiidcraiion vJ \A 
btang ■ foi«l|;ncT (to whom you know. 1 wiih cT«ry niilalile altenlion jt encouik 
a^auttA to b« paid), an Idea of hU pereonal abilitjet ft rctpectablc oonncclioni, 
4U Ml prentit. 

" Knowing'jaar (rWndUitp for. & influence wiihMajorGoIvaniabevenr 
liilmalilc, t ancenly with him. thro jou, lo be pcniuadcd in ailopt kuch a li 
oicoMdactaiwill make him moie agreeable to tbeCorpt at well a< more tcrvicca 
ble ra Ike PnUic — Olherwiw, however tpjendid Mi abililici^ $ military talenl* 
way be. they will be enlitely nielev to bimtalf & the world— Anil in tbc iiaao, 
I (car, 1 >hall be coiii|>tlled lo ^upenede him, in order to )irevent i)ic mo)t d» 
i^neable c<in*eiqu«nce«." 





The accession of Marj^land to the confederation — 
and the relinquishment of the claim of Virginia to 
the Lands west of Ohio, are e%'ents which are exceed- 
ingly pleasing to me. but 1 am not sufficiently 
acquainted with the powers of civil government 
under the present constitutions of the several States 
to determine how far they are able to obtain men for 
the war, or for three years by coercion — nor am I 
enough acquainted with the abilities of them to de- 
clare what sums they ought to have given to soldiers 
under this description, in preference to a draft of men 
for a shorter term ; this, however, I am decided in, 
that the latter is the most expensive, & least effectual 
mode that ever was devised to carry on a war which 
is like to become a war of finance — and that no funds 
within our reach can support it long. I speak upon 
the best ground when I assert this, because no day 
nor hour arrives without bringing with it some evi- 
dence in support of the truth of the observation. To 
this cause also the prolongation of the war, the 
wretched state of our finances, and every capital mis- 
fortune that has befallen us may be traced. 

I as little scruple to add. that unless the powers of 
Congress are made competent to all the purposes of 
war we are doing no more than wasting our time & 
spending our treasure to very little purpose, for it is 
impossible to apply the strength and resources of 
this country while one State complys with, another 
rejects, and the majority of them change or muti- 
late the requisitions of that body — hence the willing 
States are capitally injured, if not mined — hence pro- 




ceed distrust, jealousy, & dissatisfaction, and the 
unpossibilit>' of either projecting or executing (with 
certaintj') any plan whatsoever — hence proceed all 
those delays, which to people at a distance, and un- 
acquainted with circumstances, are altogether unac- 
countable — and hence it is we incur useless expence, 
because we do not bring our force, and means, into 
operation at the same time, some being exhausted, 
before others are obtained. • • « 

We wait with much solicitude advices from the 
southern army ; our last accounts from that quarter 
were less gloomy than the former, but not less equivo- 
cal & distressing. I have heard nothing from Gcnl. 
Greene since the 28th of Feb'y. nor of him (with pre- 
cision) since the 2d InsL Matters were so critically 
circumstanced at that time as to add pain to Impa- 
tience. Equally ignorant, and equally anxious am 1. 
with respect to the French fleet under the command 
of the Chevr. Destouches — no accounts of whom 
have I received (but vague ones through the channel 
of Rivington's Paper) since he left Newport. At 
York Town in Virginia there was no intelligence of 
him on the 15th. 

Private. It is to be lamented, greatly lamented, 
that the French commanders at Newport did not 
adopt the measure of sending the Fleet and a detach- 
m't of their land force to Chesapeake bay when I 
hrst proposed it to them (in the moment I received 
the first cert'n information of the damage done to the 
British at Gardiner's bay). Had the expedition been 
undertaken at that time, nothing could have saved 




Arnold's corps (during the weakened state of the 
British ships) rrom destruction. Instead of this, a 
small detachment oniy was sent from the fleet, which, 
as 1 foretold, would have returned as they went, had 
it not been for the accidental meeting of the Romu- 
lus, and the vessels under lier convoy. But as there 
is no rectifying past errors — and as it is our true 
policy to stand well with friends on whom we so much 
depend, I relate this in confidence.' 

* S«e WathingUm le Reckamifau ja April. 17S1. 

OnMaTch30th,W»hineti>nreceJvedalcItcr written byChevnlier D«itcnicbei 
on ihc IQlIi. Elcuribmi; AB cn{;a|;tii)ciil bclwccii )ii»i I1«et anit Admlnd Arbulh- 
■K>l'iflc«< on the l6th. Thi- British comptiicd tight shipi. and lhr«c frigatcn, 
, whiletbe Frcftch had the same number of thipK. but ■■etc infrrior in weight of 
neui. The enGa^einci]| lie|;]|ii at two o'clock in the afirmoon. and Inslcd for 
mora than an houi. ThcEngtiih then ilrtw oil. and the Frctidi liTiilin^ one of 
that ihipi id I dibtre&scti conililioii. diil nol punue, ami decided thai ii would 
be ineipcilienl 10 cnniinne to Vir);ii<ia, whither the KngiKh hnil gone. Claude 
BUncfaud. the French comniiuiiry, who accompanied ihii dctachmenl wrote 
of this naiftl cnf^enKni; *' What h certain ih thai the Engliiih had the worn 
im lUs kSaii, hjr which, nererthelecs, we did nol profil. because ihe Conquerant 
' ecmtd not repair her damage quickly enough. The capt.tin of thit ihip alH> 
ttlde toooe mlxtakcs in manceuffting, nnd lastly, M. Ilestouchct. who was in 
eMMBBDdfor the lint time, and who had been unexpectedly calleil t" ihia pO'R 
by IIm death of M. de Temay, wa,s afrmid of the court, and did not display all 
the enerjcy chat wat requlalte." Wai^hinglon took hit dinappoinlmenl with 
eoolneuaod good iudgmenl. irriling to Ilcsloudies on Ihe jial : 

" Though you have nol been able to accomplish the object, which you had 
in view, you have merited the ihanlit of every American tiy the bnldneu of Ihe 
atlempt, and by the gallantry and good conduct ditplnyrd through the wholB 
couKC of the ensageroeni. I will confcu to yon. Sir. 1 was never nnguine in 
my ci|>ectalion]i, aflci 1 saw Ihe British fleet follow you so clonely finm Gardi- 
ner's Bay. I knew that the sncoen of the expedition de|«nde<l ainiuti entirely 
■poo your arrivai in the Cheiapeake before Admiral Aibuthnot. a citcumstanee 
in which the windinnd weuther had more inllucnce ihan valor or tkill. Had il 
dipendcd upon the laller, I should have had perfect conlidence, and the event 
las justified my opinion." 

" I'he attempt of the Chcvr. 1 >eslouchei at ihe lime he tailed ua* liold and 
Htlecpriting. F'or Ihii and political rt.-ison«, and because I know it will be 
ftttcfnl lo the French General and admiral, 1 take the liberty of hinting 10 you 

Mrs. Washington makes a tender of her compli- 
ments to yourself and Mrs. Fitzhugh to which please 
to add those of. Dear Sir, &c. 


Nkw Windsor, tb Marcb. ij8i. 

Dear Sir. 

* * * I received with much pleasure the ac- 
count of your recovered health, and sincerely wish it 
may be of long continuance and much usefulness to 
yourself and country-. 

We ought not to look back, unless it is to derive 
useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose 
of profiting by dear bought experience. Toenveigh 
against things that are past and irremediable, is un- 
pleasing; but to steer clear of the shelves and rocks 
we have struck upon, is the part of wisdom, equally 
as incumbent on political as other men, who have 
their own little bark, or that of others, to navigate 
through the Intricate paths of life, or the trackless 
ocean, to the liavcn of security and rest. 

Our affairs are brought to an awful crisis, that the 
hand of Providence, 1 trust, may be more conspicu- 
ous in our deliverance. The many remarkable inter- 
positions of the divine government, in the hours of 
our deepest distress and darkness, have been too 
luminous to suffer me to doubt the happy issue of 

llie |>rupticly (if it It nal alreadj done) of Congress pAftaE diesi « conplUDtnt 
on the occasion. Il m.ijr be n li»|)t)} rflsi.1. whii^ U ihc oa\]r tfoiagf I CM 
oHtt (or Ihe lieedom of ragi^iiiiii; ii," — H-'aiiiiigUti c- Alrtan.{n- iltDtm gal l, 
31 March, 17&I. Tlie French flecl rciurned lo Ncvponon the 36th. 




the present contest"; but the period for its accom- 
plishment may be too far distant for a person of my 
years, whose morning and evening hours, and ever)' 
moment (unoccupied by business), pants for retire- 
ment, and for those domestic and rural enjoyments, 
which in my estimation far surpass the highest pa> 
geantry of this world. * * • 

I am sorry to hear, that the recruiting business in 
your State is clogged with so many embarrassments. 
It is perhaps the greatest of the great evils attending 
this contest, that States as well as individuals had 
rather wish well, than act well ; had rather see a thing 
done, than do it, or contribute their just proportion 
to the doing it. This conduct is not only injurious 
to the common cause, but in the end most expen- 
sive to themselves ; besides the distrusts and jeal- 
ousies, which are sown by such conduct To expect 
brick without straw is idle, and yet I am called upon, 
with as much facility to furnish men and means for 
every service and ever)' want, as if every iota required 
of the States had been furnished, and the whole was 
at my disposal : when the fact is. I am scarcely able 
to provide a garrison for West Point, or to feed the 
men that are there. This, and ten thousand reasons, 
which I could assign, prove the necessity of some- 
thing more than recommendatory powers in Con- 
ress. If that body is not vested with a controuling 
rpower in matters of common concern, and for the 

* ** We liare, u jron very justly i>!ivervc. abundant re*>«iis to Uiank Provi. 
dence for i\■^ many (aTOrnblc inttrpusilion* in our hehalf. Ii has at timev been 
my only dependence, far all oibcr [dources wetnod lo tiavc (aUcil ii»." — 
fVaihiHgten to Wiliiam Gtrthm. 9 March, 1781. 




great purposes of war, I do not scruple to give it de-] 
cidedly as my opinion, that it will be impossible tQJ 
prosecute it to Ttny good effecl. Some States are capi-| 
tally injured, if not ruined, by their own exertions 
and the neglects of others ; while by these irregulari- 
ties the strength and resources of the country never 
are, nor can be, employed to advantage. But I have 
exceeded the bounds of a common letter, and shall 
trespass no longer, than while I can assure you, that 
I am, with every sentiment of esteem, regard, and 
affection, &c. 


Head Quarters. New Wir<i>K», 
a? March. 178I. 

Dear Sir, 

On my return from Newport, I found your favor 
of the 1 6th of Febriiarj' with its inclosures, at Head 
Quarters. I regret exceedingly that I could not have 
the pleasure of seeing you, not only from personal 
motives, but because I could have entered upon the 
subject of your mission in a much more free and full 
manner than is proper to be committed to paper. 

I very early saw the difficulties and dangers to 
which the southern States would be exposed for want 
of resources of cloathing, arms and ammunition, and fl 
recommended magazines to be established, as ample 
as their circumstances would admit. It is true they 
are not so full of men as the northern States, but 
they ought for that reason to have been more assidu- 




ous in raising a permanent force, to have been always 
ready, because they cannot draw a head of men to- 
gether as suddenly as their exigences may require. 
That policy has unhappily not been pursued, cither 
here or there, and we are now suflfering from the 
remnant of a British army what they could not in the 
beginning accomplish with their forces at the highest. 

As your requisitions go to men, arms, ammunition 
and cloathing, I shall give you a short detail of our 
situation and prospects, as to the Brst, and of our 
supplies and expectations as to the three last. 

Men. By the expiration of the times of service of 
the old troops, by the discharge of the levies engaged 
for the campaign only, and by the unfortunate dissolu- 
tion of the Pennsylvanian line. I was left previous 
to the march of the detachment under the command 
of the Marquis de la Fayette, with a garrison barely 
sufficient for the security of West Point, and two 
regiments in Jersey to support the communication 
between the Delaware and North River. The York 
troops I had been obliged to send up for the security 
of the frontiers of that State. Weak, however, as 
we were. I determined to attempt the dislodgment of 
Arnold in conjunction with the French fleet and 
army, and made the detachment to which I have 

In my late tour to the eastward. 1 found the ac- 
counts 1 had received of the progress of recruiting in 
those States, had been much exaggerated ; and I fear 
we shall, in the end, be obliged again to take a great 
proportion of their quotas in levies for the campaign. 




instead of soldiers for three years or for the war. 
The regiments of New York having been reduced to 
two. they have but few infantry to raise. Jersey de- 
pends upon voluntary enlistments upon a contracted 
bounty, and I cannot therefore promise myself much 
success from the mode. The Pennsylvania line you 
know is ordered to compose part of the southern 
army. General Wayne is so sanguine as to suppose 
he will soon be able to move on with 1000 or 1200 
men. but I fancy he rather overrates the matter. 

You will readily perceive, from the foregoing state, 
that there is little probability of adding to the force 
already ordered to the southward. For should the 
battalions from New Hampshire to New Jersey inclu* 
sive be compleated (a thing not to be expected) we 
shall, after the necessary detachments for the frontiers 
and other purposes are made, have an army barely 
sufficient to keep the enemy tn check at New York. 
E.xccpt this is done, they will have nothing to hinder 
them from throwing further reinforcements to the 
southward, and to be obl^ed to follow by land every 
detachment of th^r army, which they always make 
by sea. will only end 10 a pointless dissipation of what 
mfty now be called Uk oorthcni army. You may be 
assured tluu ^e most powerful diversion that can be 
miKic in favor of the southern States, will be a re- 
specUtble force in Uie neighborhood of New York. 
I hftve hithert o been speaking of our own resources. 
SboiM * rewlofcaftent arrive to the French fleet 
mid Anny, dM face of matters may be entirely 




Arms. I do not find that we can. at any rate, 
have more than 3000 stand of arms to spare, perhaps 
not so many ; (or should the battalions which are to 
compose this army be compleat. or nearly so, they 
will take all that are in repair or repairable. The 
2000 stand came in the Alliance from France, and I 
keep them apart for an emergency. 

Ammunition. Our stock of ammunition, though 
competent to the defensive is, by a late estimate of the 
commanding officer of artillery, vastly short of an 
offensive operation of any consequence. Should cir- 
cumstances put it in our power to attempt such an 
one. we must depend upon the private magazines of 
the States, and upon our allies. On the contrary 
should the defensive plan be determined upon, what 
ammunition can be spared will be undoubtedly sent 
to the southward. 

Cloathing. Of cloathing we are in a manner ex- 
hausted. We have not enough for the few recruits 
which may be expected, and except that which has 
been so long talked of and looked for from France 
should arrive, the troops must next winter go naked, 
unless their States can supply them. 

From the foregoing representation you will per- 
ceive that the proportion of the Continental army, 
already allotted to southern service is as much as, 
from present appearances can be spared for that 
purpose, and that a supply of arms, ammunition, or 
cloathing of any consequence, must depend in a great 
measure upon future purchases or importation. 

Nothing which is within the compass of my power 


nmtrrjTGs of 


to ^iw support to the southern 
lar readily conceive how irksome 
^to me CO be called upon for assist- 

noc the means of aifording it. I 


Hud QUABTKHk 'sw WnuMds. 
30 Kafdu tTli. 

E iiave bees honored with your favor of the 22d 
THBCBg i n c hwing the heads of two plans for the incor- 
pmBOamvi the d e p ai t i ue nts of quamrmnster general 
aad-Ciiiiwiiiii iiii 1 General of Purchases and Issues 
3bL Tibat at the Commissary of Prisoners in some 
degitje. the whole CO be under the direction of the 
General. If there is an absolute 
for such, a reform. I do not hesitate in pro* 
in favor of the second plan, because, by it 
cffc three gccsT departments are united under one 
whereas by the first, the commissa- 
ia some measure exists, which would lead to 
.and intricacy in transacting the business. 
Tbe Bosrd are very jnsdy pleased to observe that 
**-ail changes ore not reformations, and that great 
eotcton 'ihould be ased in making them. €sp<ciaUy at 

\ iMMs^ JtmirpiT* lir tb* Bnii*!^ mkI phatcd in dw Srm Y»rk OunXr, 
lt«Sl>lMb«(v<Biiliiilb«i4inaia/X<fufiv, 17S1. 

UttB- allMded to, Mid Cobt vtiIUb bjr mc Id a i^title- 
t MqtpoM mtA b**« beca aa oOcia] one •ddmwd W 
ai Uh Aanahlr o< Vuxioia. to winch mr (Itnation in ounjrrwpMU 
l>ki«l; iMinwrfit. bul fos may be awtrcd tbcra wnv idcu beld «p 
> itM I«^««^£h ■«• br no neaoB sntatnt lo Ibe encmjt. wbich h«ve embai- 
'^^it tfaM inwilinl|. and wUck wjll be ■ loAektil reuoa 10 prevent (heir 
iB of it at big* lo the wocM." — W»ikiMft»» tt Gmml 


th€ opening of a CampmigmS' CoL Pxieri=g has^ I 
should suppose, informed hissse^' of ibe scni^mep is 
of his'deputies upon the |^aa !k hxs prcocsed. otber- 
wise, should it be adopted, h w£Z be 5= ekEt pewrr 
to Bx terms for themselves, oc comfssSas vczjc i-mme- 
diately ensue by the rc^iuiSot] oc al litosc -v^ 
would not undertake an addiricmil Trosrie of cSsx 
without an addition c^ salaiy. Tbe eSec: of -rnSc^ ai 
the present advanced seascoi max easLT be ccocerred 
CEconomy is undoobittilT -dsit swe mccrrt sac end 
of the plan proposed. Xcw if ma: r^-n-.n? be iniro- 
duced, and in a very extensr^ iraj rop. h inll be Tell 
to consider whether we had -do: best begin by lie 
uniting, as fonnerlv, the dejiartmems cf pnmiasmg 
and issuing cnnuni^ary onder ome sei cc ocbcers : far 
as the Board hare again ol»ta-red. double sete of 
officers have been fonnd prodncti-pe of esjtenoe. but 
little or no cJieck upon each odier. By rbe second 
plan, an officer noderiike dxaraner of superintendeni. 
who win be something santilar in dut}- id tlie commis- 
sary of pnnJiascs ai present, is insajtuied He must 
be allowed, it ispiesnined. a certain number of clerks 
or as^stants. The Q uarte r Iij^ster Genera] is also 
to be allowed a suitable number of cko'ks to enable 
him to transact tbe addiidonal load of business throwii 
apOD him. Now before a deJ^rmination is formed. 
let a caknlalian be made of -^at difference of expence 
between a Cammissaiy General '.rf Purchases, widi 
his awi*Jaiitt>, &c, both al fixed posts and v-itb the 
army, and a siqtenDtendent of proi-isions, with his 
clerls and aasistants. and tbe additional nimiber of 
deria acocBary to tbe Q ua r te r m aster General, ^ould 

:tbe management of all the departments. 
IFi^e anniig co the public should not appear very 
by the abolition of the commissariatc 
will it be worth while to risque the mis- 
«bich may arise from an attempt unknown in 
ices ? or will it be worth while to add for a 
to the load of business which, in the embar- 
sQtc of our affairs, presses upon the Quarter 
? For although, as he observes, he already 
care and trouble of drawing from fixed maga- 
all the provision deposited at them, yet he 
vrould 6nd. upon experiment, a thousand little per- 
ptexittcs incident to the Commissarj''s department, of 
\llltkh. perhaps, he is not aware. While I applaud 
the motives on which he offers to undertake the busi- 
MSs^ I cannot help expressing my fears that he is 
oJbout to undertake too much : for I ver)' well know, 
tibstt when our public affairs were in better train, the 
Qijartermastcr General found it sufficiently difficult 
to execute the civil and military duties of his office, 
Aad an active campaign will give htm much more of 
■the latter than he has yet experienced, or may have 
Alt idea of from the inactivity of the last. » • • 


New WptoMR. 4 April, 17S1. 

Drar Sir. 

Every day convinces me, that the enemy are de- 
(rrmined to bend their force against the southern 
States, and that we must support them powerfully 



from this quarter, or they will be lost. Except such 
support is given in time, it will be ineffectual. The 
enemy will not only have established themselves in 
posts, but in the affections of many of the people. 
The Pennsylvania line is already ordt;red to the 
southern army, and will march thither in detaclimt^nt, 
as it is reassembled and recruited. I should not 
hesitate immediately to order a further reinforce- 
ment, could I do it with prudence : but we are so 
extremely weak, (not more than four hundred recruits 
from all the States having yet come in, about ont: 
hundred of which from Massachusetts.) that, although 
the enemy have lately sent off another detachment of 
at least fifteen hundred men under the command of 
General Phillips, I do not think myself justifiable in 
doing it under present circumstances. But. that the 
measure may be adopted as early as possible, I must 
desire and call upon you, in the most positive man- 
ner to send forward every man from Massachusetts 
that you can collect. The urgency of the times re- 
quires that every exertion should be made to check 
the enemy in the rapidity of their progress to the 

You will have heard of the disappointment in the 
expedition against Arnold. General Greene has had 
a general engagement with I-ord Cornwallis,' from 
which, though he suffered a defeat, he might ulti- 
mately derive advantages, had his Lordship no pros- 
pect of fresh succors. But 1 have scarcely a doubt, 

'Tbebuiteof GailfnrdCoDn-IIouM, in Nonh CitoliDa, fonghltm Uie ijlh 



that the detachment under General Phillips is \i 
tended for that quarter. Should they form a junc- 
tion, and 1 see nothing to hinder it. General Greene's 
present force will not enable him to give any eflTectual 
opposition. He had two hundred and ninety out of 
his small body of Continental troops killed, wounded, 
and missing in the late action." You very well knoxv, 
that the collecting militia depends entirely upon the 
prospects of the day. If favorable, they throng in to 
you ; if not, they will not move. _ 

I perceive that you have, by a late public order.V 
detained all the Massachusetts officers, who were 
then in the State ; I suppose, that they might assist 
in bringing forward the levies. You will keep onljn 
as many as are absolutely neccssarj' for that purpose," 
and send the others to their regiments. They are 
exceedingly wanted, there being scarcely a sufficient 
number in camp for ordinary duties. I am, &c 


New Wiki>»ok. 6 April, t] 

Mv Dear Marquis, 

Since my letter to you of yesterday. I have atten- 
tively considered of what vast importance it will be 
to reinforce General Greene as speedily as possible ; 
more especially as there can be little doubt, but the 

' Thin Dumber Included only ihe wililien. By llic :iJiutnm"> celnin Ibere 
were Ato lhir1ir-i>DF officm, <omini>GiDDed and non-coinmiuicaievl. nnil eight 
drummen ind tifcti. imong Ihc killed, wonniled, and miulni;. 

Ocner>] Greene'* oDicial Idler to Co.-i)>rCMt clm-ribin^- thUaclkm vt c 
in th« Kmrmhranttr, vol, xli., p. ]J, 




detachment under General Phillips, if not part of 
that now under the command of General Arnold, 
will ultimately join or in some degree codperate with 
Lord Comwallis. I have communicated to the gen- 
eral officers, at present with the army, my sentiments 
on the subject ; and they are unanimously of opinion, 
that the detachment under your command should 
proceed and join the southern army. Your being 
already three hundred miles advanced, which is 
nearly half way, is the reason which operates against 
any which can be offered in favor of marching that 
detachment back and forming another — a plan which 
I once had in my own mind, as it was hastily formed 
and neither officers or men might have imagined 
they were to leave their corps for so great a length 
of time, but, as matters are circumstanced, private 
inconveniences must give way to the public good 
and you will therefore, immediately upon the receipt 
of this, turn the detachment to the southward. In- 
form General Greene, that you are upon your march 
to join him, and take his direction as to your route, 
when you begin to approach him. Previous to that, 
you will be guided by your own judgment, and by 
the roads on which you will be most likely to find 
subsistence for the troops and horses. It will be 
well to advise Governor Jefferson of your intended 
march through the State of Virginia ; or perhaps 
it might answer a good purpose, were you to go for- 
ward to Richmond yourself, after putting the troops 
in motion and having made some necessary arrange- 
ments for their progress. 




You will now take the light artillery and smallest 
mortars, with their stores and the musket cartridges, 
with you. But let these follow under a proper escort, 
rather than impede the march of the detachment, 
which ought to move as expeditiously as possible 
without injury to them. The heavy artillery and 
stores you will leave at some proper and safe place, 
if it cannot be conveniently transported to Christien 
River, from whence it will be easily got to Philadel- 
phia. You may leave it to the option of Lieutenant* 
Colonel Stevens to proceed or not, as he may think 
proper. His family are in peculiar circumstances, 
and he left it in the expectation of being absent but 
a short time. Should there be other ofificers under 
similar circumstances, you may make them the same 
offers, and they shall be relieved. 

I will now mention to you in confidence the reason, 
which operated with me more than almost any other, 
in favor of recalling your detachment and forming 
another. It was the uneasiness occasioned among 
the field-officers of those reg<menls which furnished 
the men, upon the appointment of Colonel Gimat 
and Major Galvan to commands in the corps. They 
presented a memorial to me upon "the subject, and I 
gave them the true reason, which was, that the regi- 
ments in their lines were so extremely thin of field- 
officers of their own, that necessity, if nothing else, 
dictated the measure. I have heard nothing of the 
discontent lately ; but, should I find it revive again, 
upon its being known that the corps is to continue 
together, 1 shall be obliged, for peace' sake, to 




relieve those two gentlemen by officers properly 
belonging to the lines from which the regiments 
are formed. You will therefore prepare them for 
such an event, and tell them candidly the reasons, 
founded principally upon their having already had 
their tour in the infantry. Should they be relieved, 
they will probably incline to continue with the 
southern army. There is as much or more proba- 
bility of their finding employ there, than with us. as 
we shall from all appearances remain inactive. 

I am. my dear Marquis. &c 


Head Quarters, Nkw Winokor, 
7 April, 1781. 


I have been honored with your Excellency's favor 
of the 31st ulto. Your remarks upon the uncertainty 
of operations which depend upon a combination of 
Land and Sea forces, except there is a decisive 
superiority over the enemy as to the latter, are judi- 
cious, and consonant to the Ideas which I had ever 
entertained upon the subject. 

Upon maturely considering the offer which your 
Excellency has been pleased to make of marching all 
your force to this place, except 1200 Men to be 
aided by 3000 Militia for the security of the Fleet, I 
am of opinion that it ought under present circum- 
stances and appearances to be deferred, as it would 
be putting you perhaps to an unnecessary trouble, 




and would, besides the expences incident to calling 
out so large a body of Militia tend to injure the con« 
pletion of the Continental Battalions by recniits, a^ 
the Militia service is preferred by the pcasantrj- to 
the Continental, the pay being greater the duly less 
— and the discipline more relaxed. My reasons for 
waving your Excellency's offer, at the present time 
are briefly as follow. I do not look upon the French 
troops essentiaity necessary at this place untill an 
operation against New York shall have been dctet^ 
mined upon, or untill we shall have been obliged to 
make so large detachments to the Southward that 
we shall have occasion for them to assist in securing 
the post of West point and its dependencies — the 
communication from the Delaware to the North 
River and affording cover to the Countrj- within 
reach of the enemy's marauding parties. Altho' l_ 
have, upon finding that the enemy have sent a reiti^ 
forcement of about 1500 to the Southward, ordered 
the Marquis de la Fayette to proceed with the 
detachment under his command and join General 
Greene, 1 hope I shall be able, with my remaining 
force and the Recruits which now begin to come in, 
to effect the latter purposes more especially as I can 
upon an emergency, suddenly call in a respectable 
Body of Militia from the Adjacent Country. It does 
not appear to me that an enterprise so weighty as 
that against New York can be decided upon untill 
we hear what reinforcements of Men and Ships may 
be expected from Europe.— I therefore think that 
the troops under your Excellency's command may 





remain in their present position iintill the arrival of 
the Viscount de Rochambeau, which I hope may be 
soon, or some other intelligence from Europe, or till 
Ehe situation of our Southn. Affairs become yet more 
critical. — But as it may have an efTect upon the fears 
of the enemy in New York, and hinder them from 
making further detachments to the Southward I beg 
your Excellency to circulate a report that you are 
soon to join this Army, and to make some demon- 
strations of preparing for a march. 

Indeed the approaching season — if it should not 
be our unhappy lot to spend another inactive cam- 
paign — will wel! warrant every necessary preparation 
lor the field be the theatre of Action where it may ; 
which will not only countenance the report but ac- 
tually facilitate the measure if events should render it 
necessary to carry it into execution which is by no 
means improbable * • • 



HbarQuaiitkrs, New Winixor, 
8 April, 1781. 

The enclosed return, made up to the first of the 
month, will show the number of recruits, which have 
joined this part of the Continental army since the 
formation of it upon the new establishment. My re- 
(juesis to the executives of the several States have 
been earnest, and my orders to the officers in them 
have been pointed and posiiive. to send forward the 
recruits as fast as possible. What to expect, or 




rather to apprehend, from these delays. Congress can 
more easily conceive than I can describe. Some 
States, I am told, despairing of getting their quotas 
for the war. or three years, are resorting to the old 
expedient of temporarj' enlistments, while impedi- 
ments of another kind withhold the recruits from the 
army in others. 

The bare relation of these facts, without combining 
other circumstances of equal magnitude and uncer- 
tainty, or adding to them the difficulties with which 
we are surrounded for want of money, will convince 
Congress of the impracticability of my fixing at this 
time on any definitive plan of campaign, and of my 
inability to carry into effect those, which have here- 
tofore been the objects of contemplation. They will 
readily see, that our future operations depend upon 
contingencies, and that our determinations must be the 
result of the moment, dependent upon circumstances. 

In this view of matters here, the progress of the 
enemy under Lord Cornwallis, and in consideration 
of the reinforcement which has lately gone to him, I 
have judged it expedient to order the Marquis de 
Lafayette to proceed with his detachment to the 
southern army, and put himself under the orders of 
Major-Gcneral Greene. The greatest objection 1 
had to the measure, circumstanced as tilings now are. 
was, that the detachment was not formed for the 
campaign, or for so distant a service as that on which 
they are now ordered ; consequently neither officers 
nor men were prepared for it ; but the urgent calls 
for succor to the southern States, the proximity of 
this corps to them, the expedition with which it can 




join the southern army, and the public expense that 
will be saved by its advance, have overcome all less 
considerations in deciding upon it. I wish the march 
of the Pennsylvania troops could be facilitated, and 
that Moylan's cavalry could be recruited, equipped, 
and marched without delay ; for every judicious offi- 
cer I have conversed with from the southward, and 
all the representations I received from thence, con- 
firm mc in the opinion, that great advantages are to 
be derived from a superior cavalry. Without maga- 
zines, and with an interrupted communication, 1 do 
not see how Lord Cornwallis could have subsisted his 
army, had we outnumbered him in horse. 

I think it my duty to inform Congress, that there 
is great dissatisfaction at this time in the York line 
for want of pay. Near sixteen months', I am told, is 
due to it. If it were practicable to give these and the 
Jersey troops, if they are in the same predicament, a 
small portion of their pay, it might stop desertions, 
which are frequent, and avert greater evils, which are 
otherwise to be apprehended. The four eastern 
States have given a temporary relief to their troops, 
which makes the case of the others, those of York 
particularly, appear more distressing and grievous to 
them. I have the honor to be, &c.' 


Nkw WiNnsoR, I] April, 1781. 

Mv Dear Laurens. 

Colo. Armand, who was charged with the delivery 
of many letters to you from the Marquis de Lafay- 

* Rtad in Con|;re»!:, Tl April, 17S1. 



ette, imparting to his friends and the ministry of 
France your mission, unfortunately arrivedat Boston 
after you had Sailed. By him I gave you an acct of 
the revolt of part of the Jersey Troops, Arnold's 
Expedition to Virginia. Leslie's arrival at Charles 
Town, and such other matters as occurred after your 

Since that period several interesting events have 
happened ; some favorable, others adverse. Among 
the first may be reckoned Morgan's brilliant action 
with Tarleton ; among the latter, the advantages 
gained by Lord Cornwallis over General Greene. 
The official accts. of these I enclose to you. Corn- 
wallis, after the defeat of Tarleton. destroyed his 
wagons, and made a violent effort to recover his 
prisoners, but, failing therein moved equally light 
and rapidly against General Greene, who. (though 
he had formed a junction with Morgan.) was obliged 
to retreat before him into Virginia. Whether from 
despair of recovering his prisoners, of bringing 
Greene to a general action, or because he conceived 
his own situation critical, I do not take upon me to 
determine ; but the fact is. that here commenced 
Cornwallis' retrograde movements, and Greene's 
advance from the Roanoke to the place of action. 

On the first notice of the storm, which happened 
on the 32d of jany., and of its effects, I intimated to 
the French Genl. the possibility and importance of 
improving the opportunity in an attempt upon Ar- 
nold. When I received a more certn. acct of the 
total loss of the Cullodcn, and the dismasting of the 

Bedford, two 74-gun ships belonging to the British 
Fleet at Gardiner's Bay. I immediately put in motion, 
under thecomd. of ye Marqs. de Lafayette, as large a 
part of my small force here, as I could with prudence 
detach,' to proceed to the Head of Elk, and made 
with all expedition, a proposal to the Count de Ro- 
chambeau and the Chevr. Destouches for acofiperation 
in Virginia with the whole of the fleet of our allies 
and a part of their land force. Before my proposi- 
tion arrived, in consequence of an application to him 
from Philadelphia, the Chevr. Destouches had sent a 
ship of the line and two or three frigates to Chesa- 
peake Bay, which not only retarded the plan I had 
proposed (by awaiting their return), but ultimately 
defeated the project : as the enemy in the mean time 
remasted the Bedford with those taken out of the 
Culloden, and, following the French fleet, arrived off 
the Capes of V^irginia before it ; where a naval com- 
bat, glorious for the French, who were inferior in 
ships and guns, but unpro6tabIe for us. who were 
disappointed of our object, was the issue. 

T/te failure of this expedition, whichwas most fiat- 
tering in the commencement, is much to be regretted ; 
because a successful blow in that garter would, in all 
pro6a6ility, have given a decisive turn to our affairs 
in all the Soutltcrn Stales ,- because it has been at- 
tended with considerable expense on our pari, and 
much inconvenience to the State of Virginia, by the 
assembling of its militia : because the world are disap- 
pointed at not seeing A mold in Gibbets ; and, above all, 

' Tbe iulicut«d p«rt» of Ihi* leltsr w«re written in CTphcr. 





because we stood in need of something to keep us afioat-, 
till the resitlt of your mission is known ; for, be as- 
sured, my dear Laurens, thai day does nolfoUow night 
more certainly, than it brings with it some additional 
proof of the impracticability of carrying on the war 
without t/ie aids you were directed to solicii. As an 
Iwncst and candid man, as a man whose all depends on 
the final and hap^ termination of the present contest, 
I assert this, while I give it decisively as my opinion, 
that, without a foreign loan, our present force, (which 
is but tlu remnant of an army,} cannot be kept to^^ 
gether this campaign, much less will it be increased and 
in readiness for another. ^ 

The observations contained in my letter to you of th^^ 
i$th of yanuary last are verified every moment; and, if 
France delays a timely and powerful aid in this critical 
posture of our affairs, it will avail us nothing, should 
she attempt it hereafter. IVe are at this hour suspended 
in the Halle. ; not from choice, but from hard and absolute 
necessity ; for you may rely on it as a fact, that we cannot 
transport the provisions from the States in which they 
are assessed to the army, because we cannot pay the team- 
sters, who will no longer work for certificates. It is 
equally certain, that our Troops are approaching fast to 
nakedness, and that we have nothing to cloatke them 
toith : t/iat our Hospitals are without medicines and our 
sick without nutriment except such as well men eat ; 
That all our public works are at a stand, and the artifi- 
cers disbanding. But why need I run into the detail, 
when it may be declared in a word, that tue are ai the 
end of our tether, and thai now or never our deliverance 




must come. While, alas, how easy would it he to retort 
the enemy's own game upon them, if it could be made to 
comport with the gent, plan of the xuar to keep a superior 
Fleet always in these Seas, and France would put us in 
a conditn. to be aetlve fy advancing us money. The ruin 
(^ t/ie enemy's schemes would t/ien be certain; the bold 
game they are noiv playing wou/d be the mean to effect it ; 
for they would be reduced to the necessity of concentring 
itheir force at capital points, thereby giving up all the 
adoantages they liave gairud in the Southern States, or 
be vulnerahle everywltere. 

Such of the Pensylvania line, as had reassembled 
and were recruited, say about i,ooo, were ordered, 
the middle of Feby., to join the Southern army ; and 
since the disappointment of oiir enterprise against 
Arnold, I have directed the detachment under the 
comd. of the Marqs. de Lafayette to proceed thither ; 
hut how either can march, without money or credit, is 
more than J can tell. With every wish for your 
success, and a safe and speedy return, and with every 
sentiment of esteem and affection, I am, dear Sir, 
&c • • * 


Hbad Quakteks, Nbw Win»»oii. 
5m lo April, 17S1. 

I had the pleasure of receiving your Excellency's 
letter of the 6th instant only two hours ago. We 
are greatly indebted to the Chevalier Destouches for 
the disposition he shows to undertake the expedition 
to Penobscot, and to you for your readiness to fur- 




ntsh a detachment of troops for the same purpose.B 
The object is certainly worth attention, and if it 
can be effected will be ver>' agreeable to the States, 
particularly to those of the East. M. Destouches 
can best judge, from the situation of the enemy's 
fleet, how far it may be attempted with prudence ; 
and your Excellency, from the information you have 
recently received, what number of troops will be 
sufficient for the enterprise. I am persuaded it will 
be calculated how far it is probable the enemy may 
follow with a part of their fleet ; whether the post 
can be carried by a coup tie main, or may require so 
much time as to make it likely the operation will be 
interrupted before its conclusion, in case of a superior 
squadron being sent by the enemy ; what possibility 
there is of protection, or a safe retreat for the ship$,fl 
and even for the land force, through an unsettled 
countr)'. All these are points too important not to 
Iiave been well weighed, and your conversations with 
the Massachusetts deputies will have been able to 
enlighten you upon them. ^| 

The confidence I have in your judgment assures 
to you the concurrence of my sentiments, in what- 
ever you may do on the occasion. I will only take 
the liberty to remark two things ; one, that it ap- 
pears to me frigates, without any ships of the line, 
will answer the purpose as well as with them, ands 
less will be risked by dividing the body of the fleet.S 
Frigates, (including the forty-fours,) will afTord a 
safe escort to the troops against any thing now 
those seas, and with respect to a detachment fro 



the enemy's fleet, it would always be proportioned 
to the force we should send, and if we have two 
sixty-fours, they would even be an object for their 
whole fleet. The other observation I would make is 
that as despatch is essential to success, it will in my 
opinion be advisable not to depend on any coopera- 
tion of the militia, but to send at once such a force 
from your army, as you deem completely adequate 
to a speedy reduction of the post 

The countrj' in the neighborhood of Penobscot is 
too thinly inhabited to aflbrd any resource of militia 
there ; and to assemble and convey them from 
remote places would announce your design, retard 
your operations, and give leisure to the enemy to 
counteract you. Indeed, I would recommend, for 
the sake of secrecy, to conceal your determination 
from the State itself. These hints you will be pleased 
to make use of only so far as they appear to be well 
founded. 1 have the honor to be, &c.' 

P. S. I enclose a piece of intelligence just 
received from the President of Congress. 

' Tbc BrilUh had cooirived to keep a fotlificd poii at Penobicot, which >l 
lltii lime conUincd * fpLfiinoa of about Ihiee hundred and fifty men. The 
Counci] of HiMachukcttt thought n good opporEuniiy now prctcntnl itielf, 
wUIe the Britiih fleet woi in the Chesapeake, lo employ the idle hour* of the 
Frcn^ in an enterprise a)(Unit I'cnobtcot. Ptoposub to that eHecl were 
made Uiniugh a Jeputalion. :tn(l acccpleil. M. Dcoouohn agreed to fuiniih 
two ilily.foBn, iwo frigates, and a smaller vesiel, nnd prepantiont were 
inmoiliatcly bq^un. A land force of nt hundred men wu offered by Count 
it Rochantbeau. and also four raortan, and (our twenty- ton r-poundi^n. The 
Chevalier de Chaitellux wu to cummand. At Bitt it uai expected that 
Ussuchuieltk wouhl fiimlKh militia ; but thii part nf the plan was (riven up, 
aad Count de Rochambeaii proposed lo cnlaige hi-i force to eight hundred men. 
After an the arrangemenli had been put in train, the project was Gnally 
■fcaadooed, in conneijuence «l the apprehenaiou of M. Detloucbe*. that a 






It Apnl, 1781. 

Mv Dear Marquis, 

Your favor dated at Elk the 8th instant reached 
me at ten o'clock last evening. While I i,'ive you 
credit for the manceuvre by which you removed the 
British ships from before Annapolis, 1 am sorry, as 
matters are circumstanced, that you have put your- 
self so much further from the point, which now of 
necessity becomes the object of your destination. 
Whether General Phillips remains in Virginia or 
goes further southward, he must be opposed by a 
force more substantial than militia alone : and you 
will for that reason immediately open a communica- 
tion with General Greene, inform him of the num- 
bers, situation, and probable views of the enemy in 
Virginia, and take his directions as to marching for- 
ward to join him, or remaining there to keep a watch 
upon the motions of Phillips, should he have formed 
a junction with Arnold at Portsmouth. 

Everj-' difficulty, so far as respects the wants of the 
officers and men, and the uneasinesses, which might 
arise upon their being ordered upon a more distant 
ser\'ice than they expected, were foreseen, and would 
have been removed by recalling the detachment and 
forming another, had not the reasons of a public na* 
ture, which were mentioned in my letter of the 6thi 
outweighed all private considerations. 

'upcrinr Brilibh iiaml force wnulil come u|)i>ii hoine p«rt» of tib aqnaibM 
while in ■ Jividcil Mate. — MS, ttUrri 9/ Katiamtfau a»4 Deiltmhti, April 
6lh, 7th. i;th. 






You must endeavor to get shoes which will be essen- 
tially necessary before you can move from Philadel- 
phia; and, if you will cause a return to be made of 
such articles, as will probably be wanting in the course 
of the campaign, I will endeavor to fonvard them from 
hence, with a proportion of any stores, which may have 
been sent on by the States for their troops. If the 
officers will write back lo their friends here for any 
additional baggage, of which they may stand in need, 
it shall be forwarded under careful conductors. The 
difficulties, which you will experience on the score of 
provision and transportation, would have been com- 
mon to any other body of troops. They will I know 
be great, but I depend much upon your assiduity and 

Had I have had the most distant prospect of such 
an operation as you speak of, I should have looked 
upon your detachment as essential to the undertak- 
ing ; but I can assure you, without entering into a 
detail of reasons, which I cannot commit to paper, 
that I have not at present an idea of being able to 
effect such a matter.' This had very considerable 
weight in the determination of the general officers 
and myself ; for we would have been very happy in 
an opportunity of succoring the southern states by a 
diversion, could it have been attempted with any 
tolerable hope of success. 

The small remains of the Jersey line seem neces- 
sary to form a head, to which the recruits, if any are 
obtained, may unite themselves. That line stands 

' An allcmiil upon New York, 




next for detachment, and therefore it is more than 
probable that it may soon become necessary to send] 
the whole to the southward. But the reason, whic 
I have just mentioned, operates in favor of kcepin 
the remainder as long as possible. I shall be glai 
to hear from you, the time of your setting out' 
from Elk, your prospects of getting on and the 
temper of the troops ; and, above all, I shall ever 
be happy in knowing that you are well, and that 
every thing contributes to your happiness and 
isfaction, being very truly and sincerely, my d 
Marquis, &c. 

P. S. You seem aware of the danger of attempting 
a passage down the Chesapeak by water. I will add 
my opinion that it is not on any account to be 



New Windsor, i6 April. 17B1. 


Previous to the receipt of your letter,' I had directed] 
the commissary of prisoners to renew a proposal, 
which was some time since made to the enemy, forj 
exchanging General Burgoyne, and a balance of prt> 

' Prttiitnl ef Cmigrrii ft» Gfiurol tVaskiigMit .• " I h«»e the honor of 
tnnnniltinE lo yout Eicell«acy ibe cndoted raalve o( the yA Intilml, direcb. 
ing lh« r«ctI1 of I.ietiteiianl.Gcnenl Burgoyne, and all otfarr officm. piiionen 
of wai. now abtcnl on Iheir patolti from AmCTiei. to ictiun inuncdialcly. 

" ll fi proper to inform your FjccUency, Ihnt thit icKilulioa U Kloptcd 
ill con*et|U«nvc ol informitiloii, Ihat the Utc Pmiilml Lnurcni is confined in 
Ih« Tower of London, .l^ a ilaie criminal, under ptciexl of hii bcbg enilty ol 
ircatonable practices. Should ihit re*o1ulion cmbairaai or imptij« any oiMh. 





vate prisoners due to us, for the residue of our officers 
on Long Island, and as many of the southern officers 
as would make up the difference. My motives for 
this proposal were these. General Burgoync is said 
to be in ill health ; his death would deprive us in 
exchanges of the value of one thousand and forty 
private men, or officers equivalent, according to the 
tariff which has been settled. I thought it advisable 
not to risk so considerable a loss, when his exchange 
would give relief to a number of our officers in cap- 
tivity, and disembarrass the public of the incon- 
venience of maintaining them there. 

The moment 1 received your letter. I wrote to Mr. 
Skinner, countermanding his instructions. 1 believe 
the countermand will arrive before he has done any 
thing in the matter ; but if it does not, I am per- 
suaded the enemy will again reject the proposal. As 
soon as I hear from him, if things are situated as I 
expect, I will execute immediately the order for the 
recall of General Burgoyne. To the best of my 
recollection, all the officers in Europe on parole have 
been exchanged. I have the honor to be, &c. 

im jrour Eicclleacy may lnvt Klopletl tclali>s or piepantlory tu a ([eneral 
achan)>c o( pritonen. ii is utken for granicd thai yon wUl pleotc to repfcseni 
lit* Mflic lo Congrcu, prtvionhly (n any pracreilingk for orrytng the rmolvc 
iMo ex Nation ." — A[iril Jth. 

Nttticc of the ftbCfTe nquintion wu act^ordin^ly cDinmuniMIcd lo Sir Henry 
Clinton by G«nenl Wiiihingian, wiili n ie<]uc<t ihai (lie nvccssnty >\tfi, might 
be taken for a tpecdy ctnn pi ionic with il. In tun sequence of the fact made 
kiuvn hy Gcnerjil Wuhingion, that he had proposed an e»ch»nge for Gen- 
eral Burijoyne. C»ngrei<> [ttHndeit iheir tetolve teyjieelln^ his recall, and 
•Mborucd lli« eichange <o be compleied. — SrtTrt ymintah. April sjd. Uen- 
eral Clinton wai then rc(|Ueite>t lo connlemiand the order, il tl had already 
ti*rn tratURiltted tn Bneland. 





Nkvf Winusos, iS April, 1781. 

Mv Dear Sir, 

Your private letter of the i8th ulto. came safe to 
hand." Altho" the honors of the field did not fall to 
your lot, I am convinced you deserved them. The 
chances of war are various, and the best concerted 
measures, and the most flattering prospects, may and 
often do deceive us ; especially while we are in the 
power of militia. The motives wch. induced you to 
seek an action with Lord Cornwallis, are supportable 
upon the best military principles ; and the conse- 
quences, if you can prevent the dissipation of your 
Troops, will no doubt be fortunate. Every support, 
that it is in my power to give you from this army, 

^ Frvm GrtteraiCrtfHf'i Ltltrr : "Out (orcc, a» you will icc by Ac returat, 
wai retpcctable. anil Ihe )>iobahiliiy a( noi hriti); ntilr (o kc«|> A long in t)i« 
Gtld. incl the difficulty of nibiLiliiig men in Ibit nhauiied ccmntty, together 
with the jcrcit adv«jita|[e* which uould rciull from ihe action. If wc wecc vlc- 
torioiii^. >ii>1 the Utile Injury 11 otherwise, (1rirrmlne<l mc to bring on >d action 
Bi toon ■! puuible. When both parliei aie agtppd in a mutter, al! obitaclet 
are loon lemoved. I ihought the detenniiutrion wimoted by Ihe toundcil 
principles of gaoA policy, and t hope the event will prove it mi, though w« 
were unfortunnlf . 1 regret nothing to much u the Ioh of my utiUciT'. though 
it was of Utile me to ui. Dor can it be. in this ({Teal wildcmeu. However, 1 
the enemy lia*e il. wc murt «1»0. 

" t am happy to hear the Martjuii de Lafayette ix tmnin^ lo Virsinui ^ 
though I am afraid, from a hint in one of Baion Steuben'* letlen. that he will 
think hl[n<irll iniiired iu beinit iu[ivrM'di-d m (he command. Could the Marqni* 
join ui at tbii moment, we should have ■ glorious campaign. It would piH 
Lord Cornwallis and hit whole army Into our hanila, 

" I nm aUo happy to hear that the I'ennsylvania line is coming to the loalb- 
ward. The mutiny in that line was a very eitraordlnary one. It U reported 
Jiete to have proceeded from the freat ciucliy of the oRicen. A noiebn el 
Congr«9B writM ihi> ; but I belice it to be 10 (at from Uie (ruth, that I an 
pemiaded it originated tntber through indulgence, than la any other cauae."- 
MS. Lttttr, Ciimf, Un Mihi /rem (Suiljtrd Ciiurt.Hma, M»rcfa i8tb. 


shall chearfully be afforded ; But if I part with any 
more Troops, I must accompany them, or have none 
to command, as there is not at this moment more 
than a garrison for West Point, nor can I tell when 
there will be. 

I am much pleased to And by your letter, that the 
State of Vii^inia exerts itself to your satisfaction. 
My public and private letters strongly inculcate the 
necessity of this; and I have again urged Congress 
to use ever)' possible mean in their power to facilitate 
the march of the Pensylvania line ; as also to recruit, 
equip, and forward Moylan's Dragoons to you with 

I should be very sorry on any occasion to hurt the 
feelings of the Baron de Steuben, whom I esteem as 
a very valuable officer. But in the instance you have 
mentioned, there is no cause of complaint; for, if he 
will advert to his own letters to me, he will find that 
there was a great probability of his having marched 
with a detachment to reinforce you. Besides which 
there was a necessity for sending a Genl. officer with 
the detachment from hence, and political considera* 
tions, as it was to be a combined operation (depend- 
ing upon critical circumstances) with a French land 
and sea force, pointed to the Marquis. Add to this 
I know that the French Troops were to be com- 
manded by an officer of senior rank to either the 
Baron or Marquis, These are the facts, the knowl- 
edge of which must, I am persuaded, satisfy the 

1 am truly sensible of the merit and fortitude of 




the veteran bands under your Command, and wis 
ye sentiments I entertain of their worth could be 
communicated with the warmth I feel them. It was 
my full intention to have requested you to thank 
Morgan and the gallant Troops under his commd. 
for their brilliant victory ; but the hurry, in which 
my letters are too often written, occasioned the 
omission at the time I acknowledged the official 
account of that action. ^ 

Your conjecture respecting the cause of the P. — ^ 
M — y ■ has more substantial ground for its support, 
than the letter of the m. of C. ; and I am mistaken 
if the licentious conduct of that line was not more 
the effect of an overcharge of spirits, on the ist of 
January, than of premeditated design. 

I have the pleasure to tell you, that, as far as I am 
acquainted with the opinion of Congress with respect 
to your conduct, it is much in your favor. That this 
is the sentiment of all the Southern delegates 1 ha%-e 
great reason to believe, because I have it declared to 
me in explicit terms by some of them. Since writing 
the above I have reed, a letter from Mr. Custis. dated 
the 29th ulto., in which are these words. "Genl. 
Greene has by his conduct gained universal esteem, 
and possesses in the fullest degree the confidence 
of all ranks of people." He had then just returned 
from the Assembly at Richmond. 1 hope the dis- 
order, of which you complained, in your letter of the 
1 8th was no other than the effect of over fatigue, and 
that you are now perfectly well. That success equal_ 

' Mutiny of th« Penntylnnia lin«. 

to your merits and wishes may attend you, is the 
ardent desire of, dear Sir, &c. 

P. S. Mrs. Washington and the rest of the family 
present their best wishes to you, and I have the 
pleasure to tell you that Mrs. Greene and your chil- 
dren were well lately. Your letters to her under 
cover to me are regularly forwarded by the Post. 


Hkai>.Quaktsr9, at April, 1781. 
Mv Dear Marquis, 

Though the situation of southern affairs would not 
permit me to recall your corps to this army, yet it 
was with great reluctance 1 could resolve upon seeing 
you separated from head-quarters. My friendship for 
you makes me desirous of having you near me, and 
there will occur frequent occasions in cooperative 
measures in which it would be of the greatest utility 
I should have it in my power to consult you. These 
motives would have induced me to propose to you to 
return personally to head-quarters, had I not believed 
you would not have chosen to quit your corps, and 
had 1 not foreseen a difficulty in giving you a com- 
mand in the remaining troops. A select corps you 
could not have, and there are so many major-generals, 
who conceive themselves in a manner wedded to the 
different lines, and who are to be provided for. that 
it would not be easy at present to accommodate mat- 
ters to your having a command in the line. But this 
difficulty might be overcome, and I cannot forbear, 




late as it is, leaving it at your option to proceed with 
your corps or return personally to head-quarters. If 
the last should be your choice, you will give orders to 
the officer you leave in command to march with all 
the necessary precaution, and take the orders of the 
Baron de Steuben. You will at the same time write 
to the Baron, communicating to him your instructions, 
and to General Greene, informing him of your return. 
If you resolve to proceed forward, I shall have one 
consolation, which is, that from the present aspect of 
things it is perhaps most probable the weight of the 
war this campaign will be in the southern States, and 
it will become my duty to go there in person, where 
I shall have the pleasure of seeing you again. Of 
this I would not have you to say any thing. * 


Nbw Wikcmob, n April, 

My Dear Marquis: 

Since writing the enclosed your several letters (ac- 
knowledged in my public one of this date) are come 
to hand — all of them except that of the 12th arrived 
at Hd. -Quarters within the course of one hour. The 
reasons assigned in some of your letters, and others 
which have occurred to me, chiefly of a political 
nature, assure me that great advantages will be de- 
rived from your being wherever the French army and 
the American head-Quarters are. I therefore not 
only repeat the offer contained in the enclosed letter, 
but accompany it with a wish, that you may return. 




if you can consistently with your own inclination re- 
linquish your present command for the prospects I 
have mentioned ; not else, as it always has been and 
ever will be my wish to make things as agreeable to 
you as the nature of the service will admit. To recall 
the detachment I cannot, for reasons which in my 
judgment are conclusive. The accidents to which 
letters are liable forbid me, unless I could write to 
you in cipher, to go into a full explanation of some 
matters, wch. you seem not to be well informed, and 
wch. I wish to set you write in ; but I dare not at- 
tempt it in a common letter, nor will there be any 
necessity for it if you return. 

I am very sorry, that any letter of mine should be 
the subject of public discussion, or give the smallest 
uneasiness to any person living. ' The letter, to which 
I presume you allude, was a confidential one from me 
to Mr. Lund Washington, (with whom I have lived 
in perfect intimacy for near 20 Years.) 1 can neither 
avow the letter, as it is published by Mr. Rivington, 
nor declare that it is spurious, because my letter to 
thisgentn. was wrote in great haste, and no copy of it 
taken. All I remember of the matter is, that, at the 
time of writing it. I was a good deal chagrined to 
find by your letter of the 15th of March, {from York 

' LafeytHi Af Waikingten : " A Idler fram you. relaling lo the (kliyt of 
the French, makes t grcttl noise at Philaiielphta. tndetd, it gives me pain on 
fnuiy polllica.! accounts. There uc many coniidenllal communications, which 
>ou unce requested from me. and uhich my peculiar ;>nn wilh holh si'lcs 
o( the al!i»nee would enable me to mnke : but having been ordered from you. 
uid many ihingt 1 had loiay not being o( a nature, which would render it pru- 
dent lo commit them to paper. Ihcte personal wrviccA muni lie out of ihc i|ue»- 
lion so long B> the war continues in Carolina." — SasqHriantta Ftrry, April ijih. 





Town in Vii^inla,) that the French fleet had not a' 
that time appeared within the Capes of the Chesa- 
peake ; and I meant (in strict confidence) to expre: 
my apprehensions and concern for the delay. But as 
we know that the alteration of a single word does 
oftentimes divert the sense, or give force to expres- 
sion, unintended by the letter-writer, I should not be 
surprised at Mr. Rivington, or the Inspector of his 
Gazette, having taken this liberty with the letter in 
question ; especially as he or they have. I am told, 
lately published a letter from me to Govr. Hancoc 
and his answer, which never had an existence but i 
the Gazette. That the enemy fabricated a number 
of Letters for me formerly is a fact well known ; that 
they are not less capable of doing it now. few will 
deny. As to his asserting, that this is a genuine copy 
of the original, he well knows that their friends do 
not want to convict him of a falsehood, and that ours 
have not the opportunity of doing it, though both 
sides are knowing to his talents for lying.' 

The event, which you seem to speak of with regret, 
my friendship for you would most assuredly have 
induced me to impart to you in the moment it hap- 
pened, had it not been for the request of H . who 

desired that no mention might be made of it. Wh 
this injunction on me, while he was communicatin 





> A mail had liccii inieTC*i>(cd and curicd into New Voik. in which wu i 
prinlc lettir. tialoil March sSth. Erom General Wuhtngtou to Lund Waih- 
inglon It Mouni Vcraon. That IcKcr nai printed in Kiviiigtun'i C^ulU, 
4 April, 17S1. The paiaeraph complained of was subilantialty thai contained 
In (he letler lo Wilham Fitthugk, 15 Match, 1781, aHtt, and occuis in a Dum- 
ber of Wiahtngton'i letten to hi* hiendi. 




it himself, is a little extraordinar>'. But I complied, 
and religiously fulfilled it.' With ever)' sentiment of 
faffectionate regard, I am, &c. 

This letter wch. you say has made much noise, I 
enclose you lest you may not have had it from any 
other Quarter. 



Hui> QuARTUs. Nkw Winvsok, 
32 April, 17S1. 

Mv Deak Marquis, 

X have received your several letters of the I ith, 
I2th, two of the 13th, and two of the 15th. 1 am ex- 
tremely concerned at the temper of your detachment, 
and the desertions that are taking place. I imagine 
however that these would have been nearly as great 
in any other corps that might have been sent, and, 
after the Pennsylvania line, I think it would be ineli- 
gible to detach any other State line. We find by 
experience, that they are not only dissipated on the 
march, but. being at a great distance from their 
States, are almost entirely neglected. Few recruits 
arc raised for them, and these few are lost on the 
way. We see how totally the Maryland line has de- 

' Allwiint; to a )ieiv>iiHl illffcience Ihat had nccum^d belireen Wuhiiiglan 
•ndhu ude-dc-camp Colonel Hamilloii. Tlie |iuTticiiIui niij b« tc«u in lli« 
WtAiof AUxamite Hamilton (Lodgc'i edilion), vni., 35. 

Frvm LafayrlU't Lftltr : "Coiuidcrlni; the (oollnij; 1 am upon with jour 
EidllcDcjr, i< would p«rliiips>ppearto yoD itraagc, thai I never ni<ntiuii«il • 
(iicuaiiAiicc, whith lately ha[ipencd In your rimily. I wa,i ih« firil who kncvr 
oHl. tad (toid that niomtnt exortoil c««ry luMiii, in my power lo preveni » »e|v 
intiun. which I knevH-tt not agrecaliU to yeur Excellency, To thit mcatiir^ I 
mpionipied t>y aftcciion for you ; bnt 1 thought It wm imptDper 10 tneniion 
"Jthing about it. until ymi wcr« pl*M«cl (o imjiart it la me." — April isth. 




dined, and how little is doing to reestablish it ; a line 
formerly among the most numerous and respectable 
in the army. Our plan at present appears to me to 
be to commit the defence of the southern States to 
the Stales as far as Pennsylvania inclusive, and to 
make up any additional succors, that may be neces- 
sary by detachment. We must endeavor to com- 
pensate these detachments for the loss of State 
supplies by giving them a larger proportion of Conti- 
nental. On this principle I am sending you articles 
mentioned in the enclosed list ; twelve hundred shirts, 
twelve hundred linen overalls, twelve hundred pairs 
of shoes, twelve hundred pairs of socks, and one 
hundred hunting-shirts, which set out two days ago 
from this place. I have also urged the Board of 
War to do their best for you. • * • 

It appears to me extraordinary, that your advices 
should have given you an idea so different from the 
whole complexion of the intelligence I had received, 
concerning the probability of a certain event.' This, 
and the situation of our own force, have induced me 
to regard it as barely possible ; too precarious to enter 
far into our dispositions; possible only in a case, 
which we are not authorized to expect will happen.* 
I dare not trust the details on which this opinion is 
founded to paper. 

' An aitukupon New York. Colonel Iauriw wrote from Pmic, on tbetilk 
of Apiil. thai "Uie mlnlilry did not Mrm to tpiirovc o( (he d^e of New Voi% 
u >n Mpciaiioii l»r iha enauing campiign." The Icltci con lain iag Ihii intelli- 
gence tould nol hare been received by Waahington at ihc date of tbe abof« to 

* The coming of tbe lecond Franch division. 


The danger to the southern States is immediate 
and pressing. It is our duty to give them support 
The detachment with you, all circumstances consid- 
ered, was the most proper for the purpose. The 
project General Greene has lately adopted, adds a 
particular motive to continuing its destination. It 
is essential to him, that Phillips should be held in 
check ; and we cannot wholly rely on militia for this. 
As to a transportation by water, while the enemy 
commands the Chesapeake and Cape Fear. I do not 
see how it is practicable. The only cause of hesitation 
in my mind, about sending your corps to the south- 
ward, was a separation from you. I refer you to private 
letters accompanying this, one written previous to the 
receipt of your last, the other subsequently. As to 
our force here, you know what it was when you left 
us. and you will know what it is now. when I tell 
you that we have as yet received but few recruits. 
The enemy's present force of regular troops at New 
York is near seven thousand. I shall recommend 
Major Macpherson, as you request, to General Greene. 
Present my warmest thanks to that officer and assure 
him of the sense I have of his services. • • • 

I am, my dear Marquis. &c. 


Dear Sir *'** wwuKm. 17 Apni, 1781. 

I Your letter of this date has not a little embarrassed 
me.' You must remember the ferment in the Penn- 

Hating received > commisiion in the samy o( ih* Uniied States, in CMue< 




sylvania line the last campaign, occasioned by the ap- 
pointment of Major Macphcrson, and you know the 
uneasiness which at this moment exists among the 
eastern troops on account of the commands conferred 
upon Colonel Gimat and Major Galvan, although it 
was the result of absolute necessity. 

Should circumstances admit of the formation of 
another advanced corps, of which I see verj" little 
prospect from present appearances, it can be but 
small, and must be composed almost entirely of east- 
ern troops : and to add to the discontents of the of- 
ficers of those lines by the further appointment of an 
officer of your rank to ye command of it, or in it, 
would, I am certain, involve me in a difficulty of a 
very disagreeable and delicate nature, and might per- 
haps lead to consequences more serious than it is 
easy to imagine. While I adhere firmly to the right 
of making such appointments as you request, I am at 
the same time obliged to reflect, that it will not do to 
push that right too far. more especially in a service 
like ours, and at a time so critical as the present. 

I am convinced, that no officer can with justice dis- 
pute your merit and abilities. The opposition here- 
tofore made has not been for the want of those 
qualifications in the gentlemen, who .ire and have 
been the objects of discontent. The officers of the 
line contend, without having reference to particular 
persons, that it is a hardship and reflection upon them 
to introduce brevet officers into commands, (of some 

qucDW d( ■ itvolulion of Congct-o (or cranliog commisaion* 10 aida-dc.c«inp. 
Colonel Xnmilton ftpjdicd (or ACIual cmploymenl In a light ciir]it. He w>» nol 
now ui ■l(le-dc-cdni;i. 

permanency), in which there are more opportunities of 
distinguishing themselves, than in the line of the army 
at Jarge. and with the men they have had the trouble 
to discipline and prepare for the field. 

My principal concern arises from an apprehension, 
that you will impute my refusal of your request to 
other motives, than those I have expressed ; but I 
beg you to be assured 1 am only influenced by the 
reasons which 1 have mentioned. I am, dear Sir, 


Hud QoARTEas. New Winosos, 
30 April, 1781. 


I assure your Excellency, that I feel extreme pain 
at the occasion of that part of your letter of the 26th 
instant, which relates to an intercepted letter of mine 
published by the enemy.' I am unhappy that an ac- 

■ Afi«r quotinf; the extract tiom the letter Ui Lund Wuhinpon. Count d( 
Rochambou Mid : 

" If this wu EciUy written by your EicclIcDcy. 1 shall beg lotve 10 otucrre, 
ihti the muliof thU leHedlnn wouM tccnt to he, thni we have had httt the 
cboicc ol two cxpeilitiooE propoMd, and that we haie preferred Ihc l«a to • 
mora cooddctable nnderttking. which your Eictllvncy dciitcd. If luch U the 
mianinj. I beg your Excellency to cMI lo mind, that the line-of-balllc Mfi 
•nd the lira frigatn went out of Newport un the ijth uf February, on a demand 
inatle byConjjicu and the State of Virginia to the LhcvaUer Desloudiet ; that 
youi Icltei, wilh the plan (or the going mil uf the whole Heel with a dctachinenl 
of one iliouiand Frenchmen to act conjointly with llie Mnn^uis de Lafayette, 
tiearv date the i jlh : that I did not receive it till (he igth ; that, having given 
aa ioBlant communicalioo uf il to M. IlcMouche^, 1 had llic honor on the 3oth 
tOKndhii aniwer to youi Excellency : and Ihal. no Liter than the day nfterthe 
Calc oi wind, which weakened the British fleet towotdi the end of January, by 
the lost o( (h« Cullnden. I atfered alt the land forces thai cifuld poxtibly bo 
buupotted by the Davy, and have not ceued lo do U lioce. I thall not men- 




cident should have put it In their power to give to the 
world any thing from me, which may contain an im- 
plication the least disagreeable to you, or to the Chev- 
alier Destouches. I assure you sincerely, that I have 
no copy of the original letter in my possession, so 
that 1 am unable by a comparison to determine how 
far the publication may be just. The enemy have 
fabricated whole letters for me, and even a series of 
letters ; and it is not improbable they may have given 
a different turn to some of my expressions in the 
present instance. It would however be disingenous in 
me not to acknowledge, that I believe the general 
import to be true. The copy, however, which your 
Excellency has sent to me. differs in some respects 
from that which the enemy has published, as you will 
perceive by the enclosed Gazette. Whatever con- 

l<an V> fou ihc leuoni, that delayed ihc dcparlUK of M. DenoucbM't iqiud- 
ron, UccnuM llicy Aa not come under my oogniinncc. I only iiUte thcM (acli 
to call lo your mind thete daln. ivhich I licg you (n verify liyyour vorrcitpoiicl. 
encc, «h«l you may be entirely persuided, that there vrill never be the Icml 
delay in wlial concern' Ihc lioop» whom I commnnd. in ihc execution of your 
Olden, at soon M I «h«ll receive them." — MS. Ijtttr, April abth. 

The following ii an extract from the instruction<t sent by the Miniitet of War 
to Count de Kochnmbeau. dated Ver!«ille>, March ylh, 

" I. tl JK the intent ion of his Majesty, that you do not Hhamlon Khnde Iklaiid, 
if the squadron deilincd lo act in concert with you itn iti defence cinnot retire 
lo Roiilon without haiard. or before it thall be relieved from its defensive pac- 
tion at Khwte hlnod by a suftrior navn! fon:e. 

" >. I will inform you, that, in the month of July ur Au^u&t. the luperioi 
naval (otce of which yop have juti rccdved notice, will withdraw (he squjdron 
of M. dc Dairatfrom the harbour uf Khodc laland : and yon will carefully Te< 
lervc lo yourtelt the Icouw ledge of thi>i arrangement, which mxy be accelerated. 

"3. H.byunloreieBn event*, or any cauie whatever, the army ot Washington 
fehoutd be broken up and dispened. it ii the Intentiim uf the King. that, under 
Ibcae circumBlnncet, you thould decline acceding to any ordrn or rrqueili af 
■hat general to penetrate into the interiot of the conlinem ; oc in that caic it 


struction it may bear. I beg your Excellency will 
consider the letter to a private friend, a gentleman 
who has the direction of my concerns at home, totally 
unconnected with public alTairs, and on whose dis- 
cretion I could absolutely rely. No idea of the same 
kind has ever gone to any public body. 

When ! say. that I believe the general import of 
the publication to be true. I' mean it In this sense, 
that there did appear to me a degree of delay in exe- 
cuting the enterprise suggested by me, with the 
causes of which I was not well apprized, and an Idea 
of this kind was probably expressed in my letter to 
Mr. Washington. As to the apparent insinuation, 
that the first expedition had been preferred to the 
one proposed by me, I could not have intended to 

would be piudcntlo reserve ;ourte|[. unil lo retire to the AntUletif pouible, gr 
lo St. Domingo, acoonliiif; lo lh« teaaon. 

"4. If, OD lh« oantiary, th« Am(ric>ii mrin}' rvinaiim in itiprcsonl tUli:, iihI 
yrt urilhoul being able to unileriake aiif combined openlion with the sij unci ron ; 
and if thii Uller >hou1tI «liciii|>l any olhrc enlerpni-i-, ivhere the concurrence of 
a Mitain iiumbcT !>( luiul toit*\ mould lie tcqnireil, the Kill)* ien*cs it in yuut 
power lo (urnish them, provided thai the plan be concerted with the American 

" 5. Should Ihcti' be un u[}|>utlunily for the !K|uadruii .i[ Khaile liUmI [uuct 
iadeprndently of the Anicrican armj-, you arc an-ue thai the naval force* of the 
King ihonld concur in all operation!, which are considered advanlageout lo Ihc 
Munnion raute. 

"6. Vou are alio nwnte, that, u long u ihe Ktn&'s troop* occupy Rhode 
Island, the iransporu destined 10 tcceii'cthe trnopt nre 10 be kept there ; when, 
un Ihc cnntrarf. the army under your cuminind ihiill (wnelraie into the country, 
and the Hjiutdron abandons Rhode Uland.lhiiiquadroiiinll proceed to BoMon, 
and lake with It the transports >hil have been tclalncd, 

" 7. If, from the difftrrnt cauie\ mentioned, yon should remain in your pon- 
tioB at Rhode Iiland, and a luperior naval force of the Kinfihould iriihdraw 
the squadron which ik in that pott, 1 give you niitH'e, thai the Count de OtMic 
haa orders (o leave with you two veueln lo defend Ihe port, and the Innaporls 
necewary for your army." 





convey it, in its fullest latitude, because it would have 
been unjust. I could not but have recollected, 
that my formal proposal did not reach you till after 
the departure of the first squadron, though the sug- 
gestion of it was previous. My letter however was 
written in haste, and might have been inaccurately 
expressed. I have lately learnt, (though not offi- 
cially.) that the cause of the delay 1 have alluded to 
was a want of supplies for the fleet. Impressed with 
a real esteem for and confidence in the Chevalier De; 
touches. I heard this circumstance with satisfaction. 

With this explanation, I leave the matter to his 
candor and to yours, and flatter myself it will make 
no impressions inconsistent with an entire persuasion 
of my sincere esteem and attachment. I have the 
honor to be, with perfect respect, &c.' 




joApiril, I78i. 

Deak Sir, 

Your two favors of the 24th and asth have been 
duly received. gik 

Fully impressed with the idea of the utility ot 
early, regular, and accurate communication of the 
kind in contemplation, I shall make no difficulty in 
acceding to the proposal contained in your private 

' In M. de RocbAmbcan'i reply to (he abovt. h« etpr««cd liimiclf endKiy 
MtMied. "an t. further explanation In the note ipiiendeil to the lettn lo Gen- 
eral Schujier, M«n.'b33t] ; iiul in ilic lvt[>.'rl'> the Mu>|ui!i dc LaUyelie, Apdl 




letter from Newport. But at the same time that I 
am engaging in behalf of tlie United States a liberal 
reward for the services of the C s.' of whose fidel- 
ity and ability I entertain a high opinion, it is cer- 
tainly but reasonable, from patriotism and every 
other principle, that their exertions should be pro- 
portionably great, to subserve essentially the interest 
of the public. All llie interior and minute arrange- 
ments of the correspondence I request you will settle 
with them as expeditiously and advantageously as may 
be, and especially that you will urge, in verj' forcible 
terms, the necessity of having the communications as 
circumstantial, frequent, and expeditions as possible. 

The great objects of information you are very well 
acquainted with : such as arrivals, embarkations, 
preparations for movements, alterations of positions, 
situations of posts, fortifications, garrisons, strength 
or weakness of each, distribution and strength of 
corps, and, in general, every thing which can be in- 
teresting and important for us to know. 

Besides these, you are also sensible that there are 
many things upon a smaller scale, which are necessarj' 
to be reported, and that whatever intelligence is com- 
municated ought to be, not in general terms, but in 
detail, and with the greatest precision. At present I 
am anxious to know (for the reports have been very 
numerous, vague, and uncertain), whether another 
embarkation is preparing, and. if so. to what amount, 
and where destined ; what the present force of the 
enemy is, particularly on Long Island, in New York, 

' Cnlper, Sr., and Culper, Jr. 




and at Kingsbridgc ; what corps are at the latter 
place, how strong, and where posted exactly ; an(^H 
indeed, what the situation, prospects, and designs of^ 
the enemy are, so far as they can be penetrated into. 
I ani, &c. 


Nsw Windsor, 30 April. i?tl.' 

Dear Lund. 

Your letter of the 1 8th come to me by the last Post. 

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. I am a littU 
sorry to hear of my own ; but that which gives me most 
concern is. that you should go on board the enemy's 
vessels, and furnish them with refreshments. It 
would have been a less painful circumstance to me to 
have heard, that in consequence of your non-compli« 
ance with their request, they had burnt my House 
and laid the Plantation in ruins. You ought to have 
considered yourself as my representative, and should^ 
have reflected on the bad example of communicating 
with the enemy, and making a voluntary offer of 

' Gcnenl Wiuhb^Iun Mmmencod a Diary on the 1st o( Msy, lo wbidi I 
prefixed tlie fallowing tcmurki. 

" To have ft cleiuer undenlonding of ihe entries, which may follow, jl wo 
l>c proper to recite iii iteliil iiur wanli and our proipects ', but this alon* wo 
be a work ot much time and great miE"it'"'e. It mny Hiffitc lo give the inm 
of (hem. which 1 iholl da in a (cw wordt, ImlraJ o( havlni; maj^Inct TiIlMl 
with piavi&ionj, hc liave ■ iciniy pittance icaiteicd here and (here in the dif- 
ferent Stitn ; inileod of hiving our nnenals well cuppl led with mltilary Mora, 
tiMy 3re(>o»rIy ptuvl'led and the workmen all leaving them ; initratl of hBTtog 
the varioui articln of Hetd-equipa^ in readiness lo be dclivend, Ihe qonner- 
nuuter-Kcncrsl, at ihc dernier rciort, accnrdinji to hi* account, it but now ap- 
plying to the tevcnl Stales lo pioiide thne Ihingi for their troop) retpeclively ; 
initead of having a regular *y*lcm of traniportatton establithed npoa credit, i 




freshments to them with a view to prevent a confla- 

It was not in your power, I acknowledge, to pre- 
vent them from sending a flag on shore, and you did 
right to meet it ; but you should, in the same instant 
that the business of it was unfolded, have declared 
explicitly, that it was improper for you to yield to the 
request ; after which, if they had proceeded to help 
themselves by force, you could but have submitted ; 
(and, being unprovided for defence.) this was to be 
preferred to a feeble opposition, which only serves as 
a pretext to burn and destroy. 

I am thoroughly persuaded, that you acted from 
your best judgment, and believe, that your desire to 
preser\'e my property, and rescue the buildings from 
impending danger, were your governing motives, but 
to go on board their vessels, carry them refreshments, 
commune with a parcel of plundering scoundrels, and 
request a favor by asking a surrender of my negroes, 
was exceedingly ill judged, and, 't is to be feared, will 
be unhappy in its consequences, as it will be a prece- 

' fttiMli In the quKrtermuter'c hinds to dcfraj' the contingent expenim of it, w« 
h&ve n«iih«r the one nor the other, and all that basintsi, or a gteat part ai it, 
being done by military imj>Tesk, we are daily and hourly opprei-ilng the peo- 
ple, lourmg (heir tempers, and alienating llieir afleclioni ; instead of haring 
the regimenti completed to the new edabliihiDcat, which ought lo have been 
4on< agreeably to the Kquisitiont olCongrew, scarce any Scale In the Union 
bai at Ihit hour an eighth part of iti quota in the Geld, and little prospect that 
1 can tee of ever gelling more than half ; in a word, inttcod oif having ever; 
ihlnc in teadinctt to take ihe field, we have nothing ; and. \i\f,\c*A a\ having 

rflie prospect o[a glorioui offensive campaign before vn, we have a bewildered 

i iBd gloomy dcfentivc one. unleu we ihould receive a powerful aid of ihips. 
bad Iroopa. and money from our gcncroua alliu, and ilieae at preient aic too 

I BoadnBeat to build upon." 




dent for others, and may become a subject of ani- 

I have no doiibt of the enemy's intentron to prose- 
cute the phmdering plan they have begun ; and unless 
a stop can be put to it. by the arrival of a superior 
naval force. I have as little doubt of its ending in the 
loss of all my negroes, and in the destruction of my 
Houses ; but I am prepared for the event ; under the 
prospect of which, if you could deposit in safety at 
some convenient distance from the water, the most val- 
uable and least bulky articles, it might be consistent 
with policy and prudence, and a mean of preserving 
them hereafter. Such and so many things as are ne- 
cessary for common and present use must be retained, 
and run their chance through the fier>' fial of this 
summer. I am sincerely yours. 

Mrs. Washington joins me in best and afTectionate 
regard for you. Mrs. Washington and Miily Posey. 
I do not know what negroes they may have left yoti, 
and as I have observed before I do not know what 
number they will have left me by the time they 
have done — but this much I am sure of, that you shall 
never want assistance when it is in my power to 
afford it I am, &c. 



Nku- WiKDioit. 4 May, 1781. 

Mv Dear Marquis, 

The freedom of your communications is an evi- 
dence to me of the sincerity of your attachment ; and 
every fresh instance of this gives pleasure and adds 




Strength to the bond, which unites us in friendship. 
In this light I view the intimation contained in your 
letter of the 23d ultc, from Alexandria, respecting 
the conduct of Mr. Lund Washington. Some days 
previous to the receipt of your letter, which only 
came to my hands yesterday, I received an acct. of 
this transaction from the Gentleman himself, and 
immediately wrote and forwarded the answer, of which 
the enclosed is a copy. This letter, which was written 
in the moment of my obtaining the first intimation 
of the matter, may be considered as a testimony of 
my disapprobation of his conduct, and the transmis* 
sion of it to you, as a proof of my friendship ; because 
1 wish you to be assured, that no man can condemn 
the measure more sincerely than I do. 

A false idea, arising from the consideration of his 
being my Steward, and in that character more the 
trustee and guardian of my property than the repre- 
sentative of my honor, has misled his judgment and 
plunged him into error, (upon the appearance of de- 
sertion of my negroes, and danger to my buildings ;) 
for sure I am, that no man is more firmly opposed 
to the enemy than he. From a thorough conviction 
of this, and of his integrity, I entrusted every species 
of my property to his care, without reservation or 
fear of his abusing it. The last paragraph of my let- 
ter to him was occasioned by an expression of his fear, 
that all the Estates convenient to the river would be 
stripped of their negroes and movable property. 

I am very happy to find, that desertions had ceased, 
and content had taken place, in the detachment you 




commanded.' Before this letter can have reached you, 
you must have taken your ultimate resolution upon 
the proposal contained in my letters of the 21st and 
22d of last month, and have made the consequent 
arrangements. I shall be silent, therefore, on the 
subject of them ; and only beg, in case you should 
not return to this army, and the papers were not lost 
with your other baggage (on which event give me 
leave to express my concern), that you would permit 
Mr. Capitaine to furnish me with copiesof the drafts, 
and remarks of the Pilots (taken at Colonel Dey's) 
on the entrance of the harbor of New York. It is 
possible they may be wanted ; and I am not able to 
furnish-them without your assistance. 

Mrs. Washington, and the rest of my (small) fam- 
ily, which at present consists only of Tilghman and 
Humphreys, join me in cordial salutations ; and, with 
sentiments of the purest esteem and most affectionate 
regard. I remain, my dear Marquis, &c 


8 May. 1781 


I have been honored with your Excellency's favors 
of the 26th and 29th ultimo., with the inclosures to 
which you refer — They shall be duly attended to. 

Under cover of the letter of the 26th is one 
from General Gates to Congress, indorsed by the 

> L>(af «|« obulned umeeloiMng for hUiioopt bjr pledgiiiEbltown crtdll. 




Secretary " Ordered to be transmitted to the Com- 
mander in Chief," without any particular directions 
respecting the subject of it Congress have been 
informed of the instructions which have been given to 
General Greene relative to bringing on the enquiry 
upon General Gates as early as circumstances would 
admit, and they have been advised that it was deemed 
impracticable at the time to hold a Court at the 
Southern Army, for the reasons given to General 
Greene by the Board of General and Field Officers 
consulted upon the occasion. General Gates has also 
been furnished with these Reasons. There remain 
but two methods of determining the matter speedily, 
in a military way — directing General Greene to order 
a Court of Enquiry immediately, and at all events ; 
or taking depositions at the Southward, and bringing 
them Ijefore a Court in this Army. 

I am sorry that I am obliged so often to wound the 
feelings of Congress with Accounts of our distressed 
situation on the score of provisions, but duty calls 
upon me to represent what it is not in my power, by 
my utmost exertions, to prevent.' 

Your Excellency will perceive, by copies of letters 
from General Heath of the 6th instant and from 

* " 1 hav« b«#n obligetl, from the dislress lo which we were reduced for want 

[proiriiion. (o appljt 9.000 dolUn of the new emiiiion, of the money wnt by 

. die Stale of Mai^uchuMttiL for the paTincnl of her 1'roapi^. lo the u>e of the 

QiuncT Mtfller'i (le|i«ilni<-nt. lo enable hitn to tiring fur>>an] Hour Itom Jcr. 

tcj-uidialt MMtfrom Conoecticut. Before 1 would coni>cQi (o ibii eipcdienl. 

I NU driven to thcneceatlty of consuminj; every ounce ofprovltion which had 

I bMD k«pt as a merre m the Garritvoiiof Wctt point, and I had drained impren 

flijf MiUtaiy force 10 thai lengih, thai I ircmbied for the con»Fqu«ncr of th< 

CMeiUlOB of every WarranI which 1 granted for the piirpote — «o much arc the 





Briga. Genl. Clinton of the 30th of April and 4th 
instant, to what an alarming situation we are reduced 
at these posts and upon the Northern Frontier. 
Upon the receipt of Genl. Clinton's letter of the 
30th ulto. I, upon the 5th, sent off 34 Barrels of 
Beef, which was every ounce in the Magazine and 
50 Barrels of Flour to Albany. I am now, upon 
receiving the letter of the 4th sending off roo out 
of 131 barrels in the Magazine. Of meat I have not 
a Barrel to send. The Quarter Master is unable to 
transport what is at the distant Magazines, and the 
States neither do that, or send on Beef. Cattle agree- 
able to requisition. 

I have written most pressingly to the Pre.sident of 
Pennsylvania for a supply of Flour, and that nothing 
may be left unessayed on my part, I am going to send 
Major General Heath to the Eastern States purposely 
to represent our distresses for Meat in their true 
colors, and to point out to them the inevitable conse- 
quences of a failure in the non-comp1ian(;e with the 
requisitions upon thtrm. Whether this will have any 
better effect than my frequent applications by letter, 
I cannot say ; but of this I am certain, that if there is 
not a very great and sudden change of measures it 
will be next to impossible to keep the Army together. 

people irritated hf the frequeni eaJIt which have been mule ii|)on them bi ibai 
way. If ii lie pEMtiibIc lo furnlili (he Quarter Ma.-.[cr with but ■ liltic tnoncjr 
to enable him lo pay part for traniportaiion, I miAX. eamcitly reciueii It 
Duy be done, oi I am conlidcnt the meatunt we have hillicrlo bceii pumiiac, 
cannot be much Icm^r made uu aX without imminent dui£«T of briiiiciiig 
the people to an open r«i»tance." — Washington W ihi PrttiJntl af C»Hgt»n, 
I May, 1781. 




To add to our present embarrassments, application 
has just been made to me by Colonel Menonville. 
who is sent forward by Count Rochambeau, to know 
in what manner it will be most convenient to us to 
make payment for a very large quantity of provisions, 
with which, Doctor Franklin, in behalf of the United 
States, has contracted to supply the French Army. 
Colonel Menonville's instructions have reference to 
Resolves of Congress and letters which have passed 
between your Excellency and Count Rochambeau 
on the subject, but as I am totally a stranger to 
the whole transaction, I have been under the neces- 
sity of referring him to Congress, and have taken 
the liberty to give him letters of introduction to your 

As Colonel Menonville was very pressing with me 
to know whether 1 could give him any assurances of 
the provision being furnished, and at what places it 
would be most proper to deposit it, I could only tell 
him, that none of what had been required of the States 
for the subsistence of the Army could possibly be 
spared, because, the requisitions were they fully com- 
plied with, would not be more than adequate to our 
own wants, I gave him my opinion as to the proper 
places of deposit, in as particular a manner as the un- 
certainty of our plan of operations would admit. 

Colo. Menonville is likewise charged by the Count 
Rochambeau, to solicit some heavy Iron Cannon for 
the works at Newport, in place of the Brass Batter- 
ing Cannon which are at present in them, and which 
there will be a necessity of removing should the Army 




remove. When I told him that I knew of none be- 
longing to the Continent but what were in use, he 
informed me he understood that there were some in 
New Hampshire which had been imported for the 74 
Gun ship now upon the stocks. Upon this, I prom- 
ised him to mention the matter to Congress, and to 
recommend a compliance with his request, if the Can- 
non should be there and can be spared without incon- 
venience. I have, &c.' 


Nkw Wdtdbor, 11 Mijr. 1781. 

Dear Sir. 

Not having seen or heard of any resolve in Con- 
gress for establishing the principles of promotion in 
the army, I am apprehensive that the report of the 
committee, who had this matter under consideration, 
is now sleeping In Congress. This, and a recent in- 
stance in the Pensylvania Regiment of artillery in 
proof of the absolute necessity of adopting some 
mode, by which the whole army may be bd., and a 
stop thereby be put to those disputes, which keep it 
in a continual state of distraction and discontent, are 
the reasons for my troubling you again on this sub- 
ject, and praying that some decision may be come to 
by Congress. It is much easier to avoid disagree- 
ments than to remove disconts. ; and I again declare, 
that if my differing in sentiment from the opins. of 

' Rud in CoognM. May ifth. Rcfcired to Sullivan, Varnam and Mont- 
gom«iy. On the tstb rcfenedio Bl*nd, Canoll, and Wiihcnpoon. 




the Comee. in some points has been the occasion of 
delay, I would, rather than have the matter lie over 
a moment, yield a free assent to all their propositions ; 
for any principle is better than none. 1 also wish, 
though this is more a matter of private than public 
consideration, that the business could be taken up on 
acct of Mr. Tilghman, whose appt. seems to depd. 
upon it ; for, if there are men in the army deserving 
the comn. proposed for him, he is one of th(-m. 

This gcntn. came out a captn. of one of the light 
Infy. Companies of Phila., and served in the flying 
Camp in 1 776. In August of the same year he joined 
my family, and has been in every action in which the 
main army was concerned. He has been a zealous ser- 
vant and stave to the public, and a faithful assistant to 
me for near five years, great part of wliich time he re- 
fused to receive pay. Honor and gratitude interest 
me in his favor, and make me sollicitous to obtain 
his Commission. His modesty and love of concord 
placed the date of his expected comn. at the ist of 
April, 1 777, because he would not take rank of Ham- 
ilton and Meade, who were declared aides in orders, 
(which he did not choose to be) before that period, 
altho' he had joined my family, and done all the 
duties of one, from the ist of Septr. preceding. 

My public letters to Congress will have informed 
you of the situation of this army, and I have no scru- 
ple in giving it as my decided opn., that, unless a capi- 
tal change takes place soon, it will be impossible for 
me to maintain our Posts, and keep the army from 




The resolution of Congress to appoint ministers of 
war, foreign aflairs, and finance, gave, as far as I was 
able to learn the Sentiments of men in and out of ye 
army, universal satisfaction. Postponing of the ist, 
delaying of the 2d, and disagreeing about the %A have 
had the direct contrary effect ; and I can venture to 
assure you, not from random guess or vague informa- 
tion, that the want of an able financier, and a proper 
plan for the disposition of foreign loans will be a 
greater bar to the obtaining of them than perhaps 
Congress are aware of. I could say more on this 
subject, were I at liberty ; but I shall only add, that 
there is not in my opinion a moment to be lost in 
placing such a character as the world conceives an 
opinion of at the head of your finance, that he may 
as soon as possible enter upon the duties of his office. 
I am, &c. 


Hud Qi'Axi kks. New Wikimor, 
14 May, 1781. 

Dear Sir. 

The letter which you did me the favor to write on 
the 4th instant has been duly received. 

I am glad to find, that yovi have received the neces- 
sary papers, and are entering upon the measures for 
intercepting the enemy's communications. I hope 
you will be enabled, by the assistance of the person 
proposed, if he is found sufficiently faithful and intel- 
ligent, to prosecute those measures to good effect ; 
because I think the intelligence obtained through 




that channel may be depended upon, and will even- 
tually be of very great consequence to us. Much, I 
apprehend, is to be dreaded from the predator^' incur- 
sions of the enemy this campaign. To be apprized 
of their designs, and guarded against them at all 
points, as far as possible, will tend most essentially to 
disconcert their plans and protect our frontiers. As 
to the disposition of the Vcrmontese. I know nothing 
of it, but from report. At present they are at least 
a dead weight upon us. It is greatly to be regretted, 
that they are not by some means or other added to 
our scale, as their numbers, strength, and resources 
would certainly preponderate very considerably, and 
make the enemy extremely cautious how they ad- 
vanced far in that quarter. The bulk of the people, I 
am persuaded, must be well affected. Should it be 
otherwise with any of the individuals, I ardently wish 
they may be delected in their villany, and brought to 
the punishment they deserve.' 

' The wp«ration o( Vermont frnm New Vork auggentril to Gennaine *ii ad. 
TUIase lor the British, for he infonncd General Haldimsnd Ihal he should give 
dte tohabitanti rc«u»i to eipcct th« king would erect their country into \ lep. 
arate piov{nce(} Match, 1779). A year later Col. Beverly Rohtnaoii, truiiiin|;to 
llie ill feeling engendereil by the supposed neglect of Vermont, uked Ethan 
Allen to »tatc " wiihout reserve whatever proposals joa would with lo make " 
■oSfr Henry Clinton, iiitimaiiii); ihni he ivould be re'jvarded by a <>eparBir </,oi- 
tfDBieal under Ihe king mid consiilutioii of England <jo Min^h, 1780). 
Allen received thi» Idler in July, showed it to the ijovcmor of Vcrmonl and 
anumtwirof ihelcadcrt In the -State, mid, on their ail vict. ret urnBt no answer. In 
September a cotieipondencc was opened with Hakltmand for the eiehange of 
priionen, an application through Washington hating failed, and the BiJilah 
commander not nnly accciUH to nei^tiate an exchunge. but propoicd a trace 
(October 11), and appointed commiwoners. Schuyler at once wrote to Woih- 
ington . "Sending a flog 10 Vcrnoii (or the purpose of exchanging pri toners 
apjican to mc only a cover lu lorne drsi|;n of Ihe enemy, and gives me much 
BacAiincw. ctpecially as rumors prevail that liiftrsen, whom your excellency 




I have been exceeding distressed by the repeated 
accounts I have received of the sufferings of the 
troops on the frontier, and the terrible consequences 
which must ensue, unless they were speedily supplied. 
What gave a particular poignancy to the sting I felt 

<*M informod to have been In Kr« Vork in July l«tt negolialing iillh Ihe 
encmjr. luii been in New York, but I caniial leun Ihal any one ean potilirtljr 
MKeruin cilhcr of Ihnc facU '* (October 31 1. Ii was &lso nimoted that tke 
ptrien had been In QatmAk abcml lix weeki. before. W»hin|non rei>lieil an 
tha 6th tA Niivembct : 

" I confeu. all circumiuncci and prcvjoui information contidered, ikat niat- 
tcrv in a certain quarter carry a very sniplclouaface. Should ll appear, upon a 
further tnxatigation, thai ihera are good groimdi for ptvMnt Mnpiciona, jni 
will concert meaiurei wiih BritEadier-Gencral Clinton do "'horn f have wtilleB 
U|ii>n Ihe uibjcci, wilhoat menlioniue uaniesl. to Eeit« and krcare, with at much 
iccTCcy and a* tuddcnly a^ powblc. Ihe prTton in •^uenlion with liik paf«r>. 
Vou know how very delicate a bunncu ihi* a., and t theiefon trust 10 your 
(iriiilcnce In the eiecntion of it. Nothing but llie mocl palpable prooft ou|;ht 
lu wansni the tcituta uf hi» perKin, But a variety of means may be fallen 
upon to circumvent stnd defeat iheit pknt. when tou have a regnlor force to 
depend upon." 

The luipvcted penion was Ethan Allen. CharRei wtre exhibited againil 
him in the (leacral Aiiembly. and u]>on inVEsiii>aIioD hik retig^alion a& Brii^a- 
(lier-tieneral wju acceptci!. Si'huyler, in writing; 10 Watbinj-ton un the illh, 
aanounccil Allen 'ii" di<imiiii>al,"and added: " That a certain petM>n ii engaged in 
the encmy'i intcreili I make Utile doubt of. but I do out think it cither pru- 
dent or politic tbal he thoald be nciied al pieicnl ; a little time will probably 
tumiah u« wilh viitfidrnl tCHlimony (or a conviction." 

The truce thu« granted to Vermont awakened many tuipiciom of a Ireokona- 
ble connection between the Briciib and tome Vermont leaden. The State had 
applied to Congreaa for admiminn into the ConfcJBmlion, and receiving no 
reply, an alliance wilh the other New England Siatei wai proposed, because, 
it wu ouerted, Vermont was kepi out of the Union throni^h ihc undue influence 
of the eontii^aut Statm. •:Uiming jiirimliciion (la December. 17S0). A d«> 
Mand had been made of New York for ii rcUnquiikineDt of iti cUimi. and in 
Fcbmnry. the New Vork Senate rciolved 10 appoint commiuionen to i^etlle ihe 
Itrmiion which New Vork would accede, hut the lluu>* wcic prevented from 
coniiderins thii retolulion " by a inreat of the go\*cmorto prturuGur the General 
A«embly." Schuyler was strongly in favor of an immediate acknowledjcment 
of their Independence, that they " ini|>ht l>c madniicfiil lu ihc common cauM^" 
But Ginton did not wiih aclion. u the iflair had been rcfened lo the dedilon 




on die occasion was my inability to afford relief. 
Such partial supplies however as were on hand, to 
the very last barrel of meat, I ordered instantly to be 
sent, and have promised General Clinton what further 
succor the States will enable mc to j^vc. Major-Gen- 

tn Dacraibri, 17S0, Hatdimaiid drew up hu instracHoiu foi hit commisnun- 
en, ud inaened ihe ofiei of (icrmaine, ad<iln|; ■ pcoiniu that Allen knd Chli- 
lenrfcn thiiaM be ptwiiUd with comiiiandk. In Kcbriiarj , Ucverly Kubniuoii 
acain wmte Allen, rencwini' Iiii prapaiilioii, i.viA Allen Mnl both uf Koliinxn't 
Idlert l» tbc Coniiucntal ConEreis. In April Allen wat chosen a Btif^ller- 
Gcncral \r) th* State, anil HalrliuiniKl wcitc (.Icrtnaiiie ctpKMing hit nupU 
cioni that Allen vat endoavonn); to deoeivr lioth Con^^H uid him (]0 Aptil). 
Tbc tnspiidooi of Schuylcf increaiol, And he urate to W&ihineion : 

"Th« (»ndact o( ih* Vonnunlmr is niyvlerioiik, and if the rcpotlh which 
(netallf preiatl are ircll founded, their menHirc* »ill certainljr he attended 
witb )laii|[ciou> ctii»>c>|iien<es 111 thik and the other United Slita. I cannot 
hcnrmr beliei-c that Ilic bulk uf the people am in the leiret. I nithet cimjcc- 
nm thu the pcnoD whom we in*peol«d tail yeartohave been in Nen York, and 
■Miiic othm, are ihe only culpable onei, and Ihtl Ihcf amuxe the people with 
mailing ibcm beliete that the whole of Iheir negotiation with (ieneral Ilaldi- 
naad h merely calculated to |[ivc Con|[reai and thit State ihe alarm, (hat the 
indepcndenve iiF Vcttnuiii may li« ackaowtodiced, , . . 

" I auccrvly with theylCongrai] wotild tpeedily decide, acltnowlwlge them 
Independent, and admit them into the union. If Ihii wai inilantly dome, Ihe 
ravauirsa of Iheir leaden wuuld be bruuglil to the Ie«l. and we should knov If 
they had only tended to bring about their In dependence, or to coancci Iheni' 
fclTea with the enemy. But, nnlewt Conjiieu arc |iu<iheil to a den»«ii. I be- 
lieov Ihoy will do nothing in it : hut who in lu urge them. I Icimw not. 'rhe 
fDvetsor cannot do it officially, and our delenalei. 1 believe, will not. unlt» 
they bcllcTC that the decidon will (^ agninhl the Verinnnlcte." — LrlCer, Sara- 
Hf». May 4lh. 

On May lit, Ira Allen, the only representative of VcttnonI in the negotin- 
lion* for a cartel, tet out (or liili^ aut Noii to meet the Rriiikh comniii.>ioner>, 
and his ciKi(ereni;e extended (lum the Stb till ihe 3;lh. The cnrlel wa« coin, 
pieied and an attempt made lodelenninelhccoDditioni under which Vermont 
wonM join the Brilihh, hut thi<. came to naught. Wai.hington wrote to Briga- 
diei-Geneml jam» Clinton im JliIv gth : "I Lan give no cuunienancc to any 
canti which may hare been settled between the people nl Vermont, and th« 
govetvot of C;inada. and so 1 lately informed Mr. Chittenden. 
I with there may not be other liuilncki. iraiiiaLied under Ihe cover of a Hag (rotn 
VtnBoat lo Canada brndett theetchange of pris<iD*n>" 




eral Heath hath gone to the several eastern States, to 
enforce my pointed representations, rouse them to 
more vigorous exertions, and to make arrangements 
for supplies during the whole campaign. I cannot 
but hope this measure will be attended with success. 
1 am, &c. 


Hrab Qvakteks, Nkw Wihdsui, 
17 May. 1781. 


His Excellency the Count dc Rochambeau having 
received despatches from the court of France by his 
son, the Viscount de Rochambeau. who arrived at 
Boston in the frigate la Concorde, the 6th instant, 
has requested an interview with me. I have ap- 
pointed the place of meeting at Weathersfield, on 
Monday next, for which purpose 1 shall set out to- 
morrow from hence. I am in hopes, wc shall be able, 
from the intelligence received, to settle a definitive 
plan of campaign. 

I am sorry to inform your Excellency, that a part 
of our advanced troops were surprised on Monday 
morning nearCroton River, by about sixty horse and 
two hundred foot under the command of Colonel 
Delancey. Colonel Greene, who commanded our 
parly, was mortally wounded in his quarters. The 
enemy attempted to carry him off, but he died upon 
the road. Major Flagg was killed. The loss of these 
officers is to be regretted, especially the former, who 
had upon several occasions distinguished himself. 




particularly in the defence of the post at Red Bank. 
in 1777. whrn he defeated Count Donop. I enclose 
a return of our loss upon the lace occasion. 

The enemy on their return fell in with Captain 
Fog of the New Hampshire line, who was patrolling 
near the White Plains. They attempted to surround 
him, and cut him off by dint of superior numbers ; 
but the captain made so good a disposition of his 
small force, that he brought ihcm off with the loss of 
two men only. The enemy had a captain and several 
men killed in the attack. I have the honor to be, 




KiKHAMRKAU. — Concerning a project of employing the si|uad- 
FOD at Newport to transport the French army to ihc Chesapeake 
B«y, he consulted Count dc Barras, who deemed it impractica- 

' R«ad in Congrtas. April 3 III. 

* GMtcnh Knox and Duportiil had acc<>ni|>!inled th« Commander-in-chief 
to Weithcniiclil. Tlir (allowing 'm an cxtni't (mm Wwhinglon't Diary. 

"May \%lk. Set oul ihii day (orthe inlerricw nl Wcalhenficld with Ihe 
Countde Rocbambcau and AdmiraJ Barrav. HcAclicd M»r£in'i> Tavern, (arl]r> 
ibntr tnilet (mni Kitlikill l.anrlin^, ifler diiiiii^ >I Ciilcictrl VandcbtrrghV 

■■ 19/A. Brraltf ajicd al t.itchtield ; dined at Kamiington ; and lodged at 
Wealhenlicld, Bl the hnuiieof Mr. Jowpli Weliti. 

" valk. Had Sj-ixMl iltat ofpHvttn crtnvcmliaii willi Ciiiv^nior Trumbull, 
will) 8i<r« il to me ai hii opinion, thai, if an^ imporuni olI«ntive operation 
iihoold be uniterlaken, he bad little doubt o( out obtaining men and provljJoD ad- 
■i^yillo l»o<>r vvaiils. In lliis o|riniuii Colonel WadMvorlli snil oll1er^ concurred, 

" SI*/, Count d« Rochambeau, with the Chevalier ile ChAitellui, urived 
aboal noon. The appearance of Ihc Brillth fleet, under Adminl Arbulhnol, 
oir Block I»lin<1, ;>rcvenlcd the .illondancc o( Ihp Couiil de Barrai, 
'Vtd. Filed with Count dc Rochambcau ibc plan o( cunpaign. 

" 131/. Count de RochaitilieaukCt oul 1111 hittelurn 10 Newport, while 1 pre- 




ble, chiefly on account of the inferiority of the naval force lo that 
of the enemy. The objections were mentioned in detail.' 

(«. Washington. — "However destiablc such an went might 
have been, the reasons assigned by Count de Barran are aufScient 
to prove its imprncticabiltty." 

Roc HAMBE A u.— Should thc Frcnch army march to the North 
River, will ihc squadron be safe at Newport under a guard of 
militia ? By secret instructions he is not permitted to sepa* 
rate hi» army, except fur detachments of a short duration. Count 
dc Barras thinks thc squndion would not be secure, if thc enemy 
should take possession of Rhode Island ; and, moreovcT, he has 
been instructed, thai, in case thc army should march into the 
country, his Heet should proceed lo Boston. 

id, WASHisr.TON — " [t IN Gcnl, Washington'* opinion, thatthc 
plan of Campaign will render it necessary for thc French army 
lo March from Newport towards the North River as soon as possi- 
ble, aad that consequently it will be advisable for the Count de 
Barras (agreeable to hi.s instructions in that case provided) to 
teek the first favorable moment of removing the squadron under 
his command to Boston." 

RocKAMBEAU. — In that case what does General Washington 
propose about Rhode Island ? Does he intend it should be kept 
by a general officer and a body of American militia f It is to be 
observed, that if in (he hurricane months the French fleet should 

pared and rorvtarded deipatdica lo the ptvvrwxt of the fonr New England 
Sutci. calline on ihem in comcM and iioimed Icrm* lo comi'lctr their Conti- 
iicntsJ hKiixlii>ii) (or the iaiii|i»i|;n nl IcnM, if it could nol be done lor the rar 
or threv yean ; to bold a body of mflitia, according to Ihc pto^iortion {iven Ut 
Ihcm, read}' to match in one neck after beln|> called for ; and lo a4opl soma 
elTeclual mode in hujiply (lie iroupt irheii aueobled wilh provitJons and the 
mf«nt of Irampodalion. [ dlio solicited the EOTemon of Mauachuielts and 
Connecticut camciily for a lonnof powder, 

" 14'*. Set out on my return to New Windsor. Dined al FaimioBton aad 
lodged at Liichlidd. 

" 15/4. Brcikfattcd at Coggiwdl'c ; dined at Colonel Vandebcrg't ; and 
arrived it litad-iguaitert shout lunMI." 

' The nibitancc only of Count de Rodurnbcan'* propoiitlont tnd qneriei 
i> here stated. Thc icpliu anil tcuiarkt of Wuhlngton are printed in full, at 
iranKritwd (ron the rccordt. 




come to the cout, the harbor oC Rhode Islud nt^ be of me 
lo the opentiofts of the u}iMdn»n, ehfaer for a ttnioa to act 
against New York, or a* a place of retreat in case of raUfbmne. 

3d. Washikctok. — "As the harbor of Rhode Island may be 
useful to the fleets of his Most Christian Majcstj-. it isGenl. Wash- 
ington's opinion, that a force should be left for the security of 
Newport ; but, aa the Eneny will not be in a conditioD, from the 
present drcMtnttanceK of their affairn, to detach any coRsiderabte 
body of men to rc-posscss the Island, it is agreed between Hi* 
Excellency Count dc Rochambcau and GcnI. Washington, that 
500 Militia under a good officer will be sufficient for the Guards 
for the worki ; but, in case of an enterprise against them, a greater 
force should be called for their defence." 

RocHAMBEAO. — If General Washington resolves that Rhode 
Island shall be left, and the works destroyed, docs he consider 
the siege artillery, powder, magazines, and heavy stores, which 
cannot follow the French army in a land march, as aafe at Provi- 
dence under the two hundred French troops and the militia i For 
such an object the English may attempt an enterprise to sciie these 
stores. Would they not be more secure, if taken with the fled to 
Boston ? 

4th. Washington. — " In the former communications between 
His Excellency Count dc Rochambcau and Gent, Washington, it 
was understood, that the French Fleet was to have remained in the 
harbor of Newport after the removal of the army ; and there- 
fore Trovidcnce was fixed upon as a safe and proper deposit of 
the heavy artillery and spare stores. — It now being determined, 
that the fleet shall embrace the first opportunity of going round 
to the Harbor of Boston, it is lo be wished, that the heavy ar- 
tillery and spare Stores should be sent round also. Hut <!cnl. 
Washington being informed by His Excellency Count de Rodiam- 
bcau, that they have been already deposited at Providence, and 
that it will be impossible, under the present circumstances of the 
Fleet, and want of Transportation, to remove them to Uoslon, he 
is of opinion, that they may safely remain there under the guard 
of zoo French Troops, who will be aided by the Militia of (he 
Country in case of need. The possession of Newport will add to 
tbeii security." 




RocKAUBEAU. — Should the squadron from the West Indies ar- 
rive in these seas, an event that will probably be announced by a 
frigate beforehand, what Ojterations will General Washinglon have 
in view, after a union of the French army with his own ? 

5th. Washington. — "The Enemy, by several deUchmcnts 
from New York, having reditced their force at that Post to less than 
one half of the number, which they had at the lime of the former 
conference al Hartford in September last, it is thotighi advisa- 
ble to form a junction of the French and American Armies upon 
the North River, an soon ai; possible, and move down 10 the 
vicinity of New York, to be ready to take advantage of any op- 
portunity, which the weakness of the enemy may alTord. Should 
the West Indies Fleet arrive upon the Coast, the force thus 
combined may cither proceed in (he operation against New Yk.. 
or may be directed against the enemy in some other quarter, as 
circumstances shall dictate. The great waste of men, (which 
we have found from experience) in long marches to the Southern 
Slates, the advanced season now to commence these in, and the 
difficulties and expense of Land transportation thither, with other 
considerations too well known to His Bxcellcncy Count dc Ro- 
chambeau to need detailing, point out the preference, which sa 
operation against New York seems to have in present circum- 
itances over an attempt to send a force to the southward." 

Answer to the P. S. : 

" The observation upon the 4th head tufiiciently answers this. 
U the numerals 500 militia proposed to be stationed at Newport 
may be disposed of in any manner which His Excellency Count 
de Rochambeau may think proper." Wcathcrslield, 33d May, 


WxATiia*sFiK].D, aj May. 1781. 


The letter, which I have the honor to enclose from 
the Count de Rochambeau, will, I irtiagine. inform 
you of the intended march of the French army tow- 




ards the North River, and of the destination of the 
King's squadron now in the harbor of Newport, (if 
circumstances will admit of the respective move- 
ments.) I should be wanting in respect and confi- 
dence, were I not to add that our object is New York. 
The season, the difficulty and expense of land trans- 
portations, and the continual waste of men in every 
attempt to reinforce the southern States, are almost 
insuperable objections to marching another detach- 
ment from the army on the North River ; nor do I 
see how it is possible to give effectual support to 
those States, and avert the evils which threaten them, 
while we are inferior in naval force in these Seas. 

It is not forme to know in what manner the Fleet 
of His Most Christian Majesty is to be employed in 
the W. Indies this summer, or to inquire at what 
epocha it may be expected on this Coast ; but the 
appearance and aid of it in this Quarter are of such 
essential importance in any offensive operation, and 
so necessarj'to slop the progress of the enemy's arms 
to the southward, I shall be excused, I am persuaded, 
for endeavoring to engage your good offices in facili- 
tating an event on which so much depends. For this 
I have a stronger plea, when I assure you, that Gen- 
eral Rochambeau's opinion and wishes concur with 
mine, and that it is at his instance principally I make 
to you this address. 

If we are happy enough to find your Excellency in 
sentiment with us, it will be in your power to inform 
the Count de Grasse of the strength and situation of 
the enemy's Naval and land force in this Country, 




the destination of the French squadron under Admi- 
ral Barras. and the intention of the Allied arms If a 
junction can be formed. At present the B. Fleet 
lyes within Block Island, and about five leagues from 
Point Judith. 

The Count de Rochambeau and the Chevr. Clias- 
tellux agree perfectly in sentiment with me, that, 
while affrs. remain as they now are. the West India 
fleet should run immediately to Sandy Hook if there 
are no concerted operations, where they may be met 
with all the information requisite, and where most 
likely it will shut in. or cut off, Adml. Arbuthnot, 
and may be joined by the Count de Barras. An 
early and frequent communication from the Count 
de Grasse would lead to preparatory' measures on our 
part, and be a means of facilitating the operation in 
hand, or any other, which may be thought more 
advisable. I know your Excellency's goodness and 
your zeal for the common cause too well, to offer any 
thing more as an apology for this liberty ; and I 
persuade myself it is unnecessarj* for me to declare 
the respect and attachment, with which I have the 
honor to be. &c. 



WBATNeKSFIRLn. 14 May, I7S1. 


[fi con«<;(]uencc of a conference held between the Count dc 
Kochamlteau and myself at this place, the French army will 
march, as soon as circum^anccs mil admit, and form a junction 
with (he American upon Uic North River. The accomplishment 
of the object, which we have in contemplation, is of the utmost 




importance to America, and will, in all probability be attained, 
unless there should be a failure on our part io the number of 
men, which will be required for the operation, or the enemy 
should withdraw a considerable part of their force from the south- 
wKid. It is in our own power, by proper exertions, to prevent 
the lirst ; and, should the last take place, wc shall be amply repaid 
our expenses, by libernting the southern Slates, n-herc we have 
found by experience we are only vulnerable. 

Upon the cnlcuIation», that I have been able in concert witli 
some of the most experienced French and American officers to 
form, the operation in view will require, in addition to the French 
army, all the Continental battalions from New Hampshire to New 
Jersey inclusive to be completed lo their full establishment. You 
must be sensible, that the measures taken for that purpose, in 
consequence of the last requisition of Congress, have been very 
far from answering the end ; as feu- recruits, comparatively 
•peaking, have yet been sent forward, and of those, many have 
been discharged on account of inability. Vou must also lalcc 
into consideration, that a number of those men, who were returned 
when the requisition was made, have since been taken olT by the 
various casualiies incident to an army ; 1 estimate about one sixth 
of the number, therefore provision must at this time be made to 
replace them. 

From what has been premised, you will perceive, without my 
urging further reasons, the necessity I am under of calling upon 
you in the most earnest manner, to devise means to send into the 
lield without delay the number of men, which have been already 
voted for the completion of the battalions of your State, and the 
further deficiency of one sixth just mentioned. The term of 
three years, or for the war, would undoubtedly be preferable to 
any shorter period : but if they cannot be obtained on (hose con- 
ditions, necessity must oblige us to take them for the campaign 
only, which ought to be reckoned to the last of Uecember. t 
should hope, that, by proper exertions in collecting and sending 
forward the men thai have been already raised, and compelling 
by vigorous and decisive methods the delinquent towns to fur- 
nish their quotas, the greater part of the men may be collected 
by the ist of July. 




Arguments xttreljr cannot be vanting to impress the lefpslature 
with 3. true sense of the obligation, which they are under, of fur- 
nishing the means now called for. The enemy, counting upon our 
want of ability, or upon our want of energy, have, by repeated de- 
tachments to the southward, reduced themselves in New York lo 
a situation, which invites us to take advantage of it ; and, should 
the lucky moment be lost, it is to be feared that they will, after 
subduing the southern States, raise a force in them, sufficient to 
hold them, and return again to the northward with such a num- 
ber of men, as will render New York secure against any force, 
which we can at this time of day raise or maintain. Our allies in 
this country expect and depend upon being supported hy us in 
the attempt, which wc are about to make, and those in Europe 
nrill be astonished, should we neglect the favorable opportunity, 
which is now offered. 

As it is probable, that some militia, in addition to the full com- 
plement of Continental troops, may be necessary to support com- 
munications and other purposes, you will be pleased to direct 
' ■ " ■ men to be held in readiness to march within one we«k 
after I shall call for them, to serve three months after they have , 
Joined the army. And I would lake the liberty of requesting, that 
the executive may be vested with full powers, during the recess, 
to comply with any further requisition I may make for men, pro- 
visions, or for the means of transportation, which last may be 
most essential in the course of our operations, should it become 
necessary to bring provisions or stores from a distance. 

I shall be glad 10 be favored with an answer as soon as possi- 
ble, with an assurance of what I may depend upon ; that, if I do 
not clearly see a prospect of being supported, I may turn my 
views to a defensive instead of an offensive plan, and save the 
States and our allies the expense, which would be needlessly in- 
curred by any but an ample and effectual preparation. 

I have the honor to be, &c.' 

' The number of iniliiU requciled (ram Mauachuteiit wu iwij thousand two 
huDdccil, Irom Cuiiiicctlfut tiftccti huadi«d, fruin Pinntylvaiiia. sitlceii hun- 
dred, from Nen llsmpihjro Tour hundred, and ffom New Jericy live hundred. 
At the defeiKC of Ncwpoct. after the French umy xhould leave il, w«>, 10 
bconlTuircd to the miticia o( Khodc Itluiil. nu tiiitllia were tcquirtd (lom that 





IlKADQuANTni, Nkw Wiitdsoi, 
Sir, .7 May. .78.. 

I do myscU tKe honor to inform Congress, that I 
returned from Weathersfield on the evening of the 
35th. I met only the Count de Rochambeau at that 
place, accompanied by the Chevalier de Chastellux. 
The British fleet having appeared off Block Island, 
the Count de Barras did not think it prudent to be 
absenL In consequence of the measures concerted 
at the late interview, all the French troops, except 
about two hundred to be left as a guard otfer their 
heavy stores and baggage at Providence, are to march 
as soon as circumstances will admit, and form a junc- 
tion with mc upon the North River. Five hundred 
militia are to be stationed upon Rhode Island for the 
preser%'ation of the works, which have been erected, 
and for the security of the harbor. 

Upon a full consideration of afTairs in every point 
ot view, an operation against New York has been 
deemed preferable to making further detachments to 
the southward, while they can only be sent by land. 
The principal reasons, which induced to this determi- 
nation, are as follows : the difficulty and expense of 
transportation, the lateness of the season, which 
would throw the troops into the extremity of the heat 
of summer ; the gfeat waste of men, which wc 
have ever experienced in so long a march at the 

Sttte to r«ni tlw ixm^. Sood aher PcaM^lraKia wa* ealad apM u fcn dJi 
two ■."T"--' fitekaddrcd «c* (or the «oulhtra vmj, tmA iti q*ota vadcr thr 
■bove call waa allaaad la dw odwr Suu*. 




healthiest season ; and, above all, a strong presump- 
tion, that the enemy, weakened as they now are by 
detachments, must either sacrifice the valuable post 
of New York and its dependencies, or recall a part 
of their force from the southward to defend them. 

The Continental battalions, from New Hampshire 
to New Jersey inclusive, (supposing them complete.) 
aided by four thousand French troops, and such a 
reinforcement of militia as the operation after its 
commencement may seem to require, have been 
deemed adequate to the attempt upon New York 
with its present garrison. But, as the battalions of 
those States are still considerably deficient. I have 
written in the most pressing manner to the respec- 
tive legislatures, to make up such deficiencies with 
men for the campaign only, if they cannot be ob- 
tained for a longer term, and have desired the gov- 
ernors to hold certain numbers of militia ready for 
service, should I have occasion to call for them. I 
am however determined to require no more, than are 
absolutely necessary. I shall also call on the State 
of Pennsylvania to hold sixteen hundred militia in 

Congress have been made so fully acquainted with 
the difficulties of every kind, under which the military 
department labors, that they must be sensible that 
nothing but the most vigorous exertions on the part 
of the States to supply men, provisions, and the 
means of transportation, can enable me to prosecute 
to effect the operations, which 1 have agreed, in con- 
junction with the army of our ally, to undertake, or 




indeed any other. At the time I made my requisi- 
tions upon them, I summed up ever)' argument in my 
power to induce a compliance ; but, should I find any 
hesitation, I shall hope for the countenance and sup- 
port of Congress. 

I am very apprehensive of a formidable invasion 
of the northern frontier, as the enemy from Canada 
are undoubtedly collecting in considerable force at 
Crown Point. Should this be the case, it will 
cause a very unfortunate diversion, and be very em- 
barrassing just at this time, when our whole force will 
be required here. The necessity, which I clearly fore- 
see we shall be under, of carrying every man, who 
can be spared from other duties, into the field, induces 
me to request an order for such men of the invalid 
corps at Boston and Philadelphia, as are fit for garri- 
son duty, may be ordered to march to West Point, 
where their services will be the same as those upon 
which they are now employed, and where they may 
be ver>' useful. 

There has been a necessity of abandoning the post 
of Fort Schuyler, and removing the garrison and stores 
to the German Flats. The barracks had been, the 
beginning of this month, consumed by fire, and the 
works so exceedingly damaged by the heavy rain 
storm that they were rendered indefensible ; nor 
could they be repaired in any reasonable time by the 
number of men, who could be spared as a garrison. 
Brigadier-General Clinton recommended th^ evacua- 
tion of the post, as the only alternative, to which I 
the more readily consented, as it had been for some 




time past the opinion of the officers best acquainted 
with that part of the country, that a post at the Ger- 
man Flats would be more easily supported, and 
equally advantageous to the security of the frontier. 
Upon my return I found your Excellency's favors of 
the 17th and 20th. and Mr. Secretary' Thomson's of 
the loth. I shall pay due attention to their contents. 
I am, &c 



39 May. i;Si, 

Dear Sir, 

1 have been favored with your two letters of 
the 2d & 17th of May; the former reached meat 
Weathersfield after I had met the Count de Rocham- 
beau at that place, from which time to the present 
moment my whole attention has been so occupied by 
a variety of concerns that I have been hitherto invol- 
untarily prevented from doing myself the pleasure 
of writing to you. 

No Arguments were necessary to convince me of 
the very great public utility, which would result from 
the success of the plan, you proposed laying before 
Congress. — Had 1 been unapprised of the advantages, 
which might be derived to our cause from a success- 
ful attempt, or even a powerful diversion in that quar- 
ter, the reasons you have offered would have carried 
irrefragable demonstration with them, and induced 
me to be of your opinion. But the perplexed, dis- 
tressed and embarrassed state of our affairs, on ac- 




count of supplies, (with which you arc well ac- 
quainted,) the languid efforts of the States to procure 
men, and the insuperable difficulties in the way of 
transportation, would, I apprehend, have rendered 
the scheme (however devoutly to be wished and de- 
sired) abortive in the first instance And I must inform 
you, that there is yet another obstacle, which makes 
the attempt you have suggested absolutely impractica- 
bU with the means you propose, but which I dare 
not commit to paper, for fear of the same misfor* 
tune, which has already happened to some of my 

You will have seen before the receipt of this, by 
my public letter to Congress of the 27th instant, the 
result of the deliberations of the Count de Rocham- 
beau and myself at Weathersfield. That plan, upon 
the maturest consideration, and after combining all 
the present circumstances and future prospects, ap- 
peared, (tho' precarious,) far the most eligible of any 
we could possibly devise, whilst we are inferior at sea. 
The object was considered to be of greater magnitude, 
and more within our reach, than any other. The 
weakness of the garrison of New York, the centrical 
position for drawing together men and supplies, and 
the spur, which an attempt against that place, would 
give to ever)- exertion, were among the reasons, which 
prompted to that undertaking, and which promised 
the fairest prospect of success, unless the enemy 
should recall a considerable part of their force from 
the southward. And even in this case, the same 
measure, which might produce disappointment in one 




quarter, would certainly in the event afford the great- 
est relief in another. While an opportunity presents 
itself of striking the enemy a fatal blow, I will 
persuade mysplf, the concurring exertions of Con- 
gress, of the several States immediately concerned, 
and of every individual in them, who is well affected 
to our cause, will be united In yielding every possible 
aid on the occasion. At this crisis, while 1 rejoice at 
the appointment of the minister of finance, 1 have 
sincerely to regret, that the ministers of the other 
departments have not also been appointed, especially 
a minister of war. At the same time I am happy to 
learn, the mode of promotion is on the point of being 
finally established. With the highest sentiments of 
regard. I am. &c.' 

' This letter wm intctccpled by the enemy, lenl to Ihe Britiah miniitry, ind 
pnbl!ih«d In IhaZvni/iHi Cautlt on ilic 14th ol Jdy. Otben of t RimlUr irn«t 
wn««lio iDlercepltd, ind Sir Henty Clinton leemi lo have coniidered them 
u written (ot that purpose, and designedly pul in the way at bcin); taken. Ii 
hatbcen lald that he believed [hey wctr iricanC (nilecaJTe, and tliil Wailiin^;- 
ton'i plant wne aclually the r«v«ne of thost mentioned in ihe lettetv Britiib 
hittoriani have adopted thii idea, and conimcnded ii at .in evidence al well- 
timed addreuonlhe pan of Ihe AmcHcan geneial. Annanl Ktgiilrr far ijSt, 
p. lij. — ANDREWS. Hiilrry af ikt Lait War, vol. iv., p. igS. It ii certain, 
howrevei ibai do luch deception wu intended, and that the letieiii exprooed 
the real deiigni of the Conimati<ler-iii-<hief. The Tint imprenioni of Sir 
Henry Clinton oti lbs tubjeil were con(irni«d by a confidential letter from the 
Muquii de Chaitellui lo Ihe Chevalier de la l.merne, inteiccpleil nearly al the 
Mine time, in which Ihe writer ataicd ihai a combined al'ockun New York had 
b*«n deiorminei! ujion, and look to himself much credit for bringing over Count 
d« Rochambcau to General Woihinglon'i opinion. The lelict aI«o contained 
free remailu on the deportment of th« f^rench cmninander, and (he reierve in 
which he held hiniicll u to eoniiulling with hii lubordinate officer*. A copy 
ol thii letter wax carefully tranimitled from New Vnik 10 Count de Rocham- 
heau. il being doubtleii. deemed weM »u<lcd lobMtil BlrKe in ihe French c«mp. 
It had noi Ihii elTecl.'but il woi rceeivcd with difpleaanic by Count de Kocham- 
beau. " I tent for the Maninis d« ChMietlnx." aaid h« ; "I ihovred him tht 






I June, iTBt. 

Mv Dear Sir, 

I have received yoiir favor of the 22d & 271I1 of 
April, inclosing copies of your letters to Congress. 

The difficulties which you daily encounter and sur- 
mount with your small force, add not a little to your 
reputation ; and I am pretty well assured, that, should 
you be obliged finally to withdraw from South and 
even from North Carolina, it would not be attributed 
to your want either of abilities or of exertion, but to 
the true cause, the want of means to support the 
war in them. I feel for your mortification at the 
loss of the day before Camden, after it seemed so 
much in your favor; but I hope you will have found, 
that the enemy suffered severely, as in their publi- 
cation of the affair in the New York paper they 
confess the loss of two hundred. The reduction of 
Fort Watson does honor to General Marion and 
Colonel Lee. 

I have lately had an interview with Count de Ro- 
chambeau at Weathersfield. Our affairs were very 
attentively considered in every point of view, and it 

letter ; I ihen threw il Into Ihe fire, and lell Mm ft prey lo his own reflections." 
— MAneirti de Rethamheau, loiii. i.. p. 374. — !^rla. 

" I hai« already given you m) upinion (in tome late I.eileti) with mpecl to 
mf Moveable PrDpeily— iflci removing Ihe moil valutlile, and leail liiilky trti- 
dn — the reii. with the BuiMii'i"* musi take their Chame. — I .im pri-giared (or 
Ihe worst Ihat can happen la th«m, !■> hear (hetefoip of their bi:ing ptunderrd. 
or burnl. will be no Surprise lo me.— In ci»»e a Body of Troopi >hauld come 
into lh«t P«rt of the C'nuntry tbcIoiii[inK 10 the r'leiny) pulilic, M irell t» pri. 
v«ie conndera lions, require that Horm and Stock of all hind* should be driven 
out of their reach."— IVaiHitfMr U Lund WashiHgUn, 31 May, 1761. 




was finally determined to make an attempt upon New 
York with its present garrison, in preference to a 
southern operation, as we had not the decided com- 
mand of the water. You will readily suppose the 
reasons, which induced this determination, were the 
inevitable loss of men from so long a march, more 
especially in the approaching hot season, and the dif- 
ficulty. I may say impossibility, of transporting the 
necessary baggage, artillerj-, and stores by land. I 
am in hopes, if I am supported as I ought to be by 
the neighboring States in this, which you know has 
always been their favorite operation, that one of 
these consequences will follow, that the enemy will be 
expelled from the most valuable position which they 
hold upon the continent, or they will be obliged to 
recall part of their force from the southward to 
defend it. Should the latter happen, you will be 
most essentially relieved by it. The French troops 
will begin their march this way as soon as certain 
circumstances will admit. I can only give you 
the outlines of our plan. The dangers, to which 
letters are exposed, make it improper to commit 
to paper the particulars ; but as matters ripen I 
will keep you as well informed as circumstances will 

A detachment of between fifteen hundred and two 
thousand men sailed from New York about the 13th 
of May. I advised Baron Steuben of this, and de- 
sired him to communicate it to you. I presume they 
will either stop in the Chesapeake Bay or in Cape 
Fear, except the operations of the Spaniards in the 




Floridas should call for reinforcement to that quar- 
ter. But I can hardly flatter myself, that they will 
attend to the preservation of St Augustine. Pensa- 
cola, we are told, has fallen. 

The Marquis de Lafayette informed me. that about 
eight hundred recruits would be ready to march from 
Virginia the latter end of May. I have no certain 
accounts from Maryland lately ; but 1 was told by a 
gentleman from thence, that about four hundred 
might be expected to march in April. I make no 
doubt but you are kept regularly advised by the 
superintending officers. I have not heard, that Gen- 
eral Wayne had left Yorktown. but I have reason to 
believe he has gone before this time. If no fresh 
discontents arise among those troops, the detachment 
with Wayne will be a most valuable acquisition to 
you.' They are chiefly the old soldiers, and com- 
pletely furnished with every necessary. I am. &c 

' Wayne't deuclimeii I marchcil from Voiktivwn, in P«nnsy]T>n!a, on 'Cb,% 
36lh of May. 

" There ha* been a muliny in the Pennsylvania line at Vork Town prcvioui 
lo Ihcif marchh);. Waj-iie like a |."Di"l ofliMr, (juelleil il won, Twcitt of th« 
fellonri iKpp«d oul and |)pr>iiB'lecl tlie line lo rcftue to micvli in conicquence 
<A the piomiw* made them not bciiie complied with. Wiyne told them of the 
diiKracs tlicy hrouRlii on llie American aiim utiile in Jerwy In )^iienil, and 
tbeiotelvM in particular : that the fMtingi of the oflicen on thai occauon irere 
M vonnded thai they had determined never lo cipcrience the tike, and Ihil he 
beg'd they would now fire either on him ami them, or on thme villains in front. 
He (hen catlnl on luch a platoon. They presented at the word, fired and 
killed liix of the villnink. One of the others, badJy wounded, he ordered to be 
bayonnctted, Thv toliliei on wliiim he cnlted to ito il. recavcted h!) piece, and 
xaid he conld not for he was hit toinrade. Wayne then drew a pistol and laid 
he would kill him. The fellow then advanced and bnyanneiied him. Wayne 
then marched the line by divikion* around ilie dcud. and [he rcHi o( the (cUuwa 
are ordered la be hanged. The line matched the next day louthward mule at 
a feA>."~Wm. y. LivingiloH tt Cot. WM. iS May. tjti. 






4 Jun«, 17$I. 

I had last evening the honor of receiving your 
favor of the 31st of May by the Duke de Lauzun, 
who informs me, that he is authorized by your Excel- 
lency and Count de Barras to enter into a free com- 
munication with me upon the subject of the council 
of war held on board the Due de Bourgogne, and to 
request my opinion upon the propriety of their de- 

' lotcUigence had been brought lo Coant d« Ri>ch«,mbmu by liii *on and 
Count dc Baintt, that % '•Irang armament had deported from Brcu, or would 
immcdialeljr depttl. under CuunI <to Graittc, (or the Wcit Indin ; knd that, 
■(lei he had paued the Ator«s. Count de Gnuc would detach a convoy viih 
lUmowhat muie ihitn %\i. hunilietl rectullt. etcorlcd hy tlic armed vcuct Sagit- 
laire. and dettined to unite with the French ariuy at Newport, Money 
lor the army and navy wai alto lo be hrought liy the Sagit&tirf. The 
news was likewise cniruKted lu Count dc Kochamlwau alone, that Count de 
Graue had orden lo lail wiih hii fleci to the coail o( the United Slatn in the 
month of July or Augu<l, to relieve the tquadron □[ M. de ItarrM : and in caM 
M. dc Kochamlieau should raati'Ii front Newport lo unite with Genera] Waih. 
liiglon before the aniTol o( Count de Graue't fleet, then the iquadron of Bar- 
ru wat to rcllre lo ihe haibor of Dmlon for (ccuiily, >i It wm tuppoKil 
that, without thv protection of the l-'rcnch aimy on ihoro, the veaeli would be 
In danger of a naval attack from the enemy with ■ luperioc force. — Mtmtirt* 
di Ftihamtfati, torn. i,. p. 370. 

It having been decided at ihe conference he[w«en the American and Ft«n«b 
commanderc. held at We-ilhcrtfjeld, thai the French army should leave New- 
l>orl and mardi to llic Nofih Kivet, ihr manner ol dihpoKini; oF the French 
dect was token inio cunsidctalion immediately after the tetutn of Count de 
Kochambcau. The reiult i>> explained in the following eilraci from a IclIM 
written by him to (.lencral Wahhinglon : 

" The Count de Barras. iiutead of going to Boston according t« his orden, 
haa held a council ol war, Ihe result of which I aend here enclosed. I hope 
youi Excellency wllla>i«ooii as pomihle irnd an order, thai Ihe militia, who ar* 
to be tiationed on this Island, be raised to the number of one thoutand. I'hey 
will be joined liy (our hundred men, whom I iJialt teaie under the orden of 
M. d« Choisy, a br>t[adicr-)[eneral. and a very good officer, I ihink ihal lh< 




1 must confess to your Excellency, that there is 
weight in the reasons, which are offered for the deten- 
tion of his Majesty's fleet in the harbor of Newport, 
in preference to its going round to Boston ; but as I 
cannot think, that it will be as safe in alt possible 
cases in the harbor of Newport, after a greater part 
of the French army has been withdrawn, as it would 
be In the harbor of Boston. I must adhere to my 
opinion, and to the plan fixed at Weathersfield, as 
most eligible, all circumstances considered. I would 
not. however, set up my single judgment against that 
of so many gentlemen of experience, more especially 
as the matter partly depends upon a knowledge of 
marine affairs, of which I candidly confess my igno- 
rance. 1 would, therefore, in order to avoid delay, 
rest the matter upon the following footing. If your 
Excellency, the Count de Barras, and the other gen- 
tlemen should, upon a further consideration of the 
subject, aided by any new informations, which you 
may have received, still think it most advisable to 

Suie of MuHchtueItt may fnrnUh ihe fire handred mm. that haT« been de- 
tnMdad \fj Ui« coKiici) »' war (ot (he tuiciy of the ttjuaijron, ami thai \\ U 
mitable thai j-ouc Ki^cllency ihoiiltt letid to M. dc Cboisy aii order lo conveDS 
a |[tcalc> number in ciue of need, And letters lot the govemon <A the St*le*«( 
HanachutelU aiiil Kliode Island. 

" It ii useleB lo uy to your Eicellencjr, that ona of the chief reatoni. that 
decided the countil of war to Veep ihe iqundion al Rhode Idnnd. ww Ihe (ear 
1n( America Khoiild look ujion ihit change from Newport to Ko^tnii martlrcni. 
The dcitre to be nearer for our future ojicraliotiH. when the superior naval force 
expected In Ihe couise of the lummer ihall arrive in iheic teu. has been another 
reason. Your t^xccllency kiiowi that the harbor of Hniton tk very unfavorabU 
U thii Mason, on account of the luuth-urott wind), that blow almoul contina< 
Ally. The junction of M, de Borru with the forces that might come, voald 
perhaps be <lel*ytd for a iiionlh. und coiuiequcnlly all the operatlont depend- 
ing on iu" — MS. Lftter, Newport. Ma; ] 1st. 




adhere to the former resolution of the council, you 
may make use of the enclosed letters to the govern- 
ors of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which are 
left open for your inspection. If, on the contrary, 
you should change your opinions, the letters may be 
destroyed, as that which was written by me to the 
governor of Rhode Island from Weathersfield will 
be sufficient for the purpose of calling out five hun- 
dred militia for the present, and such further numbers 
as exigencies may require. 

At any rate, I could wish that the march of the 
troops might now be hurried as much as possible. 
The strides, which the enemy are making to the 
southward, demand a collection of our force in this 
quarter, that we may endeavor to commence our op- 
eration. I know of no measure, which will be so likely 
to afford relief to the southern States, in so short a 
time, as a serious menace against New York. This 
your E.xcellency may remember was a principal in- 
ducement for our undertaking that operation, in pref- 
erence to the other, which was spoken of ; and 1 
assure you the calls upon me from the southward arc 
so pressing, that nothing but seeing our preparations 
against New York in some degree of forwardness 
will content them, or convince them that they are 
likely to derive any advantages from the force, which 
they see detained here. I have forwarded your Excel- 
lency's despatch to the Minister by a Gentleman in 
the Quarter Master's department. 

I have the honor to be, &c.' 

***1 few, from Uie purport of the 1«ti«T you did roe the honor to wriMftonH; 






Htwi> Quarters. Nbw Wiwdsor. 
6 Jun«. 1781, 

I have been honored with your Excellency's favors 
of the 28th May with their several enclosures. 

I have written to the Board of War, on the sub- 
ject of the removal of the convention troops, and 
have given it as my opinion, with my reasons, that 

Port on the ^ih. that 1117 xentlFnenu retjwcling the conndl of war held on 
board (he l>uk< ilr Kutgognp Iho ]i»t uF Ma^, have been niiK'iiiiceiv'il. >ni] I 
duUl be ttiy uiUuppy if they tcctive »n intetpreUlion iliSctcni from the true 
tntcnt tnd nie«iiin([ of thcni. If thtt U ibc ca», it can only he aiiriliuied lo 
tar °ot uinlMsUiulini; ibe biuincu of the Uukr <Ie I.*iuun pcrftcily. I will 
rely Ihocfareonyonrgoodncu and candor toetplain. and icciify themiatake, 
if any hat happened. My wiihn perfectly coincided with the delennJnatio«i of 
the Boird of War 10 continue the Ficel at Rhode Itlaad, provided it could rv- 
main ihcrein safety, with the (orvc required, and did noi impede the march of 
tb« Army lowttds the Noilh River. Kiit when Dake l.autun informed me, 
thU mj ojnnioti ot Uie propriety and ufety of thii meatute woi required by the 
BtMtd, and that he came hither ni the particular desire ol the Cnunik Kocham- 
bean and <le Barras, to obtain it, I wi> reduced 10 the painful neceiaity of deliv. 
eriag ■ lentiment iliilereiil from that of a moit retpectabU Board, or of (orfeit- 
iilKall prcteniiniia to candor by thccfincealmenlof it. Upon lhi(|£round itwaa I 
wtolc to the (ionerali lo lh< effect 1 did. and nol becaute I wa>. dinaliificil al 
the alteritioa of the plan agreed la at Weathcniield. My fean for the laEety 
ot the Fleet, which 1 am now prnwadcd, were c:airieit tiio far, were {iroduciive 
ot a belief tiiil the Getieralt, vhec leperatcd, might feel uneaiy at erery miile- 
tioui prepiiration of the enemy, and occaiion a frcih call for mililta — this had 
iome weight in my (telcrminalion to ^ive Kotton (where 1 wai ture no daiiijcr 
could bo cncDuiilored bul thai of a blotkade) a preference to Newporl, where 
under iimu artumslanus, though not »uch a* were likelj- lo happen, something 
mijfhl be cntcrpriMil. 

" The Fleet being al Rhode Island it attended certainly with many advanlagei 
in the operaliom propo'icd. ind I entreat you, and the Genilemen who were of 
opinion thai il ought 10 tie riaqued there for ihcK purpotei, will be auured 
Ihal I have a hi);h trnie ut lh< obligation you mean to confer i>n America by 
thai loolve, and that your leal to promote the common cause and xaj aniiely 
for the aafely of 10 valuable a Heel were (he only motivet which gave birth la 
lb* apparent difference in our opinions,*' — Waihtngtsn It Ikt CMrfulirr tit 
CItailtlluz, 13 June. 17S1. 




they had best for the present be halted in Pennsylva- 
nia. An exchange of those troops, upon proper 
terms, would certainly be a desirable thing ; but 
under present circumstances I do not think it would 
be advisable to give the enemy any reinforcement of 
privates. Every man they get adds immediately to 
their force. Many of those, whom we obtain in ex- 
change, are out of their term of service, and conse- 
quently lost to us. 

It is as much my wish, as it can be your Excellen- 
cy's, that General Gates's affair should be brought to 
a decision. You must be convinced, that 'nothing 
has been left undone by me to effect that purpose. 
General Gates informs me, that he cannot think of 
serving, until the matter shall have been properly 
investigated, and that he shall retire in the mean time 
to Virginia. I see no probability of any thing fur- 
ther being done until there shall be some reccM in 
southern operatians. 

I hope the rules of promotion, which Congress 
have been pleased to establish, will be generally sat- 
isfactory. Individuals may be affected by the change 
of mode, but it will be impossible to devise a plan, 
which will not interfere in some degree with particu- 
lar interests. I send your Excellency by this convey- 
ance duplicate of my letters, the original was taken in 
last week's mail. The communication by the post from 
hence to Philadelphia has become so dangerous, that 
1 cannot in future trust any despatches of importance 
by him, and I beg you will observe the same rule. 
The parties which are sent out know the exact time 
at which he may be expected, and cannot fail of secur- 




iog hioL They have not the same opponuaity of 
iniercepdng expresses, as their times of riding are 
uncertain. I have the honor to be. &c.' 


Dear Sir, n«w wwusoe. j jtw*. >i«». 

• *•••• 

The freedom of your communicaiions is highly 
pleasing to me. The portrait you havedrawo of our 
affairs is strictly agreeable to the life, and you do me 
but justice in supposing, that my mind is fortified 
against, or rather prepared for, the most distressing 
accts. that can be given of them. It would not be 
the part of friendship, therefore, to conceal any cir- 
cumstance, from an unwillingness to give pain, espe- 
cially as the knowledge of them, to a man determined 
not to sink under the weight of perplexities, may be 
of the utmost importance. But we must not despair ; 
the game is yet in our own hands ; to play it well is all 
we have to do, and I trust the experience of error 
will enable us to act better in future. A cloud may 
yet pass over us, individuals may be ruined, and the 
Country at large, or particular States, undergo tem- 
porary distress ; but certain I am, that it is in our 
power to bring the war to a happy conclusion. 

My public letters to Congress, and in a more es- 
pecial manner my private communications to Gov- 
ernor Rutledge, will bring you fully acquainted with 
the situation of things in this quarter, and the pros- 
pects before us. How far we shall be able to extri- 


' Kekd ID CoDKicii. June izih. 




cate ourselves from the first, and realize the latter, 
time oniy can shew, I have great expectations from 
the appointment of Mr. Morris, but they are not 
unreasonable ones ; for I do not suppose, that by art 
magick he can do more than recover us by degrees 
from the labyrinth into which our finance is plunged. 
1 am very sorry for the disagreeable situation of 
our suffering soldierj' at Charles Town, and wish they 
could be relieved without adding to the pressure under 
which we at present groan. How far it is in General 
Greene's power to liberate, by exchange, our prison- 
ers in that quarter I know not ; but all the authority 
I can give to do this, he has, reserving the Troops of 
convention from his disposal. With these I have 
plague enough. In a late inter\'iew between the two 
Commissaries of Prisoners, Mr. Loring refused to 
Exchange General Burgoyne, unless the prisoners 
taken at the Cedars are allowed for. which is opposed 
by a resolve of Congress ; and has actually refused to 
pay a debt of privates, which three months ago he 
promised to do. Mrs. Washington, who has been very 
unwell for some time past, joins me in respectful 
complimts. to Mrs. Mathews. 

I have the honor to be, &c 


r^ „ Nkw Windsor, B J«n«, 1781. 

Dear Sir, 

I have had thehonorof receivingyour Excellency's 
favors of the 9th and 28th May. 

The progress, which the enemy are making in 




Virginia, is very alarming, not only to the State imme- 
diately invaded, but to all the rest ; as I strongly sus- 
pect, from the most recent European intelligence, 
they are endeavoring to make as large seeming con- 
quests as possible, that they may urge the plea of 
uti possidetis in the proposed mediation. Your Ex- 
cellency will be able to judge of the probability of 
this conjecture from the circular letter of the Presi- 
dent of Congress of the ist instant.' 

Were it prudent to commit a detail of our Plans 
and expectations to paper, I could convince your Ex- 
cellency by a variety of reasons, that my presence is 
essential to the operations, which have lately been 
concerted between the French commanders and my- 
self, and which are to open in this quarter, provided 
the British keep possession of New York. There 
have lately been rumors of an evacuation of that 
place, but I do not place confidence in them. Should 
1 be supported by the neighboring States in the 
manner which I expect, the enemy will, I hope, be 
reduced to the necessity of recalling part of their 
force from the southward to support New York, or 
they will run the most imminent risk of being ex- 
pelled, with a great loss of stores, from that post, 
which is to them invaluable while they think of prose- 
cuting the war in America ; and should we, by a lucky 
coincidence of circumstances, gain a naval superior- 
ity, their ruin would be inevitable. The prospect of 
giving relief to the southern States, by an operation 
in this quarter, was the principal inducement for un- 

'S«e tbi* l«II«r in tb« Sitrrt y»umal «/ Cfngreii, ttA. i, p. Wi, 




dertaking it. Indeed we found, upon a full consid- 
eration of our affairs in every point of view, that, 
without the command of the water, it would be ncxC 
to impossible for us to transport the artillery, bag- 
gage, and stores of the army to so great a distance ; 
and, besides, that we should lose at least one third 
of our force by desertion, sickness, and the heats of 
the approaching season, even if it could be done. 

Your Excellency may probably ask whether we arc 
to remain here for the above reasons, should the 
enemy evacuate New York, and transfer the whole 
war to the southward. To that 1 answer without 
hesitation, that we must in such case follow them at 
every expense, and under every difficulty and loss ; 
but that, while we remain inferior at sea, and there is 
a probability of giving relief by diversion, (and that 
perhaps sooner than by sending reinforcements im- 
mediately to the point in distress.) good policy dic- 
tates the trial of the former. 

Give me leave, before I take leave of your Excel- 
lency in your public capacity, to express the obliga- 
tions I am under for the readiness and zeal with 
which you have always forwarded and supported 
every measure, which I have had occasion to recom- 
mend through you, and to assure you, that 1 shall 
esteem myself honored by a continuation of your 
friendship and correspondence, should your country 
permit you to remain in the private walk of life. I 
have the honor to be, &c.' 

* ll wu ihe (Irong deiire of the peaiile u( Virginia, Ihal Wubin^on would 
take coninunil u[ the u-my in [hnl SUIe. In Ibe lclt«r. to wbjcb Uie kbove 
wua reply. Mr. Jcfienoa bad wrilten : 






New WiNi>50>,qJiiiie. ijSi. 

Dear Sir, 

Mr. Randolph delivered me your letter of the 23d 
ulto. — and sometime ago I was favored with another 
from you. Give me leave to thank you most sin- 
cerely for your kind attention to my interests, and to 
assure you that I shall ever hold in grateful recollec- 
tion your friendly endeavors to serve me. My whole 
time is, and has been since 1 came into the service, 
so much engrossed by the public duties of my sta- 
tion, that I have totally neglected all my private con- 
cerns, which are declining every day, and may, pos- 
sibly, end in capital losses, if not absolute ruin, 
before I am at liberty to look after them. 

" We are loo far removed from the other scenes of war to say whether the 
main (orce of the enemy be within lliU Slate ; but I sappose tfwy cmnot eny- 
wlicte «p«rc so gceal an arniy fni the opcnllon* <>( the fietd. Were It pouililft 
ior this circumstaDce to justify in yuur EKccllency a detemiiniliun to lend ua 
yonr personal aid, it is evident from the unirenal voice, that the presence of 
iheit bi^loveil couolryinaii, whoHC talent* have been so lon^ iuccc»(ully em- 
ployrd in ntablishing Ihe frceduin of kindred Slatc». to who»c prrMin I hey have 
attU flattered themselvci they rctAincd some right, and have ever looked up a* 
(heirdeciilcr resort in dittrcHH. that yi'iur appearance nmon|[ llitm, I say. would 
rctCorc full conlidence of salvation, and would rcndci Ihcrn equal lowhatover 
U not impossible. I cannot underiike to foicsee and obviate the dilfi cullies, 
which stand in (he way of Huch a resolution, The whole subject is bcfoie you, 
of which 1 see only det.ichcd paiLs, and your judgmcnl will be formed In view 
of the whole. Should thedanger of this Stale, and iti corucqoence to ihe Union, 
be such ak (o render il \x\K fur ihc vrhole that you should repair In its assisl- 
auuc, Ihe difficulty would Ihen be how lo k(«p mcu out o\ the field. 

" I have undertaken to binl this matter to your Excellency, not only on my 
own sense of its iinpanancc to us. but at the lollcilalions of nuny members of 
w(ii);hi in oiir kgiilalnre, not yet ai-yetnbled lo speak their own dctires. A few 
days will bring lo me that period of relief, which the constilntion has prepared 
f or I hose nppiutcd with thr labois of tny olTKe ; and a lung declared rcioluiion 
of rclinqaishtng il to abler hands has prepared my way fur rclircnienl lo a ])ri- 
vaic station. Still, however, is an individual ci lues I should Itel the com{oTta< 




With respect to the round bottom. I can give you 
little or no information — as far as a bad memory 
serves me (for I have no papers by me to refer to), I 
located it in the office of Mr. Thorn's Lewis, sur- 
veyor of Augusta, and laid some rights, which 1 had 
purchased, upon it. to the amount of the contents of 
your survey, but what has been done in the matter 
since, I know not, — nor am I quite certain that all 
that I have here said was actually done. If without 
giving yourself much trouble you could enquire into 
this matter, and pursue the necessary measures to 
secure this Land for me, I shall acknowledge it as an 
act of kindness, will repay any you may be 
run to in the prosecution of the business, and make 
grateful returns when it is in my power to do so. I 

bio effects of your prcsrace. and have (whal I thought could not have been) an 
additional motive (or that craiimdc. e.'tecm. and letpeet. wtih whUti I have th* 
honw to be. «i;."— ChjiriollrNvillc. May aSlli. 

la vritiD); to Mr. Jonei. a delegate in Cangren from Virpnia. on the uma 
nibjcct, Wuhinjflon said: " NoboiJy, I pcisuade myicK, can doubt m^ tn- 
cliniliun ti> br iiumediately emiilujrcd in Ihc defence of (h>i comilcy wlier« all 
to,f property Kid coonexioDi are, but there are powerful objectioni to xay Inv- 
ioE tJila army. Neither rime not prudence will alloir me to go into a detail of 
them on (lapct. One onlj I will nanie, whicli i*, (hil no cilhcr |:er<iOn hat 
power lu command (he F'rmch ttoops, who are now nbout to form a junction 
with thii army. Let il lufficc (or me to odd, thai I am acting on i great scale ; 
that lemporory cviU tnud be endured, where (here it no remedy at hind ; that 
I am not without hope* that the lahlen may bo turned : but. these being con* 
linsent. 1 eno promiic no more than my mmoM eiettiona." — J one yih. 

" Vour prcaence, my dear General, would do a great deal. Should theic 
ilelachmcnta be increawd to three or tour IhuuTOnd, and Ihc French army coma 
thi« way, leaving one of our generah at Rhode Iilaud, and two or three about 
New York and in Ihe Jeney>>, you might be on the offensive in Ihli ijuarler. and 
lh*r* would be a southern army in Carolina. \'our presence would do immcnw 
good, but 1 should with you to havea large force. General Washingtun, belora 
he pcrwnally appcart, should beitrong enough to hopciucceo."— /^/•ijW/i' <« 
Wathingten, Camp, between ihe Rappahannock and North Anna, June 3d. 





could wish to obtain a Patent for it, after obviating 
other claims, for 1 have heard I think, that there is 
a caveat to prevent my obtaining a patent. 

Can you tell me how matters stand with respect to 
my Racoon Tract ? Are the People who live on it 
still unconvinced of my having a Patent for it? If 
on the contrary they know, or believe that I have 
such a Patent, what do they propose to do in that 
case? It is hard upon me to have property which 
has been fairly obtained disputed and withheld. On 
the other hand, if the settlers on the Land either 
through ignorance or disbelief of its being mine, have 
made improvements of value thereon, and wish to 
live on and enjoy them, I would agree that they 
should remain seven years longer upon their respect- 
ive Plantations, on terms which should in their own 
eyes appear moderate and easy, even if it amounted 
to nothing more than a bare acknowledgment, subject, 
nevertheless, at the expiration of that term to such 
reasonable Rents as the Land and Improvements are 
worth ; and shall be adjudged just for both Landlord 
and Tenant. Upon these terms I would give Leases 
for lives, or a great length of years, provided also (in 
the latter case especially) some mode can be adopted 
to let the value of the Rents every seven or ten years, 
be so raised as to bear some proportion to the in- 
creased value of the Land. 

I shall thank you for giving me information respect- 
ing this matter — and the round bottom, and in gen- 
eral, what situation my landed affairs in that country 
are in, it not being impossible, nor yet very unlikely 




(as I can give no attention to them myself) that my 
other Patented Lands may be settled upon and 
claimed in the same way as that is on Racoon. I 
pray you also to be so kind as to let me know how 
Simpson employs his time, his force, and my mill. 
He has not, that 1 can hear of, rendered any account 
or paid one farthing for the profits of my mill or 
share of the Plantation, since he has been on the 
Land, which is poor encouragement for me to leave 
my property in his hands. Does the boundary as it 
is now settled between Virginia and Pensylvania 
affect the property of these Lands which were sur- 
veyed and Patented in Virginia, but which by the late 
line are thrown into Pensylvania ? This. I believe, 
is the case with respect to my tract on Racoon creek, 
if no more of it. * * * 




I am honored' by your Excellency's favors of the 
9th and loth instant, and with their very interesting 
communications, which you may be assured will be 
kept perfectly secret. I flatter myself, that the whole 
convoy will arrive in safety in some of the eastern 
ports, as I believe the British ships are all cruising 
off the Hook.' 

■Thi*waithecoaTO)rofFr«i)CliveMcIs,wilh recruits sent by CounI doGntMe, 
undct the ucorl of a fi(iy-|;un «)ii|i, and menljoactl inanot« to the letter above, 
(Ititcd ]un<4th. Two thirds of the convoy and thexhip had arrived at Bostan ; 
the otherlbird had b«ea dupctieil In a gal« near the coatt, 




The Count de Barras has furnished me with the 
result of the second council of war, I have so high 
a respect for the opinions of the gentlemen, who 
composed it, that I should have been satis6ed had 
they barely mentioned their adherence to their for- 
mer determination ; but the new arguments, which 
have been introduced in favor of the detention of the 
fleeV at Rhode Island, leave me no room to doubt the 
propriety of the measure. 

I am so fully convinced, that your Excellency will 
make no unnecessary delay in your march, that I have 
only occasion to repeat my former request, that it 
may be commenced as soon as circumstances will 
admit. My last accounts from the Marquis de La- 
fayette were of the 3d of June. The British army, 
in very considerable force, were then between Rich- 
mond and Fredericksburg ; their destination was un- 
certain ; but from their superiority they were at full 
liberty to go wherever they pleased. The enclosed 
copy of a letter from the President of Congress to 
mc will give your Excellency the latest intelligence 
from South Carolina. 

Your requisitions to the Count de Grasse go to 
every thing 1 could wish. You cannot, in my opin- 
ion, too strongly urge the necessity of bringing a 
body of troops with him, more especially as I am very 
dubious whether our force can be drawn together by 
the time he proposes to be here. Now /our ihou- 
sand or five thousand men, \\\ addition to what we 
shall certainly have by that time, would, almost 

' Wotdi in iulici were written la cypher. 




beyond a doubt, enable us with the assistance of the 
fieet to carry our object. It is to be regretted, that 
the Count's stay upon the coast will be limited. That 
consideration is an additional reason for wishing a 
force equal to giving a speedy determination to the 

Your Excellency will be pleased to recollect, that 
New York was looked upon by us as the only practica- 
ble object under present circumstances ; but should we 
be able to secure a naval superiorly, we may perhaps 
find others more practicable and equally advisable. 
If the frigate should not have sailed. I wish you to 

' Couni (le GtaMe wrote as follow* to Coaat dc Kochftmbou : 

" Hit Majrlfly \\i vaxranXriX mr witli th« cumiaand of Ihr naial force At^ 
lined (or the protection of hi> poucuiont in South America, ttni) those of hU 
&1llet In North America. The force, whicli 1 coinniaii4, U tulfii:ient i<i fulfill 
the oflen»ive plans, vrhich it ii the intereil of the ailied poweti to execute, th»t 
they may secure an honorable peace. It the men -of- war are neccatary tor ful- 
liliing Ihir project*, which you have in view, it will be uiieful to the terrice. that 
M. de liairna or M. Dertouchci be appritcd of il, and ihal pilots be seiil tons 
(kill fill and well iiihtruited. ai the French <>hlg» have a larger itralt of water than 
(he KritiHli. Il will not he till the >5th of July, at the soonest, that I sh-ill be 
on the coail of North America ; but it will be necesiary. by reaion of the short 
lime that I have to May in thalcauncry (aUo lictng obliged to leave it on account 
of the »ca*on), that every Ihiii); occc^»ary for llic tuccriaof your projecti should 
be in readinew. that not a moment for action may be losL" — JUS. teller, dated 
at Sea, March 19th, 

The above letter wa* tent by theconvoy. Count ilr Kociumbean ilnpatched 
a vcstol immediately for the West Indiei, with full intelligence to Count de 
Graue concemiojc che plant In view, and alto the utrenKlh, tilualion, and ap- 
parent deiJ)[n>< of the enemy. He recommended to him to enter the Chon- 
pnke on ha way. ai there might be an opportunity of itrtking an important 
atrokc there, and then to proceed Immediately to New Vork. and be leady 10 
co-operate with the allied arniick in an attack upon ihnt city. He likewJHO 
reqimled, that, it poaible. five or ria thouaand laud troops might be bronght 
fnnn th« West Indies. 

He wrttet thus to (rcneml Waahin|;ton ; bnl In hlh Alimairti he taken iom«- 
what mocvcrcdit tohimiclf rnpectinglhcprupotedopcntionin theCheupeak«, 




explain this matter to the Count de Grasse ; as, if I 
understand it, you have in your communication to 
him confined our views to Ntw York alone. And, 
instead of advising him to run immediately into the 
Chesapeake, will it not be best to leave him to judge, 
from the information he may from time to time re- 
ceive of the situation of the enemy's fleet upon this 
coast, which will be the most advantageous quarter 
for him to make his appearance in? In the letter, 
which was written to the minister from Weathersfield, 
in which he was requested to urge the Count to come 
this way with his whole fleet, Sandy Hook was men- 

"I prawDtcd to H. dc Urauc/'tays he, "a picture oi the iliHiretM* of Uie 
fOtllh«rn Stala, and above all of Virginia, which had nothing tur.|>pusc Ihc in- 
KMcts of I.ard CoTni>'alIi& bul a small hody of troops under Lafayette, who vu 
Mutained only by hm yuod coatluci and (he Qntiue of Ihc country iiilericctcd 
by many rivere. I Irantmided la M. de Gnusc ihe arlklei oE the conference 
at Weathenfield. 1 abgerved lo him, that lie ooghi to know teller ihaii myielf 
the pouibility of forcing a passage into the harbor of Ne« York, since, in cir- 
cumitancet ncitly similar. M. d'Estaing, under whose orders he had served, had 
made an iiieffeclual proposal to the pilots, in oHeting tliem an eiiormcius miin lo 
take hii vessels aeros the bar, which they liid not venture to aitempl. In 
iihoil, I rcprcicnted lo htm, as my private opinion, that an enterprise in the 
CheMjreHke its)' a^ainM Lord Cornwall in wuuld lie the mott pmcliciblr, and the 
kiBt eipecled by the enemy, who counted on our distance from thai quoHer. I 
requetlcd him to solicit iticnuously from the ]>ovcrn»r of St. Domingo the u>c 
i/ca thfte muiitliH ,A ibc F'rcneh b[i);a<lc under M. do Si. Simon, which was 
dmincd lo act with the Spaniards, who, it appeared lo me, would have no em- 
ployment for it during the campaign. Idciired him, also, to effect a loan in 
our coloniet of twelve hundred ihouaand franca, which michl insure Ihe success 
of Ihii operation. 1 concluded by entreating him [o dispatch to me a frigate 
•1 soon OS possible, with Ms answer, that I might artanec with General Wash- 
ini^on our match by land lu join him at ilic point auigncil in the Chesapeake." 
— MAniirti, torn, ii.. p. 3^^. 

These schemes of Count dc Rochambeau do not appear In hU letters to Gen- 
eral Waahin|>lnn. There are several inilicalionx, thai he did not uppi»ve an 
slUck upon New York, and only yielded hii asent to what he di>cov«t«d lo be 
die wish of the American commander. — Sparki. 




tioned as the most desirable point ; because, by com- 
ing suddenly there, he would certainly blotk up any 
fleet, which might be within ; and he would even have 
a very good chance of forcing the entrance, before 
dispositions could be made to oppose him. Should the 
British fleet not be there, he could follow them to the 
Chesapeake, which is always accessible to a superior 
force. I am, &c. 


Hkad Quartbrb. Nbw Wind*ok, 
21 Juuc, i;8i. 

Dear Sir, 

I have just received a letter from Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Clinton, of the 15th, enclosing the examination 
of two prisoners who were taken lately by one of his 
scouts ; from whence it appears the enemy in Canada 
have not made any movements in force, or prepara- 
tions for an incursion ; and indeed this intelligence 
corresponds so exactly with that which has been 
received through other channels, that I cannot but 
regret having SL-nt the reinforcement to the north- 
ward, at a time when the aid of every man was so 
essential to the success of the operations in contem- 

As it will be indispensably necessary, when we ad- 
vance towards the enemy's lines, to withdraw the 
regular force from the northward, I have thought 
proper to advise General Clinton and your Excellency 
of it, that provision might be made as far as practi- 
cable to replace these troops with the men engaged 




for the campaign and the three years' service.' At 
the same time that I express my unhappiness at being 
forced to the measure, and assure your Excellency, 
that nothing but necessity could induce me to recall 
the Continental troops, I wish it may be under- 
stood, that, when the moment of operating arrives, 
there is not any consideration which can persuade 
me to counteract the plan, that has been concerted 
between the Conut de Rochambeau and myself. 
But lest the enemy should attempt to take advan- 
tage of their absence, to make inroads on the 
frontier, in order to distract our attention and cause 
a diversion in favor of their most important post, I 
beg leave to recommend in the strongest terms, that 
every means in your power should be made use of to 
guard against such an event. 

1 will also take the liberty to suggest, whether an 
additional security might not be afforded to those 
posts, which are exposed to the ravages of the enemy, 
by my sending a Continental officer to assist in 
rousing and assembling the force of the country, and 
to put himself at the head of such militia and volun- 
teers, as might be drawn together on an emergency 

' In place □( th« ContinenUl (orce Ihut wiihdmwn, six hundred ntjlitu friMii 
(he Cuunlics of Uerkhhlrc nnJ IJampkhite were ordered there, willi ihe New 
York mill tin. The commaad wnt given to Bri|pidict-Gcncnl Sluk. wilh tn> 
(trucdoni (d«ted June a^lh) (a opprae any JiKurtioo of the enemy *iid protect 
thcfrantJO'. " 1 rely upon It, that yau will uk your utmoit exertloni to diair 
fmUi Uie (orce of ih« country [rum Iho Green MounUint, and all tbo conlign- 
oai lerrilory : (nd I doubt not yourrciiuiutioni will be ntieoded wilh lucccu, 
U your (lertonal iiillucnce mutt be unlimited amonipt llioee [iri>|>le. a( wlioie 
hpad you lure lurmtrly (ouglil and cunquercd wilh so much reputation and 
glory." Co!. Willett was to remain in command on the Mohawk Kiver, " a* 
hU popularity in thftteoDnliy will enable him to render estenlial iK/viceitheie." 




from the district of country called Vermont ; and 
whether, in that case. Brigadier-General Stark would 
not be a proper character to employ on this service, 
especially as he has already obtained a reputation 
from his successes in that quarter, is undoubtedly a 
man of bravery, and has been accustomed to com- 
mand irregular troops in action. It appears to me, a 
popular officer in that situation would be extremely 
advantageous on many accounts. Whether there 
may be reasons of state against it, I know not. I 
have, therefore, submitted it to your consideration. 
I beg your opinion freely on the subject, and have 
the honor to be with great respect, &c. 


Hkai>Quakt»u, NkwWimdsok, 
24 June, 1781. 

Dear Sir, 

In the course of our expected operations we shall 
stand in need of a species of troops, which are not at 
present to be procured either in this army or in any 
of the States to the northward of Pennsylvania. 
They are expert Rifle Men. The use of these men 
will be to fire into the embrasures and to divide the 
enemy from their parapets when our approaches are 
carried ver>' near to their Works, Without this can 
be done, our loss will be immense when we shall 
come within Musquct Shot — General Lincoln informs 
mc that the enemy made use of this mode at the 
Siege of Charlestown, and that his Batteries were in 




a manner silenced, untill he opposed the same kin<l 
of troops and made it as dangerous for the enemy 
to shew their men as it had been before for him to 
expose his. — The number which we shall want will 
be about three hundred, and I shall be exceedingly 
obliged to your Excellency if you will endeavor to 
procure so many from the Frontier of Pennsylvania. 
Had the Quota of Militia from your State have 
come to this army. I should have endeavored to have 
selected the required number from among them. But 
that not beeing the case — I think it but reasonable 
that the expence of raising the Rifle Men should be 
Continental. I have written to this effect to Con- 
gress and have requested the president to signify 
their approbation to Your Excellency if they think 
proper to accede to it. — 1 would wish the Corps to be 
formed into Six Companies of 50 each under the com- 
mand of a Captain and two Subs — the whole to be 
commanded by a Major — The term of service 
to the ist day of January next. The choice of the 
officers I shall leave to your Excellency. If Major 
Parr formerly of the 7th Penna. Regt. would engage 
in such a service a better officer could not be found 
for the purpose. The Bounty cannot now be deter- 
mined, and therefore it will be with you to procure 
them on as low terms as possible. But that the busi- 
ness may not be retarded for want of proper encour- 
agement, I would you to make yourself ac- 
quainted with the Sum which will most probably 
engage them, and offer that, whatever it may be. 
One of the terms should be that they are to find their 

own Rifles, as we have none in Store — I shall be glad 
to hear as soon as possible what probability there 
will be of succeeding in this undertaking. The 
greater part of the men. must be with the Army by 
the ist of Augt., or their services will be useless 
afterwards. I am, &c 



30 June, 1781. 


1 had last evening the honor of your Excellency's 
favor of the 28th, with a postscript of the 2gth. 

The enemy by sending a detachment into Mon- 
mouth County in jersey to collect Horses, Cattle 
and other plunder, have so weakened their posts upon 
the North end of York Island, that a most favorable 
opportunity seems at this moment to present itself of 
possessing them by a Coup de maine, which, if it 
succeeds, will be of the utmost consequence to our 
future operations. I have for this reason determined 
to make the attempt on the night of the ad of July. 
But as we cannot with the remainder of our own force 
maintain the advantage should wc gain it, I must en- 
treat your Excellency to put your first Brigade under 
march tomorrow morning, the remaining Troops to 
follow as quick as possible, and endeavor to reach 
Bedford by the evening of the 2d of July, and from 
thence to proceed immediately towards Kingsbridge, 
should circumstances render it necessary. Your 
Magazines having been established on the Route by 




Crompond it may perhaps be out of your power to 
make any deviation, but could you make it conven- 
ient, you would considerably shorten the distance by 
marching from Ridgeburg to Salem and from thence 
to Bedford leaving Crompond upon your right.' 

There is another matter which appears to me ex- 
ceedingly practicable upon the same night that we 
attempt the works upon York Isld. and which I would 
wish to commit to the execution of the Duke de 
Lauzun provided his Corps can be brought to a cer- 
tain point, in time. — It is the surprise of a Corps 
of light Troops under the command of Colo. Delancey 
which lies at Morrisania without being covered by 
any Works. To effect this, the Duke must be at 
Bedford on the 2d of July by 12 o'clock, if possible, 
where he will be joined by Colo. Sheldon with 200 
Horse and Foot and on his march from thence by 
about 400 Infantry, both Officers and Men perfectly 
acquainted with the Country — Upon a supposition 
that the Duke may be at Bedford at the above men- 
tioned time — and that he will be ready to carry the 
design into execution, he shall be met there by par- 
ticular instructions from me and will find good 
guides. At any rate, 1 must request your Excellency 
to send orders to the Duke this evening to continue 
his march tomorrow morning and to reach Bedford 
by the Evening of the 2d of July if he cannot be 

' TI1C Fnnch ixta^ began il> movoingiil for the Ilnikon oii Juno totli, 
Rochambcau received (our hondred recruits at Proviiipncc, and resumed hi> 
ttaiebon the iSlli. On Ibc 13d hcwaiat Hurtloid, where he wrote to Wuh- 
inglon that h« expected to be at Newtown on the aSth. On lii« port Wuh- 
Ington moved Hit Bimf lowardt PcekikiU. 




there by noon. In this latter case the enterprise 
against Delancey must probably be laid aside and the 
Legion with the first Brigade of your Army will be 
at hand to support the detachment upon York Island 
should they succeed — I shall move down with the 
remainder of this Army towards Kingsbridge and 
shall be ready to form a junction with your Excel- 
lency below at some point which shall be hereafter 
agreed upon. 

I am certain I need not recommend the proper 
degree of secrecy to your Excellency — One reason 
which makes it more than commonly necessary in 
the Country where you are, is. that the enemy will 
have emissaries in your Camp in the Garb of peasants 
with provisions and other matters and will be atten- 
tive to every word which they may hear drop. 

You will much oblige me by letting me know in- 
stantly by return of the line of Expresses whether 
your first Brigade and the Legion can march tomor- 
row morning and whether the Duke can be at Bed- 
ford by the time first proposed (the ad of July) at noon. 

Under the foregoing circumstances it becomes neces- 
sary for me to march from hence on Monday, and I 
therefore submit it to your Excellency whether it will 
not be more convenient to both of us to defer our 
interview untill the Armies shall have proceeded 
lower down. I shall take care to establish a proper 
communication between the Columns and to see that 
a junction is formed before there shall be any danger 
of an attack from the Enemy. I have, &c' 

< Tliii l*tl«TCol. Cobb wu to dslivsr to Kochunbcau and Impreit upon that 






The object of your present command, — consisting of two regi- 
ments, (fonned into four battalions,) under the command of 
Colonel Scamiocll and Licutcoant-Coloncl Sprout, of a detach- 
ment of artillery under the command of Captain Burbeck, of the 
corpa of watermen under the command of Major Darby, and the 
waterguard under the command of Captain Pray,— i« to attempt 
the surprise of the enemy's posts upon the north end of York 

My ideas, as to the most probable mode of attaining this object, 
have been minutely detailed in the several conversations which 
we have had upon the subject, and you have been furnished with 
such papers as I have been able to collect, and upon which my 
judgment has been formed. But it is not my wish, or desire, 

cammanckr ihc importaiKc of mttking the attack on Ihc noilh end of New York 
hlftnd, anil on Helanccy'K corpR. On Ihc joth Drigaiiiei Genera] Waterhury 
wu oRlercd to collect sll the men ho could, and m.trching tight and with (otu 
Axji picivUion, fonn a juiiclion with Colonel Sheldon, at Clnpp't in King 
Strtet. on ihe 3d of Julv. by «iin!iet. He would there he joined alw I17 the 
French legion, "imdei the ccnnmand of the Duke ile Lauiun. who is n bri^- 
dier in the service of hit Moii Chrittian Mxjetty. ind an officer of distinction, 
longb«rvice. and merit. The DukeiHtocnmtnnndatl the lroo[M that will be unem- 
bled at (he point mentioned."— M'aj*inf*ii « BrigadUr.Gmrrai tfaUrtury, 
30 June and I July. tjSi. Colonel Dayti>n wat ordered to collect all the troopa 
of his brigadr, ctcepi the vumpany at Wyamin)*. and march 11 li^ht ah potii- 
ble townrdi Kingibridge fjo June). The three eompanio of New York Stale 
tioopi were diiccled to auembic at Bedford on July IM, and put thcni>clv» 
under the command of Colonel Sheldon. On the 30lh, Governor Clinton wat 
informed of the intended movement ; 

"In fullcti coniidencc I inform you, that I intend to make ait attempt 
hy luipriw upon the enemy's posln on the north end of York Iiland, ou Mon- 
day night. Should we be happy enough to sui:cccd. and be able to hold onr 
conqncil, the advantigct will he tireater than can be well imagined. But I 
cannot flnlln myself, thai llic enemy will permit the latter, unlc» I nin tud- 
denly and coniidembly reinforced. 1 ihall march down the remainder of thi* 
army, and I have hog>ci- that the t'lench (•iivcwill l>c neat at hand by that time. 
But I thall. notwithstanding, direct the alutm-guns and beacons to be fiml in 
c«*e of incces* : and 1 have to request, that your Excellency will, upon dipialt, 




that these should b« any restraint upon you. Vour ovn observa- 
tion and the circumstances of the moment must in a great de- 
gree govern yoti. 

The success of your enterprise depending absolutely upon se- 
crecy and surprise, it will be wrong to prosecute it a moment 
after you are discovered, unless the discovery is made so near the 
works, that you may, by a rapid movement, gain them before the 
enemy have lime to rc-coilect and put themselves in a posture of 
defence. Fort George, upon Laurel Hill, ought to be your pri- 
«i«ry object, because success at that place will open a communi- 
cation with the main, afford an asylum to the troops, who may 
be diAuppointed in other attacks, and secure a retreat in case of 
necessity to the main body of the army. 

Should you carry Fort Knyphausen and Fort Tryon only, you 
caonot without infioite risk hold them, as we shall not be in a 
situation to support you from without. I would therefore recom- 

communicslc the meining of (hem to the mililiii. >□<! put yourself >t ihe Kcad 
of ihem. and much with the uimcst expeditioo towanji Kingsbiidge, briagiDg 
vith jrou ihrcc w lout it>}V prnvUion «i IciLtl. In that lime I think we ihall 
have to auangcd matter* u to have Utile need eA the militU suddenly called 
out. I h.ivc. iipDii « hope that we >hall succeed, ordetcd Biijiitdier-GcneTa] 
Clinton to send down the regular Itoopi immediately, iihould circnmuancM 
mike it neceuaiy, 1 can countctmand the order. — Waskm^n Is Gavtmtr 
CKKIIm, JO June, 1781. 

" The \Latmy\ ipptchenuon of our Jtilenlions & Ihc prolMbllitf I tud 
Rcftion lo apptehend thai iheli Force would be colleclcd to the North End of 
(ho laland on their receiving Infonnalion of our A]>]iro*ch, were amorg the 
Rouons that indnced me 10 laJl upon this Enterpriie S: ■dtleil to othrr Kca- 
»on& (01 the neceiiiiy of iti luddrn Enecutian the prcienl >ta£e of the Moon 
operated f^'ir tiiine ihe Time I mentioned — the tucccts of the Enlaprue 
depending on a Middrn lUrprize of the PoMs which mutt be atleinjiled by 
Nl)(hl Operaliont when the Approach can only be concealed. A delay to a 
luUci Time of the Moon which would greatly expose our Dctachmenti to a 
Diicorery could not be admittDd. Then Rcuons I hope will npo1of;iic to 
yonr EiEcIlency for my DoJrc to hailen the March of yaarTroopi. which must 
be fatigued with their tonu; march which they have Jreiuty pcrdinned. 

" Sboinld we bo 10 happy as lo succeed tn this .attempt it would give us cx> 
CMding great Advantage In our future Operalions — & indeed tAvc us perhaps 
the Time of goiid Pan of Ihc .Season to eslablinli • coinniunlcation with 
York IiJand. — I am obliged howe^'cr to confess to your Excolleiicy, that I an 
not highly sanguine in my Eipcclationa, altho' I think there is a good ProbabiU 




mmd your damapng (hem as much as you possibly can upon 
a sudden and relinquishing them. The artillery •men will be 
proportionably divided to the three attacks ; each party will be 
provided with two lanterns and two rockets, oae of which is to 
be fired in each work as soon as it is carried. 

If complete success should attend the enterprise, not a mo- 
ment's time should be lost in drawing the boats across the Island 
from the North River into Haerlem Creek, and securing them 
under the guns of Fort George, if circumstances will admit of it. 
But in case of a disappointment, and being obliged to retreat by 
water, and not being able to pass the enemy's ships and boats, 
the dernier resort must be a push over to the Jersey shore, and 
an abandonment of the boats, if they cannot be drawn up the 
bank and carried off on carriages. It will be very essential, that 
I should be made acquainted as early as possible with your sue- 

itf of nicceeiting — so great, thai I havetho'I It expedient to put the Alicmpt it 

" From mjr tate Infotmation howevn'. & that I may not Riiqae loo mucb, I 
bavc directed (he OHicer commilg. the r>elachmcnl (Mnjr. GenL I.Encoln, who 
will Tomorrow be in i Poiilion for ihc Purpose) thai he ihnll in Pcnon r«coii- 
Roiire ihe iliumion of ihc Rncmy, — & inform himself by any Meant in bin 
Power of their probable Sicengib & Numhcri; from whence he will be able to 
determine the Praclicabiltty of acco«np1ishg. his Aim — On this Ground the At- 
tempt will be rciluued lo s Coniingenry, — (Icnl. Lincoln having my Inslnic- 
liontto conduct himself eventually agreeable to hUown DSacoveries& his Judg- 
ment of His probable Sorccsi or FnUuie — Should he obtain su<h Information 
of Ihe [Enemy's foEition & Strength is lo oblige him to decline the Bllem[il 
on their Post) — he wilt then, agrcenblc (ohi« Instnictiont throw himnclf into > 
Situation In form a Coveting Party to Ihe Enlerpriie lo b« condvcted by 
Ihe Duke Ijiniun." — IftuAinxfaii l<i tCm^mtitau, 3 July, I78r. 

On July ad Washington wrote to Kochamboiu : 

" I have this morning received your Excellency's favor of last evening. I 
Ihinit it will he very well fo( your Eiccllency to |>rocced to-morrow to North 
Culle, where you will continue until you atMmbIc your whole force, unlrw yoti 
ihould hear from mc within that time. Being at North Castle will put you in a 
direct route to icceireyourprovialonH from Crompond. and It will be In a direct 
way for your troopi to advance to White Plains, or say othsr pirint briciw, la 
clicuiuitances shall tp{«ar lo demand." 

The scheme failed, as n dctailcil In the letter lo Con(;reu, July 6th, foil. 
The Briliih had received information of the attempt in tim* to provide a^^ainnt 
It. — iiagatim ff Amtriean Hiitery, Jane, 1SS4- 




c«M, «n<) the eximi of il If co a ple te, jroa will anwrwrf it by 
the Aring of ihlncea caanoo, «t one Bisatc's tnteml. after aO 
l«Mcr firing md c o» f«B o« hsve ccaaed. If Fon George obIt' 
li LJifricd, lix c«nioa nc to be fred n tbe sme ataaiMr. For 
Port KnjrpluuMii, Trfon, or both o< tben, yoa need dm fire itf- 
nalii, becanse jon ue, as before dtreded, iiminiliinlj to reKv 
fjuiitli (bein. 

'1*hc foregoing is npon a oippoMtioik, that dw priacips] object; 
the atunpt upon the worfcc on York ttland, is canied iaco cxeco- 
IJOD ; bat, Aould fon, upon reconnoitring the eaenf to-Dwrtow, 
And it unadncaUc to proMCiite the plan, or ihovld foo be obHged 
to ((ive it over on account of an early ducorerj- bjr the enemy's 
•MppJog or boat!, I would tben bare jrocr tnm your alteotioD to 
tbe lapport of an aitrnipt, which is alto to be made on the mom- 
ing of the jd by the I )Tikc dc Lauzan apoo Oclaaceir's corps lyiac 
at Morrisania. To effect this, yoa will Uad yoar men ai anjr 
convenient place abore the mouth of Spiten DertI Creek, and 
march to the high grounds in front of Kingsbridge, where j-on 
will lie concealed iinlil the Duke's attack is announced by firing 
or other means. You may then dispose of your force in such a 
manner, in view of the enemy, as to make them think your party 
larger than it is, whicli may have the double effect of preventing 
them from coming over the bridge lolum the Duke's right, and alKi 
of preventing any of Delanccy's party from escaping that way. 
Your further operations must depend upon the movements of 
the enemy and other circuro stances. 

I expect I shall be myself in the neighborhood of Kingsbridge 
early in the morning of the jd, with the remainder of ihc army. 
I shall as soon as possible open a communication with yon, and 
give you such orders as the general state of matters may require. 
If you land, send an officer and small party up the main road to meet 
me In caso you land u^xm the ea$t ^ide of the river, ahovo the 
mouth of Spiten Devil Creek, you will send your Ik»U up along 
the cast shore. If Major Darby receives no particular directions 
from mc, he will proceed with them to King's Ferry, (liven at 
Head-Quaners, near Peekskill, this ist day of July, 1781.' 

' "Count l-'cnen will dome th« favor to deliver thti lo yam Excellency. The 
opcratlonii ofihii (Ifty ate over, and I am toiry loMj, thai I have not had itie 





Head Qitaktus, hbab Dobbs's Fbrbv, 
6 July. 1781. 


I do myself the honor to inform your Excellency, 
that the army marched from their camp near Peeks- 
kill on the morning of the 2d, without either tents or 
baggage, and reached Valentine's Hill, about four 
miles on this side of Kingsbridge. a little after day- 
light the morning following. 

General Lincoln, with a detachment of eight hun- 
dred men, fell down the North River in boats, landed 
near Phillips's House before daylight on the morning 
of the 3d, and took possession of the ground on this 
side of Haerlem River, near where Fort Independence 
formerly stood. This movement was principally in- 

h*ppin«ai to succeed ■□ my wishes. allhoDgh t think vei; Moential bencfil •riU 
icrnilt to onr future njicraiions fmiii llie opfiorlunlty I have hitd. in > very foil 
manner, to toconnoilie the poulion and works of ihf eiiomy uii ihc north lud 
o( York IjUnd. The p«riicu!«r events of the day \ shall da myscll (h« honor to 
comuiumciile. when [ hitTc ilic pleasure to jokii your RxceUency. 

"The Ainencm army and thrjlegion of (he Uuke do Lnuiun will march to- 
morrow to White Plains. If ii will be convenient to you, I shall be happy to 
receive your Ciceilcncy with your lroo(i» »I ibal place theday after lo-morrow. 
When I shall have an opportunity to converse with your Exc«llenL-y, I conceivB 
I shall be able to give you huch rea^icmtt (or (onnin£ yaui junction at White 
Plains in the Hut instance, ai will satisfy you of ihc lilllily and iilncu of the 
poiiiiaii (or commencing Che prepftrations for onr conc«rl«1 uperuliuns u( the 
campaign."— /('ii/Ai«f /.IB to AV«A(imiAiii, jjuly. t78i. 

*' The Cummindcr-in.chief lake* the rarlicnl opportunity of expicatlni; 
hia Itiaiiks to the Duke de I.aujun, his officers and men, for the very cxlraoi- 
dinary «al nianifesled by i he in in (he rapid performance of their mnrch to 
joiii the American army. And the General also takes oicatioci to ihank the 
affic«rs and men of the American army, for the alacrity with which th«y have 
sup|»>rled t h em selvei under Iho (ali^in); mtLrcli of yetterday and lost night. 
The troops, who were engaged to-day, ntcrtt his paiU'cnlat thank*."— (>«**// 
Beei, July Jd. 




tended to support and favor an enterprise, which I 
had projected against a corps of refugees under the 
command of Colonel Delancey at Morrisania, and 
other light troops without the bridge, and which was 
to have been executed by the Duke de Lauzun with 
his own legion. Colonel Sheldon's regiment, and a 
detachment of Stale troops of Connecticut under the 
command of Brigadier-General Waterbury. The 
Duke, notwithstanding the heat of the day of the 2d. 
marched from Ridgbury. in Connecticut, and reached 
East Chester very early the next morning ; but. upon 
his arrival there, finding by the firing that General 
Lincoln had been attacked, and the alarm given, he de- 
sisted from the further prosecution of his plan (which 
could only have been executed to any effect by sur- 
prise), and marched to the General's support, who 
continued skirmishing with the enemy and endeav- 
oring to draw them so far into the country, that the 
Duke might turn their right and cut them off from 
their work on the east side of Hacrlem River, and 
also prevent their repassing that river in boats. 
General Parsons had [possessed the heights imme- 
diately commanding Kingsbridge, and could have 
prevented their escape by that passage. Every en- 
deavor of this kind proved fruitless ; for [ found, upon 
going down myself to reconnoitre their situation, that 
all their force, except very small parties of observa- 
tion, had retired to York Island. This afforded Gen- 
eral Duportail and myself the most favorable oppor- 
tunity of perfecting reconnoitring the works upon the 
north end of the Island, and making observations. 




which may be of very great advantage in future. 
Finding nothing further could be done, I returned 
the day before yesterday to this ground, where I ex- 
pect to be joined this day by his Excellency the 
Count de Rochambeau, who reached North Castle 
the ad instant. 

J cannot too warmly express the obligations I am 
under to the Count, for the readiness with which he 
detached the Duke de Lauzun, and for the rapidity 
with which he pushed the march of his main body, 
that he might have been within supporting distance, 
had any favorable stroke upon the enemy below given 
us an opportunity of pursuing any advantage, which 
might have been gained. General Lincoln had five 
or six men killed and about thirty wounded in his 

I have the honor to be, &a' 

' Kciil in Conj^resa. July totti. 

Tbe [oilowing ntracl from Genenl Wuhinglon*s Diary will more fully ex- 
plain the recent opcntions. 

" yulyiJ,—Oi:betii\ Lincoln's ilcUchmtnt ambuked la«1 n^ht after dark, at 
or neu ToiI«r'i Point ; and, bb hi> operations were \a be the movementt of two 
nifihlt, be wat dctircd to repair to Fort I-ee Ihik ilay. and reconnoitre the en- 
emy'* wnrh«, pmiiion, and Mrcn(;i)i, .i« well » lit ponkibly could, and txico his 
ultimate determination from appcarancB ; Ihat is, (o attempi the lurpriie, if 
the prospect wai favorable, or to rctinquUh it. If It wa) not : ami in the latter 
caMlulftnd above the niooth of Spitni Devil, and cover the Diike de Latituii 
in hit opcrniion on Detancey'i corps. At three o'clock this morning I com- 
meotfed xaj luaich with the Continental anny, in order lo cover the deinehcd 
Irooptand iiiipruvi- sny ad van luce «, which mit-bt be i^ined Irj'thoni. I made 
B imall halt ai the Nevr Bridge over the Crolon abool nine miles from rcekskill. 
another al the church by Tarrylown till dnsk (nine nitlei more), and completed 
llw [«in*ini'iK pari of the march in (h« ni^liI, arriving .11 Valentine's Hill (at 
Mile Square} about sunriic. Our baggage and lenti were left standing at the 
campal reckakill. 

" ^ — The length of the Duke de Laainn'* mirch, and the fatigue of hit 
corps, prevented hii coming lo the point of action at the hour appointed. In 





Head-Quaktims, mkar Doom's Fkikt, 

My Dear Marquis, 

Since my last 1 have received your letters of the 
loth, 18th and 38 of June. 

I sincerely congratulate you on the favorable turn 
of affairs announced in your last, and 1 hope you will 
be enabled to maintain that superiority, which you 
seem to be gaining ever Lord Cornwallis. We have 
had a variety of reports of General Greene's further 
successes in South Carolina. By some we are told, 
that both Augusta and Ninety-Six have fallen, but in 
a letter, which 1 have just received from Monsieur 

tba nkMn time Gcii«ral LJncolii's puty, who were orderol to iircrent the re< 
Dot o( Delanccy's corpt by the wty of Kingsbridgc, anil prevent succon by 
that rDUl«. w«rt Bltack«d by the Vagen andolhon; but, on the match olthc 
trmy fromValcnline't Ilill, they retired to the liland. Being diiappoinied in 
both objects, fruin iha caimmncntioned. I did not raie tu (ati^c thetroopi any 
more, but luRered them to remain on their irmi, while I spent a good part o[ 
the il*y iti icconnoilrinj[ the encmy't work^. In the adclnoan we retired to 
Valentine'i Hill, and lay upon our >nn>. The Diikc de Lsuiuii and (;«^eral 
Wateibury Uy on the eail lide o( the Bninx Rirec on the Ea« Cheitcr roid. 

"4/it — Miircheil and inok apoi^ltlnn a little lo the left of Dnbbk't Fcny, and 
marked a camp for the French army upon uur led. The Uuki do Lautnn 
matEhcd to While Plaint, and Walcrbury to Horieneck. 

"%lk. — Visited the French army, wlikh had arrived at North Cattle. 

'•6rt.— The French army formed the junction wtih (he American on the 
groundi marked out. The legion of l.auiun took a podtion in advance of the 
Plaint on Chatlcrlon'i ItiU. west of the River Brum. ThU day alia the minli- 
ter of France arrivcil in camp front Fhiladelphia.'* 

The Americati army was encamped in i«o linci, with the right rcning on the 
Hudion River iic»r Dobbs't Ferry. The French army wat ttationed on the 
hilliai the left, in annsle line reaching to the Droni RWer. There woaaral. 
ley of conkidcialik extent between the two armie*. 

From Clinton'* intelligence we Icam that Waihinglon'* Ho»d-Ouaner» were 
at Job: AppTeby'i, "on the Saw Mill Road, about a| milo from Hammond'i," 
On the 7th ho ahiried hit ^uartM» from Appleby'i W " Thoa. Tompkina, 9| 




Marbois, he says that Augusta has been taken, and 
the siege of Ninety-Six raised. Count de Rocham- 
beau formed a junction with me at this camp, 
(about twelve miles from Kingsbridge,) a few days 
ago. We are waiting for reinforcements for the 
Continental line, and of militia, and are in the mean 
time establishing our communication at Dobbs's 

I shall shortly have occasion to communicate mat- 
ters of very great importance to you. so much so. that 
I shall send a confidential officer on purpose to you. 
You will in the mean time endeavor to draw together 
as respectable a body of Continental troops as you 
possibly can. and take every measure to augment 
your cavalry. Should the enemy confine themselves 
to the lower country, you will no doubt pay attention 
to the formation of magazines above. These will be 
in every case essential, whether the war continues 
in Virginia, or whether it will still be carried on in 

miles Ihii i\iit of Voiing'i ho<u«. on (h« direct road " ; nnd co the loth he wu 
reported 10 be »1 Ilummond't. Appleby'* wu aim deicribcd u being "on 
the Manor ol PhilipAburgh," 

From Iht OrJtrly Beak, yiUyfah. — " The CommandtT-in-chkf with pleaiUTe 
embiaces the eailicii public nppnrlunlty of cipreuiiig his Ihanlu to hU Excel- 
lency, the Count d« Ruchamhcau, lor the unrprnittiii); ical with which hr hxi 
pioiecuted hii maivh. in order 10 (orm the long viihed.foi jniiction between 
the Crriich and Ameticnn fDrcei ; an event, which muit aRord the hlgheki de- 
gree of pleaiuie 10 every friend of hti cuunlry, and from which (ho h»ppi«at 
conneiguenccs are to he expected. The General entreati hi> Excellency, (he 
Count lie Kochatnlioau. ta convey in the ofliccn and toldicn under hU 
immediflle command the gmteful seme be entertains of the choerfulncss, with 
which Ihey have performed )o long and laboriont a march at thii hot seaion. 
The lociment of S,iiiii{>ii^c i» cntiitetl lo pcciillar achnwledgnienli tor the 
ipirit, with which they continued and supported theii nonh without one day't 




South Carolina. Should General Greene come into 
Vii^inia in person, you will be good enough to com- 
municate the foregoing to him. 

In the present situation of aflTairs, it is of the ut- 
most importance that a communication by a chain of 
expresses should be opened between this army and 
that in Virginia. They are already established from 
hence to Philadelphia, and if there is none from 
you to Philadelphia, you will be pleased to take 
measures for having it done. You will also endeavor 
to establish such a communication with the coast, as 
to be able to know whether any troops are detached 
by sea from Lord Cornwallis's army ; for it is more 
than probable, that, if he finds himself bafHed in at- 
tempting to overrun Virginia, he will take a strong 
post at Portsmouth, or Williamsburg, and reinforce 
New York or South Carolina. Should any detach- 
ment be made, you will transmit to me the earliest 
intelligence. What you say in confidence of the 
conduct of a certain officer shall be kept a profound 
secret, and I will contrive means of removing him 
from the quarter where he is so unpopular. 

The Rhode Island regiment is so thinly officered, 
that Colonel Olney wishes one of the subs, of the 
light company may be suffered to return, when Cap- 
tain Olney joins. You will act in this as circum- 
stances may permit. You have the compliments and 
good wishes of all your friends in the French army. 
Those of the American are not behindhand with 
them. With the warmest affection and esteem, I 
am, &c. 





Hrad-Quarters, neas Dobbs's Fbbkv, 

Dear Sir, uJ^iy. ^TSt. 

Your favors of the 2d and 5th instant have afforded 
me infinite satisfaction, as the measures you are pur- 
suing for subsisting the army perfectly accord with 
my ideas, and are, I am certain, the only ones, which 
can secure us from distress or the constant apprehen- 
sions of it' Had magazines of any consequence 
been formed in the different States, in pursuance of 
the late requisitions of Congress, the disposal of the 
articles collected at a distance from the army would 
have merited your attention ; but so little has been 
done in that way, that I imagine you will not think 
the matter worthy of notice, when 1 inform you of the 
trifling quantities which remain on hand. Of flour 
no magazines have been formed at any place. Of 
salt meat none was put up in Pennsylvania. Jersey, 
or New York. There had been, by estimate, seven 
or eight thousand barrels of meat and fish put up in 
Connecticut, of which between two and three thou- 
sand have come forward, and the remainder is, I be- 
lieve, in motion. Massachusetts put up very little 
salt meat, and most of it has been consumed upon 
the communication by the recruits, or transported to 

' By ircs'ilvoof Cungrcn, Robert Morrit, M SupciiDlendn«t of Finance, iru 
v«s(i:d irith powers la diipoie of iiie iff ei/it suf flic i, which had been required 
to be famUhed by the several Sutci, in luch luHnncr u he. wiili the kiIvIcc oI 
the Coinniuiider-in-chiel, thoultl judge bcii iiuitcd lu promote the putilii: inter- 
ert, and anmo the purpoiei of ihe pteient eimpaign. — yearaali, June 4ih. 
It was the opinion of M r. Morris ihftt ill these xuppliei tboald be told on the 
bcsl terink ihtt cuutU lie oblaiiicil. am) Ihal the *tmj hliuukl in future be iup< 
pliodby contncls. 




Albany. Rhode Island purchased one thousand bar* 
rels, of which about six hundred remain at Provi- 
dence, and I would wish them to be still kept there 
for a particular purpose:. I could never learn, with 
certainty, how much was put up in New Hamp- 
shire ; but I have directed all that was at Portsmouth 
to be transported by water to Providence, as I wish 
to form a small magazine of salt provision at that 
place, as I mentioned before, for a particular purpose. 
No magazines of rum have been formed. We have 
been in a manner destitute of that necessary article, 
and what we are now likely to draw from the several 
States will be from hand to mouth. From the fore- 
going state of facts you will perceive in how small a 
degree the requisitions of Congress have been com- 
plied with, and may form a judgment of the misera- 
ble manner in which the army has been subsisted. 

Having lately, at the request of the Board of War, 
furnished them with my opinion of the quantity of 
provision, which ought to be laid up at the several 
posts, they will be able, at the interview which you 
propose to have with them, to lay before you my 
ideas upon the subject of a contract for supplying the 
army. I beg you to be assured, that I never can 
think your correspondence tedious or troublesome. 
Duty as well as inclination will always prompts mc to 
listen with pleasure to your obser\'ations upon the 
state of our public affairs ; and 1 shall think myself 
happy, if 1 can in any manner contribute to assist 
you in the arduous task you have undertaken. I 
shall ver)' anxiously wait for the visit, which you 




promise to make me. I am, with very sincere respect 
and esteem, &c. 

P. S. Will it be possible upon a sudden emer- 
gency to procure from 2.000 to 2,500 barrels of salt 
beef or pork at Philadelphia, in such case what may 
be at Providence or New Hampshire maybe disposed 
of and go towards payment of that in Philadelphia. 
We have no news of the ship Lafayette ; about 3,000 
suits of clothes have arrived at Boston from Spain, 
but unfortunately the coats are scarlet. 



Head Qdaktsile, kkar Dobbs's Fbkrv. 
14 July, 17B1. 
Mv Lord, 

While I am with Ihe detachment of the army below, you will 
remain in command here. Your principal attention will be paid 
to the good order of the camp, and the security of Ihe baggage 
and stores left in it. There will be no need of advanced pickets, 
OS you will be fully covered in front. The camp guards should 
be vigilant, and the officers commanding them see that ihe men 
are not permitted to straggle, or to plunder the baggage of the 
officers and soldiers. 

The greatest harmony having hitherto subsisted between the 
French and American soldiers, your Lordship will be partica- 
tarly careful 10 see that it it not interrupted by any act of impru- 
dence on our part ; and. as Major-Gcneral the Baron Viom^nil, 
who will command the French line, is older in commission than 
your Lordship, you will take the parole and countersign from him 
daily. It is scarcely probable that the enemy will make any attempt 
uponibecamp, while so respectable a force is near their own lines. 
Should they do it, it must be by water. The officer command* 

ja* rWfr T3?r73r<25r JF^ [r7«i 

-n ^tw-^^gTT -£: 

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■««En- u ir* avvr. arst jieai ss ai i°gnse 5zc —j 
ssi«ic; ^ rem. .. iTcgi ggrc us ^ isr-n^ ^r^^er yztz ^r^sz 

^c:<> i^t: HJt «!f isLiar? inr nrrvics .:>rz-^=cei 




That this has been the case in an eminent degree 
for some time past a Gentleman so well acquainted 
with public matters as you are, need not be told. The 
distresses of Virginia I am but too well acquainted 
with ; but the plan you have suggested as a relief for 
it is, in my judgmt., a greater proof of your unbounded 
confidence in me, than it is. that the means proposed 
would be found adequate to the end in view, were it 
practicable to make the experiment, which at present 
is not, as there are insuperable obstacles to my re- 
moving from the immediate command of the com- 
bined troops. 

'I"he reasons for this opinion I cannot entrust to 
paper, at all times liable to miscarriage, and peculiarly 
so of late, 1 am fully persuaded, however, (upon good 
military principles,) that the measures I have adopted 
will give more efTectual and speedier relief to the 

which is employed in the public service, and hu (or it* object the public 
good. ... It wou)d be ■ thing for angels to weep over if the goodly fabric of 
buman rrccdom, wliich you have 10 well Uborad to rtsr, should in one unlucky 
nonenibe levelled with the dnst. There is nothing t think mote certain, than 
thAt your perwnnl call would bring into immediate eic-rlion the force and (he 
moutca of thii State and the neighboting one*, which, tiirecltd gt Ihey would 
be, will cRectually diuip|>oinl and bafHe the deep laid ichcmci of the enemy." 
— Riikord HtHry Ijt tit If'iiiiiiigliiii, Cliantitly, June 19th. 

In this letter Mr. Lee cncloied a copy of one which he Iind written to some 
of the meoibcn of CoDgreu, and in which he had expreued himself as follows : 

" I.CI General Waiihingion be Snimcdiaicty sent 10 Virginia, with two i>r 
three ihouiand good Itoopi, Let Congreis, as ihc head of the federal union, 
in thii ctiiii direct, that, until a lefpslaturc can convene and ■ governor be ap- 
pulutcd, the Ccnsral be yiotwa*<\ of dictatorial powert, and that it be htrongly 
recomoiended tothc Aiiembly, uhen convened, to continue those powers for 
kit, ci|;ht, or ten months, as the case maybe ; and that the General maybe de- 
tired inntinlly on hit arrival in Vir^iuiu lu summon the tiicniber^ of Loth 
House) lo meet where he ihall appoint, to organise and t«*etlle their govcra- 




State of Virginia, than if I was to march thither with 
dictatorial powers, at the head of every man 1 could 
draw from hence, without leaving the important 
posts on the North River quite defenceless, and these 
States open to devastation and ruin. When I say 
this, I would be understood to mean, if I am properly 
supported (and I have asked no extraordinary suc- 
cors) by the States Eastward of Jersey inclusive My 
present operation, and which I have been preparing 
for with all the zeal and activity in my power, will. 
I am morally certain, if I am properly supported, 
produce one of two things ; either the fall of New 
York, or a withdrawal of the Troops from Viginja 
excepting a Garrison at Portsmouth, at which place, 
I have no doubt of the enemy's intention to estab- 
lish a permanent post. A long land march, in 
which, we have never failed to dissipate half our 
men, the difficulty and expense of transportation, and 
other reasons not less powerful, but wch 1 dare not 
commit to writing, decided me in my present plan ; 
and my hopes, I trust, will not be disappointed. 

In half an hour's conversation I could, I flatter my- 
self, convince you of the utility of my meases. ; but, 
as I have before obsen'ed, I dare not attempt it by 
letter, because I have already had two or three im- 
portant ones intercepted in the mails, the sight of 
which, I am persuaded, occasioned the retrogade 
movemts. of Lord Cornwallis, and will be the means 
of bringing part of his force to New York, to the ac- 
complishment of one part of my plan. The fatal policy 
of short enlistmts. (the primary cause of all our mis- 




fortunes — the prolongation of the War — and the 
source of the immense debt under which we labor — ) 
is now shedding its baneful influence upon our meas- 
ures and I am laboring under all the disadvantages and 
evils which result from them and the want of men. — It 
can be no News to tell you, that by the expiration of 
the terms of enlistment I was left last Winter with a 
force so much reduced as to be scarcely able to gar- 
rison West point ; but, it may be News, and is not 
less true than surprizing to you to hear that not half 
the men which were required to be with the Army, 
as recruits for the Continental Battns., by the first 
day of Jany. last are yet arrived — and of those asked 
by me from the Militia not one is come. 

But a few words more, and 1 will put an end to 
this long letter. 

No endeavors of mine have been wanting to obtain 
a naval superiority in these seas, nor to employ that 
which we have to valuable purposes. How far I 
have succeeded in the latter is but too obvious ; how 
far I may see my wishes accomplished in the former, 
time must discover. With great esteem and regard, 
I am. dear Sir, &c.' 


Questions by Rochamucau. Akswers nv G. W. 

The Count de Barras in bis It is next to impossible at 
Letter of the 13th instant, and this moment, ci re li instanced as 

' On t!ic AniX of thii letter Waihing'"" l"" noted thil io the t»ir copy wme 
uiilencci wetc trantpoted, xtA >lt«ntii>nt »n<l conecliom made, bul Ih« Kit- 
limenti ware the Mme. 




Mr. De ChoUy, in hU Letter of 
the isth dcmnnd both of them, 
Mr. De Choisy by the desire of 
the Count dc Barras, What is to 
be the definitive plan o( opera- 
tions that his Excellency Gen- 
eral Washington has fixed on 
that they may make it known 
to the Count dc Crassc. on his ' 
anrival in these Seas, and so, en- 
ableof him lo concur with us. I 
beg of his Excellency to fix on 
the answer that I am to tend 
to them and at the same time it 
will enable me to make before- 
hand the necessary piepara- 
tions for the corps of Troops 
tliat 1 command. 

Let us suppose that the Count 
dc Giasse docs not took on it as 
practicable to force Sandy hook, 
and that he does not bnng with 
him any Land troops : 

In these two cases which ap- 
pear very likely, because on one 
hand, the Seamen look on San- 
dy hook bar, as impossible to 
force, and on the other hand be- 
cause the Court of France 
makes no mention of any troops 
to be brought here by the Count 
dc Grasse, in the Letters that in- 
form us of his arrival here — in 
these two cases, Does his £x- 

we are & laboring under un- 
certainties, to Ax a definitive 
plan for the Campaign — defin- 
itive measures must depend up- 
on circumstances at the Time 
of the Arrival of the Count de 
Grasse, — particularly on the 
following — 

ist. The situation of the En- 
emy at that moment. 

xd. On the succors he shall 
bring with him — or on the 
Force we shall have collected 
by that Period. 

3d. On the Operation & Ad- 
vantages wch. may be gained 
by the Fleet in the moment of 
its Arrival. 

and 4th. On the Contiauaace 
of tlie Fleet upon & probabili- 
ty of its maiDiaing. its decisive 
Superiority whilst il is here. 

If the Fleet of Count de 
Grasse should be late in it ar- 
riving to this Coast — if the 
Count should not think it pru- 
dent to attempt forcing the 
Passage of the Hook — or fail 
in making the Altcmpl — if he 
should bring no land Troops 
with him, & the American 
Force should not be consid- 
erably augmented — I am of 
Opinion, that under these Cir- 
cumstances wc ought to throw 
a sufficient Garrison into W. 
Point, leave some Continental 
Troops & Militia to cover the 




cellency think thai with an 
Army which, joined to the 
French corps, will not be much 
more numerous than the Troops 
that defend New York, it will 
be possible to undertake with 
success something against that 

If his Excellency does not 
look on it as practicable to risk 
it, could not the operationsbe di- 
rected against Virginia, Mr. de 
Grasse be sent to Chesapeak 
bay and bring there the detach- 
mcnt of Mr. De Choisy, and a 
part of his Excellency's army 
OT the French corps march as 
far as Elk river, where the 
Count de Grasse being master 
in Chesapeak bay would come 
to convoy hira ? Would not we 
be then in a condition to under- 
take with Success on Lord 
Cornwallis and force him to 
evacuate Virginia. That march 
of the French troops would 
need to be prepared before- 

Country contiguous to N. York, 
& transport the Remainder 
(both French & American) to 
Virginia, shovild the Enemy 
still keep a Force there. The 
Season & other Circum- 
stances will admit of late Op- 
erations in that Quarter. To he 
prepared for such an Kvent, I 
think it highly expedient that 
Mr. Barras should hold all his 
Transports in the utmost 
Readiness to take the Detach- 
ment under Mr. De Choisy & 
the heavy Artillery at Provi- 
dence on Board, & sail with 
them to meet the Troops either 
in Delaware or Chesapeake, as 
may be ultimately agreed upon. 

But should the Fleet arrive in 
Season — not be limited to a 
short stay & should it be able 
to force the Harbor of N. York, 
tt, in addition to all these, should 
find the British Force in a di- 
vided Stale, — i am o( Opinion 
that the Enterprise against N. 
York & its Dependencies shou'd 
be our primary object. 

To prevent the Enemy from 
a possibility of formg. a Junc- 
tion & to lay a Foundation for 
their Ruin, I was anxious that 
Count de Barras, if he tho't the 
Departure of the Royal Oak 
had given him naval superior- 
ity, should sail for Chesapeak, 
an Event if the Sttfieriority it«n 




hand. It would be necessary 
that Count dc Barrss carry with 
him our Siege Artillery, and 
bring with him all the Trans- 
ports neceitsary to Ihe passage 
of the FrcDch corps in the Bay 
o( Chesapealc 

Lb Ct. de Rochambeau. 

kit Side, I devoutly wish as I ara 
of Opinion that much Good & 
no Evil can result from it. — 
The Reasons vrhich induce the 
Count [Q decline that Meaittire, 
have been communicaied by 
him to your Excellency & to 
me by Letter. 

Upon the whole 1 do not sec 
what more can be done than to 
prosecute the Plan agreed to at 
Weathcrsfield — & to recom- 
mend it to the Count de Grasse 
to come immediately to Sandy 
Hook & if postible pos«e»M the 
Harbor of N. York at the Mo- 
ment of his Arrival and thea 
form a full View & Considera- 
tion of the Circumsiances which 
exist form a definitive plan of 
Campaign upon the surest 

Go. W. 
Camp at Dobbs' Ferry, 
July 19, 17S1. 


IIkad-Qiiabtxre, atjulv, 1781. 


The army will make a movement this evening. 
You will march your corps on the same route, and in 
such time and manner as to be at East Chester be- 
tween daybreak and sunrise, as directed in my letter 
of the 14th, Your troops should be supplied, (if pos- 
sible,) with three days' cooked provisions; and the 




movement of the army, as well as of your troops, 
must be kept a secret until the moment you 

In order to prevent the enemy from obtaining any 
intelligence whatever from us. I have ordered small 
parties to waylay all the roads from the North River 
to East Chester. I must request you will send 
an active subaltern and twenty men with good guides 
early this afternoon across the fields and woods from 

' With a fkiv q1 mcertaiiiiiig the ei»cl poHilion kA the enrmy on thf north 
end of Npn- York Istani}. General Wa^hinglon rnolvei] to reconnoitre their 
posts from the wcslern shoic of ihc Hudson. For this purpose, on the lEtli 
of July, he er*wc<l the river at tJobb^ Fctry, nceompanieil hf Count tie Ro. 
chambMQ, General de Beville, ind General Duporlul. They were ailended 
bf an cicorl of one hundred and fifty men from the Jeney troopi, then Ma- 
tioner] on the wctl liile of the river. The day wMfpmt In rcvonnoitring from 
the high grounds between Dobbi Ferry and Fort Lee. He dined nt one 
William Day's, near ForC l.ce. The KUhtrquenl matifruvrcl nenr Kin^hrid|>e 
■re briefly sketched In the following exlracl fium hii DUiry. 

" Jiilyml. — I ordered about five thoutanci men to be reidy to march at eight 
o'clock, for the purjiosc of reconnoitring Ihecnemy'i poithac Kinicabridgc, and 
of culling oO, if possible, rach of Ilelanccy't corpi >v should be found irrlh< 
out their lines. At Ihc hour appointed the tnnrth commenced. In four column*, 
on dtflenni roAds. Major-General farsana with the Conneclicnl tionpi, and 
twenty-live of Sheldon's hone, formed the right column, with two field-p^ecn, 
on the North River toad. The other two divliioni. under Major-GeneraU 
Ljscoln and Huwe, l(if;elhci with the corpt nf tapper* and nilneri, and four 
fl«1d-piecci, formed the next column on the Saw-mill River road. The Kght 
colninn of the French, on our left, conusled of the brigade of liourhonnoii, 
with tlie battalion of crenadlera and chaeienn>, two rield-piecctL, and two twelve^ 
pounder*. Their left column was composed of Ihc legion of Lauiun. one bat. 
tidion of cfcnndlers and chaueurs, the regiment of Soti«onnoii, two 6eld- 
piecM. and two howiuert. (jmcra! Watcrbury, with (he mlUtla and Stat* 
troops of Connecticut, was to march on the EaalCholrrrDad. and to be jnineil at 
that place by the cavalry of Sheldon, (or the purpose of icouring Frog's Neck. 
Sheldon's infantry wa> lo join Ihe lci:inn of l.auiun and tcour Morrlkania, and 
to be covered by Scammell's light infantry, who weir to adtance through ill* 
fitld). waylay the roada, >.iop nil communication, and prevent intelligence from 
getting to the enemy, At Valentine'* Hill the left column of the American 
troops and right of the French formed their junction, as did the left of the 




your encampment to some good position for an am- 
buscade, on the side of the road leading from New 
Rochelle to East Chester, as near the latter as may 
be without hazard of discovery. This party must 
remain perfectly concealed, with orders to apprehend 
all persons going towards Kingsbridge. It is essen- 
tial that your party should not be seen by any in- 
habitant, as this might frustrate the very object of 
our precautions. You will be convinced. Sir, by 

French alio, by mitlalu, ai it wax inlcnded il iliauld crou ihc Bmnx by Gam- 
ncaa'tand recro» il at Williami'E Bridge. The whole unny (PaiiDnv'ii iliiiilon 
fintlitrrivcil HI Kini;ahri<tcT Alimit (Inylijjhi. .ind funned on llit lieighit back cf 
Fort Independence, exlending (owoidt DeUncer's MilU ; while Ihe legion tA 
Lauiun anil Walcrbuiy't corpt proceeded totcour Mnrritnnii and Frog't NkIi 
tolitlle eltect. u moil of tlir Kotugcet bnd llc'1, and hid ihenmeNeii in tuvh ob- 
KUte plac«s tA not la be discoc«rad ; and by itenlth got over [•> the idandt 
adjacent, and 10 Ihc enemy'i ihippine. which lay in Ihe Eaat River. A few, 
however, were caughl, and Home c*Illc and hoii» brought oH, 

"July I3i/.— The enemy did not appear ta have had Ihe lean! Intdll|[enc« 
of onr muvcmenl, oi I0 know we wrr« u|H>n the licighii oppoHite lo them, 
till the whole army was ready to diiplay iiiflf. After haWng luced upon tbc 
•^und, an<1 formed our line, I began with General Rochambeau and the en- 
ipown to reconnoitre llic i:iieniy'« po»lli«n and work* ; and firil (rum Tip|icl'» 
Hill oppoiite to their U-fl. From thence tl tru e^-iden1. thit ihe imnll redoubt 
(Fort Charles) mar Kingsbridge would be absolutely at the command of a bat- 
tery, which ntigbl hr. eieclrd thereon. It also appeared equally trident, that 
the fori on Cox'i Kill wns in bid repair, snd little dependence placed In it. 
There i« neither ditch not friexine. and Ihe narlheait corner appemquilccMjr 
of accna, occasioned ns it would s«rm by a rock. 1'1ie approach from th« in- 
ner point is secured by n ledge of rocks, which would conceal a party from ob- 
aervation, till It not within about one hundicd yards of the fort, around which, 
for thai or a gmler ditiancc. the giound ha* tiltlc covering of t>uthet upon 
it. There ia a house on thin side under Tippet's Hill, but out of view, I con- 
ceive, of the crauing-placc moil favorable ton pariiian stroke. From ihii view, 
and every other ( could pet of Forik Ttyon. Knypliauscn, and Laurel Hill, 
the works are formidable. There are no barracks or huts on the east aide of 
the hill, on which Forts Tryon and K nyphait&en tUnd. nor are there any on Ihe 
hill oppoaite. eicopt ihoao by Fort tieotg*. Near the Blur Bell lltort iaa nuin- 
bei of house*, but they have more the appearance of stables than bamuki. 
Ill the hollow, near the hanjetgate, are about fourteen 01 fifteen tenti. which 




your own experience and good sense, that the pro- 
foundest secrecy is absolutely necessary in all mili* 
lary matters, and in no instance more indispensably 
so, than in movements towards the enemy's lines. 
I am, &c. 

P. S. After you have given all the necessary 
orders, I could wish you would come to head-quar- 
ters and dine with me, as I may have many things to 
communicate personally to you. 

■le lh« only cncamtitnenl I could see withoul the line of pgJiMilea. A con- 
tinued hill from Che creek, east of Haerlem River and n little below Morri.i's 
While House, has from every pirt of ii the eomnmnd of Ihc opposite shore, and 
■11 the I'liiii mijolninu is uirhin range of kliiit fti>ni liiillerieit. «!iicli ni:iy lic 
erected thereon. The general width of the river, along thin range of hjlli, ap* 
pean to be from one hundred to two hundred yards. The opposite ihore, 
though more or lew inanliy, doe* not seem mity, inJ the l^anln ate very ea^y 
ofnccets. How far the boltery, under cover of the blockhouie on the hill north* 
WC4I of Haertem town, l>> capal>le of scouring the plain, 1> dtflicull to dcleimlne 
IrotD this tide ; but il iroald ixtva t» if the distanor were too t^eal l'> be within 
the range of ttishot on that part of the plain nearert the ereelt before mentioned, 
txA (riileh is alsi> neatest the helghK back of our old linn Ihrown up In the 
year \T)b. Il unfortunately liapprns, that, in the rear of the continued hill 
before menlioncd. there is * deep swamp, and the grounds weil of that iwamp 
ai« not w high as the heights iiciu UAcilein Riirr. In the r«ar of ihiit again 
it the Bnina, which ii not to be ctoued without bouti below Delancey's Mills. 

•'Jufys^d. — Went upon Ftog'i Neck to see what communication could be 
had with Long IiJand, ami the enginEcnfttienilci) with instruments to measure 
Ihe distance across. Having finished the reconnoitre without damage, a few 
harmlct' shot only being lircd al us. we matched back about six o'clock by the 
>amc routes wc wrnt <lowii, bill In a rcvcned order of march, and arrived at 
c*rap about midnight." 

Supposing it probable, thai Count deGmsae would thott); appear oft Sandy 
Hook with ihi) llect. General Washington wrote to him, on Ihe aiti nl July, 
idCoudI de Kochambeiu's cipher, acquainting him with the junction of tha 
allicdannici. their poiilinn and iticngih. and Ihe force of the cnemT : and also 
explained the plant then in view as to future operaiiiinii. This letter wn sent 
under cover to Col. Jonathan Fonnan, at Monmouth, with a request that he 
would keep loDk.ouls on Ihe heights, and, as toon as the fleet should approach, 
ff> 00 board tlic ficn in per«on and deliver the leltcr lo Count de Otaate. 






ai July, 1781. 


I have been honored by your Excellency's three 
letters of the 14th and 17th of this month, with the 
several resolutions of Congress, and the extracts 
from intercepted letters enclosed. I am much obliged 
by your attention in the communication of the ex- 
tracts, although I had been favored with them 
through another channel, previous to the receipt of 
your favors. The intelligence to be collected from 
them, if properly improved, 1 think may turn greatly 
to our advantage.' 

1 take this opportunity most sincerely to congratu- 
late you, Sir, on the honor conferred upon you by 
Congress, in being elected to preside in that most 
respectable body. Happy, as I expect to be in your 
correspondence, I dare say I shall have no reason 
to complain of the mode of your conducting it. as 
from a knowledge of your character 1 flatter myself it 
will ever be performed with great propriety. I take 
the liberty, however, to request as a particular favor, 
that you will be so good as to convey to me, as you 
have opportunity, any interesting intelligence, which 
you may receive either from Europe, or respecting our 
Continental aRair.s. Your situation will put it par- 
ticularly in your power to oblige me in this request, 

'Chosen Pt«Eid«nlo(Cangms< on llic lothofjulr, oinucceuot to Ur. Hun- 
ttngton. who had reugnecL Samuel Johnson. d( North Carolina, wu fint 
chOMD. t>uE he declined acccptin); the appointment. 

* Eilractt (rum inUrcopt«d lateen. 

and be assured. Sir, that a greater obligation cannot 
be conferred ; since, for want of communication in 
tliis way. I have often been left in the dark in mat- 
ters, which essentially concern the public welfare, and 
which, if known, might be very influential in the 
government of my conduct in the military line. 

I am very happy to be informed, by accounts from 
ail parts of the continent, of the agreeable prospect 
of a very plentiful supply of almost all the produc- 
tions of the earth. Blessed as we are with the boun- 
ties of Providence, necessary for our support and 
defence, the fault must surely be our own, (and great 
indeed will it be,) if we do not by a proper use of 
them obtain the noble prize for which we have been 
so long contending, the establishment of peace. liberty 
and independence. 1 am, dear Sir, &c 


Dovns's Fkbiiv, July as, ijflt. 

Dear Custis, 

Your letter of the i ith covering certain proposals 
which were made by you to Mr. Robl. Alexander 
came safe by the last Post. I read the letter with 
attention, and think they are founded on principles 
of liberality and Justice as far as I can form a judg- 
ment without seeing the mortgage, or having recourse 
to the original agreement, and the missives which 
may have passed between you. 

How far the purchase on your part, and the sale 
on Alexander's, was a matter of speculation at the 




time of bargaining, you yourselves and the nature of 
the agreement can alone determine. If, from the 
tenor of your contract, you were to pay paper money 
— if this paper money was at that time in a depre- 
ciated state, and the difference between it and specie 
fixed and known, — and if, moreover, Alexander. like 
many others, entertained an opinion that it would 
again appreciate, and a paper dollar become equal 
in value to a silver one — it might be more just than 
generous, (as the money is, in fact, worth little or 
nothing now) to let him abide the consequences of 
his opinion by paying him in depreciated paper ; be- 
cause the presumption is that he would have made no 
allowance for appreciation, tho' the former should be 
of equal value with the latter, pound for povmd. But 
this, as I have before observed, depends upon the 
nature of the bargain, and the light in which the mat- 
ter was understood at the time it was made by both 

If the bargain was unaccompanied by particular 
circumstances, had no explanatory meaning, but sim- 
ply imported that so much money was to be given for 
so much land, to be paid on or before a certain period. 
it is certainly optional in you to discharge it at any 
time you please short of that period. But I conceive 
that this can only be done by an actual tender of the 
money, and that there is no legal obligatn. or tye 
upon Alexr. to take your bond (with any security 
whatever) but the fear of losing the original debt, or 
the Interest of it, by refusing the tender you propose 
to make him of ;^4S,ooo at this time ; because I hold 




it as a maxim that no man can be compelled to 
change the nature of his debt, or alter the security of 
it. without his own consent. 

I have before said, that, for want of the mortgage, 
and a knowledge of all the circumstances attending 
your bargain, it is impossible for me to give a de- 
cided opinion. Your proposals appear to be fair and 
equitable : but what views Alexander may have had, 
and how far he is prepared to support himself in those 
views, by written or other valid proof, I am unable to 
say. As an honest man, he ought to be content with 
justice, and justice I think you have offered him. 

You may recollect that I disliked the terms of your 
bargain when they were ist communicated to me. and 
wished then that you might not find them perplex- 
ing and disadvantageous in the end ; as I now do, that 
you may settle the matter with honor and satisfac- 
tion to yourself. 

It gave me pain to hear that you had been so much 
afflicted with sickness among your People, and that 
you thought your son in danger. It would give me 
equal pleasure to learn that he and the rest of your 
family were restored to perfect health. That so few 
of our countrymen have joined the enemy is a cir- 
cumstance as pleasing to me as it must be mortify- 
ingly convincing to them of the fallacy of their asser- 
tion, that \ of the people were in their Intert. and 
ready to join them when opportunity offered. Had 
this been the case, the marquis's force, and the other 
\, must have abandoned the country. 

I am much pleased with your choice of a governor. 




He is an honest man — active, spirited, and decided, 
and will, I am persuaded, suit the times as well as 
any person in the State.' You were lucky, consider- 
ing the route by which the enemy retreated to Wil- 
liamsburg, to sustain so little damage. I am of 
opinion that Lord Cornwallis will establish a strong 
post at Portsmouth, detach part of his force to New 
York, and go with the residue to So. Carolina. 

I returned yesterday from reconnoitring (with 
Count de Rochambeau and the engineers of both 
armies) the enemy's works near Kingsbridgc; wc lay 
cloae by them two days and a night, without any at- 
tempt on their part to prevent it. They kept up a 
random cannonade, but to very little effect. I am 
watting impatiently for the men the States (this 
way) have been called upon for, that I may deter- 
mine my plan and commence my operations. 

My best wishes attend Nelly Custis (who I hope 
is perfectly recovered) and the little girls. My com- 
plimts. await inquiring friends, and I am. 

Sincerely and atTectionately. &c. 



30 July, 1781. 

Mv Dear Sir, 

With peculiar satisfaction I do myself the honor to 
acknowledge the receipt of your several favors, of the 
loth, 14th and 16th of May last, with that of the 22d 

' Thomia Nelson. 

June, and to assure you at the same time, that it is 
with the warmest pleasure I express my full approba- 
tinn of the various movements and operations, which 
your military conduct has lately exhibited : while I 
confess to you that I am unable to conceive what 
more could have been done under your circumstances, 
than has been displayed by your little persevering 
and determined army. Lord Rawdon's reinforce- 
ment from England was a most untoward circum- 
stance ; but even this, I hope, will soon be surmounted 
by your good fortune. 

You will be informed from the Marquis, of every 
circumstance that has taken place in Virginia. A 
detachment from the army of this brave and fortu- 
nate young nobleman will, I hope, soon arrive to 
your assistance in Carolina. 

By our movements in this quarter, and the main 
army taking a position near to New York, and mak- 
ing evcrj- preparation for a serious attempt upon that 
place, we have already produced a happy effect, that 
of a withdraw of considerable part of the troops 
under the command of Lord Cornwallis as a rein- 
forcement to their garrison, which has been some 
time past closely confined to York Island. This with- 
draw will probably disappoint their views of conquest 
in Virginia, and will exceedingly embarrass the pros- 
pects of the British ministry in the proposed treaty 
opened at Vienna.' This is a very great object, even 

' Condiliontil inMnictiont had been wnt from Sir tlenry Cliiilon to Lard 
ComwRlli), thai Ihc loiter xhonld despatch to New York • dttachmenc from hit 
tnay, u WOO *a U« ihuuld hive csKblUhfd hlmtclf In ■ fortified pott neat the 




should any thing prevent our obtaining further suc- 
cess in our operations against New York. 

The operating force of the enemy in the southern 
States beingconfined in all probability to South Caro- 
lina, will leave the other States in a condition to 
afford you such succors as, with the atd of the Mar- 
quis's detachment, will, I hope, enable you to fulfil 
your hopes and wishes in their utmost extent in your 
command. Should this event take place, you may be 
assured, that, added to the consideration of the pub- 
lic good which will result therefrom, honor that will 
be thereby reflected on your own person, will afford 
me the highest satisfaction. I sincerely wish we had 
the means of communicating more frequently with 
each other than has been lately experienced. Be 
assured, Sir, my concern for your honor and welfare 
interests me most particularly in every event which 
attends you. 

A particular reason, which cannot at this lime be 
communicated, induces me to request that you will be 
pleased to give me the earliest and most minute in- 
formation of every event, that takes place with you, 
and a circumstantial detail of the present situation 
of the State of South Carolina, its strength and opera- 
tive force, with its resources for the support of an 
army, and the extent of those resources, with the 
places where they may be collected and secured ; also 

Cheiitpcakc. Thdr departure wb» delayed, however, till die Frttich feci ar- 
rived in ilie Cli«a[>eali«, unil In rcallly no putt of Lord Cocnwallis'i urmy left 
Virginia (or the purpose <A reinforcing Sir Kcnrjr Clinton. — See ihc Mtreipond- 
ence in /.^n/ CaritvMiliu' i Amiti/rr t» Sir Umry CitHbm' i "/ifarrAiit^" ^i., 
pp. J(>-i88. 




the strength, position, and circumstances attending 
the enemy's force. I have the honor to be, &c.' 


Hkad Qvaxteils, kkar DonBl FkMTi 
30 July. it8i. 

My Dear Marquis, 

I take your private letter of the 20th of this month 
in the light which you wish it, that of an unreserved 
communication from one friend to another ; and I 
should be wanting in candor, were I not to expose 
my sentiments to you in as free a manner. I am 
convinced, that your desire to be with this army 
arises principally from a wish to be actively useful. 
You will not, therefore, regret your stay in Virginia 
until matters are reduced to a greater degree of cer- 
tainty, than they are at present, especially when I 
tell you, that, from the change of circumstances with 
which the removal of part of the enemy's force from 
Virginia to New York will be attended, it is more 
than probable, that we shall also entirely change our 
plan of operations. I think we have already effected 
one part of the plan of the campaign settled at 
Wcathersfiekl ; that is, giving a substantial relief to 
the southern States, by obliging the enemy to recall 
a considerable part of their force from thence. Our 

' from lie Ordtrfy B«ok. Jftljr 31st—" Th« light companiei o( Ihe first and 
tecond TeKimentKof New York (upon ihdr arrivid in camp), with the twocom- 
pftnin of Vcirk levin under the coinniiiid of CaptaliK Sackeit >ii<l Willbmt, 
iiiU form ■ battalion under the command of Lieuteu:int-Colon«l Hamilton and 
Mijoi Pitii, Aflet the (ormalion of the ballalion, LicaienanE-Coloncl Ilam- 
illon will jmn the advanced corps und«i the ordcn ol Colonel Scammell." 




views must now be turned towards endeavoring to 
expel them totally froni those States, if we 6nd our- 
selves incompetent 10 the siege of New York. The 
difficulty of doing this does not so much depend upon 
obtaining a force capable of effecting it, as upon the 
mode of collecting that force to the proper point, and 
transporting the provisions, stores, &c., necessary 
for such an operation. You are fully acquainted 
with the almost impracticability of doing this by 
land ; to say nothing of the amazing loss of men 
always occasioned by long marches, and those tow- 
ards a quarter in which the service is disagreeable. 
I should not, however, hesitate to encounter these 
difficulties, great as they arc, had we not prospects of 
transporting ourselves in a manner safe. easy, and ex- 
peditious. Your penetration will point out my mean- 
ing, which I cannot venture to express in direct terms.' 
I approve of your resolution to reinforce General 
Greene, in proportion to the detachment which the 
enemy may make to New York. Let your next at- 
tention be paid to training and forming the militia, 
with which you may be furnished, and disposing of 
them in such a manner, that they may be drawn at 
the shortest notice to whatever point the enemy make 
their capital post, and which I conclude will be at 
Portsmouth. The establishment of magazines at safe 
deposits will be in all cases necessary ; but, above all 
things, I recommend an augmentation of your cavalry 
to as great a height as possible. It may happen, that 
the enemy may be driven to the necessity of forcing 

' Alluding to the «>p«cled airival of Couni de Gnsse with ■ French licet. 




their way through North Carolina to avoid a greater 
misfortune. A superiority of horse on our side would 
be Fatal to them in such a case. 

The advantages resulting from a move of the 
Frtmch Heet from Newport to Chesapeake were early 
and strongly pointed out to Count de Barras, and I 
thought he had once agreed to put it into execution ; 
but, by his late letters, he seemed to think that such 
a manoeuvre might interfere with greater plans, and 
therefore he declined it It would now be too late 
to answer the principal object, as, by accounts from a 
deserter, the troops arrived from Virginia last Friday.' 

Should your return to this army be finally dster- 
mined, I cannot flatter you with a command equal to 

' " I have no doubt but the icaxon* vhich induce ;ciu 10 decline the 
Kinoval of tlic equadron ondet youtcommiiid tolhe Chi'sapcakc at Ihis time arc 
{ouad«d in prapriciy ; but I «m cetuin, that, could Ihe meuurc have taken 
place, It would have liecn nltetided with maw valuable consciueacn. more «*• 
livciatly ai, from report* and appeaiancei. the! enemy arc about to bring port tA 
tbeittroopi ttDm Vir|[inia 10 New Valk, Allhnu^^h the detachments from your 
Reel under the ciminaml of the Karon d'Anj-rly did mil «iicL'«e>l ni Kunlin^lon. 
we are not the 1«» obliged to jrour Eieellmcy (or direciing the attempt to be 
made. If that poil ii niaintainod, 1 think an opportunity of Kriklnj; ll In 
adiania^ ni^ty Mill l>e fi»iiid, and I doubt nut but fon will readily embrace it." 
— WaiktHgteit tif CeHHlifi Barras. *l Juljr, ijSt. 

The reftton luigiied by M. de Bamu for ten>ainin|{ at Neu|>ai( wa.i, that 
b< ibought it impTudccit tu riak any new onlrrpnM, wtiich might cunlm 
veoe the geneml plan of opetalioni. and relard hii junction with Count de 
Gractc. A few dayi afterwudi (July ]o). General Wathingian wroie in h!a 
Diary, ihUdiaM <lc Hanu.* had eiprcstod bimhcK iiiftill ttronger (vimt against 
■ removal from Newport " Thia induced me," said he. "' todeiiil from further 
rcprcKnling the Rdvanlil{;ci, which would reiull from preventing li Junction of 
lh« cneniy'a fotc« at New York, and blockio); up llionr now in Vir{^nij : leal in 
the attempt any dituter should happen, and the loei of oir dorna^ to hit fleet 
khould be Moibed to my obitlnacy in urginic a measure, to which liis own 
judgment wm opposed, and tlie eiccutiuo uf which might impede lii» juncliun 
with the Wcct Indin fleet, and ihwati the riem of the Count de Gnuc upon 




your expectations or my wishes. You know the over 
proportion of general officers to our numbers, and 
can therefore conceive where the difficulty will lie. 
General McDougall is not yet provided for. and the 
Jersey and York troops are reserved for him. They 
are promised to him, though they have not yet joined. 

In my letter to General Greene, which I beg the 
favor of you to forward, I have hinted nothing of 
what 1 have said to you, for fear of a miscarriage. 
You will probably find a safe opportunity from your 
army to him. and you will oblige me by communicat- 
ing the part of this letter, which relates to my expec- 
tation of being able to transport part of the army to 
the southward, should the operation against New 
York be declined. 

I wish, as 1 mentioned in my last, to send a con- 
fidential person to you to explain at large what I 
have so distantly hinted ; but I am really at a loss, 
for want of knowing the officers belter, to find one 
upon whose discretion 1 can depend. My own family, 
you know, are constantly and fully employed. I how- 
ever hope, that I have spoken plain enough to be 
understood by you. With everj- sentiment of affec- 
tion and regard, 1 am, &c. 

to the president of congress. 

Hud Quartxiu. aeak Dubbs Fbkkv, 
gllf s AbkiwI, 17S1. 

Congress will readily conceive the disagreeable sit- 
uation in which I find myself, when they arc informed, 
that I am not stronger at this advanced period of the 




Campaign than when the Army first moved out of 
their Winter Quarters. Justice to my own feelings 
and Character requires that 1 should lay before that 
Honorable Body a summary' of the measures I have 
taken to obtain reinforcements, and inform them, 
likewise, of the little success with which my requisi- 
tions have hitherto been attended. 

I shall not go back to the date of the Requisition 
of October last to the several States, which was made 
in consequence of the new regulation of the Army, 
and went to the number of men called for by that 
arrangement. It will be sufficient to say, that the 
Recruits sent in were comparatively small in pro- 
portion to the deficiencies, as may be seen from the 
Returns which I have from time to time transmitted 
to Congress. 

I will begin with the transactions subsequent to 
the Conference I had with Count de Rochambcau at 
Weathersfield in May, when a plan of operations was 
concerted, and the inclosure No. i written to the 
States of New Hampshire— Massachusetts Bay — 
Rhode Island and Connecticut. Letters similar to 
the foregoing were written, upon my return to New 
Windsor, to the other States as far as Pennsylvania 
inclusive, from which last, 1600 Militia were required. 
But it having been found that that State had been 
called upon by Congress to send 3400 Militia to Vir- 
ginia, 1 withdrew my request, and apportioned the 
number asked of them to the other States — requiring 
only a Corps of 300 Riflemen from Pennsylvania. 

Being very desirous of getting my force (especially 
the Continental Troops) together as soon as possible. 

or in other words, by the time I could prepare Boats, 
collect Stores, &c.. I wrote the letter No. 2 to the 
Stales of New Jersey — Connecticut — Massachusetts 
and New Hampshire, with this variation in respect to 
Connecticut ; that I desired 800 of her Militia might 
be sent without loss of time to Westpoint, that t 
might be thereby enabled to withdraw part of the 
Continental Garrison from that post for Field Ser- 
vice — and as I found that I should be under the abso- 
lute necessity of calling down Hazen's and the two 
Continental Battalions of New York, which had been 
sent up for the security of the Northern Frontier, 
1, upon the 25th of June, wrote to His Excellency 
Govr. Hancock, and to the officers Commanding 
the Militia in the Western parts of Massachusetts, 
and requested that 600 (part of the quota asked 
for) might be marched without loss of time to Albany 
to replace the Continental Troops drawn from that 
Quarter. Notwithstanding this, by my last letters 
from Brigr. Genl. Clinton dated at Albany the 20th 
ulto. not a single Man had come in from Massachu- 
setts, and by a Return from General McDougall com- 
manding at Westpoint. only 176 from Connecticut 
had arrived at that post yesterday. In short, not a 
single Militia man from any State has joined the 
Army, except the few just mentioned — about 80 Line 
of New York and about 20O State Troops of Connec- 
ticut, both of which were upon the Line previous to 
my leaving our Winter Cantonment 

The inclosure No. 3 exhibits a Return of all the Re- 
cruits which have joined the Continental Battalions 




in this Army since the rearrangement of them. The 
numbers which have joined in the course of last 
month are particularly designated. 

The General Return for June, which I have lately 
sent by Capt. Roberts to the Board of War, fur- 
nishes a state of the Army up to the ist of July. 
To this is to be added the Recruits which have 
joined since — and a deduction is to be made for the 
Casualties of July. 

For the better understanding the General Return, 
it may not be amiss to remark, that the Light Infantry 
with the Marquis de la Fayette are included in the 
Column " upon Command." As are the Boatmen — 
Waggoners — extra Artificers — small detached Guards 
for various purposes — Waiters and Laborers in the 
Quarter Master's and Commissary's departments, in 
the same Column, and that designated on "extra ser- 
vice." All which being deducted from the total exhibits 
an Army upon paper, rather than an operating Force. 

I have in vain endeavored to remedy this Mon- 
strous deduction : But the Civil departments having 
been totally destitute of Money, have been unable to 
hire or pay the Men necessary for their uses, and I 
have therefore been obliged to spare them from the 
Line to prevent a total stagnation of business. 

While 1 think it my duty faithfully to draw this 
picturt!, disagreeable as it is, both for the full infor- 
mation of Congress and my own justification, it be- 
comes incumbent upon me to add, that I shal! exert 
my utmost abilities so to improve the means with 
which I maybe furnished, that the present Campaign, 




if not decisive, may be, not inglorious, but in some 
degree advantageous to America. 

1 have ^;ain written in the most pressing manner 
to the States as your Excellency will find by the in- 
closure No. 4, of equal date with this. I flatter myself 
it will have some avail, but I am at all events happy in 
thinking, that one of the ends proposed by the plan of 
operations concerted at Weathcrsficld will take effect 
— that of obliging the enemy to recall a considerable 
force from the Southward to support New York. 

It is with pleasure I assure your Excellency that, 
by great exertions and powerful aids from the States 
of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the heavy Artil- 
lery — Stores. &C,, many of which were also lent by 
those States, have come on to the North River in a 
manner beyond my expectation. Those from Penn- 
sylvania are halted at Philadelphia till my prospects of 
obtaining Men are more encouraging. I thought it 
best to do this, that 1 might not to have to transport 
them back again, or be encumbered with them here, 
should we not be able to prosecute offensive operations. 

I have also the pleasure to inform you, that vigor- 
ous exertions are making by the four New England 
States to furnish a competent supply of Beef Cattle. 
I have. &c 

P. S. I informed your Excellency in my last, that 
by the account of a Deserter, part of the Troops had 
arrived at New York from Virginia. This is contra- 
dicted by others who have come out since, who say 
that troops are expected from that quarter," 

' Read in Congrets AnguBt 6lh. — Referred to Bknd, Boudinot, and Vftmum. 





Hud Qoartbu, krak Dokbs' Fsrkv. 
9 August, i7Si. 
Sir, — 

1 regr«t being obliged to inform you, that I find myself, at this 
talc period, very little stronger than I was when the army lirst 
moved out of their quarters. Of the militia, which were rcq\iircd 
of the Slate of New Ilampshire, and which were lo have joined 
me by the 14th of last month, none hav« come in, and of the 
levies for the conlinenlal battalions, only thirteen in thecouneof 
the last month. The reinforcement* from the other States have 
been vciy inconsiderable. 

I leave you (o judge of the delicate and embanaBscd situation 
in which I stand at this moment. Unable to advance, with 
prudence, beyond my jiTesent position, while, perhaps, in the 
genera) opinion, my force is equal to the commencement of 
operations against New York, my conduct must appear, if not 
blanieablc, highly mysterious, at least. Our allies, with whom a 
junction has been formed upwards of three weeks, and who were 
made to expect, from the engagements, which 1 entered into with 
them ,it Weathers field in May la«t, a very considerable aiigmen- 
pition of our force by (his lime, instead of seeing a prospect of 
Ivancing, must conjecture, upon good grounds, that the cam- 
Ugn will waste fruitlessly away. I shall just remark, that il will 
be no small degree of triumph to our enemies and will have a 
vtry pernicious influence upon our friends in Europe, should they 
find such a failure of resource ; or such a want of energy to draw 
it out, that our boasted and expensive operations end only in idle 

I cannot yet but persuade myself, and I do not discontinue to 
encourage our allies with a hope that our force will still be suf- 
ficicnt to carry our intended operation into effect, or if we cain- 
nol fully accomplish that, to oblige the enemy to withdraw part 
of their force from the southward to support New York, and 
which, as \ informed you in my letter from Weathersfield, was 
part of our plan. 

You must be sensible, Sir, that the fulfllmcnt of my engaf;e- 




roenis must depend upon the <icgrc« of vigor with which the ex- 
ecutives of the several States exercise the powers with which they 
have been vested, and enforce the taw.s lately passed for filling 
lip, and supplying the army- In full contidence that the means 
which have been voted will he obtained) I shall continue my 
preparations : but 1 must take the liberty of informing you that 
it is essentially acccisary I should be made acquainted immedi- 
ately on the receipt of this, of the number of coDliacnial levies 
and miliiia which have been forwarded and what are the pros> 
peels of obtaining (he remainder. 

I will further add, that it will bt: cqualty necessary to see that 
the monthly quota of provisions stipulated at the meeting of the 
commissioners at Providence is reguUrly complied with. I am, 


Dear Sir. 

Hkad-Quarters. Dent's Fekrv. 
3 Augntt, 1781. 

The expectation of the pleasure of seeing you has 
prevented me hitherto from making a communication 
of a most important and interesting nature. But 
circumstances will not admit of further delay, and I 
must tnist it to paper. It seems reduced almost to 
a certainty, that the enemy will reinforce New York 
with part of their troops from Virginia. In that case, 
the attempt against the former must be laid aside, as 
it will not be in our power to draw together a force 
sufficient to justify the undertaking. The detach- 
ment, which the enemy will probably leave in Vir- 
ginia, seems the next object which ought to engage 
our attention, and which will be a verj- practicable one. 




should we obtain a naval superiority, of which I am 
not without hopes, and be able to carry a body of men 
suddenly round by water. The principal difficulty, 
which occurs, is obtaining transports at the moment 
they may be wanted : for, if they are taken up before- 
hand, the use for which they are designed cannot be 
concealed, and the enemy will make arrangements to 
defeat the plan. 

What I would therefore wish you to inform your- 
self of, without making a direct inquirj-. is what 
number of tons of shipping could be obtained in 
Philadelphia at any time between this and the 20th 
of this month, and whether there could also be ob- 
tained at the same time a few deep-waisted sloops and 
schooners projier to carry horses. The number of 
double-decked vessels, which may be wanted, of two 
hundred tons and upwards, will not exceed thirty. I 
shall be glad of your answer as soon as possible, 
because, if it is favorable. I can direct certain prepa- 
rations to be made in Philadelphia and at other 
convenient places, without incurring any suspicions. 
There certainly can be no danger of not obtaining 
flour in Philadelphia ; and as you seem to have doubts 
of procuring salt meat there, 1 shall direct all that 
which is at tht: eastward to be collected at places from 
whence it may bt; shipped upon the shortest notice. 
You will also oblige me by giving me your opinion of 
the number of vessels, which might be obtained at 
Baltimore, or other places in Chesapeake, in the time 
before mentioned or thereabouts. 

1 have the honor to be, &c. 






Sir e Augasi. itsi. 

I do myself the honor to inform Congress, through 
your Excellency, that, at a late meeting between the 
American and British commissaries of prisoners, it 
has been proposed by the latter to go into a full ex- 
change of Lieutenant-Gencral Burgoyne and all the 
remaining officers of convention (by composition 
where ranks will not apply) for the remainder of our 
officers in this quarter, and after them for those taken 
at the southward. One of the terms insisted upon 
is, that the prisoners surrendered by the capitulation 
of the Cedars, to the amount of four hundred and 
forty-three, shall be allowed. 

I have not thought myself at liberty to accept of 
these proposals without the concurrence of Congress, 
for the following reasons ; that 1 imagine our minis- 
ter at the court of Versailles has been already directed 
to propose the exchange of Lieutenant-General Bur- 
goyne for the Honorable Mr. Laurens'; that I do 
not know whether it would be agreeable to Congresis 
to release the whole of the convention officers, be- 
fore they have obtained a settlement for the subsist- 
ence of those troops ; and lastly because the refusal 
of the ratification of the convention of the Cedars has 
never been repealed. 

1 would beg leave to remark on the two last, that 
the exchange of our full colonels can never be ob- 

' As inter«(ting nole «o ibi* matter may be fou»d in FrankUn'i IfVAf 
(BiKrloW't ('(HUon), »ti.. 303. 




tained but by composition, and that it is better to 
effect this by a composition for inferior officers than 
for men. because the enemy gain no reinforcement 
by such mode. To relieve the full colonels in this 
quarter only, & who, all but one, have been prisoners 
since 1777. would take seven hundred privates. 
Should the security for the convention debt still be 
urged, 1 would answer, that we may perhaps deceive 
ourselves in supposing that the balance upon a gen- 
eral settlement, for the subsistence of all prisoners 
since the commencement of the war, will be much in 
our favor. I am inclined to think we shall find it the 
contrary, and owing to this, the British have con- 
stantly kept their accounts with accuracy, and have 
vouchers ready to support them. We, on the other 
hand, shall be found very deficient on that score ; in- 
deed, I fear almost totally so, except in the instance 
of the convention troops and prisoners of war latterly. 
Congress will judge of the expediency of repealing 
their act respecting the convention of the Cedars 
upon the present occasion. Mr. Skinner, the com- 
missary-general of prisoners, will have the honor of 
delivering this to your Excellency. I shall be obliged 
by an answer to several points contained in it, at his 
return, that I may instruct him accordingly. 

1 have the honor to be, &c.' 

' Rend in Conglftt Auguiit iTlh. RefoTcd to Bnudinol, VwDum, and Sher- 
man. " Vou anloinstitiipan Iho rs1e*M<if iohabllanltukinoulfif uni<i, irith- 
oat any compeiuwtion. Voa may inform Mr. Loring. that I would not vbh to 
be obligC'l to mIm |irivalc petsaiK lo dblBUi the [clicf of ihote who arc now in 
Nvw Vork. I liaiT it at thit lime in my power id iccur« every loyKliin in the 
wotero part of Contvccticut, in the oonnly of Wesicheatet. and in great port 

;g«. ?2^ :v3:r7iJf'^ -i^ 

%7 tjrua K-tacTTH. 

t iw* ^vjtsvid jnor jgiera ir ^e rxci ant a:%i 
■i(xSau% nui ;« 3i.«snz:. I rsmnic lesra rrsr inr 

ir-Vif* vjC ^i*t art ^aci zr. z^ rf^ffsan r-cmis frc»ar 
fcir'ift Tit Giacncae 5r%3rs: iaa ^-Ii-s f iE Xcw^- 
j**;*? frioiBi Ovittt ot Gra^K. H* -was e3 jsav; Sc 
IVxRttiij'V cJwt 3^ rrf ri[j» Jtcnrir. »in. a. ieec of re- 
tar-jtft Vmixtj'^cft aatf tw>?atT-a£ae sfl cc ae I£z«. 
a<Kj 4 C4(bu>ii>:rtbie fcoCT OT grrrf forces. Ha desd- 
A»t«ir>n n i(naKr£a£i!iy for tbe Cvresapraicr : so chat 
Ik win ^TtfKT {>!: tii«Te Lt die tme tits readies voa. 

iW >!II 4 )W ; MT I 'lai ( me iiii mii i)|iiif i jrr'""-" s^jEJt ! J«H. nscccaocd as 

fiklmivr, X A-t^.wr i;^(, 

.V" »-i'V.»>/ivl V. (V a f iH *a^;saa^ i^' 'jesc;^! Enry:T3« «»: »Z km re- 
MMovt-Af 'After* '^ '!>! VAMaij-ic -,( ■arar'-p ; i=i^ ■;». liai i« fziiocen 

ft** »>jfwv^». >^ mi^« f-* iei«nl Ca.-j.tUa oficers :itf3 bj :be ARCckasi a: 

V, /'**'« »fti^ '.fa*i»'Aw, I'V) lent i*tr> i: Briiiih Ka^ on pai^dc in I774, 
Uitt'^tmnii wr^iv. •rv.tangf liicte bad been adi'pvte. — y-.itrmjii. A>£«M Jlst. 
" ) •«! •\f.>t\j \u Kolimen: "ilh j'jO, thai »!! cmitaooiof pirc ibooct od^I 
l/( V m*!,'.'' >'•* lapT^me 4ii f.x'uin Ui gi>e it > pirjper uucina, uid univenal 
' i'4il ; >i,'t iha* K'^f-I ■nd lore (nn-it ^uxiM be appropnateil for the redemp- 
tl'/ii 'rf It- -t>>>< in thit, » in m'tt other miKen, the Stales, indiridiullf, Iutc 
■/t«'l vr )n'l<!|r<n>lenll]' 'i( each other, ai It liecnme >o madi a rope of sand as 
I'l tiitl'i vfKiti Ihr irtink of roin, when ihe Indepenilency of tbem, by the re- 
VfMrUi irlii'Ji havt l>e«n actually ilrawn ftom them had been applied to great 
frfi)*' I* \ty 'nm unnin'm Iicail, houU have Ifeen as Dnshakeii ai Moaat Atlas 
am) ■• r«Kar<lleM <if llrilain'* effort* do deitroy it.aii^^ is of the tempests that 
pnm iittr \utt."— tVaihingUH la iVilliam Filthugh, SAi^gutt, 1781. 




or you may look for him every moment. Under 
these circumstances, whether the enemy remain in 
full force, or whether they have only a detachment 
left, you will immediately take such a position as will 
best enable you to prevent their sudden retreat 
through North Carolina, which I presume they will 
attempt the instant they perceive so formidable an 
armament. Should General Wayne, with the troops 
destined for South Carolina, still remain in the neigh- 
borhood of James River, and the enemy should have 
made no detachment to the southward, you will detain 
those troops until you hear from me again, and in- 
form General Greene of the cause of their delay. If 
Wayne should have marched, and should have gained 
any considerable distance, I would not have him 

You shall hear further from me as soon as I have 
concerted plans and formed dispositions for sending 
a reinforcement from hence. In the mean time, 1 
have only to recommend a continuation of that pru- 
dence and good conduct, which you have manifested 
through the whole of your campaign. You will 
be particularly careful to conceal the expected arrival 
of the Count ; because, if the enemy arc not apprized 
of it, they will stay on board their transports in the 
Bay, which will be the luckiest circumstance in the 
world. You will take measuresforopening acommu- 
nicalion with Count de Grasse the moment he arrives, 
and will concert measures with him for making the 
best uses of your joint forces until you receive aid 
from this quarter. 




P. S. I would not wish you to call out a large 
body of militia upon this occasion, but rather keep 
those you have compact and ready for service. I am, 


Camp, AT PiiiujPSBVKn, 17 Ai^^i, 1781. 


In consequence of the despatches received from 
your Excellency by the frigate La Concorde, it has 
been judged expedient to give up for the present the 

' " A coiretpandent of mtne, ■ wtrtiit tn Lord ComwtQIs, wriict on tha 
96lh ol July at PortUBOutb, nnd his tnatlr^. Turlcton, and Simuue an Mill 
in town, but Expecl lo mor*. The giefticr pan of ihe itmy is cmbafkcil. 
There vet in Hamplon Raul one fifiy-pm Nlii|i, iwo (hlrty-iiix j^n (liKstc*, 
and eighleen iJoojm laad«d with honci. Thcr« remiin but nine vetMU ia 
Portimouili, which appearto be seeling ready. My Lord's baGgagc ti yet in 
(otrn. His Lordship U so »hy of hi* jinper», Ihai oiy honral frieod sayK he 
canaotget at thvai. There ii a large (jiutntityof negroct. very vnluabl« iude«d, 
but no teisel i( leemi 10 lake them off. What (pirrison ihey have, I do nol 
Itnov. 1 shall lake care, ailcMt.ti) kcap them within boundt. CencTBl Muh- 
lenberg, with a curpKuF lightinfaniry and hone, is moving lowanlsPortimmih: 
but, aliliuughldo nol think they are Euingup the river tir ihebay, thclcssso •• 
they have made a pniade of taking piluta on hoard, I hid rather act on Ihe 
caullouxiidc, and by keeping a luppurtingpoiition leave no chance [•> Iiiii Lord- 
•bip 10 out-manceuvTe ut. Should a French fleet now conic into Hamplon 
Road, the British atmy would, 1 think, In: <iun. 

" lungoiiii: 10 tend * flag to Lord Curnwallii. I owe him the jn*tic« tony, 
thai his conduct to me has beeu peculiarly polite ; and many differences be> 
twcen commi«arles have been very |rrii.'iou«ly adjusicd by him to my satisfac- 
lion." — Iji/ayelte ta fVaiiiagton, Malvern Hill. July Jlst. 

Corawallis look poss<«ion of Voik and Cloucetlcr on the itl and »d ol 
Au|[i»I, and, havinit removed with tn much ei|}nlition aa potsibte all hia axm,j 
liom PorUinaoth. commcnceil fortifying thoie posC^■ 

' Rochambeou wrote a letter to Barru on Aupiit 1 jib. to which VVMhington 
added the following potlscripi ; *' The yenltinenit conlAinril in the fore^iof 
teller pi'cfMtly accord with my opinion, and 1 am more inclined toadopt ihcin 
u we baire *ecn in the Bridth Goxettet accounts of a Dqiudran undef the coca- 

(enterprise against New York, and turn our attention 
towards the south, with a view, if we should not be 
able attempt Charleston itself, to recover and secure 
the States of Virginia, North Carolina, and the coun- 
try of South Carolina and Georgia. We may add a 
further inducement for giving up this first-mentioned 
enterprise, which is the arrival of a reinforcement of 
near three thousand Hessian recruits. For this pur- 
pose we have determined to remove the whole of the 
French army, and as large a detachment of the 
American as can be spared, to Chesapeake, to meet 
your Excellency there. 

The following appear to us the principal cases, 
which will present themselves, and upon which we 
shall be obliged ultimately to form our plans. We 
have therefore stated them with a few short observa- 
tions upon each. Your Excellency will be pleased to 
revolve them in your own mind, and prepare your 
own opinion by the time we shall have the pleasure 
of meeting you in Virginia. 

First, What shall be done, if the enemy should be 
found with the greater part of their force in Virginia, 
upon the arrival of the Frencli fleet ? Second, Should 
only a detachment be found there ? Thirdly, Should 
the British force be totally withdrawn from thence ? 

mRitd of Admiml Di^tby wd to be intended to reinforce the Britiib fleeU in 
ihcte MM. Should thin hiuu'lruri •ctttally arrive, form a junction with Ad- 
miral Rodney & Grava, and nnd the French naval force wp&mled, it inigbl 
evcntualljr prove fatal to the tlccii of hii. matt Chtiitiin Mijeitjr, commanded 
bj Ihe Coiini lie Grawc ami yourscU. 1 onnol avoid repeating Ihcrefotc in 
parncil Icrms the rcqtmt of the Count <Ie RDchuiibeau. thai }-oti wouH form 
the junction, and u Koon u po»ihle, with the Count de Gtnise in Che»p«ake 





Upon tKe first, it appears to us, that we ought, 
without loss of time, to attack the enemy with our 
united force. 

Upon the second, it appears proper to destine such 
part of our force as will be amply sufficient to reduce 
the enemy's detachment, and then determine what 
use shall be made of the remainder. And here two 
things present themselves for our consideration. 
The enemy will either have sent a greater part of their 
force from Virginia to New York or to Charleston. 
If to New York, (which is the least probable under 
present circumstances,) Charleston will have but a 
moderate garrison, and it may be possible to attack it 
to advantage. If to Charleston, then the enemy will 
be so superior to General Greene, that they will be able 
to regain the whole of the State of South Carolina, and 
of consequence Georgia, We therefore think, that, in 
this latter case, such a force at least should be de- 
tached to South Carolina, as will enable us to keep 
the field and confine the enemy in or near to 

In the third case, which we stated, we mean that, 
of supposing the enemy should have totally evacuated 
Virginia, it appears to us necessary to make a solid 
establishment at Portsmouth, or any other place if 
more proper. In order to render a fleet in Chesapeake 
Bay entirely secure, and to employ the remainder of 
our land force and such vessels as may be proper for 
the service, as has been explained in the preceding 
article ; that is, either in the siege of Charleston, if 
the garrison shall be found sufficiently weak to war- 




rant the attempt, or to cover and secure the country, 
should it be found otherwise. 

Returning back to the enterprise against New 
York will depend on a number of circumstances, the 
discussion of which we will leave until we have the 
happiness of a conference with your Excellency. 
We have only to observe, that the execution of all or 
any of the plans, which we have proposed, go upon 
the supposition of a decided naval superiority ; except 
that of marching a reinforcement into South Carolina. 

We would beg leave to take up so much of your 
Excellency's time, as to point out to you the vast 
importance of Charleston, and what advantages the 
enemy derive from the possession of it. It is the 
center of their power in the south. By holding it 
they preserve a dangerous influence throughout the 
whole State, as it is the only port, and the only place 
from whence the people can procure those articles of 
foreign produce, which are essential to their support ; 
and it in great measure serves to cover and keep in 
subjection the State of Georgia. From thence the 
enemycanalsoestablish small posts in North Carolina; 
and, if they maintain a post in Chesapeake, they keep 
up the appearance of possessing four hundred miles 
upon the coast, and of consequence have a pretext 
for setting up claims, which may be very detrimental 
to the interests of America in European councils. 

We are not sufficiently acquainted with the posi* 
tion of Charleston, neither is it necessary at this time 
to enter into a detail of the proper mode of attacking 
it, or of the probability which we should have of 




succeeding. For these we will refer you to Briga- 
dier-General Duportail, commander of the corps of 
engineers in the ser^-ice of the United States, who 
will have the honor of presenting this. This gentle- 
man, having been in Charleston as principal engineer 
during the greater part of the siege, and in the 
environs of it as a prisoner of war a considerable 
time afterwards, had opportunities of making very 
full observations, which he judiciously Improved. 

A variety of cases, different from those we have 
stated, may occur. It is for this reason that we have 
thought proper to send General Duportail to your 
Excellency. He is fully acquainted with every cir- 
cumstance of our affairs in this quarter, and we 
recommend him to your Excellency as an officer 
upon whose abilities and in whose integrity you may 
place the fullest confidence. We would observe, that 
it will be very essential to the despatch of the busi- 
ness in contemplation, for you to send up to Elk 
River, at the head of the Chesapeake Bay, all your 
frigates, transports, and vessels proper for the con- 
veyance of the French and American troops down 
the bay. We shall endeavor to have as many as can 
be found in Baltimore and other ports secured, but 
we have reason to believe they will be ver)' few. We 
have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, 
attachment, esteem, &c.' 

' Thii l«ticr wu ligned jointly b)p Geoenl Wuhinglon and Count <le R»- 

Diary, July ■4th. — '* Kcceivtd dFtpalchei frcnn th« Count <le Bu'ras. &ii> 
naancing the intended departure of Count de Grnaac from Cape Fraii^oit witli 
bttwten twcnif-five and twenty-olna Mil o( ih« lino, anil ilu«t iIiouudiI two 





HifAH-QL-AKTEiis, DoBHS't Fnxv, 

■7 Au|ru», IfBl. 

Dear Sir, 

I have in confidence imparted to you the alteration 
of our late plan, and made you acquainted with our 
intended operations. Besides the provisions neces- 
sary at the Head of Elk to carry the troops down the 
bay, a very considerable quantity will be wanted in 
Virginia. I should suppose three hundred barrels of 
flour, as many of salt meat, and eight or ten hogsheads 
of rum would be sufficient at Elk. For what wiil be 
consumed in Virginia. I imagine the order must be 
general, as we can neither ascertain the number of 

huiulr«ii land troopa, on ihe jil tnalant, for ihe diempMb* Ba<r ; and the mi> 
lety «( the Utter to have evety thing in the most perfect rciilines to comroenet 
001 operatioii<t at the niomeiil of bit irrival, as he Blionld be uni]«r Ihe neces- 
tlly. from poiticoUr «ngagecnents with (he SpanianU, to he in the Weil Indict 
by the Bildillc of October. The Count dc Bamu at the ume lime iiiliinalod 
his tntcnlioni uf an cnier|>iU« a|;ainti Newfouiidlanil ', in upputilJun tu which 
both Count de RochamLiau and mpelf remonil rated, ai being laipolitie and 
dan^ierotit under the probability of Rodney') coming on ihit cnatt. 

" Mniten hai^n); now vttmr. [o a irihlt, and a decided plan to be delctmJned 
on, I wa* obliged,— from the shorlneia of Count de Graue't promised way on 
thii coMI, the apparent ditinclination o( (lieir naval olTicm to fon« the har- 
bor of New York, and the feeble conipllHiicc of the Slatei with my requiif- 
tioni Ua men hitherto, and the little prospect of grtAtei exertion in future, — 1« 
give up all iiieat o! attacking New Vork, and inaiead ihereof to remove the 
French troopi and a dtlaciiinrnl from the army to the fleail of Elk, 
(o be trantponed to Virginia for the purpote of co^peiallng with the forca 
from the Wott Indies against the troopt In that !>t;ite." 

In Ihe letter which accompanied the despa<ch«i above meniioned. Count de 
Bam« Mid ihat Count de Cri<nr did not require him la form a junetiiiii with 
Ibe Wett India «iuadiori. but left him at libtity to underuke any other enter- 
prbe which he might think pioper. In conformity nitb ihii pcnniiiion, and 
with Ihe tpirit of Ihe original but contingent Initrnclionii fiom the mlnlslers. he 
prapoied an expedition to Newfoundland, and aid ho ihould with to take with 
him the land fotcei thai had been left at Newport under M. de Choiiy. This 




men, which will be drawn together, or the time they 
will be employed 

I have written to ,the Count de Grasse, and have 
requested him to send up his light vessels of every 
kind to Elk; but 1 would nevertheless wish to have 
all that may be at Baltimore and the upper parts of 
the bay secured. 1 shall therefore be obliged to you 
to take measures at a proper time for that purpose. 
When that time will, be, and when you shall give or- 
ders for the deposit at Elk. I will hereafter inform 
you. I shall direct the quartermaster in due season 
to take up all the small craft in Delaware for the pur- 
pose of transporting the troops from Trenton to 
Christeen. Should he have occasion, for advice or 
assistance from you upon this occasion, I must recjucst 
you to give him both. I am confident it will be neces- 
sary to give the American troops, destined for south- 
ern services, one month's pay in specie. This will 
amount to about dollars. If tt will be possible 

ttep wai !>t[oa(;tr 4fM|9nvtd tiy both Genenl WadiIii)(lon >mI Coiut i» R^ 
chamlicfiu : and, h moh tm b« raceived th«ir lemonstrincc as'i'"! >!■ Counl dc 
Birnti retalvcd lo prOMcd to the ChcMpc*k«. 

It »pT0b>b1«, likcH-iM, llMt toine d«gr«co( p«nun*l feeling had ili inSueoce 
on the wahes ol Count dr Bixni. In the council ol war. whidi wns held some 
time Ixfnie. letiicctintc the removil of the fleet to BoMoii. alter a debate iiiJi- 
caling n tilllr wannth jmong the oflivers. Cuunl de Kochatnbcau rcpments M. 
de Borias u uiing the (oUDiiring Unguogc. " No ptnon U more JotcTctie^ 
ihan 1 am in (lie arrival of M. de Citaue In [hcM «at. Hewat mjr junSor ; fae 
has Jutt beoD appointrd Hculeiianl-gcncrnl. Al the mcini«nt bit approach is 
nade known, I ihall Mi uU to put myieU andn his orden. I vill ijnith ttila 
campaifn ; I will never make anolher.'* — M^-'irti dt SotAamttau. Tom. i. , 
p. S76. Hoiice il ajipcan Iliac the two naval commandcn stood in a dclicale 
tclatioD to each othei : and it may be prciumed that this vru the reason whf 
Couul de Grasse left Count de Ititras at liberty lo join him or not, as he should 
be inelinad ; and alto why the latter preferred a aeparale irntorpriw. — ^arki. 


for you to procure this sum, you will infinitely oblige 
me and will much benefit the service. I shall also 
stand in need of a sum of specie for secret services, I 
suppose about five hundred guineas. I am, dear 
Sir, &c.' 

to major-general heath. 


You are to lake command of all th« troops remaining in this 
department, consistinR of the two regiments of New Hampshire.ten 
of Massachusetts, and five of Connecticut infantry, the corps of 
invalids, Sheldon's legion, the third regiment of artillery, together 
with all such State troops and militia, as are retained in service, 
of those which would have been under my own command. 

The security of West Point and the posts in the Highlands 
is to be considered the first object of your attention. In order 
to cEfccl this, you will make such dispositions as in your judgment 
the circumstances shall from time to time require ; taking care to 
have as large a supply of salted provisions as possible constantly 
on hand ; lo have the forlilications, works, and maf aiines repair* 

' To this r«qvMt for a)on«7 Mr. Morrldn^dc iKiyillMonrtclagnply, Mat* 
ing that he hadaoiw.bat woultl nuk« «very poiiiMc cxrrliun. SMtutUiwer 
in ihc Diplemalie Cprrtifondrmt, \ai. xL, p. 431. 

On the i7<li Wuliiiigtun mapped out (he following Bnc o( BMch for the 
French irmy : 
Suni5ay, tgUi, lo North Culle, 14 niila 
Mondiijr, aolh, to King'* Frrry, iB inil<4 

Allowing for the common chniic«i of windt and weitfacr it nuy take lUI 
Thunday, Mil, to cidm Ihe North Ritcr 
Friday, jjd, lo SuSninK. 16 mile* 
Sttinrday, 34th. to Pnmpton Mc«('g H'te, M milts 
SuDiliy, aslh, lo Wliippwiy, IJ 
Monday, ibth, to Bulliun'i Tavern, ij 
Tuddny, 37th, lo Somerset Court House, 14 
Wednenlsy, aSth. to Krioeclon, 14 
Thundiy, 39ih, to Trenlon, la. 




ed and perfected n,s far as may b<^ : to have the garrison at least 
in all CAscs kept tip to its present strength ; to have the tniouter 
at ran cements and plans for the defence and support of this im- 
portant post perfectly understood and vigorouiily acted upon, in 
case of any attempt againxt it Ample magazines of wood a.nA 
forage arc to be laid in against the approaching winter. The 
former should 1>e cut on thi: margin of the river, and transported 
by water to the garrison The latter ought to be collected from 
the country below the lines, in the greatest quantities possible, 
and deposited in such places at you :cha1I judge proper. 

The force noiv p;il under your orders, it is presumed, will be 
sufficient for all the purposes above mentioned ; as well as to 
yield a very considerable protection and cover to the country, 
without haxarding the safety of the posts in the Highlands. This 
is to be esteemed, as it re«pects the friendly inhalntaiiU and 
resources of the country, an extremely interesting object ; but, 
when compared u-ith the former, of a secondary nature. 'I'hc 
protection of the northern and western frontiers of the Stale of 
New Vorlt, as well as of those parts of that and other Slates most 
contiguous and exposed to the ravages and depredations of 
the enemy, will claim your attention. But, as the contingencies, 
which are to be expected in the course of the campaign, may be 
»» various, unforeseen, and almost infinite, that no particular line 
of conduct can be prescribed for them, upon all .tuch occasions 
you will be governed by your own prudence and discretion, in 
which the fuUest confidence is placed. 

Although your general nilc of conduct will be to act on the 
defensive only, yet it is not meant to prohibit you from striking 
a blow at the enemy's posts, or detachmentji, should a fair op|ior- 
tiinity present itself. 

The mo^l eligible position for your army, in my opinion, will 
be above (i. e, on the north side of) the Croton ; as well for the 
purpose of supporting the garrison of West Point, as annoying 
the enemy, and covering the country, as for the security and re- 
pose of your troops. Waterbury's brigade, which may be posted 
towards the Sound, Sheldon's corps, the Stale troops of New 
York, and other light parties, may occasionally be made use of 
to hold the enemy in check, and carry on the petite guerre with 




them ; but I would recommend keeping your force as much col- 
lected and as compact as the nature of (be service will admit, doing 
by corps instead of detachments whenever it is practicable, and 
above all exerting yourself most strenuously and assiduously, 
while the (roops arc in a camp of repose, to make them perfect in 
their exercise and maniEiivres, and to establish the most regular 
system of discipline and duty The good of the service and 
emulation of corps will, I am persuaded, prompt the officers and 
men to devote their whole time and attention to the pleasing and 
honorable task of becoming masters of their profcssioti. The uo- 
cerlainty, which the present movement of the army wiU probably 
occasion with the enemy, ought to be increased by every means 
in your power, and the deception kept up as lung as possible. 

It will not be expedient to prevent the militia which were or- 
dered from coming in. until the arrival of the Count dc Grassc. 
or something delinite or certain is known from the southward ; 
and even then, circumstances may (but of this you wilt be ad- 
vised) render it advisable to keep the enemy at New York In 
check, to prevent their detaching to reinforce their southern army, 
or to harass the inhabitants on the scacoast. 

The redoubt on the east side of Dobbs's Ferry is to be disman- 
tled and demolished, the platforms to be taken up and trans- 
ported up the river, if il vjtsi conveniently be done. The 
blockhouse on the other side to be maintained, or evacuated and 
destroyed, as you shall think proper. The water-guards and 
other precautions to prevent a surprise, you will be pleased to 
take into your consideration, and regulate in such a manner as 
you shall judge most expedient. Vou will be pleased, alto, to 
keep me regularly advised of every im|iortant event, which shall 
take place in your department. Given under my hand at Hcad- 
Quarters, this ■9th day of August, 1781. 

P. S. By the act of Congress of the 3d of October, 17S0, a 
return is to be made to thera annually on or before the ist of 
September of the troops belontilng tn the several states that 
requisitions may be made for completing the same, This you 
will be pleased to have done by Che troops under your command. 
The preservation of the boats is a matter of very great importance 
to which you will attend. Let all the new boats and such otheiit 




as arc not ^solutely necessary and allotted to the service of the 
garrison, be hauled tip and put under the care of a guard so that 
the person to whom ihry are committed shall be accountable 
for every host. The abuses committed by people belonging to 
commissioned whale boats on Long Island ought to be enquired 
into and supprc^cd espectally as Congress have ordered those 
commissions to be revoked.' 

I " 1 bavc the plettuTD lo inform jrour BxccllvDcy, that my Iroopi tntvtd U 
Ihc fKiDg*9] Fcrrjr yciterduy. ind began to pou the ritcr at tm o'clock in th« 
morning, and by sunritc of ihU day they were nil completely on Ihit ilde iif the 
Hver. I hope your army will bo cnnblnl to cion >ritli llic ii»ni« facility wlicn 
they arrive." — WaikingMt ta ftvckemieai, ai Aueml. ijSi. 

The French army marc hedby ihi' way of While Plains, \orth Caillc, Pine'* 
tiriilge. anil Cronipt>nd. and croticd the river with all tbcir baggage and storec 
between the std and 15th. The two armie. imnued tbcir march to Trenton 
by diflereni rnutet ; one column pMsing throusli Chaibntn. Kprin|;field, and 
Bniiuwick.lor lite purpow of keeping up ai long ai pofiible an npprarance 
of thrcalcninic Staten ttknd, or of marching round to Sandy Hook lo facilitate 
the entrance of the Krencli ^t*i into ilic liarlior. A Pr«nc!i liakcty wai ilaa 
oitabliiihed at Chatham, a* a blind to the enemy, which should strengthen the 
opnition that operalioni. wetr inlCTidcil in ihit <|iLirle>. (General W.ikhiniflon 
rtmaEncil wtlli the anny till the joth, when he anil Count de Rucliambcau set 
off lor Philadelphia, and arrived there the next day. He immediately applied 
him>clf lo provide veuieta, aiid otlier racana »( iranitportini; the army, bacgage, 
and >lom From Treniun lo the Head of Elk. So few veBeli could be found, 
that one regiment only went by water, with Ihe ilorca, down the Delaware and 
up Chruliana Creek. All the remaining iioopt marched by land, and paued 
through I*hiladelphia. G«nera] Lincoln had Ihe immedialv command of the 
•my in it» ptogre»» southward. 

An extract from Atr. MorriitMJiiiTy, containing an animated account of Gen- 
eral Waehington'i reception in I'hSadelphiB on this occaaiott, may l>« «t«n ia 
the Dif-lomvHf Ca^rtifeti4im<t voL at., p. 46s. — Sfarkt. 

" A|rTeeably in my Intentions communicated to you on the 15th ln> 
slant, the truopi deilined for the southern quarter arc now tn molion. 
The American detachment I* already on the west tide of the IlBdson. Tbe 
French aimy 1 raped will rtach the Ftiry ihE» day. Our match will be coa- 
liuued with all the dispatch that out circumstances will admit. As ii will ba 
of great imporUncc iowajd& the kucceM of our prcMrni enterprise, thai the 
enemy on ihc arrival of the Ae<rt thuuM rmi hjivc it in their power to effect 
their retreat, 1 cannot omit to repeat to you my most earnest wish, that the 
land and naval forces, which you will have with you, may so combine their 
eperalloiw, (hat the British army may mit be able to escape. Tlio particular 
' mode of dmng this 1 aboil not at tbit distance attempl to dictate." — W^hing- 
im ta La/aytttt, 3\ August, 1781. 






IIkau QtTASTXai, KiKc'f Fiititv 
31 AuguEi, 1731. 


I have devoted the first moment of my time, which 
I could command (while the troops are halted for the 
French army at this place), to give my sentiments 
unreservedly on the several matters contained in your 
favor of the 13th instant. This I will attempt to do 
with all that frankness and sincerity, which, from 
your own candor in your commimications, you have 
a right to expect, and for doing which with the greater 
freedom the importance of the subject will be my 
apology. Persuaded that we are influenced by the 
same motives, and anxious in pursuit of the same 
object, 1 am only unhappy, that I should be forced 
to dissent in a single instance from the opinion of 
those, for whose judgment and ability I have the 
highest deference, respecting the surest and best 
mode for attaining that object. 

But, being at the same time fully sensible of the 
necessity of prosecuting the war with as much vigor 
as our circumstances will admit, and of using the 
strictest economy in the prosecution of it ; upon 
these verj' principles, I beg leave to give it as my 
opinion, that a reduction of the number of officers 

' Mr. Morris, u siijiarintcndciit of fintiic*, and Mr. I'etrri, u n mcmbei of 
the Board of W«r. hod bnn nppoinled commiuionEn by Congrcii to proceed 
(0 head-quaiten, and conmlll (he Commaitilri-in-cliit-f ruper.ling llie irranijlk 
iDonl and numlient of the army tor the cncnillE yvar. — yaarHals, July Jlsl. 
Tbejr had rec«niiy been io the camp for that pnrpou, and hod addiwcd a Ici- 
t« to Genera! Wathinginn conUinln|; tevefal qutrlei nn Ihal tiubjeci. See ihe 
letter in llic VifUmiuit Corrnfondtncf, vol. x\., p. 436. The tiahU of tUetr 
•diemc was a reducrion o( Oie army. 




and men as fixed by the last arrangement, or any 
material alteration of the establishment of the army 
for the next campaign, would not in the present 
situation of afTairs be expedient, for the following 

In the first place, because the enemy must resolve 
to prosecute the war. or be disposed to make a peace : 
in cither of which cases, a respectable army in the 
field on our part will, I conceive:, more than compen- 
sate the expenses of it, and will eventually be the best 
and most economical system of policy we can possi- 
bly act upon. For, should the enemy still be deter- 
mined to carry on the war with obstinacy, not only 
policy, but even necessity, would urge us to keep up 
a superior army, as the surest and only means of 
forcing them to a peace, and freeing us from the 
calamities and expenses of the war ; as it is evident 
from many circumstances, that they have relied more 
for success on our want of exertions, than upon their 
own military prowess or resources, and that this has 
been one principal inducement of their persevering 
hitherto. But, on the other hand, should they be 
inclined to a pacification, a powerful and wel! ap- 
pointed army would both enable us to dictate our 
own terms at the negotiation, and hasten the com- 
pletion of it. 

In addition to this, whoever considers how much 
more expensive and less serviceable militia are than 
Continental troops, how heavy and repeated a burden 
on the public their bounties are. when they are hired ; 
when drafted, how disagreeable and frequently dis* 




tressing for them to be torn from their families to a 
life with which they are totally unacquainted ; how 
precarious and uncertain the aid is, which may be 
expected from them in such cases ; what glorious 
opportunities have been lost by us, and what almost 
niinous advantages have been taken by the enemy in 
times of our weakness, for want of a permanent force 
in the 5eld, — will, I am persuaded, be convinced, that 
we ought to have constantly such an army as is suffi- 
cient to operate against the enemy, and supersede the 
necessity of calling forth the militia except on the most 
extraordinary occasions. 1 will also beg leave to re- 
mind you, Gentlemen, of the great reduction of the 
number of regiments on the Continental establish- 
ment, viz., from one hundred and sixteen to fifty since 
the year 1777, and to observe, in consequence, that, 
in my opinion, we do not find the enemy so much ex- 
hausted, or their strength so debilitated, as to warrant 
any farther diminution of our established force. By 
one of the late intercepted letters from Lord George 
Germaine. it appears the enemy considered the num- 
ber of men, in their provincial corps only, greater 
than the whole number of men in the service of the 
continent. Since which time the reinforcements that 
have arrived from Europe amount, by the best ac- 
counts 1 have been able to obtain, to at least four 
thousand men. 

That the Slates are able, by proper exertions, to 
furnish the number of men required by the last 
arrangement of the army, may I think rationally 
be supposed ; as the population in many of tliem 




has rather increased than diminished since the com- 
mencement of the war : and as the greater part of 
them do actually, when called upon in an emergency, 
give a sufficient number of men for services of short 
duration to complete their Continental regiments. 
That the country abounds with supplies of all kinds 
is acknowledged from all quarters. Whether the 
men can be obtained, or the resources drawn forth, 
is more than I will presume with certainty to de- 
termine ; but one thing is certain, that it is idle to 
contend against great odds, when we have it in our 
power to do it upon equal or even advantageous 

There are also several arguments, which I omit to 
enforce, that might be adduced particularly to prove 
the impropriety of reducing the number of officers, or 
making any considerable alteration in the system ; 
such as our having found by experience, that the 
proportion of officers is not too great for the number 
of men ; that the same or a greater proportion has 
been esteemed necessarj' in other more ancient ser- 
vices : and that the full complement is more indis- 
pensably requisite in ours, because there are a larger 
number of levies and recruits to train and discipline 
annually than is to be found in the regiments of other 
nations ; and because a greater number of officers are 
taken from the line to perform the duties of the staff", 
than in most other services. It is likewise an estab- 
lished fact, that everj' alteration in the military sys- 
tem, or change in the arrangement, unless founded in 
the most obvious principles of utility, isattended with 




uneasiness among the officers, confusion with regard 
to the disposition of the men, and frequently with 
irregularities and disagreeable consequences before 
it can be carried completely into execution. Perfect 
order throughout the whole army has but just been 
restored since the last arrangement took place. An- 
other innovation in the present situation might be 
more mischievous in its effects. 

Thus I have. Gentlemen, from a desire of faithfully 
performing my duty, from the experience (of what- 
ever degree it is) which I have acquired in the service 
of my country, and from the knowledge 1 have of the 
present state of the army, given my sentiments on the 
first of your queries, which likewise involves the 
answer to your second. With regard to the third, I 
am of opinion, that the recruits ought if possible to 
be engaged for the war, or three years ; but, if this 
cannot be done, that the community, district, or class, 
furnishing a man for a shorter term of scr\'ices, ought 
to be compellable to have him replaced by the period 
when his time of service expires ; and that funds 
ought to be established, if practicable, for recruiting 
the men engaged for short services, while they con- 
tinue with the army, as it is found by experience that 
they may be enlisted with more facility and less ex- 
pense, than under any other circumstances. With 
respect to the fourth, fifth, and sixth queries, I am in 
doubt whether any alteration can be made on those 
subjects, which shall tend essentially, (all things 
considered,) to the public good. I have the honor 
to be, &c." 



HKAi>Qi;ARTXRt, KiNc's FtRKV, 
tut Atigait, t7Si. 

1 feci mj'setf unhappy in being obliged to iaform you that the 
circumstances, in which ! find inyxelf at this laie period, have in- 
duced me to make an alteration of the main object which waa at 
(irtt adopted, and has hitherto been held in viev, for the opera- 
tions of this campaign. It gives me pain to say that the delay in 
the several slates to comply with my requiaiiioDs of ihc 24th of 
May last, on which in a great measure depended the hopes of 
our success, in that attempt, ha»'been one great and operative 
reason to lead to this alteration. Oihcr circumstances, it is true, 
have had their weight in this determination, and it may, in the 
course of events, prove happy to the states, that this deviation 
from our main design has been adopted. 

The fleet of the Count de Gra**c, with a body of French troops 
on board, will make its firxt appearance in the Cheasapeak, which 
thould the time of the fleet's arrival prove favorable, and should 
the enemy under Lord Comwallis hold their present position in 
Virginia, will give us the fairest opportunity to reduce the whole 
British force in the «ouih, and to ruin their boasted expectations 
in that quarter : — to effect this desirable object, it has been judged 
expedient, taking into consideration our own present circum- 
stances, with the situAiion of the enemy in New Vork, and at the 
southward, to abandon the seige of the former, and to march a body 
of troops, consisting of a detachment from the American army, 
with the whole of the French troops, immediately to Virginia 
With this detachment, which will be vcrj' considerable. I have de- 
termined to march myself. The American troops arc already on 
the west »ide of the Hudson, and Ihc French army will arrive at 
King's Ferry this day. When the whole are crossed, our march will 
be continued with as much despatch at circumstances will admit. 

The American army which will remain in this department, ex- 
cepting two light comi)anies and some lew detachments, consists of 
the two New lUmpshire regiments, ten of Massachusetts and five 
of Connecticut infantry, with Sheldon's legion. Crane's artillery, 
the state troops and militia, which with proper exertions of the 
states, will, it is expected, be sufficient to hold the enemy in 




check at New Yorlc, and prevent their ravages on the frontiersi. 
The comniand, during my absenc:;, is given to Major-General 
Heath, who will have the honor to communicate with the States, 
on every occ.ision which maj- require their attention. 

As the enemy's force io New York has been for some time past 
very considerable, and il is reported with a good degree of cer- 
tainty, that ihey have lately received a very considerable rein- 
forcement of German recruit*, from Europe, it will be necessary 
still to send forward a great pan, if not the whole of the milltta 
requested from your state, in the same manner as though no 
alteration had taken place in our measures. You will therefore 

continue to send on at least men from your State to the 

orders of General Heath, with as much despatch as possible, 
unless you should be informed from him that this number need 
not be completed. 

On this occasion I cannot omit to repeat to you my opinion, 
of the absolute importance of filling your continental battalions 
to their complete numbers, for the war, or three years. Nol only 
our past experience for a course of years, but our present situa- 
tion, should strongly enforce the necessity of this measure. 
Every campaign teaches us the incrcasinK difficulty and expcncc 
of procuring short-termed levies, and their decreasing utility in 
the field. The large reinforcements which the enemy have this 
campaign sent to America, strongly indicate their expectations 
of the continuance of the war. Should this be the case, the best 
way to meet them is certainly with a permanent force, but should 
the war be drawing towards a close, a permanent and respectable 
army will give it:t the happiest prospects of a favorable peace. In 
every view, a permanent army should be the great object of the 
Slates to obtain, as they regard sound policy, prudence or 
economy. I have the honor to be, &c. 

Dear Sir. Chatham. a? Ao«uft 1781. 

Accounts brought by several vessels to Philadel- 
phia and to the eastward leave Httle doubt, that the 
Count de Grasse must have already arrived in the 




Chesapeake, or that he must be very soon there. 
The Count de Rochainbeau and myself have there- 
fore determined that no time ought to be lost in mak- 
ing preparations for our transportation from Trenton 
to Christiana, and from the Head of Elk down the 
Chesapeake I have written by this opportunity to 
Colonel Miles, and have directed him immediately to 
engage al! the proper kind of craft for the navigation 
of the Delaware, which can be found in Philadelphia 
or in the creeks above and below it ; and, as your 
advice may be useful to him, more especially so far 
as respects procuring the vessels at a distance from 
Philadelphia, I have desired him to wait upon you for 
that purpose. I shall also be obliged to you for using 
your influence with the gentlemen of Baltimore, to 
permit any vessels that may be in that port to come 
up to Elk and assist us in transportation. I have 
little doubt, from the cheerfulness witli which they 
furnished the Marquis last winter, but they will com- 
ply with your requisition on the present occasion. 
But, lest there should be a necessity for the interfer- 
ence of the executive of the State, I have written to 
Governor Lee upon that and other matters. I en- 
close the letter under flying seal for your information, 
and you will be good enough to forward it by a chain 
of exjjrcsses which is established. Any vessels, which 
may be procured in the Chesapeake, should rendez- 
vous as soon as possible, in Elk River. 

You will be pleased to make the deposit of flour, 
rum, and salt meat at the Head of Elk. which I re- 
quested in a former letter. I am very fearful that about 




fifteen hundred barrels of salt provisions, and thirty 
hogsheads of mm, which 1 directed to be sent from 
Connecticut and Rhode Island under convoy of the 
Count de Barras. would not have been ready when 
the fleet sailed from Newport. Should that have 
^ been the case, the disappointment will be great. 1 
would wish you to see whether a like quantity of 
those articles can be procured in Philadelphia or in 
Marj'land. if we should find that they have not gone 
round from the eastward. 

I must entreat you, if possible, to procure one 
month's pay in specie for the detachment, which I 
have under my command. Part of those troops have 
not been paid any thing for a very long time past, and 
have upon several occasions shown marks of great 
discontent. The service they are going upon is dis- 
agreeable to the northern regiments ; but I make no 
doubt that a douceur of a little hard money would 
put them in proper temper. If the whole sum can- 
not be obtained, a part of it will be better than none, 
as it may be distributed in proportion to the respec- 
tive wants and claims of the men. The American 
detachment will assemble in this neighborhood to- 
day ; the French army to-morrow. I have the honor 
to be, &c.' 

'Tbe pnmura lor money lo paf the ironp* via in fKiri rrlicvcJ by %, Inool 
twcill]r tiiouuind liinl doUiis fiDoi Counl <1a Koclismbcau, whkii Mr. Monit 
engaged la icplace by the i(( of Oeioba. — Diplomatic Cftrtsfiaadtiiti, lol. xi., 
p. 463. Colonel Liuient Airlrcil in Dimiod itfita lilt miMion in Knncc on (he 
351b of August, bringing with iiim in casb two miUitmi and ■ balf of livro, 
bcincpKct odhe donalion of lii mfllionc, which bud been recently (rtTcn to the 
Unilfd Stain bf ihc Kinj; nf France. Thl» wi* a kcuonaUc kuppljr, and «nB> 
bled the superintend enl of linance to fulfil hit engagccnsnl. 





PHiLADeLniiA, a September, 1781. 

Nothing, my Dear Marquis, could have afforded 
me more satisfaction than the information, commu- 
nicated in your two letters of the 21st and 24th ulti- 
mo, of the measures you had taken, and of the arrange- 
ments you were making, in consequence of the 
intelligence I had given you. Calculating upon the 
regular force under your immediate orders, the mili- 
tia which have already been called for. and may 
be expected in the field, the whole of the French 
army, and the American corps now marching with 
Major-General Lincoln from the northward, in addi- 
tion to the land forces expected on board of the fleet, 
I flatter myself we shall not experience any consid- 
erable difficulties from the want of men to carry our 
most favorite projects into execution. The means for 
prosecuting the siege with rapidity, energy, and suc- 
cess, and of supplying the troops while they arc en- 
gaged in that ser\'ice, as they arc more precarious. 
have been and still continue to be the great objects 
of my concern and attention. 

Heavy cannon, ordnance stores and ammunition, 
to a pretty large amount, are now forwarding. 
General Knox, in whose immediate province these 
arrangements are, who knows the whole of our re- 
sources, is making every exertion to furnish a compe- 
tent supply, and will be on the spot to remedy every 
deficiency, as far as the circumstances will possibly 
admiL Having also from the first moment been ex- 
tremely anxious respecting the supplies of the army, (in 




which I comprehend not only provisions of the bread 
and meat kind, &c., but also forage and the means of 
transportation.) I had written pressingly to the gov- 
ernors of Maryland and Virginia on that subject pre- 
vious to the receipt of your favor of the 21st of 
August. I have since reiterated my entreaties, and 
enforced, in the strongest terms I was capable of 
using, the requisitions for specific supplies made by 
Congress, and now again called for by the superin- 
tendent of finance from the states of Jersey, Delaware, 
and Marj'land ; as to the supplies of Pennsylvania, wc 
are to look for them from the financier himself. I 
hope and trust the efforts of these States and of Vir- 
ginia will be uncommonly great, and proportionate 
to the magnitude of the object before us. 

In order to introduce some kind of system and 
method in our supplies, to know with certainty what 
may be depended upon, and to put the business in 
the best possible train of execution. I shall send for- 
ward the heads of departments, as soon as their pres* 
ence can be dispensed with. I have spoken to the 
surgeon-general respecting hospital stores and medi- 
cines. All that can be done will be done in that 
department. As to clothing I am sorry to inform 
you, little is to be expected, except in the article of 
shoes, of which a full supply will be sent on. 

In my progress to the southward, I shall take care, 
as far as practicable, to make all the arrangements 
necessary for the operation in view, and to impress 
the executives with an Idea of the absolute necessity 
of furnishing their quotas of supplies regularly ; as 




we have no other resources to rely upon for the sup- 
port of the army, and especially, as 1 am very appre- 
hensive, that a quantity of fifteen hundred barrels of 
salted provisions, which I had ordered to be shipped 
under convoy of the Count dc Barras, did not arrive 
in time for that purpose. 

But. my dear Marquis, I am distressed beyond ex- 
pression to know what has become of the Count de 
Grasse, and for fear that the English fleet, by occu- 
pying the Chesapeake, (towards which my last ac- 
counts say they were steering,) may frustrate all our 
flattering prospects in that quarter. I am also not a 
little solicitous for the Count de Barras. who was to 
have sailed from Rhode Island on the 23d ultimo, 
and from whom I have heard nothing since that time. 
Of many contingencies we will hope for the most 
propitious events. Should the retreat of Lord Corn- 
wallis by water be cut off, by the arrival of eithttr of 
the French fleets, I am persuaded you will do all in 
your power to prevent his escape by land. May that 
great felicity be reserved for you.' 

' On tlic ad, tbe Counl de Cratie in(orm«d Wuhington ot bia airivm] in lli» 
Cbeuipcalic. In reply Woihini^an urotc on ihc 6l)l : 

" £i|)«cliiig 10 Iiair« (lie lioiiur »( x prrvonal inlrrvlew wilh your EKcdlencjr 
almoR ni won >i Ihii will teach your h.ind, I tball nol gtte jrou ihc ironbia In 
wrilinic, of ■ pirtkulii deUiil in my dciigni. 1 will only inform you Ihat the 
van n( the two armiri. tlir French nnil AmRHont, conkUiing of about two 
thouuitiil men, (then not being Iraopons for Iha whole) will b« cmbatkcil in 
about two da}-t, and irill fall do>n the ChBiipciikc to rorm a jitnctivn with the 
troop* nitder th« comniand «( the Coust de St. Simon, and Ihc M arquii de La- 
fayette, and to <o-opemle in blocking sp I,d. Comwallis in York Rivet, and 
preicntintc him tomakchii retreat by land, or collecling any lupplieilrom Iha 
countiy, ThI* juncilun of the van of our iiuopi is propoted to be made in 
Jamea Ri*«T, unlevi yuiu I^iccllrncy and the ctitnnianders of the land troops 
ihould judge tome other point of debarkation lo be more favorable to uurlotcn- 




You see how critically important the present mo- 
ment is. For my own part, I am determined still to 
persist, with unremitting ardor, in my present plan, 
unless some inevitable and insuperable obstacles are 
thrown in the way. Adieu, my dear Marquis if you 
get any thing new from any quarter, send it 1 pray 
you, OK the spur of speed for I am almost all im- 
patience and anxiety, at the same time that I am, &c. 

P. S. Since writing the above I have received 
your favor of the 25th. Col. Laurens has just arrived 
in this town from France via Boston, but I know not 
yet what intelligence he brings. 


WiLUAMSBUKO, IJ September, i;Si.' 


I have the honor to inform Congress, that I arrived 
at this place last evening ; that soon after my arrival, 
I received the pleasing intelligence, that the Count 

tiODS; in whiclicthc you will be iilcMcd to meet the mmporu while on their 
way, with onlcn to proceed to any other point which nmy be dxed on. 

" The Temaindcr c>( the Iroopi frain hence will be forwirded with tdl the ex- 
pedition iiiir dreiimht>iic<* will ailmil. In the incnn limr. ilk il will be o( (he 
gnateit imporlance to prevmi the etcapi uf hii Loidship from bis piestnt 
p<iutitin, I am permadcd that evcly meuuic, which prudence can diclille, will 
be improved lor that piitpoie, until the arrival of out coniplric force, when I 
hope hi* Lordihip will be compelled to yield hti (;round to Ibe superior power 
of oar combined forcci." 

' "We ire thus far on our way 10 you. The Count de Roehamheau has juit 
arrived. Oeneral ChaMcIliu will be here, and wc prapuw. after rettin); lo- 
morrow, lobe nl Fiederickiburg on the nieht of the IStU. The ijih wc shall 
teach New Castle : and the next day we cipect to have the pleasure of teeing 
you at yaut encampment. SlioiiUI there b« any daii|;cr 3it we appioacli you, I 
tbuuld be obliged if you will tend a party of lione toward* New Kent Coiut* 




de Grasse, who had put to sea on the 5th in pursuit 
of the British lleei, had returned to his former station 
at Cape Henry, having driven the British from the 
coast, taken two of their frigates, and effected a 
junction with the squadron of the Count ^^ Barras. 
In consequence of my having been informed of the 
sailing of the fleet from the Capes, and being appre- 
hensive that we were not assured of the security of 
our navigation in the bay, I had ordered the troops, 
who were embarked at the Head of Elk. to stop until 
we had further intelligence. Orders are this morning 
gone on to press them forward with evcrj^ despatch 
possible.' I am distressed to find, that the supplies 
of the army collecting here are on too precarious a 
footing. Already a want of provisions has been ex- 
perienced. Every measure is taking, that is in my 
power, to be- better assured of our supplies in future. 
How far I shall succeed in my endeavors, lime must 
discover. 1 have the honor to be, &c. 

tlooM to meet ■ai."-~WMtltiiii£loH fa La/aytttt, MonnI V«nion, 10 September, 

Tli« MIowinB were IhediRerenlitBges and halting-placM lot theta^abyand 
(»mi : Bild'i Frion. ihcilM lo Bush, Rallinxite, Klk Ridge Landing, Slidenx- 
burj;. Georifelown, Itoiii (hence (o FalK ol R*i>pabannoGk, (■voUlingOcco'iuaii 
Kerry), C»TO!ir;r CoiitI-Hdum. New Ciitl*, WUIinmsbore- For the French, 
Ihe iaWtming cou»« : Lcwcr ferry, on Susquehannah. Ballimore, Elk Ridge 
Landing. BlaitenibDrg. CeorKetnwn, Fr«Ierifksburg ["to a»<riil in iiie<m»en. 
Unt ferry vtvi Occuiguan and Rappahannock rivet at the town of Frcdencks. 
bai£. The former may, t believe be forded at Falmouth <two mila abore 
Frcdeitck(bar|^. and the latter by iMvinc llie common rout a little to lfa« left 
from Gcorgelown."], (.'iroline Court^House, and New Cattle. 

' On hit pasiage ttom th« Wmi Indies to the Cheupeake, Count de Oraue 
captured a Dritiiih armed vessel, liuuml from Charletlon to New Vork.ln which 
wu Lord Kawdon, who wat lakes pritopcr and brought into the Cheuiprake. 

* " Erery day we now l<i*c i* companttiTely an ac^- ^^ *'>°" oi. it ii in out 
power with safety, we ought lo lake our pmitlon near the enemy. Hurry «a 





Sir, 'S SeplMnber. 17B1. 

1 had the honor to receive your Excellency's letter 
of the 4th of this month soon after the arrival at this 
place. I am at a loss to express the pleasure, which 
I have in congratulating your Excellency on your re- 
turn to your former station in the bay. and the happy 
circumstance of forming a junction with the squadron 
of the Count de Barras. I take particular satisfac- 
tion in felicitating your Excellency on the glory of 
having driven the British fleet from the coast, and 
taking two of their frigates. These happy events, 
and the decided superiority of your fleet, gives us the 
happiest presages of the most complete success in 
our combined operations in this bay. 

It is with much regret, that I find the want of 
transports in the bay has retarded the coming on of 
the troops expected from the northward. If it is 
possible for your Excellency to give us any assistance 
in this distress, it will be attended with inexpressible 
advantage to the prosecution of our measures, and 
will be acknowledged with the highest gratitude. 
Such of our troops, as could not be embarked at the 

then, nijr dear Sir, with your troop* on the wingi of spenl. The went of our 
IMn knd ttoret I* now ill tliii retirdt our immeJUle operallonii. Lord Com- 
watlli U improving tvciy moiii«ni lo the best B'Jvanla^c ', and every day that 
i» giTcn bun [o nuk« hU prepnrationx may cott lu many lii«s to encounter 

" I am very tennitilc o[ your rigil^nce and activity. My {mpatrencv. howrvcr, 
to oommence our operationi impeU me to write ai 1 have done. Von will 
cotne with your iroopn to the College [.inding in Jamet Hiver, where, unlet* 
jou r«veiTc other orders, yoa wilt dobark." — WvMt^ftt la mo/tT'Ctiural 
I.innla, WillJamibntE. Ij September, iTlr. 




Head of Elk, are inarching to Baltimore, where tliey 
are to be put on board such transports as may be 
collected at that place. 

It is very much the wish of the Count dc Rocham- 
beau, as well as myself, to have the honor of an in- 
terview with your Excellency ; but our particular 
circumstances render us dependent on your goodness 
for the means of conveyance. If your Excellency 
could despatch some fast-sailing cutter to receive us 
on board, and will inform us your time and place, wc 
shall be very happy to attend you, at the earliest mo- 
ment you shall fix. Count Person, an aid to Count 
de Rochambeau. is sent on to hurry down the troops 
embarking on the Bay. If your Excellency can fur- 
nish him the means of proceeding up the bay, it will 
be very agreeable. I am, &c. 

P. S. Since writing the above, I am informed 
with much pleasure, that your Excellency has antici- 
pated my wishes in sending transports up the bay.' 


WiLUAHSBORC. 1$ September, ijSl. 

Dear Sir, 

I have to request you, in the most earnest manner, 
to send forward all the recruits that are furnished by 
the State of Pennsylvania for their line. Let it not 
be said, that those troops are kept from service for 

' On ibe lOtl) of AoKutt, Count (1« Bmtm Mrircd (n tlie OtCMpulic, witl) tba 
gquulion from Rhode Island, the French (i«ge ortUlciy, and the bud forcw 




want of a few articles, which ihey could wish to 
be furnished with, when other troops doing duty in 
the field are combating almost everj' distress imagina- 
ble in the want of almost every necessary. If any 
thing in the power of the State can be instantly done 
towards their equipment, I wish the authorities to be 
called upon, and hope ihey will furnish what they can 
without delay. It is the highest absurdity in the 
world to keep those troops in a state of idleness at 
great expense, and at the same time forwant of them 
to put the public to the same or much greater charge, 
by calling In the aid of militia, which we are now 
obliged to do. I beg you, therefore, to hurry on 
those troops, with all the expedition in your power, 
by water down the Chesapeake, embarking at Balti- 
more, where craft can doubtless be found by taking 
the proper precaution, and their transportation will 
be perfectly secure, so long as the Heet maintains its 
present station. The place of debarkation will be in 
James River, probably at the College Landing, unless 
further orders shall be given to carry them to some 
other place nearer the point of our operations. I 
am, &c.' 

under M. ik Cholty. Ten traii^iiOTUlTom thiit viiin<lraii, iwo fiiK^le* lutely 
captURd from ihe enemy, and other prue vcbselE, were immediately despatched 
Up rhc luy io receive on boatd the trench troop*, who could not find meaixt of 
tTamportatioin from the Ileid uC Hlk and Ballimorc.sndbait putjuedlhcirrouta 
by Iftnd. They embuked at Annapolii, and proceeded by wfttcr to Jam» Kivcr. 
' Fremlht Diary, Scptcmljcr I7lh. — " In company with Count dc Rocham- 
buu. the ChcTilicr de Chastelltix. (ieneral Knoi, andUcucraJ Uuportail, I feet 
out [or an interview with tbe admiril, and arrived om board the Ville de Paris 
(off Cape Henry) the next day about noon ; .tnil, havlnf; «clltcd meal painU with 
him to my latiifaclion, except not obtaining an asiuiance uf aendiU); ship* 
above Votk, I embarked on board of Qoecn Cborlotte, tbe veM«l I went down 





The noble and generous Support which is given to (bis Coun- 
XTj by His Most Chrisliao Majesty, docs, as it ought, fill the 
brexHt of every American with gratitude & Love ; — The zeal and 
alacrity with which His Officers strive lo carry His Royal intentions 
into execution, merit our highest admiration & applause, a recent 
instance of this it now before us : But the distressed and unfor- 
tunate circuiRstAHces of these United States, and the dispersed 
situation of their Troops, are such, as do not admit their military 
operations to be carried on with that celerity which could be wish- 
ed, nor place them on that advantageous ground, from which they 
may reap all that benefit from this generous Aid, that in other cir- 
cumstances ihey might expect to receive, 

The measures which arc now persuing are big with great 
events ; the Peace & Independence of this Country, and thegea- 
eral tranquillity of Europe will, it is more than probable, result 
from our Complcat success ; — disgrace to ourselves, Triumph to 
the l^ncmy, and probable Ruin to the American cause, will fol- 
low our disappoiniment. 

The first is certain, if the powerful Fleet, now in Chesapealc 
Bay or such part of it as will be competent to the purpose, can 

In ; but, by rcMoii of liarJ blowinj; and coniniy wlndc, 1 did not imicIi Wil- 
[■■m»burg again lill th« 33d." 

Count detiruse also gave notice that hii fleet could not continue on thw Ita- 
lian beyond DiB ttt uf NotcmbcT. 

Inielligence wai received on the »d thai Admiral I>igbr had airived at N«w 
Vork with > reinforcement of tix thipt of the line. 

Major -Cenaral How* Qxpreised a Utdc fectin); al not beine caU«d to lh« 
southern arm jr. In reply Wuhinflon wrote: "General Eleaih itood 6nt, and 
therefore look the command he now ha^. l^^rd Sterllnn;, who came next In 
comtnanc!, from his ngt aijid infirm[liai, I vibweJ untqiial to tbp toUi aivl (a- 
tiguei of the mirch. and consequent hard duiiei of the expedition ; on which 
ground, and a candlil repronitallan of it to hl> l.ardihi]>, he perfectly aci^nj* 
Mced. Oencral Lincoln wai the oBxt major-general un I he list. For him oo 
excute could be formed : be therefore 61led the command that was necesuiry, 
under chii view of the cue. your good tcnic, with your knowledge of military 
daly and trrvice. t dare my, will make you euy with your present lot ; allho' 
you Diigfai eiteem yourself loorc happy in another liiuation." — 34 September, 




remain to the close of a regul&r operntion, which, from various 
unforeseen causes, may be protracted beyond our preseot expec- 
tations, — The second is much to be apprehended, if from the fear 
of loosing the Aid of the Fleet, the operations by Land are pre- 
cipitated faster than a necessary prudence & regard to the lives 
of men, will warrant— the first may be slow, but sure^— the second 
must be bloody & precarious. 

Under this state of matters. General Washington begs, that the 
Count de Grasse will have (he goodness to ^ve him a Resolution 
of the following Questions — Viz ; 


ist. Is your Excellency re- 
stricted to any certain time for 
the continuance of the Fleet 
Upon this Coast ? If any time is 
fixed, beyond which your orders 
will not warrant your stay in 
this Bay, or if the persuit of 
any other object should more 
attract your attention, — be 
pleased to name the day to 
which your departure is deter- 
mined ? 

3d. If your Excellency 
should find yourself under a 
necessity to return the Troops, 
under the Command of the 
Marquis de Si. Simon, to the 
West Indies, (however to be 
lamented such circumstance 
must be) may I not be assured 
that a detachment of the Fleet 
may be employed as a Convoy 
to those Troops, and that the 
Main Fleet may remain in the 
Bb7 to fonn 8 auBicient cover 


I St. The Instructions of 
Count de Grasse fix his de- 
parture to the 15th of October, 
and some engagements which 
he has made for other opera- 
tions oblige him to be punctual ; 
But having already taken much 
upon himself, he will also en- 
gage to SUy to the end of Oc- 

ad. The Troops, under the 
orders of Marquis de St. Simon, 
have a particular destination, 
and I am not altogether at Lib- 
erty to dispose of them ; Bui 
as my Vessels will not depart 
before the ist of November, 
you may count upon those 
Troops to that i)criod, for the 
Reduction of York. 

^^^H 366 THE WRITINGS OF [1781 1 

^^^^^1 to our operations against the 


^^^^^H Enemy — to prevent their k- 


^^^^^H c«iving supplies by water, and 


^^^^^H to prolccl us from any attempt 


^^^^^K from the liiitish to give relief 


^^^^^H to Lord Cornwalli^ and raise 


^^^^^1 our siege ;— and their Fleet to 


^^^^^H remain uniill the close of our 



^^^^^H 3d Will it, in youi ExceU 

3d. The thing is not impos- 

^^^^^H lency's opinion, be practicable 

sible with a good Wind and 

^^^^^H lo force, with your Ships, the 

favorable Tide ; But I do not 

^^^^^H poxtiagc of the York River, so 

find that operation very useful. 

^^^^^H as to Ket above the enemy ? 

Our communication can be cs- 

^^^^^H This measure, if effected, will 

tablislied, and our provisions 

^^^^^1 be attended with almost infinite 

drawn from the East side of 

^^^^^H ftdvantages, not only, as it will 

York River without requiring 

^^^^^H secure our Communication to 

the men & Vcssells in their 

^^^^^1 both sides of the River, which 

passage between the Batteries ; 

^^^^^1 otherwise must be very lengthy 

But I suspend my definitive 

^^^^^H nnd tedious, but will give us 

answer until I can reconoitre 

^^^^^H the Navigation of the River, and 

the local situation and force of 

^^^^^H enable us to draw the supjilies 

tlie Enemy ; I shall certainly 

^^^^^B of the Country throughout 

do every thing in my power. 

^^^^^H whole extent ; — and will also 


^^^^^H form the compleat investiture 


^^^^^1 of the Enemy's Posts 

^^^^^1 4th. So long as the Enemy 

4th. I have offered, and 1 

^^^^^H possesses both sides of the 

again offer 1800 or 9000 men 

^^^^^1 River, it will be necessary to 

from my Ships ; But I wiBh 

^^^^^H keep up our force on both sides. 

that these Troops may not be 

^^^^^H —to aid our efforts this 

employed but in a Coup de 

^^^^^1 operation, will it be in your 

Main. ^^| 

^^^^^H Excellency's power to spare us 


^^^^^H any number of men from on 


^^^^^1 board the Fleet, to continue so 


^^^^^H long as this measure is necct* 

^^^^^^ sary ? if any, what number ? 




5ih. If in the prosecution of 
our operations, our prospects 
of success should wear a fa- 
Torable aspect, I shall be glad 
to be decided whether your 
Excellency wilt be able to de- 
tach some suitable vessels from 
your Fleet, sufficient to block 
in the British Troops at Wil- 
roingtoD, and to possess the 
Harbour of Charlcsiown ? 

6th. If our operations should 
be of Euch a nature ax to re- 
quire it, will your Excellency 
be able to lend us some heavy 
Cannon and other Artillery, — 
powder also — and in what num- 
ber and (juantity ? 

Go. Washinctom. 

' SepL 17. I78i. 

Sth. The form of ray Vesselt 
do not admit of the enterprise. 

6th. I can give some Cannon 
and ponder. — The two Corns. 
(?) which [ have had admit of 
my sparing but a small quantity 
of the latter. 

Le Comte oe GkaSSI. 


WuxtAUrainto, a$ Sq>temba'. i;Bi. 


I cannot conceal from your Excellency the painful 
anxiety under which I have labored since the receipt 
of the letter, with which you honored tne on the 23d 
instant. The naval movements, which your Excel- 
lency states there as possible, considering the intel- 
ligence communicated to you by the Baron deClosen, 
make it incumbent upon me to represent the conse- 
quences that would arise from them, and to urge a 
perseverance in the plan already agreed tipon. Give 
me leave, in the first place, to repeat to your Excel- 




lency, that the enterprise against York, under the 
protection of your ships, is as certain as any military 
operation can be rendered by a decisive superiority 
of strength and means ; that it is in fact reducible to 
calculation ; and that the surrender of the British gar- 
rison will be so important in itself and its conse- 
quences ; and that it must necessarily go a great 
way towards terminating the war. and securing the 
invaluable objects of it to the allies. 

Your Excellency's departure from the Chesapeake, 
by affording an opening for the succor of York, which 
the enemy would instantly avail himself of, would 
frustrate these brilliant prospects ; and the conse- 
quence would be. not only the disgrace and loss of 
renouncing an enterprise, upon which the fairest ex- 
pectations of the allies have been founded, after the 
most expensive preparations and uncommon exertions 
and fatigues, but the disbanding perhaps of the whole 
army for want of provisions. 

The present theatre of the war is totally deficient 
in means of land transportation, being intersected by 
large rivers, and its whole dependence for interior 
communication being upon small vessels. The coun- 
try has been so much exhausted besides by the 
ravages of the enemy, and the subsistence of our 
own army, that our supplies can only be drawn from 
a distance, and under cover of a fleet mistress of the 
Chesapeake. I most earnestly entreat your Excel- 
lency farther to consider, that, if the present oppor- 
tunity should be missed, that if you should withdraw 
your maritime force from the position agreed upon, 
that no future day can restore to us a similar occasion 




for striking a decisive blow ; that the British will be 
indefatigable in strengthening their most important 
maritime points ; and that the epoch of an honorable 
peace will be more remote than ever. 

The confidence, with which 1 fee! myself inspired 
by the energy of character and the naval talents, 
which so eminently distinguish your Excellency, 
leaves me no doubt, that, upon a consideration of 
the consequences, which must follow your departure 
from the Chesapeake, that your Excellency will de- 
termine upon the possible measure, which the dearest 
interests of the common cause would dictate. I had 
invariably flattered myself, from the accounts given 
me by skilful mariners, that your Excellency's posi- 
tion, moored in the Chesapeake, might be made 
so respectable as to bid defiance to any attempt on 
the part of the British fleet, at the same time that it 
would support the^ operations of the siege, secure the 
transportation of our supplies by water, and econo- 
mize the most precious time by facilitating the 
debarkation of our heavy artillery and stores con- 
veniently to the trenches in York River. It is to be 
observed, that the strength of the enemy's reinforce- 
ment announced under Admiral Digby, as we have 
the intelligence from the British, may not only be 
exaggerated, but altogether 2. finesse ; and, supposing 
the account consistent with truth, their total force, it 
was hoped, would not put them in condition to attack 
with any prospect of success. 

If the stationary position, which had been agreed 
upon, should be found utterly impracticable, there is an 
alternative, which however inferior, considered rela- 




tively to the support and facility of our land operations, 
would save our affairs from ruin. This is, to cruise 
with your fleet within view of the Capes, so as effect- 
ually to prevent the entrance of any British vessels. 

Upon the whole, I should esteem myself deficient 
in my duty to the common cause of France and 
America, if I did not persevere in entreating your 
Excellency to resume the plans, that have been so 
happily arranged ; and, if invincible maritime reasons 
prevent, I depend as a last resource upon your Ex- 
cellency's pursuing the alternative above mentioned, 
and rendering the Chesapeake inaccessible to any 
enemy's vessel. 

However the British admiral may manoeuvre, and 
endeavor to divert your Excellency from the object 
in view, I can hardly admit a belief, that it can be 
his serious intention to engage in a general action 
with a fleet, whose force will be superior, supposing 
the most flattering accounts for the British to be 
true ; past experience having taught them to engage 
with caution, even upon equal terms, and forced from 
them acknowledgments which prove the respect with 
which they have been inspired. Let mcadd. Sir, that 
even a momentary absence of the French fleet may 
expose us to the loss of the British garrison at York ; 
as in the present state of affairs. Lord Cornwallis 
might effect the evacuation with the loss of his artil- 
lery and baggage, and such a sacrifice of men as his 
object would evidently justify. 

The Marquis de Lafayette, who does me the honor 
to bear this to your Excellency, will explain many 




particularities of our situation, which could not well 
be comprised in a letter. His candor and abilities are 
well known to your Excellency, and entitle him to the 
fullest confidence in treating of the most important 
interests. I have earnestly requested him not to 
proceed any farther than the Capes,' for fear of acci- 
dents, should your Excellency have put to sea. In 
this case he will despatch a letter to your Excellency 
in addition to this. I have the honor to be, &c.' 

' TbiB lellar, auBltincd b^ ths cx)]lanations ind argumcnU at ll>« Marqsit da 
Lafafcllc. prodnccd a change tn lh« schemct of Count dc Craue ; and he 
•^iced Id remain wllhin Ihc Ctpci, and blockade ihe bay during the ilegc. lie 
laid the matter b«(ore > couiidl of w»r. "The reiiilt hn* been." wij he in hi* 
reply. " thai the plan I had iugg«il«d wu Ihe moat brilliaol and jlotitiui, but 
it would ncil {iilfil Ilie viewt we had proposed. It itconiequently dcdded, that 
a large part ol Ihi; fleet shall anchor in Viirh Kirer, iliat (ou> or five vcMcti 
^all b« iiationed lo ai lo pan up and down in Jamo River, and Ihal you shall 
aid ui with the meant lo eiecl c battery on Poinl Comfort, where we can plftM 
cannon and mortars. We shall immediately proceed lu cxei'ule thin arrango- 
meni, and I hoi^ten !□ give yon notice, that we may act in concert for the 
advancement of our opcialion«." 

* '' The tetolulions thai you have taken In our circumtlancts prove, that a 
ereat mind knowi how to make pcnonal tacrilicM to iccure an imporlant gen* 
«ral good. tuJIy aenKihlc of ihiiw, which yoa have made on Ihe pr«ent 
occaiion, I Batter myself Ihal the mull of the operaltors, vundueted iindef 
your auspices, will compensate them by its utility to the common cauic. Voor 
Excellency may depend on every eiAidance, that the allied armlci can give, 
relatively In Ihe battery which you propose at Point Comfort, and thai our 
almost eicilions will be used in hostening Ihc investment of the enemy." — 
Waihincten to Ctunl <tf Grant, 37 Seplemher, 17S1. 

Near the British works at Gloucester were alalioncd llic legion ul ihc Duke 
de Lauiun, and the Virginia militia oadcr GenemI Wecdon. These oSic«n 
reprcsenteil, that, conaiderinj; the nature of chcE^und, their (Ircnph. and the 
facility with wliicti the enemy might reinforce that posi, an augmentation of 
Iheit numbcis woi indiipemable, both to enable them to occupy a good defon. 
aive position, and to confine the enemy within their liiiea. General WuhinEton 
applied lo Count de Grasse for a delnchment of six or eight bundiril marine* 
to be sent from his ships On ihii service. M. de Choisy was (he bearer of Iha 
letter iiiakinK the reciuetl. The iroopt were obtained, though Count de Gtasse 
•pared lh«m with reluctance, and desired ihal no future requisiilion <A the kind 





Bead Quaktirh, Camf vtaaxiL York, 
c.f. I October. 1781. 

Last evening I was honored with your Excellency's 
favor of the 21st ulto., with its enclosure. The intel- 
ligence it contains, respecting the British fleet is very 
agreeable, and will be immediately transmitted to the 
Count de Grasse. In my last which bore date the 
23d ultimo I informed that our preparations for 
a near investment of the enemy at York were fast 
ripening to a point. I have now to acquaint your 
Excellency, that I marched from Williamsburg with 
the whole army on the 28th, and approached within 
about two miles of the enemy, at York, at which dis- 
tance a show was made of some opposition on our 
left ; but, upon the Count de Rochambeau, who com- 
mands that part of the army, his moving a few pieces 
of field-artillery under direction of the Baron Viom^ 
nil, and giving a few shots the enemy retired. On 
the 29th, the American troops moved for»'ard, and 
took their ground in front of the enemy's works on 
their left ; no opposition, except a few scattered shots 
from a small work by Moor's Mill, on Wormleys 
creek and a battery on the left of Pigeon Quarter. 
A small fire all day from our riflemen and the enemy's 
Yagers. 30th in the morning, we discovered that the 
enemy had evacuated all their exterior line of works, 
and withdrawn themselves to those near the body of 

ml)[hl be Bade upon him, u hit ijtuitlon wnx critical, and he w» unwilling to 
haw h<« men »a divided m to hubjcci him lo cmbxTiUMnenl in caw of a con- 
tingency. The American and French Itoopi at Glouctiler woe put under the 
coinniAtid of M. de Choiiy, who wot a bri)[adiei.Kencral in the French service. 




the town. By this means we are in possession of 
very advantageous grounds, which command in a very 
near advance almost the whole remaining line of their 
defence. All the expedition, that our circumstances 
will admit, is using to bring up our heavy artillery and 
stores and to open our batteries. This work I hope 
will be executed in a few days, when our fire will begin 
with great vigor. 

The investment of the enemy is fully completed 
and drawn verj' near to their lines, except on the 
river above the town where their communication is 
still open. To prevent this and to complete the 
blockade, a request is gone to the Count de Grasse, 
desiring him to push if he thinks it practicable one or 
more ships above the town ; this, if effected, will an- 
swer many very valuable purposes. The position of 
the Count de Grasse is judiciously taken, the main 
fleet keeping their station in Lynnhaven Bay. and 
detachments made to secure the rivers ; the determi- 
nation of the Count is favorably disposed to comply 
with our wishes in every necessary coHDperation. I 
shall continue to keep Congress advised of such 
occurrences as are worthy the communication. 

1 have the honor to be, &c 

Sji; BBroKE Voxx. t Octoba, 17S1. 

I should have had the honor of acknowledging 
sooner the note, which your Excellency transmitted 
by the Marquis de Lafayette, but an expectation of 
being able to accompany my answer with interesting 




intelligence induced me to defer it to the present mo- 
ment. With regard to the station, which your Excel- 
lency has determined for the main fleet, the reasons, 
which you are pleased to communicate, prove that it 
unites all advantages, and inspire the greatest confi- 
dence in the accomplishment of its object. 

I have only one proposition to submit to your 
Excellency on the subject of naval dispositions, and 
the objects of it are too essential not to be exposed 
to you in their fullest light. I mean the stationing 
two or three ships above the enemy's posts on York 
River. For want of this only means of completing 
the investment of their works, the British remain 
masters of the navigation for twenty-five miles dis- 
tance above them, and have, by their armed vessels, 
intercepted supplies of the greatest value on their 
way to our camp. The loss is redoubled, by dimin- 
ishing our means and augmenting those of the enemy 
at a most critical time. We are even necessitated, 
for the protection of Williamsburg and the magazines 
in our rear, to leave a post of seven or eight hundred 
men in that quarter; a diminution of our force that 
in present circumstances we can but illy support. 
But, unless this detachment is made, the enemy might 
in the greatest security land above Queen's Creek to 
cover his left fiank, and by a very short march effect 
the most destructive purposes; while the circuitous 
march which we, from the nature of the country, 
should be obliged to make, would render it impossible 
to arrive in time to prevent or punish him. We are 
besides reduced to the impossibility of concerting 





measures with the corps of troops at Gloucester, 
being obliged, in order to communicate with them, to 
make a circuit of near ninety miles, whereas in the 
other case it would be both easy and expeditious. 
But what is a still more decisive consideration is, 
that Lord CornwaMis has, by the York River, an 
outlet for his retreat, and that he may, by embracing 
a leading wind and tide and stealing a march, proceed 
immolested to West Point, where, upon debarking his 
troops, he will have the Pamunky on one flank and 
the Mattapony on the other; and that finally he may, 
by mounting the greatest part of his men, and succes- 
sive forced marches, push his way, with a compact, 
disciplined army, through a country whose population 
is too scattered to be collected for sudden opposition, 
and make it impossible for us to overtake him. Many 
people are of opinion, that Lord Cornwallis will em- 
brace this as the only means of safety ; and it is cer- 
tain, that, unless the investment is completed as above 
mentioned, he will have it in his power either now or 
in a last extremity. 

The present position of the fleet and army perfectly 
secures us against every enterprise on the part of the 
enemy in James River. 

Upon the whole, I can assure your Excellency, that 
this seems to be the only point in which we are de- 
fective. The enemy has already abandoned all their 
exterior works, and withdrawn himself altogether to 
the body of the place, and given us great advantages 
for opening the trenches. The engineers have had a 
near and satisfactory view of the works, without in- 




terruption, and wc have most to apprehend Lord 

Cornwallis's escape. 

For these reasons I earnestly entreat, that your Ex- 
cellency will be pleased to authorize and enjoin the com- 
manding officer of the ships in York River, to concert 
measures with mc for the purpose above mentioned. 
In this case an additional ship may be necessary to 
remain at the mouth of the river. The Experiment 
and two frigates, if your Excellency thinks proper, 
would be best calculated for the station above. 

If, upon mature examination of the passage, it 
should appear too great a risk for the ships, I would 
at least solicit your Excellency, that the vessels 
might advance higher up the river, and take a more 
menacing position with respect to the enemy on our 
right But I must confess, to your Excellency, that 
1 am so well satisfied by experience, of the little effect 
of land batteries on vessels passing them with a lead- 
ing breeze, that, unless the two channels near York 
should be found impracticable by obstructions, I 
should have the greatest confidence in the success 
of this important service. 

Your Excellency's approbation of this measure 
would supersede the necessity of a defence against 
6re-ships. But the nature of the river besides ren- 
ders it physically impossible to form any obstructions 
of the kind proposed. I entreat your Excellency to 
accept the sentiments of respectful attachment, with 
which I have the honor to be, &c.' 

' The Ktiempt to p*** up York Rivet wu dceUiifd bjr Conni da GnuM, bM 
becuK he lhou|-ltl (he worki al Vnrk ■nd Gli>uccit«t would praunt serioM 
o^ilarl"', but bei;!!]** be brlicnd bit iBfje vcm*U would nol be tecure 10 tbu 





Mf. c- Camp, hkfoue York, 6 Oclob«r, 1781. 

V Dear Sir, 

How happy am I, in at length having it in my 
power to congratulate you upon a victory as splen- 
did as I hope it will prove important. Fortune must 
have been coy indeed, had she not yielded at last to 
so persevering a pursuer as you have been. I hope, 
now she is yours, that she will change her appellation 
of fickle to that of constant 

I can say with sincerity, that I feel with the high- 
est degree of pleasure the good effects, which you 
mention as resulting from the perfect good under- 
standing between you, the Marquis, and myself. I 
hope it will never be interrupted, and I am sure it 
never can while we are all influenced by the same 
pure motive, that of love to our country and in- 
terest in the cause in which we are embarked. I 
have happily had but few differences with those, with 
whom I have the honor of being connected 'in the 
service. With whom, and of what nature these have 
been, you know. I bore much for the sake of peace 
and the public good. My conscience tells me, I acted 

ttfttlam. The enemy h«<l a (rreai number of boitt and nnall cMft. Rnd with 
these t)iry CDulil easilv biinfi liro-Bh!ps in (he n%lit. fr^>m which hit veMsb 
would be eipoied to immineni duger, confined in the nitre™ channel of k 
rivei ; eipecially u he had not in his whole fleet a lufTicient number of row- 
boili and light craft for dcFence in such a »ltu«(ion, even i( they could all ba 
iranspoiled up the river in *a(ety. This objection he deemed iniupenble. and 
the proiecl was laid atide. It wai revived ajcain. however, a few days aftei^ 
wanls. The panage led the rirer above Vork were leeonnoiltcd by a Fieneh 
officer, and. upon his repteientation, Gonnt de Gra^ie agreed 10 tend up lome 
of hia veuelt. provided General Wuhinglon would (umith luch a number of 
row-hojttt la would ptotcci them (toRi the 5ic-«h!p«. This wai about to \m 
oaccuted when Lord ComwaUit piopmed leim* of *nrrciid«r. 




rightly in these transactions ; and, should they ever 
come to the knowledge of the world, I trust I shall 
stand acquitted by it 

The Baron," from the warmth of his temper, had 
got disagreeably involved with the State, and an in- 
quiry into a part of ins conduct must one day take 
place, both for his own honor and their satisfaction. 
I have for the present given him a command in this 
army, which makes him happy. I shall always take 
pleasure in giving Mrs. Greene's tetters a convey- 
ance; and, should she persist in the resolution of un- 
dertaking so long a journey, as that from New Eng- 
land to Carolina, I hope she will make Mount Vernon, 
where Mrs. Knox now is, a stage of more than a day 
Or two. With much esteem and regard, I am, dear 
Sir, &c.» 


SlK la October. 1781. 

I was yesterday honored with your favor of the 2d. 
It gives me pleasure to find so good a disposition in 
Don Bernardo de Galvez* to concert his operations 


'"CoL Morriiwillinfona Genenil Urovnc in the *!nc«n«t mniiiier thai lli«r« 
■M but lwom<jlive(which can possibly induce Gcal. W — touke tile command 
lolh« Mulhwird : one, tlie unier of C — en rcpiir tKilhcr ; the other, the French 
army goine there. Itilhe lut case Count R — would coinmiintl If (>cnl. W— 
did not £o in fienon. General W»hint[ton withet. not only from liii pentonal 
racard to Genl. Greene, bul from priiiclplet of (eneioiltj and justice, to kcc 
hint crowned with those Unrtli which from hit unpuallelcd ci«rtiont he ao 
ridily iKt/trvti."—MtmaratiJun ta Col, Ltwit Mmfrit, ta te dtifnytd *4 toot 
at he kai tammilttdiktm ttmtmory. 6 October, J781. 

' Agent in the United Statei from the Spanish govemmcnl. 

* Commander of the Spanith farca in Louiiiana and Florida. 





in such a manner against the common enemy, that 
the interests of His Catholic Majesty and those of 
ourselves and our ally may be mutually benefited. 
You must be sensible, that, in the present political 
situation of afTairs, I cannot, with any degree of pro- 
priety, in behalf of the United States propose any 
joint plan of operations to Don Galvez. though I 
flatter myself that difficulty will be ere long removed. 

Neither can I at this time determine whether Vk-e 
shall be able to act offensively against the enemy in 
South Carolina and Georgia. That will in great 
measure depend upon the naval assistance we shall 
be able to derive from our ally. Of this you may as- 
sure Don Galvez. that, should any offensive plan be 
formed, which is to be undertaken by the allied arms, 
I will use my influence with the French commanders 
to give him due notice, should 1 not be able to open 
acorrespondence with him myself. In the mean time 
you may inform him, that he cannot make a more 
powerful diversion in favor of the southern States, 
than by pushing his arms against East Florida. 

I am obliged by the extract of Don Galver's letter 
to the Count de Grasse, explaining at large the ne- 
cessity he was under of granting the terms of capitu- 
lation to the garrison of Pensacola, which the com- 
mandant required. I have no doubt, from Don 
Galvez's well known attachment to the cause of 
America, that he would have refused the articles, 
which have been deemed exceptionable 
not been very powerful reasons to inc' 
ance of them. • • • 

jtfe THE WJUTJXGS OF [1781 


laOoober, 17:1. 


My last despatch co your Excellenc}' was of the 
6th. I then iafonned you. that we should opea 
trenches on that aight.- We did so. and estab- 
lished our first parallel wichm six hundred j-ards of 
the enemy's wx?rfcs. w::ii the loss of only one officer 
of the Freaci irrlllcry wouaded. and sixteen privates 
killed and w.?c2ie-i. the greater part of which were 
of the Frecch !:::e. 

The 7th izii 5:i we were employed tn conipledng 
the firsc ponllel. iz-i :-i erecdn;^ batteries somewhat 
advaacec ci i- T*:ie cch ar x o'clock in the afternooa 
the F^fTcii Barter.- cc the left, of four ti-pounders, 
six aiorctrs x-Tvi H .-winers ccened — and at 5 o'clock 
the Anwr^oi;; Sansr.- ~c the righc of six iS- and 2+- 
peu:ioers — ;■*■- :r:','T::irs. i-ic r»ro Howitzers opened 


Wi --r-™ ::.'L-re-i. -'i: 'iir shells did ccnsidera- 
hie t\-"C--rc.: .' :.-■; rjv:. ijicve ccuid perceive that 
,>ur s-K-c, ■*Tc-^ ^-st; i;.-*,-r*i oi^nsc the enemy's 
eittCi -t*^ -^cs. --. - ~,-i I'^cn Tniich. The icth. two 

■i ,-, u v - '.--i i"-..— ■;— .- -. :» :si aiiacL, '*e 'ave'^cen fmpioimi 

a »; . -ft, "^ ■.^... . »^.^> ....-: "■^■■.r !i;ll. irii a :3DiCiii<.-nii^ iiev ji. 

;i'.>ih>, .. ». ■. ■■ ""^ — • ■ -K'-v ■• C' -o^'irt* "o mr Toop» 'o '""■^"■g 

Lii*..' ^ ..~^N^ » '.i-c >.•■• ji.._i.i.?.i jB.i-.-ve-i a -aaiLiB^ iisaaea lad 

^.■h: •. -1 — «>-> ■ ■:> ■. ii>« .3i;-Aii. svnin. uni ^lona irom Tre- 

b-'--> • '*i ...^v.,» ^ . TiiE-ii- ~-!t rv -vr!:;«*ni juc, .l nun^ die iiniuan 
.■• *«■ ■■».■ "'-^ '■" ■- "*■• "■"= ' ^ I'. !<■■!. -t-.-t.< ■-■ .--.■mmencs jpen.t:oB>, 




French batteries, one of ten eighteen and twenty-four 
pounders, and six mortars and howitzers, the other 
of four eighteen-pounders, opened, as did two more 
American batteries, one of four eighteen-pounders, 
the other of two mortars. The fire now became so 
excessively heavy, that the enemy withdrew their 
cannon from their embrasures, placed them behind 
the merlins, and scarcely fired a shot during the whole 
day. In the evening the Charon frigate of forty-four 
guns was set on fire by a hot ball from the French 
battery on the left, and entirely consumed. Her 
guns and stores had been taken out. By the report 
of a deserter, our shells, which were thrown with the 
utmost degree of precision, did much mischief in the 
course of the day. 

Yesterday morning two of the enemy's transports 
were fired by hot shot and burnt This has occa- 
sioned them to warp their shipping as far over to 
the Gloucester shore as possible. We last night 
advanced our second parallel within three hundred 
yards of the enemy's works, with little or no annoy- 
ance from them. Only one man was killed, and 
three or four wounded. I shall think it stranee 
indeed, if Lord Cornwallis makes no vigorous exer- 
tions in the course of this night, or very soon after. 

I cannot but acknowledge the infinite obligations 
I am under to His Excellency, the Count de 
Rochambeau, the Marquis St. Stmon, commanding 
the troops from the West Indies, the other general 
officers, and indeed the officers of every denomina- 
tion in the French army, for the assistance which 





they afford me. The experience of many of" those 
gentlemen, in the business before us, is of the ut> 
most advantage in the present operation. And I 
am sensible it must give your Excellency and Con- 
gress the highest pleasure to know, that the greatest 
harmony prevails between the two armies. They 
seem actuated by one spirit, that of supporting the 
honor of the allied arms, and pushing their ap- 
proaches with the utmost vigor. I have the honor 
to be, &c. 



Sllt^ 16 October. n%\. 

I had the honor to inform your Excellency in my 
last, of the 1 2th instant, that we had the evening 
before opened our second parallel. The 13th and 
14th we were employed in completing iL' The 
engineers having deemed the two redoubts on the 
left of the enemy's line sufficiently injured by our 
shot and shells to make them practicable, it was 
determined to carry them by assault on the evening 
of the 14th. The following disposition was accord- 
ingly made. The work on the enemy's extreme left 
to be attacked by the American light infantry under 
the command of the Marquis de Lafayette ; the 
other by a detachment of the French grenadiers and 

' " In doing wUch v« experieac«d mor« lir« Erom lh« enemy than had beton 
been ([Wen ut, piindpaltjr (rum theji waiXi ihellt, which |[ttve ui vnne annoy- 
ance, and tiltic Ion ol life." — Waiiingtcn la Majrt'Gftutal Htalh, i6 
Oclobtf, 1781. 





chasseurs, commanded by Major-General the Baron 
Viom^nil. I have the pleasure to inform your Ex- 
cellency, that we succeeded in both. Nothing could 
exceed the firmness and bravery of the troops. 
They advanced under the fire of the enemy without 
returning a shot, and effected the business by the 
bayonet only. The reports of his Excellency the 
Count de Rochambeau, the Marquis de Lafayette, 
and Lieutenant'Colonel Hamilton, copies of which I 
enclose, enter more particularly into a detail of the 
mode in which the attacks on the parts of the 
French and American columns were conducted. We 
made prisoners in both redoubts, one major, two 
captains, three subalterns, and sixty-seven privates. 

The works, which we have carried, are of vast 
importance to us. From them wc shall enfilade the 
enemy's whole line, and I am in hopes we shall be 
able to command the communication from York to 
Gloucester. I think the batteries of the second paral- 
lel will be in sufficient forwardness to begin to play in 
the course of this day. The enemy last night made a 
sortie for the first time. They entered one of the 
French and one of the American batteries on the sec- 
ond parallel, which were unfinished. They had only 
time to thrust the points of their bayonets into four 
pieces of the French and two of the American artillery, 
and break them off; but the spikes were easily ex- 
tracted. They were repulsed the moment the sup- 
porting troops came up, leaving behind them seven 
or eight dead, and six prisoners. The French had 
four officers and twelve privates killed and wounded. 




and we had one sergeant mortally wounded. I en- 
close your Excellency a return of the killed and 
wounded of both armies up to the present time. It 
is smaller than might have been expected.' I have 
the honor to be, &c' 



My Lord, '* Oefi*". 'r8i- 

To avoid unnecessary discussion and delays I shall 
at once, in answer to your Lordships letters of yester- 
day, declare the general basis upon which a de6nitive 
treaty and capitulation must take place.' The garii- 
sons of York and Gloucester, including the seamen, 
as you propose, will be received Prisoners of War. 
The condition annexed, of sending the British and 

' According to thii r«tiini, u copied from Wuhinglon'* Diary, the Ameri- 
cani had lot) twenty killed, tnd fi(ty-)lx wounded ; tke French, fifty-two 
lulled, and one huodrtd and Ihirly-four wounded. 

• R««d in Congrew. October jjlh. Referred to Rindolpb. Boudiaot, Vir- 
1111R1, and Carroll. 

' " I (Id myKlf the tiimar to irktisnilt the copy of > Idler, which I have ]u»t 
teoeived from Lord Corcwallis. I have infonntd him in uitwei thctcto. that 
I with him, previous to the meeting of the commiisionen, to »end hii pn>- 
potala III wrltln){ to (he Anierican litiea, (or which porpoae a ccMatlon of 
hoslilitirt (01 two houm will bo alloHcd. 

" I ihodd be aniious to have the honor of jrout Excclteacy'i patticipatioo 
In the treaty, which will accoitUng to prctent appeannce ihoilly take place. 
1 need not add how happy it will make me (o welcome your Excellency in Iha 
itame of Ameriu on thi* thotc, and embrace you upon an oocaaian m adTan* 
tai;eou> to the Inlcmta of the common eaute, and on which tl ia to mucb 
indebled lo you. 

** Should naval r«aioD» deprive me of this happinen, by reqairing yoor 
Eiceltency'K pietcoce on board, I entreat that you wilt be pleased to appoint 
xa oflicci to repreaent you, and take charge oE the capitulation to be (igned by 
your Excellency." — Waikirngtan ta Ctmitl dt Gfottt, 17 Oclob«r, lyti. 




German troops to the parts of Europe to which they 
respectively belong, is inadmissible. Instead of this 
they will be marched to such parts of the Country as 
can most conveniently provide for their subsistence, 
and the benevolent treatment of Prisoners, which is 
invariably observed by the Americans, will be extend- 
ed to them. The same honors will be granted to the 
surrendering Army as were granted to the Garrison 
of Charlestown. The shipping and boats in the two 
harbors, with all their Guns, Stores, Tackling, furni- 
ture and apparel, shall be delivered in their present 
state to an officer of the Navy, appointed to take 
possession of them. 

The Artillery, Arms, Accoutrements, Military 
Chest, and public stores of every denomination, shall 
be delivered, unimpaired to the heads of departments 
to which they respectively belong. 

The officers will be indulged in retaining their side 
arms, and the officers and soldiers may preserve their 
baggage and efTects, with this reserve, that property 
taken in the Country will be reclaimed. 

With regard to the individuals in civil capacities 
whose interests, your Lordship wishes may be attend- 
ed to ; until they are more particularly described, 
nothing definitive can be settled. 

I have to add that I expect the sick and wounded 
will be supplied with their own Hospital Stores, and 
be attended by British Surgeons, particularly charged 
with the care of them. 

Your Lordship wilt be pleased to signify your 
determination either to accept or reject the ils 




now oflered in the course of two hours from the 
delivery of this letter that Commissioners may be 
appointed to digest the articles of capitulation, or a 
renewal of hostilities may take place. I have the 
honor. &c.' 




■9 Oclobcr, mu 

I have the honor to inform Congress, that a reduc- 
tion of the British army, under the command of Lord 
Cornwallis, is most happily effected. The unremitted 
ardor, which actuated every officer and soldier in the 
combined army on this occasion, has principally led to 
this important event, at an earlier period than my most 
sanguine hopes had induced me to expect 

The singular spirit of emulation, which animated 
the whole army from the first commencement of our 
operations, has filled my mind with the highest pleas- 
ure and satisfaction, and had given me the happiest 
presages of success. 

On the 1 7th instant, a letter was received from 
Lord Cornwallis, proposing a meeting of commission- 

' " I have the honor, with many congT«lulationfi,tofn(o«m you thai one o'clock 
tliti altrmiMn is sppoinlcd tor the ilelivrry of [wool Iheonemy'iirduubisoa 
die Gloocnlcr aide ; oat loadctachmeni of FrciKh, the otber to a dciochmeiil 
tA American lroi>pi>. The fjarriiion it to march oul at ihiec o'clocli (with thoul* 
dcrcd anni, dniTnt bcatin(> a British or Gomnn march, the cavalry niih their 
swordi drawn, and llic colon of the whole caied,) to a place which you will be 
•ogood u la appoint, in front of the poaU, where ihey will jfrounil ilirti am*, 
md afterwaidt rclurn to Iheir cniracnpmenl. You will be so good as to con- 
municale thi* to General Weedoo, and to make the ncecssarj unngenieiita, 
and de*ire him to ttLe every precaution rn |u«tcdi the Iom or embniJcmcnt of 
th* sraa." — IVBihinitm tt Brigadier Central ChHty, 19 October, 1781. 




ers to consult on terms for the surrender of the posts 
of York and Gloucester. This letter (the first which 
had passed between us) opened a correspondence, a 
copy of which I do myself the honor to enclose ; that 
correspondence was followed by the definitive capitu- 
lation, which was agreed to and signed on the igth, a 
copy of which is also herewith transmitted, and which, 
I hope, will meet the approbation of Congress. 

I should be wanting in the feelings of gratitude, 
did I not mention on this occasion, with the warmest 
sense of acknowledgment, the very cheerful and able 
assistance, which I have received in the course of our 
operation from his Excellency the Count de Rocham- 
beau and all his officers of every rank in their respec- 
tive capacities. Nothing could equal the zeal of our 
allies, but the emulating spirit of the American offi- 
cers, whose ardor would not suffer their exertions to 
be exceeded. 

The verj- uncommon degree of duty and fatigue, 
which the nature of the service required from the 
officers of engineers and artillery of both armies, 
obliges me particularly to mention the obligations I 
am under to the commanding and other officers of 
those corps. 

I wish it was in my power to express to Congress, 
how much I feel myself indebted to the Count de 
Grasse and the officers of the fleet under his com- 
mand, for the distinguished aid and support which 
has been afforded by them, between whom and ih 
army the most happy concurrence of seniim' 
views has subsisted, and from whom evi 




cooperation has been experienced, which the most 
harmonious intercourse could afford. 

Returns of the prisoners, military stores, ordnance, 
shipping, and other matters, I shall do myself the 
honor to transmit to Congress, as soon as they can 
be collected by the heads of the departments to which 
they belong. 

Colonel Laurens and the Viscount de Noailles, on 
the part of the combined army, were the gentlemen 
who acted as commissioners for forming and settling 
the terms of capitulation and surrender, herewith 
transmitted, to whom I am particularly obliged for 
their readiness and attention exhibited on the occasion. 

Colonel Tilghman, one of my aids-de-camp, will 
have the honor to deliver these despatches to your 
Excellency ; he will be able to inform you of every 
minute circvim stance, which is not particularly men- 
tioned in my letter. His merits, which are too well 
known to need any observations at this lime, have 
gained my particular attention, and I could wish 
that they may be honored by the notice of your 
Excellency and Congress. 

Your Excellency and Congress will be pleased ta 
accept my congratulations on this happy event, and 
believe me to be, with the highest esteem, &c. 
Though I am not possessed of the particular returns 
yet I have reason to suppose that the number of 
prisoners will be between five and six thousand ex- 
clusive of seamen and others.' 

' This ktl«r WIS rafrrrc'l on the a4[h lo a «>iainiltfc of Con^'rcM (Kindolph, 
Bondiuot, Vtrniun. uid Carroll), who reported ft tenet □( roalvec. wfaicfa w«rc 





HsAO-QUAKTEKS. 10 October, 17S1. 


The surrender of York, from which so much glory 
and advantage are derived to the allies, and the honor 
of which belongs to your Excellency, has greatly an- 
ticipated our most sanguine expectations. Certain 
of this event, under your auspices, though unable to 
determine the time, I solicited your attention, in the 
first conference with which you honored me. to ulte- 
rior objects of decisive importance to the common 
cause. Although your answer on that occasion was 
unfavorable to my wishes, the unexpected prompt- 
ness, with which our operations here have been 
conducted to their final success, having gained us 
time, the defect of which was one of your Excel- 
lency's principal objections, a perspective of the most 
extensive and happy consequences engage me to re- 
new my representation. 

Charleston, the principal maritime jiort of the Brit- 
ish in the southern parts of the continent, the grand 
deposit and point of support for the present theatre 
of the war, is open to a combined attack, and might 

adopltd. The thank* of Congrni were voted to General Waihinelon, Counl 
de Kochnmbcnn, anil Coonl dc Cnuxe topedivdy, and nlto \a all the offleen 
•nd (olillcn. Two «und» o( colon, ukcn si Vorhtown, wor« pmciilcd 10 
General Washington ; two piecM of ficld>aid nance ts Count Rocliimbeau ; 
and a klntllar ttibule to Count de Graae. A hone, properly capariioncd, and 
•n clc|;uit Bwoid. were given to Colonel TiI(>Iun>n. who Imil l>rcii llie bcart* 
of the deipniches containing the newi of the capiluiation. It naialio reiolved 
■hat Con|;reui would came 10 be erected at Vorklown a marble column, 
■domed wilh cmlilem^ of the altiincc betwtcn the Unilcil Suiet and Knitic*^ 
•nd Jntcribed with a luccincl natnttre of the events iif the ticge and cajntnl*- 
tion. — ^urtMlt, October 39th. 






ilOctobvr. 1761. 

My last despatch to your Excellency was of the 
6th. 1 then informed you, that we should open 
trenches on that night.' We did so, and estab- 
lished our first parallel within six hundred yards of 
the enemy's works, with the loss of only one officer 
of the French artillery wounded, and sixteen privates 
killed and wounded, the greater part of which were 
of the French line. 

The 7th and 8th we were employed in completing 
the first parallel, and in erecting batteries somewhat 
advanced of it. The 9th at 3 o'clock in the afternoon 
the French Batter>' on the left, of four 12-pounders, 
six mortars and Howitzers opened — and at 5 o'clock 
the American Battery on the right, of six i8- and 24- 
pounders — two mortars, and two Howitzers opened 

We were informed, that our shells did considera- 
ble execution in the town, and we could perceive that 
our shot, which were directed against the enemy's 
embrasures, injured them much. The loth, two 

' '"Since mine ti>}'aut Eicellency of Ihc t« iastaiil. we li«ve bten employed 
ia repairing tlu enemy's works upon Pigeon Hill, and in comtructing ■ new in- 
tcniiediate redoubt. Th«ie will acrve lo give lecuritp to our iriMpt in making 
ifaeli •pproacht*. We have been &»iilaouil)r employed in ntiking fucinet and 
fabions, and in traniporling our heavy cannon, mottan. and ttom from Tro- 
bell'* Landing, on Jainei Kivcr. In the laxl we maile ilow pri^reit, aniit lb« 
arrivalot lh*w)(on*and team* fromlhe northward ; but. it tieint; the opiaion 
of the rngineeri, that irr now have a sullicicnt stock lo commence opcralioni, 
we shall lhl» nighlopea trenches." — Woihiaiten ttthi PrtiUenl «f CtnsriSt, 
6 October, 1781. 




French batteries, one of ten eighteen and twenty-four 
pounders, and six mortars and howitzers, the other 
of four eigh teen-pounders, opened, as did two more 
American batteries, one of four clghteen-pounders, 
the other of two mortars. The fire now became so 
excessively heavy, that the enemy withdrew their 
cannon from their embrasures, placed them behind 
the merlins, and scarcely fired a shot during the whole 
day. In the evening the Charon frigate of forty-four 
guns was set on fire by a hot ball from the French 
battery on the left, and entirely consumed. Her 
guns and stores had been taken out By the report 
of a deserter, our shells, which were thrown with the 
utmost degree of precision, did much mischief in the 
course of the day. 

Yesterday morning two of the enemy's transports 
were fired by hot shot and burnt. This has occa- 
sioned them to warp their shipping as far over to 
the Gloucester shore as possible. We last night 
advanced our second parallel within three hundred 
yards of the enemy's works, with little or no annoy- 
ance from them. Only one man was killed, and 
three or four wounded. I shall think it strange 
indeed, if Lord Cornwallis makes no vigorous exer- 
tions in the course of this night, or very soon after. 

I cannot but acknowledge the infinite obligations 
I am under to His Excellency, the Count de 
Rochambeau, the Marquis St. Simon, commanding 
the troops from the West Indies, the other general 
officers, and indeed the officers of every denomina- 
tion in the French army, for the assistance which 




they afford me. The experience of many of* those 
gentlemen, in the business before us, is of the ut- 
most advantage in the present operation. And I 
am sensible it must give your Excellency and Con- 
gress the highest pleasure to know, that the greatest 
harmony prevails between the two armies. They 
seem actuated by one spirit, that of supporting the 
honor of the allied arms, and pushing their ap- 
proaches with the utmost vigor. I have the honor 
to be, &c 



Hea&.Quaktxu, bbfors Vokk. 
16 Oclober, tjSi. 

I had the honor to inform your Excellency in my 
last, of the 1 2th instant, that we had the evening 
before opened our second parallel. The 13th and 
14th we were employed in completing it.' The 
engineers having deemed the two redoubts on the 
left of the enemy's line sufficiently injured by our 
shot and shells to make them practicable, it was 
determined to carry them by assault on the evening 
of the 14th. The following disposition was accord- 
ingly made. The work on the enemy's extreme left 
to be attacked by the American light infantry under 
the command of the Marquis de Lafayette; the 
other by a detachment of the French grenadiers and 

I " In doing whidi w« exptrinDcnl more fit« from Ihtenem]' ihui had bvfon 
been given us, princjpnlly from thdr aaall iliclli, which g»t u( some annoir- 
kncc, nnil littlo to«t of Uf«." — WatktngUH It \lojtr-<2rnrrnt Htatk, t6 
October, 1781. 




chasseurs, commanded by Major-General the Baron 
Viom^nil. I have the pleasure to inform your Ex- 
cellency, that we succeeded in both. Nothing could 
exceed the firmness and bravery of the troops. 
They advanced under the fire of the enemy without 
returning a shot, and effected the business by the 
bayonet only. The reports of his Excellency the 
Count de Rochambeau, the Marquis de Lafayette, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, copies of which I 
enclose, enter more particularly into a detail of the 
mode in which the attacks on the parts of the 
French and American columns were conducted. We 
made prisoners in both redoubts, one major, two 
captains, three subalterns, and sixty-seven privates. 

The works, which we have carried, are of vast 
importance to us. From them we shall enfilade the 
enemy's whole line, and I am in hopes wc shall be 
able to command the communication from York to 
Gloucester. I think the batteries of the second paral- 
lel will be in sufficient forwardness to begin to play in 
the course of this day. The enemy last night made a 
sortie for the first time. They entered one of the 
French and one of the American batteries on the sec- 
ond parallel, which were unfinished. They had only 
lime to thrust the points of their bayonets into four 
pieces of the French and two of the American artillery, 
and break ihem off; but the spikes were easily ex- 
tracted. They were repulsed the moment the sup- 
porting troops came up, leaving behind them seven 
or eight dead, and six prisoners. The French had 
four officers and twelve privates killed and wounded, 




they afford me. The experience of many o^ those 
gentlemen, in the business before us. is of the ut- 
most advantage in the present operation. And I 
am sensible it must give your Excellency and Con- 
gress the highest pleasure to know, that the greatest 
harmony prevails between the two armies. They 
seem actuated by one spirit, that of supporting the 
honor of the allied arms, and pushing their ap- 
proaches with the utmost vigor. I have the honor 
to be, &c. 


gilt 16 October, 17B1. 

I had the honor to inform your Excellency in my 
last, of the 12th instant, that we had the evening 
before opened our second parallel. The 13th and 
14th wc were employed in completing it.' The 
engineers having deemed the two redoubts on the 
left of the enemy's line sufficiently injured by our 
shot and shells to make them practicable, it was 
determined to carry them by assault on the evening 
of the 14th. The following disposition was accord- 
ingly made. The work on ihe enemy's extreme left 
to be attacked by the American light infantry under 
the command of the Marquis de Lafayette ; the 
other by a detachment of the French grenadiers and 

'"In doing «bidiir« eipcri«oc«d more fire from dwencmjrlbm \iaA b«foa 
bMn (;ivcn ui, principollji from their imtll lihelli, which c^ve □( tome ftnnojr- 
BDCc, and tiltU Ion of Life." — Waikinglai ta Majtr-Gmtral Healk, |A 
October, 1781. 




chasseurs, commanded by Major-General the Baron 
Viom^nil. I have the pleasure to inform your Ex- 
cellency, that we succeeded in both. Nothing could 
exceed the firmness and bravery of the troops. 
They advanced under the fire of the enemy without 
returning a shot, and effected the business by the 
bayonet only. The reports of his E.\cellency the 
Count de Rochambeau, the Marquis de Lafayette, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, copies of which I 
enclose, enter more particularly into a detail of the 
mode in which the attacks on the parts of the 
French and American columns were conducted. We 
made prisoners in both redoubts, one major, two 
captains, three subalterns, and sixty-seven privateii. 

The works, which we have carried, are of vast 
importance to us. From them we shall enfilade the 
enemy's whole line, and I am in hopes we shall be 
able to command the communication from York to 
Gloucester. I think the batteries of tl)e second paral- 
lel will be in sufficient forwardness to begin to play in 
the course of this day. The enemy last night made a 
sortie for the first time. They entered one of the 
French and one of the American batteries on the sec- 
ond parallel, which were unfinished. They had only 
time to thrust the points of their bayonets into four 
pieces of the French and two of the American artillery, 
and break them off; but the spikes were easily ex- 
tracted. They were repulsed the moment the sup- 
porting troops came up, leaving behind them seven 
or eight dead, and six prisoners. The French had 
four officers and twelve privates killed and wounded. 




State with his troops for the winter, at any rate six 
weeks to refresh them. Upon a full consideration of 
the reasons ofTered, I flatter myself, that my conduct 
will stand approved in the judgment of Congress, 
whose approbation I shall ever be solicitous to obtain. 

1 enclose, also, for the observation of Congress, a 
copy of my letter to the ministers of the United 
States at the courts of Europe, conveying to them 
the intelligence of our success against the enemy in 
this State. The reasons for my conduct, as stated 
in that letter, I must rely upon, as my justification 
with Congress for the liberty taken in that commu- 

Unacquainted with the state of politics between 
Congress and the courts of Europe respecting future 
negotiations, whatever our prospects from that quar- 
ter may be, I cannot justify myself to my own mind 
without urging Congress in the warmest terms to 
make every arrangement that may be found neces- 
sary, for an early and efficacious campaign the ensu- 
ing year. Arguments, I flatter myself, need not be 
adduced to impress on Congress the high importance 
of this idea. Whatever may be the events of the 
coming winter or ensuing summer, an effectual and 
early preparation for military operations will put us 
upon the most respectable footing, either for war 
or negotiation ; while a relaxation will place us in a 
disreputable situation in point of peaceful prospects, 
and will certainly expose us to the most disgraceful 
disasters, in case of a continuance of the hostile 
disposition of our enemies. 1 do myself the pleasure 




to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency's sev- 
eral letters of the loth, 13th, and 14th insts., and 
thank you for the intelligence communicated in them. 
Nothing is yet heard of Admiral Digby, with his 
fleet, near these coasts. Whatever may be his inten- 
tions. Count de Grasse, I believe, is ready to meet 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

P. S. October 29th. At the moment of closing 
my despatch, I am favored with the definitive deter- 
mination of the Count dc Grasse respecting the 
troops I hoped to have transported to Wilmington 
by water. The Admiral's ideas are communicated 
in his letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, a copy 
of which is herewith transmitted.' In consequence of 
this resolution, and having no transports, I am obliged 
to send on the troops destined for the southern dis- 
trict by land. They will commence their march in 
a few days, under the command of Major-General 
St. Clair. The command of the expedition against 
Wilmington had been committed to the Marquis, 
upon the contingency of the troops being transported 

' CeuHldi Cmiit tt Lafaytllt. — " The more 1 reflect on lh« plan whicli yon 
mentioned to mc, the more I we the impmubUity of ondenaking lo innipon 
iroops, b.'itCC'K*' uiiillciy. mil immuiiiiion. My utitiidr opcndoiDi rrquir* 
iny return lo ud appainled place at ■ liied day. That day approaches, and it 
<TMiy be imposiible (or tne lo break my cneaEcmeiit voluntarily. The puiage 
from hence lo Cftpc Ke*t itiay pouibly be accoinpllatiod in two dayk, hiil it may 
alio require mote than iifleeo. The debaikatioo of troops and stotci may be 
allended uith deltyt, and cxpoM roe to censure. Beudei, it inigbt happen, 
that, from an olivtinate tuecMtlon of MUlhcrly wtndt, I thoold he obliged i» 
take the resolution of repairing (o my rendeivom. ' t 

neceuily of cauying wiib lae, duriDg tlM ' 
troopa UMfu) to th« Conlincnl, of whCeh 




by water. On failttrc of this event, the Marquis 
does not proceed with the rcinforcenicnL My pres- 
ent despatches being important, I have committed to 
the care of Colonel Humphreys, one of my aids-de- 
camp, whom for his attention, fidelity, and good 
services, I beg leave to recommend to the notice 
of Congress and your Excellency.' 


Head^vaktbxs, s8 October. 1781. 


Your Excellency did me the honor to mention, io 
one of your letters, and subsequently in the note 
transmitted by the Marquis de Lafayette, that, from 
a desire to serve the United Stales, your Excellency 
would enter into engagements for such cooperations 
the next campaign as should not be incompatible 
with the orders of your court. This offer is too 
essential to the interests of the common cause, not to 
be embraced by me with the greatest eagerness, while 

h. Thit*,all ihfti I c«n do, 1* Io pronilw to ctcori «i trdl bh I mi lh«vc*MU, 
ibfti may lw*« troops on board ; bul il n-iU br iiaponiLik for tn« to remain on 
iha eoul bcyontl ibc Sth ai ncul month ; Biid eien Ihii dcUy muU be repaired 
00 my pan by ihr cmieM activdy. If you arc ckricieni in ihe nxant of 
culiaiking or dubarking, lei us Ihink ni> more of ihe meaturt. But do not 
attHbulc my refuul Io xnjr thing, but the impouibiliiy of exccntinE ■ malltr 
thai wa» agraeabU (o yon."— jV.VI Lrtttr, October a6lh. 

A liMig letter wu likewue writlen by Count d«GraueioGenn«l Washington 
on the nubiect, tiallnj: the »ine objeclioni, and cxprcuing hii regret Ihal the 
ordin he wu bound Ici follow, and Ihe eni;a([eiu«iits he had made to be in tb« 
Wot Indio. prerenied him from cu-operalinj^ in thia enltiprtie, which held 
oul the falrctt jiroipccti o( (ucc«u. 

' Knd in CongrcM, Novembei 3d. Relcried to Raiulolph, Boudlaol, 
Vuniun, and CarroJI. 




it claims my warmest acknowledgments for the con- 
tinuance of your friendly disposition towards America. 
As it is impossible, at this distance of time, to deter- 
mine whether it will be most advantageous for the 
allies to open the campaign with the siege of New 
York, and thence proceed to that of Charleston, or 
make Charleston the leading operation, I take the 
liberty of proposing to your Excellency the following 
general disposition, as equally applicable to either ; 
namely, that your Excellency would assemble a de- 
cisive nava! superiority in the Bay of Chesapeake, 
toward the end of May, from which central position 
wc might easily transport ourselves for a reunion of 
our means against whichever of the maritime points 
above mentioned circumstances should render it most 
advisable to attack first With your Excellency, 
I need not insist cither upon the indispensable neces- 
sity of a maritime force capable of giving you an 
absolute ascendency in these seas, nor enlarge upon 
the advantages, which must be derived from antici- 
pating the Britishin opening the campaign, next to the 
immediate prosecution of our present successes with 
the union of superior means now in our power, and 
which would infallibly terminate the war at one stroke. 
The plan, which I have the honor to submit to 
your Excellency, is that which appears to me most 
likely to accomplish the great objects of the alliance. 
Your Excellency will have observed, that, whatever 
eiTorts are made by the land armies, the navy must 
have the casting vote in the present contest. The 
court of France are convinced of it. anH ' 




dared their resolution to give this indispensable 
succor. The triumphant manner in which your 
Excellency has maintained the mastery of the Ameri- 
can seas, and the glory of the French flag. lead both 
nations to look to you as the arbiter of the war. 
Public and private motives make me most ardently 
wish, that the next campaign may be calculated to 
crown all your former victories. I entreat your 
Excellency to be persuaded of my attachment to 
your glory, and of the sincere friendship with which 
I shall invariably continue, my dear General, &c.' 



The detachment, of which you will have the comnnuid, for the 
Southward is to consist of the Pcnsylvania, Maryland, and Vir- 
ginia Conlmental Troops. You will march them by the most 
convenient rout, and in the most expeditious manner, (without 
fatiguing the Troops,) toward* Wilmington In North Carolina, or 
other Posts in that State ; of which you will endeavor to dJs- 

' In his reply Conni de Gtisie said that he thautd comtnunicate Gcecral 
Ws&hinglon*! propoial lo (lie Fimch court, and doubl«dnol that <T<T]tlbiDgiii 
their (lower would be done id promote his views, aad cilabluh AtDerimi 
liberty. Si. Sitnon emliarlccd hi& tioopt, and ihe licet tailed oui <A the Cheak- 
peake on Ihe 41I1 ol Novcmbrr for tlia WtsI Indies. Ceneial Wubinglon 
presenled to Count de Cnu»e two honei, which were sent off (o the fleet. 

The French army remained in Vitijima till the toUowlng mmmer. Tlw 
Iwadrfjaartcn of CoudI dc Rocbamheau wcie at William tburs. 

" Acieeable to what I informed yoa umr itme ago, il hai been agitated with 
Iha French Admiral to tramjiorl by water, under hi> convoy, u tu ai Cape 
Fear, the rtinforctmciil dc»Iincc! for )«ur aid, and on thai conlingency, t1 waa 
In oontetaplatioD, wiih thete itoopa, to attempt by couiwle.Riain, lo carry Ike 
mmy'a po*t of Wllininglon— an altenipt which, wilh Ihe aid ol the Aeel, waa 
inilced la be practicabls, and ihe accom^lahaieDl ol wliSi:b, bown«T amall iIm 




possess the enemy, if their situation, from the intelligence you 
shall receive as you advance, shall in your judgment render 
it practicable and sdvisabtc. If it does not, you will continue 
your march to the Southern army, and put yourself under the 
command of Majr.-Gcnl. GrecDe. 

As Wilmington and other places in No. Ca. may c[e]ase to 
be objects, from a change of circumstances in the States to the 
southward of this, it will be necessary for you to open an imme- 
diate communication by Letter n-ith General Greene, and govern 
yourself by his advice and orders ; and it may be well to com* 
municate, (in confidence,) to the Executive of the State of North 
Carolina ihc entcrprite against Wilmington, that you may procure 
such information and aid as it may be in their power to give. 
For Ordnance and Stores, and for the means of transportation 
and other matters in the Quarter Master's depariroeni, you will 
consult General Knox and Colonel Pickering, and will make your 
arrangements with the Commissary, or State agent, for supplies 
of i'rovision. Given at Head-Quarters, near York in Virginia, 
this a^th day of October, 1731. 

P. S. If there are any men upon detachment, they are to be 
called in and marched with their regiments. A sufficient number 
of officers must be left to curry on the sick and invalids as fast as 
they recover. Some good fictd-ofliccrs should remain to super- 
intend this business. 

object in itself, wauM be of etmI imparlance tn the icale cf fatnra negotiation, 
ui il wnulil 111 effecl be (he llbcrailon of analhcr >l«le. 

" After fome <tByi of nupencc I hive ju»t now rci'ctved fioni the Count de 
Gt*»e ■ negative ileciiioti upon ihit propoM) : in consequence of which my 
Tcwiuiionk Are iltercil. anil the Iroopi will go on by Und. 

" Every uguinenl and penuaiion bad beon u»cd with the Krencli admiral to 
induce him to aid ih« combined army in an operation against Charinlown : but 
the advanced ncMon, the orden of hU coon, and hit owo cn^'S'i''^'"^ ^^ ^^ 
punctual lo a certain lime 6xed on for his ulterior operations, all (oibid bi* 
compliance, uid I am ol>li2ed to subniiE. Nothing iheicfoie remains, but lo 
IjSve you a rcipcdable Ninfaicemcni, and to rctam my>«U to the nwlhwaid 
with the remaiadn of the iroopi, for which arrangemeni e*ery prepanlioo ta 
now nuking with ail pouible dci|>atct."— (fWAw/Mi* t» Mafor-Gmtrai 
Grttut, %\ Oct«b«r, 1731, 




TO ma;or-(;ene;kal Lincoln. 



All the Troops, who are about to return to the noitliward, will 
be under your Command ; and I cnitcat you to itsc every means 
in your power to hasten them forward by Land or water, or 
partly by both, as circumstances may require. The Ordnance, 
and Stores of every kind, must be despatched, or in such train 
for it, as lo need no lunher cover or aid from the Troops, 'ere 
they can move from iheir prest Encampment. The Ordnance 
Vessels, and Vessels carrying stores of every other kind, should 
receive of sick, Invalids, and weak men, as many as they can 
transport with safety and convenience ; after which, if there 
is not water tran^portulion for the remainder, they roust be 
marched by Land, on the Rout the cavalry, teams, &c., came 
from the Head of Elk to this place. 

For the reputation of the Troops, and preservation of property, 
you will use your utmost exertions to prevent every species of 
abuse on the march. Destruction of fences is too often among 
the wanton injuries, which are committed, A few axes, and 
strict attention of the ofRccrs, will infalhhly prevent this, and 
I trust it will be done. You will be able, after iofoTraing your- 
self of the extent of the water Iransporlaiion, to determine on the 
number of men, which must march by land, and make your 
arrangements with the Quarter-Master- General accordingly. If 
there arc any men upon detachment, Ihey are to be called in and 
marched with their regiments. A sufficient number of ofhccrs 
must be left to carry on the sick and invalids, as fast as they 
recover. Some good field-officer should remain to superintend 
this business. Given at Head -Quarters, this 19th day of October, 

' Tlie troopt were irutspcned by water to the Head oJ Elk, and they 
mirchnl Ihcnuc by Unit. TIm' New JcTMy ttoopt wet* *tiiiJonod for [h« 
winltr ncu Mciriilown. and llie mo Nntr York rtgimenli, under Gcntni 
]>mu Clinlon. tX Pomplon. All ihe oihcn proceeded lo the N'onh River, 
wheie Iha ISgbt cr>ni|iani«s ji^ined (h^ir rtH|>ectiv« rtnltnenit. H>i«n'f regU 
nent ««« ordered to L*nca*ler, in Penniylrani*. 

Tfa« Britixh prltonen were maiclied lo Winchettet, in Vitj^nia, sod l« Fori 






IIkad-Quartkks, NVAk Vork, 
31 October, 1781. 

I do myself the honor of transmitting to your Ex- 
cellency a letter from General Duportail, in which he 
explains the motives of an intended application to 
Congress for permission to go to France, and for the 
promotion of himself and other officers of his corps. 
I should conceal sentiments, with which I am very 
strongly impressed, and do injustice to very conspic- 
uous merit, if I did not upon the present occasion 
offer my testimony to the distinguished abilities and 
services, both of General Duportail and Colonel 
Gouvion. Their claim to the particular attention 
of Congress at this juncture is founded upon the 
practice of Europe : sieges being considered as the 
particular province of the corps of engineers, and as 
entitling them, when attended with a success impor- 
tant in itself and its consequences, to the great mili- 
tary rewards. These officers, besides, are supported 
by a series of conduct in the line of their department, 
which makes them not depend merely upon the 
present circumstances. 

For these reasons. I am induced to recommend 
General Duportail's memorial to Congress for the 
promotions which he specifies, and the leave of ab- 

Fiederic and Ficdericktown, in MiryUnd. The b*inick* U Fort Frederic 
were (ound in be in tuch « tUlo of deo)' thst th« divuion of the prisoners in- 
lrnd«d for ihnt plnce wbi itiiiwncd *l Fredericktuwo. Ai Ihcu priaonen were 
froirdcd only hy milliia, many differenw* occurred, •nil oevasionnlly Kcrioai 
(ju*mlt, tietwccn Ihcm >nd lli« inhibitants; and tbey wen; nibsequcnUjr 
removed lo l.aacutcr, in Pennxylvania, and Kiurdetl by ContinenlBl Iroopt. 




sence ; the latter being by no means incompatible 
with the good of the service at the present period, 
as I am reduced, notwithstanding all my efforts, to 
the necessity of retiring into winter-quarters. The 
same principles as those above mentioned forbid me 
to be silent on the subject of General Knox, who is 
closely united with General Duportail in the merit of 
the siege ; being at the head of the artillery, which 
is the other principal instrument in conducting at- 
tacks. The resources of his genius have supplied, 
on this and many other interesting occasions, the 
defect of means. His distinguished talents and ser- 
vices, equally important and indefatigable, entitle 
him to the same marks of the approbation of Con- 
gress, that they may be pleased to grant to the chief 
engineer. I am, &t' 

' Read in Congrcu, November 9tk, Kelerred lo Viruita6, MontGomery, 
mnd LovdI. 

Ctriifitau. — *■ G«n«n1 Duportail, eennmandini of the corpi of engineen, 
having signllietl hit deiire o( obuimng love 10 go ti> France (or Ihe airaiige- 
invtil ol hitdamctUc kflair*, it i* with ths creaiett i-aliifaclion I cmlxacs Ihi* 
opportunity of teilifjring the seni«. which 1 enicrtain of hi> dittitif^iihed talcoti 
and urvicea. HU )acl|[rRenl in council and well-conducted valor in the Geld 
cliim ilichigheK appl*us«. amlbtve tecurcd 10 him the ctteemand conficleoc* 
of the army. Hii plan and coniJuct of ihe niiacki in the late impartaiit and 
fuccetiful iie£e of York, where he ci>nim!tnded iKc coipi of CRjrineen. afford 
brilliinl proaft of hU militiry ((Ctiiiu, and tet tlie teal lu liit reputation : while 
they entitle him to my wann«st Ihanki. Given at HeacUjuartm, jitt Octo- 
ber. 1781." 

General Ihiportail waa promotcil, on th« t6i1iol November, according lo ibe 
above Tccom me ndalion, but General Knoi wai paued om. There wai a te> 
riout diRicuIiy in the ca«e, owing to th« local parliality of aome of the memben 
ol CoofiTcti, and (o the opinion of olhera that Renctsl principltk khouM be 
adhered lo. The comminion of Knox ai brtgadiei bore a lubietjuent data lo 
lha»c of Jame* Clinton, Mouliric, and Mclnioih. The member* from New 
York, South Carolina. aiidGrnr];ia wniiM not aj-rre lo the pminoiion uf KniHi. 
unleta thoie officer* were promoted at the aame time ; and a vote for the whole 






Mount VasNcm, Vircima, 
■ 5 NomnboT, i;8l. 

Not till the 5th instant, my dear Marquis, was I 
able to leave York. Engaged in providing for the 
detachment that was to go Southerly, embarking 
the Troops that were to go northerly, making a dis- 
tribution of the Ordnance and Stores for various 

purposes, and disposing of tlie officers and other 

— ■ ' ^^» ■ — 

could not lie orrlerl. Several Irtilx weie mnde, >nd GcnernI WuhJDf Ion vu 
consulled on the »ui>jccl ■f<«iliia arnval in I'liiladclpliia. [.incoln had, on 
the 30th ot Ocioba, been choiea Secreury o( War, and to him Waihiag- 
lon wrote on December Jlh : " Fiom the tenor of your private letter of this 
dale. I presume you arc una^iiiainitij wiih my recommendation o( (.iciieral 
Knox to CongrcH. at the time Dupartail u-a« mentioned to thai body 
by me. If my cxpreuiona in hii favor were tint warm and full, the; fell u far 
(linrt of my intention tk of bit nicril. anil did injiitlice to both : because I ab- 
solutely refaied 10 recommend the l.iitcr without the former, whom I thought 
equally at Imll entitled upon every principle to promotion. If any thing fur- 
ther can be done by mc, it must, I conceire, be obtnincd by lome oihei mean* 
than 1 direct application to Congrcu. In the mean lime 1 hope (>cneral Knox 
will take DO huty retolulion, 01 at kait <u<pend the execution of it, if h* 
ihonld." To Mr. Bee, a delegate from South Carolinn. he wrote as (ollowi, 
on the Sih of March ;— 

"lam clearly of opinion, tor ronioni which I had the honor of detailing to 
you ywlerday, that the promotion of General Knox ilngly will involve fewer 
ditacreeibte con>e(]uences. than any other me'liod. which 1 have ycl heard pro- 
potcil : foe I nin penuatled that no ofFicfr, lenior lohimsrlf, as well acquainted 
ai I am with his eitnoidinaiy eicrtiona to prepare without proper roeana the 
tiege'.artillery for the la)tcamjiai|>n, the detpalch with wliich he Irantpotled It, 
and hi» uncommon aatiduily and gouil mana^mcnt of it at Yorktowo. wouM 
think hitpromotioa aa improper reward, or any reflection upon hit own merit. 
If extraordinary exertion* do not meet with particular attention, there la no 
•timului (n action, and an officer haii little more to do than to ataer clntr «f 
court; -martial." 

The reproenlationi of the Commander-in-chief at 1a»t prevailed, and. on the 
33dof March, Knox wa» promoicd to the rankof major-general, andhiicoinini*. 
lion was ordered 10 be dated on the t jih of the preceding November, thereby 
giving him precedence of General Duportiil and advancing hiiu over th« 
above-men Clan «l brigulier*. — Sfatkt. 




prisoners to their respective places of destination, I 
could not leave that part of ye country sooner. 

On that day I arrived at Eltliam, (the Seat of 
Colonel Bassctt.) time enough to see poor Mr. Cus- 
tis breathe his last.' This unexpected and afrecting 
event threw Mrs. Washington and Mrs. Custis, who 
were both present, into such deep distress, that the 
circumstance of it, and a duty I owed the deceased 
in assisting at his funeral rites, prevented my reach- 
ing this place 'till the 13th; and business here and 
on the road will put it out of my power to arrive at 
Philadelphia before the last days of the prest. month. 

As this may extend to a later period than your 
business in that city may require, I owe it to friend- 
ship and to my affectionate regard for you, my dear 
Marqs.. not to let you leave this Country, without car- 
rj'ing with you fresh marks of my attachment to you, 
and new expressions of the high sense I entertain of 
your military conduct and other important services in 
the course of the last campaign, altho' the latter are 
too well known to need the testimony of my approba- 
tion, and the former I persuade myself you believe is 
too Well riveted to undergo diminution or change. 

As you expressed a desire to know my Sentiments 
respecting the operations of the next Campaign, be- 
fore your departure for France, I will without a te- 
dious display of reasoning declare in one word, that 
the advantages of it to America, and the honor and 
glory of it to the allied arms in these States must de- 
pend absoluttly upon the naval force, which is employ- 

< Jobn TMke Cbmu. 




ed in these Seas, and the time oC its appearance next 
year. No land force can act decisively, unless it is 
accompanied by a maritime superiority; nor can more 
than negative advantages be expected without it For 
proof of this, we have only to recur to the instances 
of the ease and facility with which the British shifted 
their ground, as advantages were to be obtained at 
either extremity of the continent, and to their late 
heavy loss the moment they failed in their naval su- 
periority. To point out the further advantages, which 
might have been obtained in the course of this year, 
if Count de Grasse could have waited, and would 
have covered a further operation to the southward, 
is unnecessary ; because a doubt did not exist nor 
does at this moment, in any man's mind, of the total 
extirpation of the British force in the CaroHnas and 
Georgia, if he could have extended his cooperation 
two months longer. 

It follows then as certain as that night succeeds 
the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do 
nothing definitive, and with it every thing honorable 
and glorious. A constant naval superiority would 
terminate the war speedily ; without it, I do not know 
that it will ever be terminated honorably. If this 
force should appear early, we shall have the whole 
campaign before us. The months of June to Sep- 
tember inclusive are well adapted for operating in 
any of the States to the northward of this ; and the 
remaining months are equally well suited to those 
south of it : in which time, with such means, I think 
much, I will add every thing, might be expected. 




How far the policy of Congress may carry them 
towards fining their Continental battalions does not 
lay with me to determine. This measure, before 
and since the capitulation, has been strongly recom- 
mended by me. Should it be adopted by that body, 
and executed with energy in the several States, I 
think our force, (comprehending the auxiliary troops 
now here,) will be fully competent to all the purposes 
of the American war, provided the British force on 
this continent remains nearly as it now is. But as 
this is a contingency, which depends very much upon 
political manceuvres in Europe ; and. as it is uncertain 
how far we may be in a state of preparation at the 
opening of the next Campaign, the propriety of aug- 
menting the present army under the Comd. of Count 
de Rochambeau is a question worthy of considera- 
tion ; but, as it lyes with Congress to determine, I 
shall be silent on the subject' 

If I should be deprived of the pleasure of a per- 
sonal interview with you before your departure, permit 
me my dear Marquis to adopt this method of making 
you a tender of my ardent Vows for a propitious 

' " I shil) rcmkin bul a f<w dayt here [Mount Vnnan], ind chatl proceed to 
FliHadelphta. whca I ihall sticmpl to ttimuUic Congiai lo Ihc best improve 
mtnl ot iiur Ule iii«e»», liy taking ihe mwt vlgotiiuH »n<! f ffeciuat mcMiim to 
be (eidy for on cAcIy Hud drciiivc cnmpaisn (he next year. My gitaieiti fear 
(t, thai Cnnj;reia. viewing Ihit tlioke ia too iroponanl a point ol ligbt, may 
think our work loo neaf tjr closed, and ^ill fall into a ttalc of Unj;uoi and leU 
Aiation. To (wevcal ihii error, t ihall employ emy meatu in my power, and 
i( unhappily wc ainh into ttiil fatal mittake, no part of th« blame ihill be mine. 
Whaiflfcr may be llie winter [Kilitin of EuroptMi CouR*. ll U clearly my 
opinion, that our jjrand object it lo be prepared in every point for wai — not 
thai we ni(h itt conllnuanc:. but that wc may be in the bett utuation lo meet 
every avont." — Waikingtin tf Sla/fr-Gnural Grrtm, 16 NoTembet, tySl. 




voyage, a gracious reception from your Prince, an 
honorable reward of your services, a happy meeting 
with your lady and friends, and a safe return in the 
spring to, my dear Marqs., your affectionate friend, 

P. S. 1 beg you to present my best respects to 
the Viscount de Noailles and let him know that my 
warmest wishes attend him. 


Moutrr Vbrson, is November. 1781. 


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your favor of the 31st ultimo, covering the resolu- 
tions of Congress of 29th, and a proclamation for a 
day of public prayer and thanksgiving, and have to 
thank you, Sir, most sincerely for the very polite and 
affectionate manner in which these enclosures have 
been conveyed. The success of the combined Armies, 
against our enemies at York and Gloucester, as it 
affects the welfare and independence of the United 
States. I viewed as a most fortunate event. In per- 
forming my part towards its accompliaiiment, I con- 
sider myself to have done only my duty, and in the 
execution of that I ever feel myself happy ; and at 
the same time, as it augurs well to our cause, 1 take 
a particular pleasure in acknowledging, that the inter- 
posing hand of Heaven, in the various instances of 
our extensive preparations for this operation, has 
been most conspicuous and remarkable. 




After the receipt of your favor, I received official 
information through the secretary of Congress, of the 
new choice of their president. While I congratulate 
you, Sir, on a release from the fatigues and troubles 
of 50 arduous and important a task, I beg you to 
accept my sincerest thanks for the pleasure and satis- 
faction, which I have received in the correspondence 
with which you have honored me. and the many 
interesting communications of intelligence with which 
you have favored me. I am, dear Sir. &c.' 


MoitKT VenNON, ij NoTeinbCT, 1781. 


I learn from Mr. Lund Washington, that the land 
formerly belonging to Mr. Manley' is again about to 
be offered for sale, and that you and I are Hke to be 
the only competitors in the purchase of it. That I 
often treated with Mr. Manley in his lifetime, and 
since his death with his executors for that tract is a 
fact which cannot be unknown to you ; equally true 
is it, that if the Land is exposed to public sale, I 
shall bid for it, as far as / think it is worth, but no 
farther, and as men set different values upon the same 
thing according to the lights in which it strikes them, 
and their own mode of estimating its value, it is not 

' PtDtiilent M<:Kcan. be[i<i; Chief-Jufitlce ol Ihe RUtle of PcBniyUinii. htm 
obliged to Rlite from CongrtB for a time to allend to (he dutict of that oSce- 
Mr. John Hinion. of MAryUnd, wu chotco to ncCMd hlw m I'rcHdeat si 
Congren on llic 5lh of Novcnber. 

• HarrifOD Huilejr. 



41 1 

at all unlikely but that you may be the purchaser. 
In the present case, however, I ever was, and still am 
willing to give the Cull value of the land ; and as a 
proof of it, should have no objection to the price 
being fixed by three honest and judicious men, to be 
indifferently chosen. This I wou'd give. 

Having premised this thing, the intention of this 
letter is to make you a proposition, and explain my 
motives for it ; which, if acceded to, may smooth 
every difficulty, and prove convenient and beneficial 
to all parties. It is to purchase the reversion of your 
land in this neck, at the same time I make that of 
Mr. Manley's. if it is for sale. You are, doubtless, well 
acquainted with the circumstance of this tract, held 
by Mrs. French ; but as no man can have a more 
perfect knowledge of it than I have, I think myself 
fully warranted in asserting that in less than ten 
years from this date, there will be no support to the 
plantation, and that without the aid of my woodland, 
it cannot be maintained. 

If my reasons are asked, I will add : that, to say 
nothing of the Plantation itself, great part of which 
is old and much worn, the present fencing cannot last 
long ; that one half of the plantation at this moment 
is dependent upon me, for the means of enclosing it ; 
that though I have not a disposition to be unneigh- 
borly, by depriving Mrs. French, or you, of the use 
of my fences, yet this may not be the case with those 
who follow me ; that the woodland for fire and tim- 
ber, bears no proportion to the quantity of cleared 
land : and. as has been observed before, will not sup* 




port the plantation in these articles but a few years 
longer, cspcciaUy if all those long lines of fencing 
which are furnished by me, should be shifted, as is 
very commonly the case where fields are changed ; 
and. that to depend upon the fencing of another for in- 
closures. is working land upon a very uncertain tenure, 
and at too great a hazard to be warranted by prudence ; 
as ill-nature, or even necessity may expose the crops. 

That these are facts uncontrovertible, and the rea- 
soning upon ihem conclusive, none can deny. I 
mention them to prove, first, that at the same time I 
discover an inclination to purchase the reversion of 
your land, I know what value to set on it ; and sec- 
ondly, as an indisputable evidence that sooner or 
later (if you cannot get some of my woodland) you 
will, for want of timber and firing, be obliged to part 
with it to those who have it. And that this must be 
done to a very great disadvantage, when the period 
of that necessity is absolutely felt, and the land is 
more exhausted, is evident to common sense. 

It may be asked, why, under these disadvantages, 
I would choose to be the purchaser ? The answer is 
plain, and I shall candidly give it to you : For besides 
having timber to supply all the wants of your land, it 
is my wish, altho' it shou'd not fall into my hands 
immediately, to have in expectation, by reversion, all 
the lands in this Neck, that I may without loss of 
time, proceed to the enclosing of it by a large ditch, 
and strong post rail fence on the outer boundary of 
it. This, Sir, and the prospect of having the exclu- 
sive possession of the whole neck, 1 declare to you 




upon my honor, arc my motives for buying. It is 
not the real want of land (for I have already more 
than I have hands to work) nor the extraordinary 
value of this tract that prompts me to the measure. 
From a full conviction that I cannot in the course of 
nature, remain long upon this theater. 1 have a desire 
to see such things as are within my reach, accom- 
plished as soon as possible. On this principle it is, 
I shall go as far to purchase Mr. Manley's land as I 
can conceive it is worth. If the prospect of long 
life was before me, and I had a mind to play the poli- 
tician, it would be my interest to let Mr. Manley's 
land fall into your hands without a single bid for it 
on my part ; because having a scarcity of fencing 
yourself, and his land, I believe, not a stick of timber 
upon it, it would so much increase the demand upon 
the little you have, as to involve at an earlier period, 
the consequence I have foretold. 

Having dealt thus freely and frankly in describing 
the true situation and circumstances of these lands, 
and my motives to purchase them, I shall conclude 
with repeating that I will take the land of Mr. Man- 
ley at the price any three honest and judicious men, 
indifferently chosen, shall fix upon it. That I will 
do the same thing with respect to yours, if you 
incline to sell, or if you will 6x the price yourself 
(having a just regard to the quality and circum- 
stances of the land) I will give it, withont haggling; 
an allowance being made by men of judgment, con. 
versant in these things for Mrs. French's life, if she 
chooses to hold it 




I shall offer no apology for making you these pro- 
posals. My meaning is good, and my offers are 

generous. They will stand the test of examination ; 
and it is my wish, that all the parties concerned (vizt. 
Mrs. Dulany, Mrs. French, and Mr. Triplet, executor 
of Mr. Manley) may be consulted. If my proposals 
and observations are good, they will be struck with 
the force of them ; if they are not. my mistake 
arises from viewing things in a wrong point of 

I persuade myself that there is too much liberality 
in your way of thinking to suppose, that because I 
have frankly declared my motives for making these 
proposals, and have made generous offers towards 
purchasing your land, that I shall set no bounds to 
my prices, in order to obtain El I as frankly 
declare, that this is not my intention. I will give 
the full value, but no more. The whole tenor of my 
conduct hitherto in this business must have evinced 
this, and will more than probably convince Mr. Barry 
(or rather Mr. Wren his oracle) who was ever afraid 
to accept the price that was offered for his land, lest 
more could be had. — of the folly and impolicy of a 
narrow way of thinking, and give him cause, if I 
should withhold the same offer in future, to accom- 
pany it with repentance. I am &c' 

* Although Ui« off«c appears to h«*e been aecepied, ui4 thr«« EeBtlcMM 
■ppd&ud Vi irbilralon, it wu not onttl Jinutry. ITS7, lh*( 1 find a tramfer 
to Wnihington by William Triplrt, eieculor ot Hanuon Mauley, wl 149 
acra, purchased *t Ci ■'■c nctc. In January, ■7S6, Dvlany became ■ tenant 
of W»ihiri|>ton, I1111 WMliiajjiiui paid to Mn. Pcitl. Krencb, in the yvar 178;, t, 
lent ■>( j£i36 toi her plantation anil n«gro«i. and the nn« r«aUl <ra* paid in 
■76S, 17S9, and itqol 







Anhapolis, 33 November, 17S1, 

Gentlemen : 

I ver)' sensibly feel the honor, which has this (la]r been con- 
ferred upon me by the vote of thanks of so respectable z body, 
as that of the General Assembly of the Ststc of Maryland. The 
regard, which they have been pinsed to express for mc person- 
ally, the delicate manner in which they have recalled 10 view 
those distant events, which in some degree led to our present 
happy situation, and the general approbation, which they have 
generously bestowed, upon the whole of my conduct, must ever 
secure to them my warmest esteem, and must at the same time 
operate as fresh incentives to merit (heir future good opinion. 

It is with the highest degree of pleasure 1 observe, that a 
proper allowance has been made for the capital share, which the 
land and sea forces of our great and good ally had in the reduc- 
tion of the common enemy at York in Virginia. I should deem 
myself unpardonable, were I not upon every occasion, more 
especially upon such a one as the present, lo declare, that to the 
sound counsels and vigorous exertions of their E^tccllencies 
Count dc Rochambcau and Count de Grassc much, very much, 
was owing. 

While I agree in sentiment with the honorable bodies over 
which you preside, that we may entertain a rational ground of 
belief, that, under the favor of Divine Providence, the freedom, 
independence, and happiness of America will shortly be estab- 
lished upon the surest found.ition, I think it a duty incumbent 
upon mc 10 observe, that those most desirable objects arc not to 
be fully attained but by a continuance of those exertions, which 
have already so greatly humbled tlie power of our inveterate 
enemies. Relaxation upon our part will give them time to recol- 
lect and recover themselves :reas a vigorous prosecution of 
the war must inevitably cr remaining force in these 
States, or put Ihcm to thi of entirely witlidrawing 




I cannot conclude without cxpreuing my wannest wishes for 
the prosperity of a State, which has ever stood among the fore- 
mosl in her £U[>port of the common cause. I contest myself 
under particular obligations for the ready attention, which I 
have ever experienced to those requisitions, which, in the course 
of my duty, I have occasionally been under the necessity of malt- 
ing. I have the honor to be, &c.' 


PuiLADKLPHU, sS Nov«nber, 1781. 

Dear Sir, 

I have the honor to acknowledge your favor of the 
6th instant, and to thank your Excellency with great 
sincerity for the very cordial and affectionate congrat- 
ulations, which you are pleased to express on our late 
success in Virginia. 

I most earnestly hope, that this event may be pro- 
ductive of the happy consequences you mention ; 
and I think that its good effects cannot fail to be very 
extensive, unless, from a mistaken idea of the magni- 
tude of this success, unhappily a spirit of remissness 
should seize the minds of the States, and they should 

' Centra] WuhmEl°n arrived in Phllidclphli on (he 17th o( November, and 
the ncxi day be ailended Cungrra, being inltoducod inlo ihe hnll br iwo mcm- 
Ixra. He was addieiied by the president ai followi. 

" Sir -. Congreu, •! all timet happy la Mvlng your Exeellency, feel p^nien- 
l« pl«anii« In your pretence at thii lime, after the Rlorioiu tucccMof thi 
■Itied ■nn* in VirpDia. It is thdr fixed purpoic to draw every advantage 
from it. by exhorlinK the Slates in the ilrongctl terma to the moil vlgoroai ami 
Umely excillonii. A committr* hat Bccordin^ly been appointed l« it*l* ib» 
re^uiiitioM necciiary to be made for the establish men i of Ihe umy, and they 
ate InMincled to confer with you upon that huhject. It it, therefore, the 
cipeclalion of Congren, thai your Eiceilcncy woald remain for Mme time t& 
rhiUdelphia, Ihu they may avail tbemtelvei of yoat aid in tUs imponant 




set themselves down in quiet with a delusive hope 
of the contest being brought to a close. I hope 
this may not be the case. To prevent so great an 
evil shall be my study and endeavor ; and I cannot 
but flatter myself, that the States, rather than relax 
in their exertions, will be stimulated to the most 
vigorous preparations for another active, glorious, 
and decisive campaign, which, if properly prosecuted 
will. I trust, under the smiles of Heaven, lead us to 
the end of this long and tedious war, and set us down 
in the full security of the great object of our toils, 
the establishment of peace, liberty, and indepen- 

Whatever may be the policy of European courts 
during this winter, their negotiation will prove too 
precarious a dependence for us to trust to. Our 
wisdom should dictate a serious preparation for war, 
and in that state we shall find ourselves in a situation 
secure against every event * * * 

buQD»t, and thot yau ma; enjoy ft Ktpite from the fotigUM tA ««r, u fu h 
it contiiiiciil wilh Ihe iicrvice." 

To lliia ftddicsi GsncnJ Waihington replicil : 

" Hr. Preridcnl : 1 feci Tciy tcnubly the tavotnble dedfttnlitm of CongTMS 
eiprcuwd by your Excellency. Thi* (r«ih proof of ihitr »|iprob»tion onnol 
fall of making > deep impresiion upon me : and my ttudy shill be lo deterr* 
■ coniinimncc of it. It U with pcculjai pleunre I beat, tbai it ii Ihe lixcd 
purpoM of Congress to cihori the !iuic» lo (he mokt vigotouH and timely cier- 
tiont. A oompliancc on their pari will, I peisoade myielf, be producttte of 
the moil happy conicquencet. I ihall yield a ready obedience to ihe cipecta- 
tion of CongreM, and give every aKiislaiice in my power to llicir c:»niniiuec. 
I ani obliged by the goodneu of Congress in miking my penoiial case 
and convenience a part of their concern. Should the lervicc require mjf 
allendance with the army upon ibc North Kivor. or elacwhrrc, I ahall 
icpaix lo whatever place my duly calls, with the sninc [>lcatut« that I mnoin 
in tbit city." 





Dear Sir, 
1 havt 

Philaduphia. II Dec«nbcM7Si. 

favor of ihe 


/e received your _ _ 

your Resignation which I have delivered in to the 
Secy, at War. I am convinced your transition from 
the Military to the Civil Line will be attended with 
good consequences, as you will be able to communi- 
cate that kind of information to the Body of which 
you are now a member, which they often stand in 
need of in times like the present — and as you seem 
of opinion that my sentiments on public affairs will 
give weight to your endeavors, I with great pleasure 
open a correspondence on that subject. 

You know it is an old and true Maxim that to make 
a good peace, you ought to be well prepared to carry 
on the War. This, the sentiment of our Ally, is not 
only strongly pressed upon Congress by his Minister 
here, but by the Gentlemen at the heads of our three 
great departments — Finance, Foreign Affairs and 
War. My stay in Town is merely to assist in and 
forward the several arrangements which are upon the 
carpet, and I believe you are sufficiently acquainted 
with me to suppose that 1 do not fail to ui^e vigorous 
measures. I am happy in finding no want of dispo- 
sition in Congress to adopt the measures recom- 
mended by their Committees and their executive 
officers — The requisitions which they have made and 
which they will shortly make upon the States will 
evince this — It will afterwards lay with the States to 
determine whether we are, early in the next Cam- 




paign, to take advantage of what we have gained this, 
or whether we are as usual to suffer the enemy to bring 
their reinforcements from Europe before we draw 
ours from the neighborhood of the army as it were. 

1 need not say more to you at this time — indeed I 
hope you wil! have no occasion to make use of the 
hints I have given — For I have the highest opinion 
of the good will and Vigor of your Legislature. 

1 am &c. 


Mv Dear Sir, phii.*i.«i.phia. is D««.b«. mi. 

I have successively received your favors of the 30th 
of October and 2d and 21st of November. 

I thank you for your kind congratulations on an 
event, which is certainly most important, considered 
in a public view, and which adds to my personal 
satisfaction, by finding that it in some degree relieves 
you from that load of difficulty and distress, with 
which you had .so long been contending. The evacu- 
ation of the State of North Carolina is another very 
fortunate circumstance.' 

I presented your recommendation of Colonel Wil- 
liams to Congress, backed by my own ; the expediency 
of filling up the vacant brigadierships is among other 
matters now under consideration ; and, if thought 
proper at this time, there is no doubt of Colonel 
Williams being promoted.* 

' The Brilith had recenlly rcliicd from Wilminpon, 

' As General Smaltwciod hod been promoled to Ihe rank of mijor.^cnenl, 
Colniicl Otho H. Williaiim w>!i r«conincnd«d lijr Ctnoral Urecnc to roppljr hit 
pUce u biisodin in the Maryland line. 




I hope General St. Ciair has before or by this time 
joined you. The enemy have sent no reinforcement 
from New York to Charleston, nor do I learn that 
any preparations are making for such a measure. If 
it should be the opinion, that the British force in 
South Carolina is adequate to the maintenance of 
Charleston, I should not be surprised, if Sir Henry 
Clinton was to content himself with acting upon the 
defensive in that quarter, at least until the pleasure 
of the ministr)' can be known ; because an additional 
force, sufficient to regain and make establishments in 
the country, is more than can well be spared from 
New York. I am informed, the English prints of a 
late date speak of a reinforcement preparing from 
thence for Carolina and Florida ; and I think it not at 
all improbable, for I fancy Lord Cornwallis's private 
despatches, after the battle of Guilford, painted his 
affairs in no very favorable light. 

1 am apprehensive that the States, elated by the 
late success, and taking it for granted that Great 
Britain will no longer support so losing a contest, 
will relax in their preparations for the next campaign. 
I am detained here by Congress to assist in the 
arrangements for the next year; and I shall not fail, 
in conjunction with the financier, minister for foreign 
affairs, and secretary of war, who are all most heartily 
well disposed, to impress upon Congress, and get 
them to impress upon the respective States, the 
necessity of the most vigorous exertions. I am 
sorry that Major Hyrne's indisposition has prevented 
the transmission of the lists of prisoners, as the Com- 




missary General who is now at Elizabethtown nego* 
tiating an exchange may find himself at a loss for 
want of them. He is proceeding upon a return which 
Genl. Moultrie furnished and which I believe was 
taken from Major Hyrne's books. Should it appear 
that any characters have been omitted, it can easily be 
rectified as wc shall have a considerable balance of 
officers remaining in our hands. 

I really know not what to say on the subject of re- 
taliation. Congress have it under consideration, and 
we must await their determination. Of this I am 
convinced, that of all laws it is the most difficult to 
execute, where you have not the transgressor himself 
in your possession. Humanity will ever interfere 
and plead strongly against the sacrifice of an inno- 
cent person for the guilt of another ; and. as to de- 
struction of property within the enemy's lines, it is in 
fact destroying our own. It will be to the eternal 
disgrace of the nation, which drives us to the dis- 
agreeable necessity of thinking of means to curb 
their barbarity.' I am with the warmest sentiments 
of esteem, &c. 


PiiiuADn.PHiA, aj Detembot. ij8i. 


I have been honored with the resolve of the zoth 
instant, directing me to make inquiry into the powers 
and conduct of the Board of Directors to the Asso- 

' On (hcie (Dpla Ccnenl Greene had written : " Before an exchange i* son* 
fully into I with lumcthing dwiaiva may bo done rupcctfng Colonel Hayna. 




ciated Loyalists in New York.' I shall pursue such 
steps Eis will be most likely to promote the ends 
which Congress have in view. 

I have taken the liberty of enclosing the copies of 
two letters of the 23d and 24th instant from the com- 
missary-general of prisoners, setting forth the debt, 
which is due from us on account of naval prisoners, 
the number remaining in captivity, their miserable 
situation, and the little probability there is of pro- 
curing their release for want of proper subjects in our 

Before we proceed to an inquiry into the measures, 
which ought to be adopted to enable us to pay off our 
debt, and to effect the exchange of those, who still 
remain in captivity, a matter which it may take up 
some time to determine, humanity and policy point 
out the necessity of administering to the pressing 
wants of a number of the most valuable subjects of 
the republic Had they been taken in Continental 

Ak Tcoliatlan neccuanly involi>e«lhe whale Cant! nmt, 1 nlth -jtaa Kirrllrncy's 
oitlei niiit the onlcr ul CongTCi>i (hrraou. Tlic tallci hitc lignilinl th«ir 
approbation of the muiurci 1 look. Hut. u reiaUBtion did noi lake pbcc im- 
medialelj. nor did 1 think myiclf >I libctiy to act on a tnalter uj luch m^at- 
tudc bill [Mill (he niuvl prrmini; ticcciMiy. anil .11 iho cncmjr di'l not repeat ike 
offence, I have been at a lou hoir to act vith lapcct to tbe original one, aot 
having an]r olficei of cqasl rank with Colonel Hayne in my poMMtion. I am 
i«uly to CMCulv whtlrver may be llioughl a'.lvUablp. It would be happy for 
America, if mmithinE could be done to put a »lop to the pracliM of burning. 
both In the nonhern Slalei and here alK> ; anil, to prevent It licie, 1 wrote to 
U>c enemy > Idler on the tubjovt, a cupy <A which i encloie; and if they 
do not deiisi, 1 will put the wm on the footing I mention.' —'SfS. Lrtl^, No- 
vember 3tal. 

' 11ii« board wRii esublikhed (o guperintend the affairs of the Refusee*, 
or Lo}ralisu. William Franklin, iomerl; govenior ot New Jcrwy, wat iln 




service, I should have thought myself authorized, in 
conjunction with the minister of war. to have applied 
a remedy ; but as the greater part of them were not 
thus taken, as appears by Mr. Skinner's representa- 
tion, I must await the decision of Congress upon the 
subject. Had a system, some time past planned by 
Congress and recommended to the several States, 
been adopted and carried fully into execution, I 
mean that of obliging all captains of private vessels 
to deliver over their prisoners to the Continental 
commissaries upon certain conditions, I am per- 
suaded that the numbers taken and brought into 
the many ports of the United States would have 
amounted to a sufficiency to have exchanged those 
taken from us; but, instead of that, it is to be feared, 
that few in proportion are secured, and that the few, 
which are sent in, are so partially applied, that it 
creates great disgust in those remaining. The con- 
sequence of which is, that, conceiving themselves 
neglected and seeing no prospect of relief, many of 
them enter into the enemy's service, to the very 
great injury of our trading interest Congress will, 
therefore, I hope, see the necessity of renewing their 
former or making some similar recommendation to 
tile States. 

In addition to the motives above mentioned, for 
wishing that the whole business of prisoners of war 
might be brought under one general regulation, is 
another of no small consideration, which is, that it 
would probably put a stop to those mutual complaints 
of ill treatment, which are frequently urged on either 

4 '4 



part. For it is a fact, that, for about two years, we 
have had no reason to complain of the treatment of 
the Continental land prisoners in New York, neither 
have we been charged with any improper conduct 
towards those in our hands. I consider the sufferings 
of tlie seamen for some time past, as arising in a great 
measure from the want of that general regulation, 
which has been spoken of, and without which there 
will constantly be a great number remaining in the 
hands of the enemy. I have the honor to be, &c.' 


pHtiJiD&LPHiA, I Juiuity, 1783. 


I received your favor of the 14th of November, by 
Mr. Brownson. You cannot be at a loss to know 
why 1 have not heretofore, and why I cannot now, ad- 
dress you in your public character, or answer you in 
mine ; but the confidence, which you have been 
pleased to repose in me. gives me an opportunity of 
offering you my sentiments, as an individual wishing 
most ardently to see the peace and union of his coun- 
try preserved, and the just rights of the people of 
every part of it fully and firmly cstabhshed. 

It is not my business, neither do I think it neces- 
sary now, to discuss the origin of the right of a num- 
ber of inhabitants to that tract of country, formerly 

' Read in CooEms, Decembot aStb. Reterr«d lo Clymer, Cniroll. and Law, 
* Ur. Chlllenilen had been choicii Cnvernor of Vermont !>}' the (leople of titkt 
Iwritory, in Kcbrunry, 1778, and be acted as lach daring (lie Rovululion. 




distinguished by the name of the New Hampshire 
Grants, and now known by that of Vermont. I will 
take it for granted, that their right was good, because 
Congress by their resolve of the 7th of August imply 
it, and by that of the 21st are willing fully to confirm 
it. provided the new State is confined to certain de- 
scribed bounds. It appears therefore to me, that the 
dispute of boundarj* is the only one which exists, and 
that, this being removed, alt further difficulties would 
be removed also, and the matter terminated to the 
satisfaction of all parties. Now, I would ask you 
candidly whether the claim of the people of Vermont 
was not for a long time confined solely, or very 
nearly, to that tract of country which is described in 
the resolve of Congress of the 21st of August last, 
and whether, agreeably to the tenor of your own let- 
ter to me, the late extension of your claim upon New 
Hampshire and New York was not more of a politi- 
cal manoeuvre, than one in which you conceived your- 
selves justifiable. If my first question be answered 
in the affirmative, it certainly bars your new claim ; 
and, if my second be well founded, your end is an- 
swered and you have nothing lodo but withdraw your 
jurisdiction to your old limits, and obtain an acknowl- 
edgment of independence and sovereignty, under the 
resolve of the 21st of August, for so much territory 
as does not interfere with the ancient established 
bounds of New York. New Hampshire, and Massachu- 
setts. I persuade myself you will see and acquiesce 
in the reason, the justice, and indeed the necessity 
of such a decision. 




You must consider. Sir. that the point now In dis- 
pute is of the utmost political importance to the 
future union and peace of this great country. The 
State of V'ermont, if acknowledged, will be the first 
new one admitti,-d into the confederacy, and, if suf- 
fered to encroach upon the ancient established boun- 
daries of the adjacent ones, will serve as a precedent 
for others, which it may hereafter be expedient to set 
ofi", to make the same imjustifiable demands. Thus, 
in my private opinion, while it behoves the delegates 
of the States now confederated to do ample justice 
to a body of people sufficiently respectable by their 
numbers, and entitled by other claims to be admitted 
into that confederation, it becomes them also to at- 
tend to the interests of their constituents, and see, 
that, under the appearance of justice to one, they do 
not materially injure the rights of others. I am apt 
to think this is the prevailing opinion of Congress, 
and that your late extension of claim has, upon the 
principles I have above mentioned, rather dimin- 
ished than increased the number of your friends, and 
thatj if such extension should be persisted in, it will 
be made a common cause, and not considered as 
only affecting the rights of the States immediately 
interested in the loss of territor}', a toss of too 
serious a nature not to claim the attention of any 

There is no calamity within the compass of my 
foresight, which is more to be dreaded, than a neces- 
sity of coercion on the part of Congress ; and conse- 
quently every endeavor should be used to prevent the 




execution of so disagreeable a measure. It must in- 
volve the ruin of that State against which the resent- 
ment of the others is pointed. 

I will only add a few words upon the subject of 
the negotiations, which have been carried on between 
you and the enemy in Canada and in New York. I 
will take it for granted, as you assert it, that they 
were so far innocent, that there never was any serious 
intention of joining Great Britain in their attempts 
to subjugate your country ; but it has had this certain 
bad tendency ; it has served to give some ground to 
that delusive opinion of the enemy, upon which they 
in a great measure found their hopes of success, that 
they have numerous friends among us, who only want 
a proper opportunity to show themselves openly, and 
that internal disputes and feuds will soon break us in 
pieces ; at the same time the seeds of distrust and 
jealousy are scattered among ourselves by a conduct 
of this kind. If you are sincere in your professions, 
these will be additional motives for accepting the 
terms, which have been offered, and which appear to 
me equitable, and thereby convincing the common 
enemy, that all their expectations of disunion are 

' " I wu induMd 10 lake the matin ttp juti now {toin an apprehemjon that 
(hjii|[i ml);h( be carried 10 eiltcmet, and from harin|> received Intrty > very con- 
fid«ii(i*l kllor (rom litm. in wliii:li he ditcloici all their pulilical cnamituvm. 
which h« protctti have been in tcalily mnooent and only nrnnl to alarm (be 
Mhcrttalei. ThU teller I have theuin 10 >. numhcr al my (ri<nil», nirmticn of 
Congrtkn •nd olhcn. and they Iiave odtiied me lo irrite to Mr. Chilienden, in 
my printc character, givr him my opinion of (he anjuiiifialileneai nf Ihc extcn- 
tiOQ of ihcir claim, and idvite him to accept th« teniiH iifferrd hy Ihc rMolve 
o( the 3It1 of latt Auguil. 'I'his I hare done (ulty and forcibly, and pcrhapt 
i( may hav« lomc eSect upon Mr. Chidcnden and the leader* in Vermont." — 
Waihingtvn ta Mapr-Grntrai Sckuylrr, 8 January. ijSa. 




vain, and that they have been worsted in the use of 
their own weapon, — deception.' 

As you unbosomed yourself to mc, I thought I had 
the greater right of speaking my sentiments openly 
and candidly to you. I have done so ; and if they 
should produce the effects, which I most sincerely 
wish, that of an honorable and amicable adjustment 
of a matter, which, if carried to hostile lengths, may 
destroy the future liappiness of my country. I shall 
have attained my end, while the enemy will be de- 
feated in theirs. Believe me to be, with great respect, 
Sir. &c.' 


PHIUDELPHIit. 4 ]al>««r]r. I7S3. 

Mv Dear Marqs., 

I cannot suffer Colonel Gimat to leave this city for 
France without a remembrance from me to you. I 
have remained at this place ever since you left it, and 
am happy in having discovered the best disposition 
imaginable in Congress to prepare vigorously for 

■ " I im in poucuion of 1 dol of intelligence rimlUc to tbit fumithed b]> 
Capt. E(l)(»r. an<l am At « lonk lo Lilow wlicllitr the VrrinoiUr>c are playln); x 
merely potiiktl or a guilty game, t have msoti to think ihv (orrocr. 1 ain 
now endeavoring lo gel all our piisonen in Canada CKclian|[cd, and if any of 
thBm. ■(tcrlticrait rcle«Mi1, «>n lliiow li^lit upon • number ai Inmtaeiioiia, 
whtcb 1 confeu are myiterioui. the]' will be made use o( for that purpoM." — 
IV^kintt^n lo Major-Gfatral Ilmtk. 15 December, 1781. 

' " Every iiiforinatlon tciiillnj; to ]>rovc. that the aflair* mpeciing the Granu 
may be ipeodily and happily accommodalvd, givca mv lini^lac utialaciion. I 
will flatter myiclf. that both the attide* of inlelltKeoce you haT« reoeiTed are 
arcil )>iannd«d, and iliat ti will be the unicmlitln|[ cllorl of every one, who i* 
well efie<(ed lo the general L'auie. to preveol the hotron of vitil diKMil in any 
part ol the United State). It h«x been Itttimaicd. thai >one of the enemy't 




another campaign. They have ressolved to keep up 
the same number of corps as constituted the army of 
last year, and have urged the States warmly to com- 
pleat them. Requisitions of money are also made ; 
but how far the abilities and inclinations of the States 
individual to tax heavily to coincide with the views of 
Congress, is more than I am able, at this early period. 
to inform you. A further pecuniary aid from your 
generous nation, and a decisive naval force upon this 
coast, in the latter end of May or beginning of June, 
unlimited in its stay and operations, would, unless the 
resources of Great Britain are inexhaustible, or she 
can form powerful alliances, bid fair to finish the war 
in the course of next campaign, with the Ruin of that 

The first, that is an aid of money, would enable our 
Financier to support the expenses of the war with 
ease and credit, without anticipating or deranging 
those funds, which Congress are endeavoring to 
establish, and which will be productive, though they 
may be slow in the establishment. The second, a 
naval superiority, would compel the enemy to draw 
their whole force to a point, which would not only 
disgrace their arms by the relinquishmt. of Posts and 
the States which they affect to have conquer'd, but 
might eventually be fatal to their army ; or, by at- 

shipping and trmed vcise]* have been detained by the ice in Lake ChnmpliiQ 
In 8uth % mnnner. Iliai ihfy mi(;hl bo dritroycd and the eannon &c. brought 
off. If the fad i* m. 1 will Ihank yon for aa early and expltcii infonniiion a« 
poisible, Ihm incabaKS ma;' be token accordingly. The (lettruction of Ihcoo 
vcHcU would, I ihink, greatly iin|icde any fulufc incimiont from that q)} jfc. 
tw." — Washington la thUip Sthnyltr. Vf January, 1781. 




tempting to hold these posts, might be cut off in 
detail ; so that, in either case, the most important 
good consequences would result from the measure. 

General Lincoln has accepted his appointment of 
sccretarj' at war. Proper plans of ceconomy are 
adopting in every department, and I do not despair 
of seeing ere long our affairs under much better man- 
agement than they have been ; which will open a new 
field productive, it is to be hoped, of a fruitful harvest. 
As you will have received, in a more direct channel 
than from hence, the news of the surprise and recap- 
ture of St. Eustatia by the arms of France, I shall 
only congratulate you on the Event, and add, that it 
marks in a striking point of view the genius of the 
Marquis de Boullie for Enterprise, and for in- 
trepidity and resources in difficult circumstances. 
His conduct upon this occasion does him infinite 

1 shall be impatient to hear of your safe arrival in 
France, and to receive such communications as you 
know will be interesting to the cause we espouse, and 
in which we are actors. Though unknown to Madame 
Lafayette, I beg you to present me to her as one of 
her greatest admirers. Be so good also as to make a 
tender of my best wishes to Duke de Lauzun. and 
other gentlemen of the army of Count de Rocham- 
beau. who may be in the circle of your friends, and 
with whom I have the honor of an acquaintance. 
With sentiments of purest affection and most perfect 
regard, I am, my dear Marquis, your assured friend, 




P. S. — yany. %th. Since writing the foregoing, I 
have had the letter and resoivcs, herewith sent, put 
into my hands by the Delegates of Virginia in Con- 
gress. I have a peculiar pleasure in becoming the 
channel through which the just and grateful plaudits 
of my native State are communicated to the man 1 

By advices just received from South Carolina, the 
Enemy have evacuated all their Posts in that State, 
and have concentred their whole Force in Charles- 
town. Wilmington is also evacuated, and North 
Carolina is freed from its encmys. The disaffected 
part of the State are suing for mercy, and executing, 
it is said, some of their own leaders for having mis- 
guided them. 


Crn [■HIUUKLntlA, II jAiiuary, I73s. 

I was much surprised, on receiving a letter from 
Genl. St. Clair dated at Taylor's ferry on the 26th 
of November, to find, that instead of being joined by 
a detachment of the Virginia line, he had received a 
letter from you inclosing a representation from the 
officers assembled at Cumberland Court, amounting 
to a positive refusal to march except certain terms 
were complied with by the State' — The impropriety 
of such conduct, to give it no harsher name, is so 
glaring, that I am in hopes the Gentlemen will upon 

' This nprcMiitilioiib printed in (he Cakndar »f Virpma Siati P^*rt,\\., 




cool reflection condemn it themselves — What can 
they expect from their soldiers, when they themselves 
strike at the Root of Authority and discipline ? 
That they have reason to complain, in common with 
their Brethren, of the hardship they have endured, 
and the difficulties they labor under for want of their 
pay, I am ready to allow ; but they are mistaken if 
they think they are the only stiflTerers. There are 
Corps in the Army belonging to no particular States, 
the officers and men of which have derived no as- 
sistance from any quarter — Some States may have 
done more than others for their Troops, but of this 
I am confident, that all are yet much in arrears in 
fact, as the principal satisfaction that has ticen made, 
has been a liquidation of accounts and Certificates 
granted for the amount due. 

There is one reason urged in the representation 
which I am sorry to sec given by officers and those 
too of my own Country, that they look upon our In- 
dependence as established, and that therefore their 
quitting the service can be no public disadvantage. 
Do they think the remaining force of the enemy is to 
be crushed by Words or Blows. I should suppose by 
the former, or they would never have started an Idea 
not only ridiculous but of dangerous tendency. 

While I think it my duty severely to censure the 
conduct alluded to, I think I am bound to endeavor 
to obtain reasonable redress. I have for that purpose 
written to His Excellency the Governor and have 
requested him to use every exertion, so to provide 
for and equip the detachment which is ready, that 




both officers and men may be enabled to go upon 
service with some tolerable degree of comfort. This 
I hope he will do — after which I expect and insist, 
in the most positive manner, that the detachment 
shall march. The officers must and do ver>' well 
know that it is not in the power of the State to pay 
them up in good money. If therefore they continue 
to make that a pica, I shall take it for granted that 
disinclination to the service upon which they are 
going is the real motive — I shall be very anxious to 
hear from you on this subject — for you must suppose 
my feelings are particularly wounded on the occasion. 
When asked whether any and wliat reinforcements 
have marched from Virginia, I shall blush when I say 
none, and more so when I assign the cause. I am. &c 

fttiLAOiwiiiA, 33 J*au>fy, ij8a. 


Ahhough it may be somewhat out of my province, to addrcM 
your Excellency on a subject, not immediately of a military 
nature, yet, 1 consider it so nearly connected with, and so essen- 
tial to the operations under my direction, that I flatter myself, 
my interference will not be deemed impertinent, 
(Upon applying to the superintendent of finance, to know how 
I might depend upon him (or the pay, feeding, and clothing 
of the army, for the current year, and for the sums necessary to 
pnt it and keep it in motion, he very candidly laid open to me 
the state of our moneyed affairs, and convinced me, that although 
the assistances wc had derived from abroad were considerable, 
yet ihey would be by no means adequate to our expenses. He 
informed me further, that to make up this deficiency, the A' 
had been called upon, by Congrews, for eight miUions of 




for ifac service of the year 1783, and aJieired me ibe copj- of > 
circular letter froca himself to the Mrvenl legttlatnro, to which 
be had so (uUy and deatljr pointed OQt Ihc necessity of a com- 
pliance iriih the re<itiitilions that it is needless for me to say more 
on thai head than thai I entirely concar with hint in opinion, so 
far as be has gone into the tnalter. Bui there are other reasons 
which could not be so well known to him. as they are to me, as 
having come under my immediate observation, and which, there- 
fore, 1 shall take the liberty lo mention. 

Yoar excellency cannot but remember the ferment into which 
Ihc whole army was thrown, twelve months ago, for the want of 
pay and a regular supply of clothing and provisions, and with 
faow much difikculty they were brought into temper, by a partial 
supply of the two first, and a promise of more regular supplies 
of all in future. Those promises the soldiery now begin to 
claim, and although wc shall be able to satisfy them tolerabljr in 
respect lo clothing, and perfectly in re^^ard to provisions, (if the 
financier is enabled to comply with his contracts,) yet there is 
no prospect of obtaining pay until part of the money required 
of the slates can be brought into the treasury. 

You cannot conceive the uneasiness which arises from (he total 
want of so essential an article as money, and the real difhculties 
in which the officers in particular, are involved on that account 
The favorable aspect of our affairs, and the hopes ihat matters 
are in a train lo aSord them relief contribute to keep them quiet ; 
but I cannot answer for the ejects of a disappointment. 

Enabling the financier to comply with his contracts, is a matter 
of (he utmost consequence — the very existence of the army de- 
pends upon it. Should he fat) in his payments, the contract 
ceases, and there is no alternative left, but to disband, or liv« 
upon the seizure of the neighboring property. The saving to 
the public by feeding an army by contract is too well known to 
need any illustration, and that alone ought lo be sufficient induce- 
ment to the states, to find the means of adhering to it. 

It will, perhaps, be urged that the sum called for is immense, 
and beyond the ability of the country to pay. There is one 
plain answer to that objection, should it be made — It is, that if 
the war is carried on, a certain expense must be incurred, and 
that such expense must be drawn from the people, either by s 




p&rtial, cntcl, sad I may say illegal sciiurc of that propcity which 
lays most convenient to the anoy, or by a regular and equitable 
tax Id money or specific articles. 

Money, if it can be procured, is to be preferred, because it is 
neither liable to vr.-uie, nor is it cKpensive in the mode of collec- 
tion or transportation. Whereas, I think I may venture to say 
that a great proportion of the specific articles have been wasted 
after the people have furnished thero, and that the transportation 
alone, of whai have reached the army, has, in numberless ia- 
stances, cost more than the vdue ol the articles ihera.ielves. 

To bring this war (o a speedy and happy conclusion, must be 
the fervent wish of every lover of his country, and sure t am, that 
BO means are so likely to effect these, as vigorous preparations 
for another campaign. Whether then we consult our true inter- 
est, substantial economy, or sound policy, we shall find, that 
lelaxation and languor are, of all things, to be avoided. Con- 
duct of that kind, on our pan, will produce fresh hopes and new 
exertions on that of the enemy ; whereby the war which has 
already held beyond the general expectation, may be protracted 
to such a Icngih, that the people, groaning under the burthen of 
it, and despairing of success, may think any change, a change lo 
the better. 

I will close with a request, that your Excellency wilt be good 
enough lo take the first opportunity of laying these, my senti- 
ments, before the legislature of your state. I-'rom the attention 
they have ever been pleased lo pay to any former requisitions or 
representations of mine, I am encouraged to hope, that the 
present, which is equally important with any I have ever made, 
will meet with a favorable reception 

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, your Excel* 
lency's most obedient and humble BcrvanI, 

P. S. The return of troops called for by resolve of the loth of 
December, is collecting, and will be forwarded very soon. The 
remote situation of some of the corps has made it a tedious busi- 
ness, but such is the nature of it, that an accurate return cannot 
be digested until the returns of all the legionary corps and those 
of anillery arc obtained, that credit may be given for the men 
serving in them. 





Jl J«nn«r7. 178s. 


I have the honor to transmit herewith returns of the Num- 
ber of men now actually in service, from your state, in order 
that measures may be adopted for coin)jletinf[ the regiments to 
the ftill establishment agreeably to the resolution of Congress of 
the lolh of December. I cannot omit so favorable an opportunity 
of expressing to you my sentiments on this subject, and of en> 
trcatinR in the roost earnest manner, that there may be a speedy, 
pointed, and ellectual compliance with those requisitions. 

It will, I flatter myself, be unnecessary to recapitulate all the 
arguments I made use of. in the circular letter I had (he honor 
to address to the several states, at the close of the campaign of 
1780, in which, it must be remembered, I took the liberty to 
urge, from the knowledge I had of our alfairs, and a scries of ex- 
perience, the policy, the expediency, the necessity of recruiting 
the army as the only probable means of bringing Ihe war to a 
speedy and happy conclusion ; — if these arguments had any in- 
fluence at that time — if the consequent exertions were crowned 
with any success — if the present crisis exhibits new and more 
forcible inducements for still greater elTorts ; let me point you 
and your legislature to these considerations, and especially let 
me recommend, in the warmest terms, that all the fruits of the 
successes, which have been obtained the last campaign, may 
not be thrown away by an inglorious winter of languor and 

However, at this advanced stage of the war, it might seem to be an 
insult upon Ihe understanding to suppose a long train of reasoning 
necessary to prove that a respectable force in the field is essential 
to the establishment of our liberties and indcpcndcDce ; yet. as I 
am apprehensive, the prosperous issue of the combined operation 
in Virginia, may have (as is too common in such cases) the per- 
nicious tendency of lulling the country into a lethargy of inac* 
tivity and security : and as I feel my own reputation, as well ai 

■ New Himpifaiic, CoanccUcul. MutMboMItt, Rhode Uland, New Vorll^ 
and New Jertey. 

the interest, the honor, the glory, and the happiness of my 
country, mlitnately concerned in the event, I will ask the iodtil- 
gcnce to s{)calc the more freely on those accounts, and to make 
some of those obsetvalions, which the present moment seems to 
suggest ; — that the broken and perplexed state of the enemy's 
affairs, and the successes of the last campaign, on our part, 
ought to he a powerful incitement to vigorous preparations for 
the next — that, unte5« we strenuously exert ourselves to profit by 
these successes, we shall not only to:te all the solid advantages 
that might be derived from them, b^t we shall become con- 
temptible in our own eyes, in the eyes of our enemy, in the 
opinion of posterity, and even ia the estiraatioD of the whole 
world, which will consider us as a nation unworthy of prosperity, 
because we know not how to make a right use of it — that, although 
we cannot, by the best concerted plans absolutely command 
success ; although the race is not always to the swift, or the battle 
to the strong, yet without presumptuously wailing for miracles to 
be wrought io our favor, it is our indispensable dutj-, with the 
deepest gratitude to Heaven for the past, and humble confidence 
in it^ smiles on our future operations, to make use of all the 
means io our power for our defence and security — that this 
period is particularly important, because no circumstances since 
the commencement of tlie war, have been so favorable to the 
recruiting service ; and because it is to be presumed, from the 
increase of population, and the brilliant prospect* before us, it is 
actually in our power to complete the army before the opening 
of the campaign — that however flattering the prospects may be, 
much still remains to be done, which cannot probably be effected 
unless the army is recruited to its establishment ; and conse* 
qucntly the continuance or termination of the war seems princi- 
pally to rest on the vigor and decision of the states in this 
interesting point. And Anally, that it is our first object of 
policy, under every supposible or possible case, to have a power- 
ful army early in tUe field : for we must suppose, the enemy are 
cither disposed " to prosecute the war," or " to enter into a nego- 
ciation for peace " — there is no other alternative. On the formcT 
supposition, a respectable army becomes necessary, to counteract 
the enemy and to prevent the accumulating expences of a lioger* 




ing war ; on the UlUr, nothing but a decidedlj superior force 
can enable us boldly to cl-iim our rights, and dictate the law at the 
pacification. — So that whatever the disposition of the enemy may 
be, it is evidently our only interest and economy to act liberally 
and exert oiirxclves greatly during the present winter, to cut off 
at oncf all the cxpence* of the war, by putting a period to it. 

And soon might that day arrive, soon might we hope to enjoy 
all the blessings of peace, if we could see again the same anima- 
tion in the cause of our country inspire every breast, the same 
passion for freedom and military glory impel our youths to the 
field, and the &ame disinterested patriotism pervade every rank 
of men, as wax conspicuous at the commencemeni of this glorious 
revolution ; and I am persuaded, only some great occasion was 
wanting, such as the present moment exhibits, to rekindle the 
latent sparks oi that patriotic fire into a generous flame, to rouse 
again the uncon<)uerable spirit of liberty, which has sometimes 
seemed to slumber for a while, into the full vigor of action. 

I cannot now conclude this letter, without cxpresiing my full 
expectation, that the several slates, animated with the noblest 
principle*, and convinced of the policy of complying faithfully 
with the requisitions, will be only emulous which shall be fore- 
most in furnishing its quota of men ; that the calculation of the 
numbers wanted li> fill the deficiency may be *o ample, as (allow- 
ing for the casualties and deductions) will be sufficient certainly 
to complete the battalions ; that the measures for this piiri'osc, 
may be so explicit, pointed and energetic, as will inevitably 
furnish the recruits in season ; and that such checks may be 
established, to prevent imposition as to the quality of the men, 
that no rccniits may be accepted, but those who arc in fact able- 
bodied and effective. Should any of a different description be 
sent to the army, they must be rejected, the cxpences thrown away, 
and the service injured, though others are required to supply 
their place:! ; for it is only deceiving ourselves, with having 
a nominal instead of a real force, and consuming the public 
provisions and clothing to no effect, by attempting to impose 
decrepit and improper men or boys upon us as soldiers. 

The returns before alluded to, being but this moment col- 
lected, 1 regret that it was not possible they should have been 




foTwnrdcd sooner; to prevent a niiscarriKge or delay, in so 
important a communication, 1 have committed tbcm to — ^— 
who will have the honor of delivering these despatches, and 
explaining my ideas very perfectly ; as he is charged solely 
with this businen he will return as soon us. it is negociaied, but 
he i« instructed to wait until he can bear »Hch official accountu 
from you to mc, as will fully inform me, what aid may absolutely 
t>c relied upon from your state, which, in conjunction with the 
other reports of a similar nature, must serve as a basis, on which 
we may build our final plans and arrangements for the ensuing 

I have the honour to be, ficc. 


I^ttLAnEi.rtiM, 6Fcbratr7, 1781. 

Dear Sir, 

I have received your favor of the 2 1 st of J any., en- 
closing the copy of your Letter of the 22 of Octr. to 
Major-General Stark, which, agreeably to your de- 
sire, I return by this conveyance — the arguments and 
reflections respecting the dispute of the Vermontese, 
made use of in that Letter, appear so just as well as 
political, as to be particularly calculated to heal the 
unhappy disturbances and produce a reconciliation : 
This is one of the many proofs you have given of 
your ardent desire to put a period to internal conten- 
tion, and unite all the separate and jarring interests 
in prosecuting the great common cause of America. 

I have shewed yours of the 2jst ulto. to, and con- 
ferr'd with the Minister of Foreign Affairs — My sen- 

' ThUlul iwagrmpb wuomStltd in Ihc Icliir i" M-i-»i»'hutclu. Ttic bcuct 
of the letter differed (ot eacb lUtc. Col. Dcirborn look thai for New H*in|>> 
iKlic, ind Lt..C»1. OIney iIiaI (or Rhode IUriuI, 




timenis. in general, respecting the necessity of per- 
fect unanimity among ourselves in order to give 
energy & decision to our collective efforts against the 
Enemy, arc too well known to be insisted upon ; for 
I have had frequent occasion to repeat, that it was 
my most fervent wish, that all grounds of jealousy 
and dispute between any districts of the Inhabitants 
of the United States, which were at variance might 
be removed by an amicable adjustment of their dif- 
ferences, and that, in my opinion, moderate measures 
(so long as they can be adopted with propriety) are 
much more likely than violent ones to produce such 
a salutary effect — if therefore my public advice in my 
late circular Letter, or my private opinion, which has 
been given without reserve on every occasion can be 
of any avail. I am confident the consideration of all 
other matters would be swallowed up in or made 
subservient to the general good of the whole — but as 
it has ever been a point of delicacy with me, while 
acting only in a militarj' character, not to interfere in 
the civil Concerns of the Continent or the Legisla- 
tures, except where they are intimately connected 
with Military matters, I should not think myself at 
liberty, without deviating from that rule, to Intermed- 
dle so far as to dictate particular modes of accommo- 
dation (however earnestly I desire it may be effected) 
especially on a subject which has been under the 
immediate consideration of Congress itself ; whose 
directions, it is my duty as well as inclination to be 
guided by. — 

I am informed Mr. Ira Allen and Mr. Fay have 




arrived in this Town from Vermont, on some public 
business to Congress ; whattheobject of their Mission 
is I know not. Should any thing interesting trans- 
pire I shall communicate it to you. — 

Mrs. Washington joins me in presenting her Com- 
pliments to Mrs. Schuyler and yourself. 1 am. &c. 


PhI1>I>BU-HIA, 9 February, (78*. 


I have been honored with your Excellency's favor 
of the 12th and 22d ultimo, the last, enclosing copies 
of General Greene's letter to you and your answer. 
After informing you that I concur with you in opin- 
ion, that it would not be politic at this moment to 
move a detachment from your main body to the 
southward, permit me to assure you. that I very sensi- 
bly feel your goodness in determining to advance the 
legion as soon as possible to the frontiers of North 
Carolina. I have only to request, that the command- 
ing officer may have orders to proceed further or not 
as circumstances may require. The move of the 
legion wiil be perplexing to the enemy ; and, as it 
has been heretofore the advance corps of your Ex- 
cellency's army, you may, 1 think, give out, (and it 
will carry with it strong marks of probability,) that 
your whole army is to follow, as soon as the weather 
will admit of the march. Supposing the enemy 
should receive the reinforcement from Ireland, 1 do 
not imagine that he will, after the many severe blows 




he has felt from phmging himself into the country, 
march to any great distance from Charleston ; espe- 
cially if he consider, that, while France has a nava] 
superiority in the West Indian or American seas, a 
body of troops might be easily thrown in between 
him and the town, whereby his ruin would be 

It would certainly be our tnie interest, if it could 
be done, to give General Greene such a force, that 
he should be able, under all circumstances, to keep 
the enemy confined to their posts upon the coasts of 
South Carolina and Georgia ; but, should your excel* 
lent and valuable body of men be made use of for 
that purpose, it might possibly interfere with the plan 
of campaign, which we may shortly expect from your 
court. Those States, whose troops compose the 
southern army, will be pressed to send forw'ard rein- 
forcements to General Greene as early and as expe- 
ditiously as possible. 

I am apprehensive your Excellency will think me 
unmindful of a most agreeable piece of duty, which 1 
have been directed to perform by Congress. It is 
the presentation of two of the field-pieces taken at 
York, with an inscription engraved on them expres- 
sive of the occasion. I find a difficulty in getting the 
engraving properly executed. When it will be fin- 
ished. I shall with peculiar pleasure put the cannon 
into your possession. 

In an addresis, which 1 have lately received from 
the Senate of the State of Virginia, on account of the 
surrender of York and Gloucester. I am desired to 




make their most grateful acknowledgments to your 
Excellency and to the officers and men under your 
command, for your eminent services upon that occa- 
sion, and to assure you, that they see with pleasure 
the harmony, which subsists between the inhabitants 
of the State and their generous allies, I take the first 
opportunity of makingthis agreeable communication. 
In my letter of the 14th of January, 1 requested 
that Lord Rawdon might be exchanged for Briga- 
dier-General Moultrie of South Carolina, in prefer- 
ence to any of the colonels mentioned by Sir Henry 
Clinton ; it being more conformable to our prac- 
tice than to make exchanges by composition. I now 
take the liberty of confirming that request.' I am. Stc 


Piiii.ADKi.riiiA, iS Kebnijtry, \^%^. 


I do myself the honor to enclose copies of the 
reports of the commissary-general of prisoners, who 
has just returned from New York, with copies of the 
papers to which he refers. Your Excellency will 
perceive thereby, that the restriction upon the ex- 
change of Lieutcnant-General Earl Cornwaltis oper- 
ates against the liberation of Brigadier-General 
Scott, seven colonels and two lieutenant-colonels, 
who, upon the principles of the tariff established 
between us and the enemy, are equivalent to his 
Lordship in value. 

' Lord Rawdon wis laici exchanged fnr Ccnsral Scad. 



1 also enclose the copy of a letter from Sir Henry 
Clinton, by which it would appear the exchanjje of 
Mr. Laurens might be effected for Earl Comwallis, 
should Congress think proper to accede to the proj 
posal. I beg leave to remark upon that letter, that' 
there has been some misconception either on the part 
of Colonel Laurens or Lord Cornwallis, as to what 
passed on the subject in Virginia. Colonel Laurens 
asked me. whether, supposing an exchange could be 
eflfected between his father and his Lordship. I should 
have any objection to it. I answered, none person- 
ally, and that, as Congress had made no difficulty in 
offering General Burgoyne for Mr. Laurens. I 
thought they might now probably offer Lord Com- 
wallis. but that the matter did not depend upon me. 
This I find has been construed into an absolute con- 
sent on my part.' 

With respect to the policy of prohibiting the 
exchange of Lord Cornwaliis, 1 will not pretend to 
determine. I cannot, however, help observing that 
it operates disagreeably in giving uneasiness to 
those officers of ours, who can only be exchanged by 
composition, and who are by the enemy set against 
him, and that it may be considered as a departure 
from the spirit of the terms of the capitulation of 

Mr. Sproat's proposition of the exchange of Brit- 
ish soldiers for American seamen, if acceded to, will 

* Wli«D, in November, CoDffrcH wm called upon to niifjr the ducharge of 
CornwaDi*, llftmiltoii mciilioneil u an xguineiil in bvor of > nllbcalion, that 
" xam« InliniAlionii had Iwen givm by Colonel tjuircni. with Ibo privity of 
General Washinglon. to CoinvoUit, prei^out to hit cnpiluUtion. that he mi^lit 
b« cichunccd (or hit father, Ihen In Ihc Toirer." — Madiitn Faftri, i., 906. 

immediately give the enemy a very considerable 
reinforcement, and will be a constant draft hereafter 
upon the prisoners of war in our hands. It ought 
also to be considered, that few or none of the naval 
prisoners in New York and elsewhere belong to the 
Continental service. I however feel for the situation 
of these unfortunate people, and wish to see them 
released by any mode, which will not materially affect 
the public good. In some former letters upon this 
subject 1 have mentioned a plan, by which I am cer- 
tain they might be liberated nearly as fast as cap- 
tured. It is by obliging the captains of all armed 
vessels, both public and private, to throw their pris- 
oners into common stock under the direction of the 
commissary-general of prisoners. By these means 
they would be taken care of and regularly applied to 
the exchange of those in the hands of the enemy. 
Now the greater part are dissipated, and the few that 
remain are applied partially. I shall be obliged to 
your Excellency for obtaining and transmitting me 
the sentiments of Congress upon these subjects as 
early as convenient. I have the honor to be, &c' 


Mv DEAR Laurens, p«ilad«.pk.a. .8 FAn.^or. ,78a. 

I have had the pleasure to receive your favor of 
the loth of December, and also the report of the 
judicious and successful movement of General 

' Read in CongrcM, Frtirvary loth. Referred lo Rouiiinot, Comell tod Rm. 
' ColMinl Lauieni joined the southern army shortlj' after the ca|Mtulitiain al 




Greene, by which he compelled the enemy to aban- 
don their out-posts. This brilliant nian(i:uvrc is 
another proof of the singular abilities which that 
officer possesses. 

Since my last despatches from South Carolina I 
have been informed, via Vii^inia, of the intelligence 
General Greene had received, that a reinforcement 
was expected from Ireland, of the application he had 
made in consequence to the Count de Rochambeau. 
and of the resolution the Count had taken of detach- 
ing the legion of Lauzun to his aid. I hope this 
force, together with the corps of Armand, will givo^ 
such a decided superiority of cavalry, as will prevent' 
the enemy from reoccupying and ravaging the coun- 
try again, should the whole reinforcement from Ire- 
land arrive. And I must confess, I cannot entirely 
rely upon it, as I have not heard the intelligence 
from any other quarter, although a frigate has just 
arrived at New York with the King of England's 
speech, and despatches from administration. Noth- 
ing however has transpired except the speech, from 
the complexion of which no decisive opinion can be 

But I think a little time will disclose what the 
enemy's intentions are, (should they still persist in 
the prosecution of the war.) whether they mean to 
occupy the two great posts of New York and Charles- 
ton, or concentrate the whole of their force together. 
In the former case, reinforcements may undoubtedly 
be expected ; and 1 know of nothing, which can be 
opposed to them with such a prospect of success, as 




the corps you have proposed should be levied in 
Carolina. To make the campaign decisive is our 
great object. 1 wish that the States might be im- 
pressed with the necessity of taking their measures 
accordingly, and that the war might not be procrasti- 
nated by want of exertion on our part.' Believe me. 
my dear Laurens, I am convinced, under all circum- 
stances, of your unbounded zeal in the service of 
your country. That success may ever attend you in 
the pursuit of personal glory and public felicity, is the 
eaniesl wish of your affectionate friend, &c. 

P. S. The Gentlemen of the family request their 
affectionate regards may be presented to you. 


C,,, PhILA^A., 30 Kebruaij, 1781. 

Since my letter to your Excellency of the l8th 
Inst, I have been honored with the public and .secret 
Resolves of Congress of the same date ; the first em- 
powering me to appoint commissioners for the pur- 

' Gmtrat Waskingten tt Gnural Grrmf. — " A frigale liM }a*t »m*e<l ■! 
Vtm Vovk from England. She nu dctpitchcd immccHnlel/ ftflci Ihe new! of 
'-ComiMllis' surrenilfr. 1 hnvc seirii the Nr» York prinis, nnd no mention ii 
rnidc of any tcinforcraicnt hainng uilcd for Amrricn : x drcuiniUDCc. whltli, 
bud il hippcDcd. I think would nol have liecn omiEIni al lliia time, when lli« 
Inyklitt* tjt ilciirandin);, mid liicikin^ uiioii Ilieiu»clvrs M IuhI nnd unsupportsd. 
Tht reinforeemcnl [torn New York wai nol more ihnn «x ot leren hundred 
men. The King'* tpeech at Ihe opening of Ihe Sriliih Partlnmeat In firm. in4 
• BHUlifrtts I detcrmmation to cunlinuc the wnr, tilthou|;li llierc i* no appeunooe 
r-hi* bavins i>i*<)c any alliances. Tbii 1 hope will prove to the Suiei the 
Beucatlty of coinplyini; with the requiKJlloni upon them ftii men anit >U[>p)let. 
'Every aii^ninent thai I couJd intent to inducu Ihcm to il. has been made use of 
by ue in two *eU ot druular lellers. No part of the intclli£eBce brnughl by 




poses therein mentioned, the last prohibiting the 
exchange of Licutt.-General Lord Cornwallis by com- 
position, which is the only mode by which he ever 
can be exchanged, except for Civil characters, wc 
having no military Grade answerable to his.' 

I find myself so exceedingly embarrassed by the 
operation of the secret Resolve, that I hope Congress 
will excuse me for pointing out the difficulties in 
which it involves me personally, and the manner in 
which It affects, as 1 conceive, the public good. By 
the public resolve all former restrictions are taken 
off, and I am at liberty to go into a general exchange 
without limitation. When it therefore shall be found, 
that Lord Cornwallis is still detained, those officers 
of ours (particularly our full colonels, most of whom 
can only be exchanged on composition), who will be 
sufferers on that account, will naturally apply to me 
for the reasons. I must either submit to their opin- 

the frigate hu yt\ gone abroad. Il ii no doubt of conicqac nee. If nnjr altenu 
lloa 1( to be nud« In (he dUpotltlon of Ihc forrx Tcmuning in America, h mmt 
K>on brcomc visible. Until wo lintr from ihe cuuti o[ Krsiicc. wc can only be 
making general prepanciont. Men are ihc moit malerialof oil; and I cannot 
(ay (hut Ihc mciim of oblalnlng Iheni, lo fai ai I have yet hcud. arc c&o- 
cioul." — February l8th. 

* By llie rcaolvec here referred lo, Congten invested General Waihingtoa i 
wit!) poweti lo neg^iatc sn cxehanQc or pruonen on ibc broaden leilc. add to ' 
Uk« meiuurei far settllnj; all accuunit rci|>cclini: prUi^nen ; but theac r«Mtv«a 
were accompanied with a " itfrtt intlnt<Han" thai nothing eontainod thcreui 
" ibauld be connracd (o auihoriie the eichiDse of Lieu tenant-Gen end Corn- 
wallU by compoticion." Il appcan lo have been Ihe ubjecl of thit reterv^tioii 
to secure the releaic of Mr. Laureni, who waa yet retained a prisoner in Et^ 
land, and had been for note Uibq ■ year shut up in the Tower of Londoa. 
The aoutlicrn membcrk were particularly tiUmuoua on Iliit ixiint, at Hr«U »i Id* 
dignanl .-it llie mode ndopled by Loid Comirallii in proieculing Ihe wot at the 
toutli. For B renuikable eiprcoiion of the feelinei of the delegale* fnnn South 
Carulina and Georgia on lliit tubjcel, lec JaimiaU, February Ijd. 




ions on a conduct so apparently strange, or, to justify 
myself, must be under the necessity of betraying a 
secret vote of Congress. 

In order more clearly to point out the manner, in 
which the secret resolve, if adhered to. will operate 
against the public interest, I must beg leave to re- 
quest the attention of Congress to a short recital of 
the reasons, which induced me, at this particular time, 
to propose a meeting of commissioners to the British 

On my return from Virginia, the superintendent of 
Finance informed me, that the subsistence of the 
prisoners of war had now become so serious a matter, 
that there was an absolute necessity of endeavoring 
to obtain payment of the money already due to us upon 
that account, and at all events to fix upon some 
certain and regular mode of payment for their main- 
tenance in future. In order to effect these, he ad- 
vised my making propositions to Sir Henry Clinton 
to appoint commissioners, not only to liquidate the 
accounts of prisoners, but to endeavor, by the es- 
tablishment of a permanent Cartel (a matter, which 
we have never yet been able to obtain), to adjust a 
number of points relating to the exchanges and 
accommodation of Prisoners, and for want of which, 
individuals, as well subjects of the United States as 
those of Great Britain, are daily suffering. 

Sir Henr>' Clinton, after several letters had passed 
upon the subject, acceded to the proposition in the 
most extensive sense. Commissioners were named, 
and 1 only waited for the authority of Congress to 





enable mc to invest the Commissioners on our part 
with proper powers. This by the public resolve of 
the 1 8th is amply granted, but by the subsequent 
secret resolve in a manner done away. The powers 
of our commissioners can only have reference to the 
public resolve, and whatever stipulations arc entered 
into will be upon a confidence, that no further ob- 
structions will be thrown in the way. The exchange 
of Lord Cornwallis (as heretofore) would be one of 
the first things demanded ; and. should that be re- 
jected, as it must be, the enemy would not only have 
it in their power to tax us with breach of faith, but 
they might recede in turn from any part of their 
agreements ; and it is to be feared, that they would pitch 
upon that respecting the payment for the maintenance 
of their Prisoners, as it will be a weighty matter to 
them, and one which they can evade with less incon- 
venience than almost any other, as we have a very 
great number of theirs to support, and they few of 

In addition to what I have said, I have only further 
to remark, that the Gentlemen, who have been named 
by me to execute the Commission, have objections to 
going upon it, except they can meet those from the 
British on fair and open terms. This can only be 
done either by withdrawing the secret vote entirely, 
or by adhering publicly to the resolution of detaining 
Lord Cornwallis, and trying what can be efTected 
under such circumstances. The last would remove 
my personal scruples, (if it should not be deemed a 
violation of the capitulation) ; but I fear, as I before 



45 » 

mentioned, that the general interest would suffer by 
the measure. We never can expect that such a car- 
tel, as will be really beneficial to us, will be acceded 
to while an officer of Lord Cornwallis's high rank 
and Family influence is excepted, nor indeed while a 
power is reserved or implied of being able to deprive 
of the right of exchange any other officer, who may 
hereafter as a Prisoner of war become entitled to the 
advantages of a stipulation of such a nature as a 

I ever with diffidence enter into discussions of the 
above kind, and I am now more than commonly ap< 
prehensive, that my conduct may appear reprehensi- 
ble, as Congress have been pleased, upon several late 
applications, to adhere to their former opinions re- 
specting Lord Comwallis. Had I not foreseen new 
difficulties arising from restricting his exchange, I 
should have deemed myself as inexcusable in further 
controverting the will of Congress, as I should have 
been, had I remained silent when I thought my voice 
might have conduced to the general good. That that 
has been my only motive for taking up so much of your 
time I beg you will believe, as sincerely as that I am, 
with the utmost respect, &c.* 

> On • contldentton nf thin lellcr, il wu rciotved by ConercM, " Th*t th« 
C<MiiBiBii<Ur-iii-chie[ Iw aulhoriieJ 10 >grcc to ihc exchange of Earl Cornwallis 
by conpontiori ; provided that the Honorable Hcnrjr Laurens be libcj-cted and 
propa auurnncci be oblaincil, thai alt eccounti loi the (upport (i( tlie vonT«n> 
iloa pd«oncri>, and all oihcr pritoiionot w»r, aliall be opvoililr •etiled ami di»- 
charged,"— yourxa/j. February Jjd, 

* Read inCongreu, Febnury int. Refeircd to Boudlnot, Carroll, and Bc«. 

" I h*v« appoinlcd ih« inceline ofouireiipcclivecoininliiaioiicntabot Bltt> 
•bethtownOD IheiSthoC next munlli. If I hear nothing [nrtbcrfrom your^ 





• * * Had the valuable storeship the Marquis 
la Fayette arrived safe from France, we should have 
had it in our power to have supplied the officers with 
the necessary Articles of Cloathlng out of the public 
Magazine ; but she unfortunately miscarried. The 
Financier upon being informed of this and knowing 
the distress of the greater part of the officers, who 
had now no right to place any further dependence 
upon their States, they being called upon for a sum 
equal to the whole expences of the war. immediately 
set about devising a plan by which he could afford 
relief to their wants, without involving himself deeper 
in those difficulties with which he is perplexed by the 
scantiness of public funds. 

Upon enquiry he found Gentlemen of extensive 
commercial Credit (Messrs. Sands & Co.) willing to 
supply a quantity of goods proper for the Army at 
their places of Cantonment upon a credit of six 
months and upon as low terms as they could be pro- 
cured else where. He therefore fixed upon the measure 
which is now about to be adopted, that of giving each 

cellcDCy. I b)is11 uke it [ijr|[ninlnl, Ibit you iicoeda to lh< time and place. And 
I would propose, as ia unul in luch caici, thai a ccuation «( boililitiet thould 
Ulie place, durine the mecIinE. from Ambay 10 Newark, both Included. 

" Aa my oommiuioncn will )■') InWy aulhoritcd to treat of the eichanKts of 
I-ori ComwaHii and the Honorable Mr. Lautcn*. I hare no oocaiioa lo be par- 
ticular in my answer to your Eiccllcncy'i IilleT on that mbject. I iluU only 
obserrc. that I ■pprelicml Lortl Ccmwillii niMnderalood Colonel Lauicni, In 
the conveiulioD Ihey hud upon that maUra in Viij^Dia. I could never have 
(^nn an BHurance, that hji Locdihip ihould be oclunfied lot Mr. L«iuei», 
the falhri of the colonel, is I had no authiirily to make any tach (ilpvlaiion." 
— WvAinsleit » Sir Hmry OinUn. i6FebniBi7, 1J»». 




officer a note for a certain sum payable in 6 months, 
which the owners of the goods will receive in pay- 
ment. But there is no obligation upon any officer to 
take these notes, or, after he has received them, to 
purchase Cloathing of Mr. Sands. Should he have 
supplied himself before hand, he may keep them 
untill the time of payment, which will be punctually 
complied with — he may discount them — or he may 
lay them out in any kind of Stores for the Campaign. 
The great object was to procure a supply of Cloath- 
ing of which the bulk of the officers were undoubt- 
edly in want. Mr. Morris very prudently foresaw, 
that the end would not be answered except a person 
could be procured who would engage to furnish a 
quantity of goods and to take the promissory notes 
at their full value. In this I (latter myself he has suc- 
ceeded, as I am informed by those Gentlemen who 
have taken up Goods from Mr. Sands that they have 
been perfectly satisfied with his prices. 

It is to be hoped if the States comply in any degree 
with the requisitions upon them, that we shall be 
able to put both officers and men upon as good and 
regular a footing for pay as they are now — for Cloath- 
ing and provision, to which it was certainly wise first 
to attend — The new taxes cannot be expected to 
come into use for some time, and therefore the kind 
of anticipation which the Financier has hit upon was 
a matter of necessity, not of choice, and as such, I 
hope it will be received by the Gentlemen of the 
Army, who will be certainly benefitted by it 

I am, &C. 






PiitLADCUiiM, 5 Mmtdt. lySa. 

Tlie operation!! of next Campaign being conringenl — depend- 
ing in 3 gre^t degree upon measures which are not within my 
controut — nnd very much upon the plans of the Enemy & their 
efforts to carry them into cxcctiiion — it \% imposKihle for me, at 
this time to say whether any, or hovr many mililin ye States in 
this part of the Continent may be called upon to furnish for the 
purposes of (he Ensuing Campaign : hut as I persuade myself it 
is the wish of every one of them to see a vigorous offensive plan 
prosecuted with a view of terminating the war honorably and 
speedily ; it becomes my duty to inform them that, ihe Continen- 
tal force, (admitting the Battalions should be compleated) aided 
by any Auxiliary Troops that I have any expectations of, is to- 
tally inadequate to the first & great object which presents itself 
lo our view and therefore it may be essential to my future plans 
that the Executive powers of the Slates should be— if they arc 
not so already — vested with sulVicient Authority to call forth, 
properly equipped, such a body of Militia as the Migeoccs of 
Service may require — the demand will not be made but in case 
of necessity — and will be postponed as long as possible— the con- 
sequences therefore of a want of such powers, or of the delay, 
occasioned by calling an Assembly, on such an emergency, might 
prove fatal to our operations — and injurious to our cause. 

I need not add how much tt is my wish and dcstTc, and how 
much the public interest will be promoted by it, that the Conti- 
Dcnial Regiments should be complcated — every man, of which 
these are deficient, will add to the draught of Militia; and doubly 
to the public expences while tlie Troops will not be so compe- 
tent to ihe purposes for which they are wanted, to say nothing of 
the disadvantages which Agiictilture and Manufactures will sus- 
tain, by having the laborers and artisans called off from their 
work. — I would beg leave to suggest that the longer term militia 
can be drawn out for, the more beneficial and less expensive will 
their Services be, and that, in case of a siege, they ought lo be 
engaged during the continuance of it, or until relieved by an 
equal number so that the operating strength may not be dimin> 
ished at a critical moment whun it may be most wanted. 






Vou will proceed with nil convenient despatch to Fort Pitt, 
the object of your command, and you will lake such measures 
for the security of that post and for the defence of the western 
frontier, as your Continental force combined with the militia of 
the neighboring couniry will adroit of. Under present appear- 
ances and circumstances, I can promise no further addition to 
your rc^lar force, than a proportion of rccruttK for the Virginia 
and Pennsylvania regiments, which are already upon the western 
station ; consequently offensive operations, except upon a small 
scale, cannot just now be brought into conlcroplation. You may, 
however, still continue to keep yourself informed of the situation 
of Detroit, and the strength of the enemy at thai place. 

With respect to tlic subject of the letters, which you have 
lately received from Colonel Gibson, I can only repeat what I 
have said to you personally. You must endeavor to convince 
both officers and men, thai measures are actually taking to put 
them upon such a fooling with regard to their provisions, cloth- 
ing, and pay, that it is to be hoped ihcy will ere long have no 
reason to complain. They will have already found the differ- 
ence between their past and present mode of obtaining provi- 
sions and clothes ; and they cannot therefore doubt, that the 
only remaining difficulty, (which is on account of pay,) will be 
removed as soon as the financier can reap the advantages of the 
taxes for the current year, which are but juHt laid, and cannot 
therefore come yet into use. The officers and men must, upon a 
moment's rcficction, be convinced of the wisdom of applying the 
public money in hand to procuring victuals and clothes. They 
cannot be dispensed with even for a day ; and when both are 
assured that certifjcaies of pay, due to the ist of the present 
year, will be given with interest, and that pay thenceforward will 
be more regular and as frequent as the public treasury will admit) 
they ought to be satisfied. 

Should the troops composing the western garrisons, be discon- 
tented with their situation, and think that they arc partially dealt 
by, you may make ttiem an offer of being relieved and of taking 




their chsnce of the emoluments, which they may suppos9J 
accrue to those servinft with either the northern or southern 
armies. There m.iy be [loltcy in this offer, bcoiuse, if I sm not 
mistaken, most of the men, who have connexions in the up]>cr 
country, would rather remain there at some disadvantage than 
be brought away from their families. * • * 8 March, 178a. 


Gent LEU EN, 

The jKiwera of equal date herevriih nuthorize you to proceed to 
Elixabcthtown, in the Slate of New Jersey, in order 10 meet com- 
miSBioners on the part of the enemy, on Friday, the isth' instant, 
for the purposes in the powers fully recited. 

You will consider the settlement of accounts for the subsistence 
of prisoners of all descriptions from the commencement of the 
war to ; obtaining payment, or security for the 

payment, of the large balance, which it ii presumed was due to 
the United Stiites at that period, and establishing some certain 
arrangements for the regular payment of the subststance of pris- 
oners from that time forward as the principal objects of your 

From the want of an appointment of a commissary of prison- 
ers until some time after the commencement of the war, from the 
variety of hands to which the charge of prisoners was committed, 
and from the little attention, which was for a long time {>aid to the 
sums expended for their support, I fear i: will be diflScult for yoa 
to collect the maieriab necessary to form an account sufficiently 
accurate to satisfy yourselves, or to gain credit with the commis- 
sioners on tlie pan of the enemy. And it is also probable, that 
the accounts, which will be produced by them, will be alike sub* 
jcct to many objections for want of proper vouchers and other 

' Tbe comminionen did nut merland exchange pow«n till iho jlatoEMudi, 
the time hiving bc«ii dcftrred nl the rcquetl of Sir Henry Clinton. 

1 78a] 



You are therefore al liberty, i( you find no probability of being 
able to make a regular settlement, to compound the matter, by 
fixing upon such a sum as shall appear (o you reasonable, which 
Eum shall, upon payment, be looked upon as a full and final dis- 
charge of all demands on the part of the United States from the 
commencement of tlie war vo the time which you shall xpeeify. 
You arc, then, in order to prevent all future disputes, to deter- 
mine, to what a ration for the support of a prisoner of war shall 
mutually consist ; the value of that ration, not only in whole, but 
in its component parts; what vouchers shall be esteemed mu- 
tually valid ; and obtain and give proper assurances for the regu- 
lar monthly, quarterly, &c., payments of the balances, as they 
may respectively become due. 

Before you proceed to the negotiation of exchanges, you will 
pay due regard to the resolve of Congress of the ajd of Febru- 
ary last, (with copy of which you are furnished,) which authorizes 
the exchange of Lieutenant-Gen eral Earl Cornnallis only upon 
certain conditions therein specified. By the word Hberattd, in 
the resolve referred to, it is not to be understood, that Mr. Lau- 
rens is lo be given up without any equivalent. At what the 
enemy will rate him is uncertain. Congress once oHered a lieu- 
tenant-general for him ; and, if the same should be demanded 
now, and insisted upon, you arc at liberty to comply. If circum- 
stances should render the exchange of Lord Comwallis impracti- 
cable, the respective commissaries of prisoners may proceed to 
the exchange of other officers ; and, if the enemy should persist 
in their resolution of detaining a certain number of our officers 
of rank, as a counter security to our detention of Lord Corawal- 
lie, it may be submitted to, upon the following principle, that it 
will be be better for four or five gentlemen (the number who wilt 
be involved) to remain in captivity, than the whole, amounting to 
considerably above one hundred.' 

' " I have received, buicg my arrinl ■! Iheie Cjuirten, your favor of llir I31h 
of Feby., mpceting the cicbanse of your Honbl«. fnlhcr tor Lord Comwal- 
lis. I am tony lo Snlorni you, Ihal, upon my arrival al Philadelphia, and far 
a long lime afioi I had been llwrr, I oKperiunued the (■rtaint diahicliiintion lii 
CongreiB to the cxchaaec of Lord CornwtlU* upon any lenns ; and that it u-ai 
not till after I had combated their objecliont in dlffercBl wayc, and Al lereral 




Id compliance nith a resolve of Congress of the xoth of De- 
cember last, (copy of which and some papers relating to it you 
have herewith,) you will enter into a discussion with the British 
commis.tionent ujion the power* and conduct of the Board of Di- 
rectors to the AsKociaied LoyalistN in New York, and you will en- 
deavor to devise some means for the prevention of that kind 
of depredation, which is complained of. On this subject you 
will do nothing conclusive, but report to me the substance of the 
measures, which may have seemed to the British commissioners 
and yourselves most likely to answer the end. 

1 recommend to your particular atteniion the case of one Sum- 
mers, a native of Pennsylvania, taken in t77S, and yet detained 
apon Long Island, notwithstanding every reasonable offer has 
been made to procure his exchange. The commissary of pris- 
oners can inform you fully of his situation and circumstances. 

Should you enter into cither a general or special cartel, you 
will endeavor to stipulate, that, in future, citizens not in arms 
shall not be considered as subjects of capture, but in particular 
cases, such as for instance for guides, for intelligence, and such 
like purposes : and that they shall be well treated, and discharged 
after the ends for which they were captured arc ansircrcd. 

Should the admiral accede to my proposition of sending com- 
mbsioners to meet you, on the subject of the treatment and ex- 
change of marine priHOners, you will endeavor in the first place 
to obtain a change- in the mode of keeping our seamen confined. 
The daily complaint of the miseries incident to confinement on 
board prison-ships will authorize you to remonstrate warmly on 
that head, and to insist upon an alteration of conduct. In respect 
to the support and mode of payment for the subsistence of sea- 
men, you will be guided by the instruction relating to the rations 
of soldiers. 

Rioelingi »( tlidi commlllcci, tltai I f;<i( the matter giUced upon inch a footing, 
at Ki leave mc at lihrciy la nvgolialc the exchmge of thai officn al any lale. 
The pcincipal diflimltiei att ixnr w far rcmored, at to admit commiaiioiicn 
OB each dde lo ntcet, (and they urc now tilling ai Elluibclb Town) lor Ihc 
paipoMof cxchiitgcH, ill which Mr. LnuirnB't it puiiciiUrly (jflven ineharge, 
farMlltini; of accoanti, &c; and I hope, unlcM lome nniowanl impedimeni 
ihd. itilcrvene in Ihe prateCDlion of this badaeM, that yau will loon meet the 
M>co«nplI»hiiKD(otj«arwiih«*.''—Ifit/i/iiv<Mi "£<''>£•'•"''<"• 93 April, 17S3. 




You are acquainted with the diBicultics under which wc labor, 
ai to the means of procuiing the exchange of the American sea- 
men, who full into the hands of (he enemy. It but rarely hap- 
pens, that those caplured by private vessels of war are given up 
to thcContincntal commissaries. Snmearetaken into our service, 
many escape through negligence, and therefore it is that the bal- 
ance of marine prisoners has been generally greatly against us. 
The mode proposed by Admiral Digby of giving up land prison- 
ers for seamen is a! together madmissihle. It would prove a con- 
stant source of reinfon:ement to the enemy. Under pretcnt cir- 
cumstanccs I do not sec, that you can come to any final determi- 
nation upon the mode of exchanging or liberating seamen. Should 
commissaries meet you on thai subject, you will in conjunction 
with them form a plan, which may be deemed mutually equitable 
and convenient, and report 

You have herewith ihe copies of the letters, which have passed 
between the Briii.ih general and admiral and myself upon Ihe 
subject of your commission. The superintendent of finance 
will furnish you with materials for stating our claims for subsist- 
ence of prisoners, so far as he has been able to obtain them ; 
and the commij.Kary of prisoners will furnish you with any oflicial 
papers, which may be in his possession, and which may be found 
necessary to the accomplishment of a general or special cartel. 
Given under my hand and seal, at Philadelphia, the i ith day of 
March, 17S2. 

P. S. Since the above, I have been furnished by Congress with 
a number of representations respecting the treatment of our 
marine prisoners. I have thought it proper to put them into 
your hands, that you may make the necessary use of them. 

MV DEAR Sir.«j-i.ia. 13 Msrch. 17SS. 

The fair hand, to whom your letter of the 20th of 
January was conimitted. presented it safe, and, as you 
very truly observed, the value of it was enhanced by 




iL Good laws, ample means, and sufficient powers, 
may render the birth of your intendant' a public 
benefit ; and, from the spirit of your people, I hope 
these are provided. Without them, the appointment 
must be nugatory. Never, since the commencement 
of the present revolution, has there been in my judg- 
ment a period, when vigorous measures were more 
consonant to sound policy than the present. The 
speech 0/ the British King, and the addresses of the 
Lords and Commons, are proofs as clear as Holy 
Writ to me of two things ; — their wishes to prosecute 
the American war, and their fears of the consequen- 
ces. My opinion, therefore, of the matter is, that 
the minister will obtain supplies for the current year, 
prepare vigorously for another campaign, and then 
prosecute the war, or treat of peace, as circumstances 
and fortuitous events may justify ; and that nothing 
will contribute more to the first, than a relaxation or 
apparent suppineness on the part of these States. 
The debates upon the addresses evidently prove, 
what I have here advanced, to be true ; for according 
to the explanation of them, [they] are meant to answer 
any purpose the ministers may have in view. What 
madness then can be greater, or policy and economy 
worse, than to let the enemy again rise upon our folly 
and want of exertion ? Shall we not be justly charge- 
able for all the blood and treasure, which shall be 
wasted in a lingering war, procrastinated by false ex- 

' An ofEccr Kcenlly appoinled by Ih« legislature of Mar^'luid, and " vested 
wilh powers to dcMroy Ihnl dlaonier in llie aflain of tlie Slate, which had arfien 
chitfly Ironi liad money and vraal of mnney." 




pectations of peace, or timid measures for prosecut- 
ing the war ? Surely we shall ; and much is it to be 
lamented, that our endeavors do not at all times 
accord with our wishes. Each State is anxious to 
see the end of our warfare, but shrinks when it is 
called upon for the means to accomplish it; and 
either withholds altogether, or grants them in such a 
manner as to defeat the end. Such, it is to be feared, 
will be the case in many instances respecting the 
requisitions of men and money. 

I have the pleasure, however, to inform you, that 
the Assembly of this State, ' now sitting, have passed 
their supply-bill without a dissenting voice, and that 
a laudable spirit seems to pervade all the members of 
that body ; but I fear, notwithstanding, they will be 
deficient of their quota of men. It is idle at this late 
period of the war, when enthusiasm is cooled, if not 
done away, when the minds of that class of men, who 
are fit subjects for soldiers, are poisoned by the high 
bounties which have been given, and the knowledge 
of the distresses under which the army has groaned 
is so generally diffused through ever)' State, to 
suppose that our battalions can be completed by 
voluntary enlistment. The attempt is vain, and 
we are only deceiving ourselves and injuring the 
cause by making the experiment There is no other 
efifectual method to get men suddenly, but that of 
classing the people, and compelling each class to fur- 
nish a recruit. Here every man is interested ; every 
man becomes a recruiting officer. If our necessity 

' FeoiDylranm. 




for men did not press, I should prefer the mode of 
voluntary enlistment to all others ; but as it docs, I 
am sure it will not answer, and that the season for 
enterprise will be upon us long ere we are prepared 
for the field. 

The anxious state of suspense, in which we have 
been for some time, and still remain, respecting^ the 
naval engagement in the West Indies and the attempt 
upon Brimstone Hill in the Island of St. Kitt's, is 
disagreeable beyond description. The issue of these 
events must be very interesting, and may give a very 
unfavorable turn to affairs in that quarter, and on this 
continent in consequence of it. 

Mrs. Washington joins me in comp'ts to the good 
ladies of your acquaintance and to yourself. I am, &c. 

Mv DEAR Sir, Piuuu>tij'HiA. i8 M««h, 178a. 


It gives me the more pain to hear of your dis- 
tresses for want of clothing and other necessaries, as 
you are at so great a distance, that you cannot be 
suddenly relieved, even if we had the means. I am 
not, however, without hopes, that, should the war be 
continued to the southward (of which I have my 
doubts, for reasons which I shall presently give), 
matters will be put into a much better train than 
they have hitherto been. The arrangements made 
already, by the superintendent of finance, have been 
attended with infinite public advantages, and he is 




extending those arrangements as fast as circum. 
stances will possibly admit. I am sjoiry to see a 
jealousy, arising from a supposition there has been 
a partiality of conduct. I am certain that there 
has been no such intention, and that, instead of a 
charge of having done too little, it will soon be a 
matter of wonder how Mr. Morris has done so much 
with so small means. As I know he corresponds 
with you on the affairs of his department. I shall 
content myself with saying, that, before Colonel Car- 
rington leaves town, measures will be taken to enable 
him to make provision in future for the ready trans- 
portation of stores, and for the accommodation of 
troops moving to the southward. It is agreed that 
the elaboratory shall be removed from Richmond to 
New London. 

In my former letters upon this subject. I acquainted 
you with the reasons, which operalKd against Count 
de Rochambeau's detaching more than ihe legion of 
Lauzun towards South Carolina, upon your requisi- 
tion for a reinforcement.'" Although my instructions 
to you did not mention a power to call upon the 
Count for assistance, yet I look upon it as implied 
in my desire to you to correspond with him. The 
circumstances of the moment must determine whether 
any or what can be spared by him. 

By late advices from Europe, and from the declara- 
tions of the British ministers themselves, it appears, 

' A (IctBchmenl from the French urmy, under the commRod of ChoUy. and 
bcladliif; tbe \a^oi\ of Liuiun, had bmn onlvrnl to juii) Greene ; hut bcliev. 
Ing that ihe English vere tboDt to evacuate the Can^iuu. Choiity wm directed 
to itop At Chulotte Court-HouM, Vlr^nia. 




that they have done with all thoughts of an excursive 
war, and that they mean to send small, if any further 
reinforcements to America. It may be also tolerably 
plainly seen, that they do not mean to hold all their 
present posts, and that New York will be occupied 
in preference to any other. Hence, and from other 
indications, I am induced to believe that an evacua- 
tion of the southern States will take place ShouldJ 
this happen, we must concentre our force as the' 
enemy do theirs. You will, therefore, upon the 
appearance of such an event, immediately make 
preparations for the march of the army under your 
command to the northward. What troops shall, in 
that case, be left in thr southern States, will be a 
matter of future discussion.* 

No other reinforcement went from New York to 
South Carolina, than that of the four hundred who 
had arrived. Letters, which you had not received 
when you last wrote, will have informed you, that 
our first intelligence respecting the number of men 
embarked were false. With the highest sentiments 
of esteem, I am, my dear Sir, &c 

' " It hu been my uniform opinion tince the capllulallon ol York Town, 
thftl, luilen the enemj' can Mnd tuoli reinfOTCpmniti to this couliDenl. u vitt 
in their jodgncnt plue ihcir two principil Poiti ai New York and Chnla 
Town in a luie of perfect wcuiily, oi ifaey itc (ure of hiivin)[ a naval npcti- 
ority on this Conil during llic opcrstiona ot the Ctmptign. thry will ooncentra 
iheii force il one o( tliojte points ; and farther it hu at invariably bee* iny 
opinion, thai New York will be the lail hold iKey will quit in llic Uftlled 
Stitei. If I a-iD niikiAkun in llic lint, I «hall liolievc, thai • nc(ottatian of 
Peace of a Ttuoc it near at hand, and, that they haiard much for the uii fatti' 
Jilii. which, from pment appearances, and my conception of the vicn of tbe 
Britiih GoiTrnmriit, I Iiave not Ihc tmallou fdMiOf ; I bmm p«ae« thi« year." 
— IVtuiimgMt la C«L Lairtm, as April. n%i. 





Gentlemen, mor«i«town, js Mwch. n%i. 

I have had intimations, that, under the idea of the 
cessation of hostilities within certain limits, a number 
of people intend to come over from New York to 
our lines. To prevent all intercourse of this kind is 
the principal design of this letter. Sir William Howe, 
on a former occasion, proposed that a neutrality should 
take place to a certain distance from the spot where 
our commissioners were to assemble, in order that 
they might not meet with any interruption in the 
transaction of their business, from the hostilities and 
alarms, which might otherwise have happened in the 
neighbourhood of them. It was upon this principle, 
and for this reason, that the present proposal was 
made on my part ; nor was it indeed, or could be 
construed, to extend any farther. 

It is therefore my particular desire, that no persons 
coming from the enemy may be permitted to land, 
except the commissioners and those immediately con- 
nected with them. And, as 1 think it expedient, not 
only to prevent new channels of communication with 
the enemy from being opened, but as far as practica- 
ble to shut the former, 1 could wish you would take 
the trouble to inform yourselves of the practice of 
sending and receiving flags on the lines, and point 
out such alterations and regulations as you shall deem 
proper to prevent the evils, which have been com- 
plained of, as resulting from too frequent an inter- 
course with the enemy. 





I have been informed by the commissary of prison- 
ers, that the enemy are preparing; to send out a 
considerable quantity of goods, under the sanction of 
passports granted by me for bringing out clothing, 
necessaries &c for the use of their prisoners. This 
is BO contrarj' to my intention, and may be productive 
of such ill consequence, that I have sent Colonel Smith 
to explain the matter to you, and to request you will 
examine the list, and signify what articles should be 
considered as necessaries, and what quantity ought to 
be permitted to be sent out. Mr. Skinner is directed 
to give you the necessarj' information. He will also 
explain to you the mode, which has prevailed, of 
making partial exchanges. This subject I need not 
recommend particularly, as it is comprehended within 
the limits of your commission. I have the honor to 
be, &C.' 




The spirit of enterprise, so conspicuous in your plan for sur- 
prising in their quarters and bringing off the Prince William 
Henry and Admiral Digby.lnerits applause; and you have my 
authority to make the attempt, in any manner, and at such a time, 
as your own judgment shall direct. 1 am fully persuaded, that 
it is unnecessary to caution you against ofTeiing insult or intlig- 
nity to the persons of the Prince and Admiral, should you be so 
fortunate as to capture them ; but it may not be amiss to press 

■CDiKiftI WuhinKinn left Philadelphia on lh« ajd of March, havli^ \»mm 
there (out months ; vaA aflrr (topping > day ot two at HoCTidown, he pnK 
cceded lo NewbuT);. where he UTivcd on ihe itt of April, ■nd cilaUUhcd his 
head-quarten *l ihal pUcc. 




the propriety of a proper line of conduct upon the paitj yon 

In of success, you will, as soon as you get them to a place 
of safety, treat them with all possible respect ; but you are to 
delay no lime in conveying ihem to Congress, and reporting your 
proceedings with a copy of these orders. Take care not to touch 
upon Ibc ground, which is agreed to be neutral, namely, from 
Newark to Rahway and four miles back. Given at Head-Quar- 
ters [Morristown] this iSlh day of March, 1783/ 


Nbwbokoh. 15 April, 178*. 

The Coramanderon^Chief states to the General Officers, 

That, from the best information he has been able to obtain, the 
regular force of the enemy in New York, at Ms time, including 
their established Provincial Corps, amounts at least, to oine 
thousand men. 

That the City Mtlitia, Volunteer Companies, Rangers, and 
■ome other small Corps in the Town, amounted by a report 
made to the Secretary of State in the Winter of 1780 {when the 
enemy apprehended an attack on N. York & were preparing for 
defence) to 3390 Men, exclusive of Sailors & Marines — and that 
this is the best criterion by which he can form judgment of their 
present strength. 

That the enemy's force in Charles Town by the last informa- 
tion & estimation of it consisted of .1300 Men. 

That the Garrison of Savanna, in Georgia, he conceives, can 
not be less than 700 Men. 

That even among men of political knowledge & judgment 
a diversity of sentiment prevails respecting the evacuation of the 

■ Wa*hia|[Ion wrote on April 3S(h tliKt he hxl iiitelltBcnce that the " Mntrtot 
at th« doors of Sir Mcnry Clinton'i -quarters nitre doubled it eight o'clock every 
night, from, the apprchcniion of nn allempl to surprise him in them. If this 
be true, it If mnic ih;ui probable tltr same prceinttoii eitends to tlArr penon- 
«g<s in the cilf ol New Voik— a circuin>l*nc« 1 thoaght it prupor for you to 
be MdvertiMd o(." 




Southern Staica. — Th«t if. this event should take place & the 
whole force of the enemy shd. be concentrated at New York it 
will sixnd thus : 

Kvgr. I'roops now at N. Yk. . . 9>ooo 
From Charles Town .... 3,300 
Savanna 700 

Militia &c. at N. York 



Total 16,300 

Under this state of the Enemy's force the Commander-in-Chief 
requests the opinion of the GcnL Officers sepcrately & in writing 
upon the following hypothetical questions. 
First. — Supposing the Enemy's force at Kew York to be ss 
above — That tlicy retain possession of the Harbor of 
New York — and that, they have a naval superiority upon 
this Coast. 
Secondly— Supposing the same force— that they keep posses- 
sion of the harbor — but loose their superiority at sea. 
Thirdly. — Thai they shall have the same force in the City — 
but shall loose the command of the Water both in the 
harbor & at Sc3. 
Is there, it is asked, a probability in all or either of tliese cases 
that we shall be able to obtain Men, & means sufficient to 
undertake the seige o( New York ? 

What efficient force will be necessary for the enterprise in 
the cAKes wch. may be deemed practicable \ And what number 
of Militia ought to be demanded to secure this force? 

If the enemy should not reinforce New York with their 
Southern Troops — and none should arrive from Europe, their 
force at that place will then be 

Regulars 9,000 

Militia &c 3>390 

Total 13,390 

The Commander-in-Chief propounds the same questions — 
identical!)- — on this number ox he did on the larger one (of 





16,390) & requests that ihey may be answered accordingly — num- 
ber* only making lh« difFerence of Ihe cases. 

That every information may be received which is in the power 
of the General lo give to form a judgmt. on these questions — 

That the Northern Army will {at jncscnt) be composed of the 
Regiments from New Hampshire to New Jersey inclusive — 
also of Haien's; Lamb's & Crane's Rcgiraenls of Artillery and 
Sheldons Legionary Corps 

That the total number of the R. & File in the above Regi- 
ments of Infantry, by the last Genl. return in his possession 
amounts to 8,005— but from (his the deductioDS incident to all 
services & peculiar to ours, are to be made, to come at Ehe 
efficient strength. 

That it is not in bia power to inform what strength these Regi- 
ments will be brought to in season for an Operation against New 
York. — he can only say that every argument he was master of 
has been urged to the respective Slates to have Ihcm complcated 
to their full establishment. 

That in case the enemy shd. evacuate the Sonthcm States, the 
Conlinenlal Troops in that Qr. as far at least as North Carolina, 
will be ordered to rejoin the Main Army ; but their numbers 
being small, and the March great, the support from them cannot 
be much — 3500 Men is the most that can be expected. 

That in the month of March last, he apprised ihc States from 
Delaware Eastward, that the Plnns, & operations of the Cam- 
paign might require a considerable aid of Militia ; & entreated 
that the Executive of each might, to avoid delay, be vested with 
sufficient powers to ordei them out for three month* Service, to 
commence on their joining the Army — and 

1'hat the Trench force on the Continent at this time, does not, 
he believes, exceed 4000 effective Men — whether any or what 
further succors arc to be expected from our allies is, as yet, 
unknown to him. 

The Commander-in-Chief concludes ihe above state of matters 
with the following obscrt'ations, that offensive operations of 
whatever kind they may be (being generally (he result of choice) 
ought lo be undcnaken with due consideration of all circum- 




stances & s moral certainty of succeeding ; for besides involving 
the Public in a heavy expence, wch. the situation of our afTairt 
can illy afford. di.igra<:e & cenxure scarce ever fail to attend 
uDsuccessftiil Plans — while the entimy acquire spirits by and 
triumph at our misfortunes. 

TO JOHN ^Ewis (Fredericksburg). 

N'EWkUROH. t; April. 178K. 

Dear Sir, 

I have heard, and sincerely lament, the death of 
your Father; and my concctTi is increased by the in- 
formation in your letter of the 24th ulto., of his dying" 
much indebted. 

So far as I am interested in the Lands which he 
has directed, by his will, to be sold, I consent to the 
disposal of them on twelve months credit. The ne- 
cessity however of selling them, at this time, is to be 
regretted ; as Lands, except such as happen to be 
under peculiar circumstances must sell to a disadvan- 
tage when they are not in general demand, and when 
there is a dearth of money, — especially those which 
have been, and may again be exposed to the inva- 
sions of the enemy, as is the case of the lands pur- 
chased by Doctrs. Wright and Jones. I mean this 
as a general observation, not to oppose it to the sales 
you have in contemplat'n. For I am convinced 
from experience, that Lands far removed from the 
Proprietors of them — however valuable in themselves 
— are very unprofitable, — and because I as well as 
your Father's estate, stand in need of the money 
which my part of them will fetch. When I say this. 




I take it for granted, that you do not mean to sell 
these Lands unless you can get the value of them, or 
near it ; because this would not only defeat the end 
you have in view, but do injustice to Doct'r Walker 
and myself. 

I have not a sufficient recollection of them (es- 
pecially the Tracts in which Doctr. Walker holds a 
share) to describe any of them accurately. With 
respect to Norfleet's,' it is in No. Carolina near 
the line, and upon the great road leading from Suf- 
folk to Edenton — ab't 16 miles from the former; 
which is, or was, a place of very extensive trade — 
there ought to be (if my mcmorj' serves me) upwards 
of a thousand acres in the tract, for which. I think, 
we gave j^iaoo, and sunk a great deal more by keep- 
ing it two or three years in our own hands. The 
Land is level, and I believe well timbered — capable 
of great improvement, there being upw'ds of 400 
acres of exceeding rich and open meadow ground 
belonging to the Tract — a great part of which is, or 
was ditched, and in grass, and other kinds of cultiva- 
tion. The Lands purchased of Jones & Doct'r 
Wright lye between Norfolk & Suffolk, 6 or 8 m. 
from the latter, & on or near Nansemond River. 
They are, if I recolle:ct right, well timbered and of 
good quality — level (as all the Land thereabouts is) 
and capable of being rendered exceedingly valuable. 
I do not remember what kind of buildings are on the 
last mentioned Tracts — the other (Norfleet's) had a 
good dwelling House & Kitchen with Brick Chim- 
'5m Vol. II., J). jg5. 




nies, & a Barn ; but as it is at least ten or twelve 
years since I have been in tliat part of the Country, 
great changes may have taken place since. A large 
slipe of the Meadow land has. I am told, been taken 
from us; whether by legal process, or not, I am un- 
able to say. • * • 


Head Quaetku, April 19, 1789. 

The CoRimander-id'Chicf submits the papers accompanying 
this, cont;iining the ciisc of CiiptAin Joshua Huddy. lately hanged 
within the county of Moomouth in New Jersey State by a party 
of the enemy, to the considcialion of the general officers and 
command's officers of brigades and regiments, and ihereuiion re- 
quests from them, separately and in writing, 1 direct and laconic 
reply to the following queries, viz.: 

r. Upon the state of facts in the above case, is retaliation jus- 
tifiable and expedient ? 

3. If justifiable, ought it to take j)Ia<:e immediately, or should a 
previous representation be made to Sir Henry Clintoit, and satis- 
faction be demanded from him ? 

3. In cose of rep rcsenia lion and demand, who should be the 
person or persons to be required ? 

<(. In case of refusal, and retaliation becoming necessary, of 
what description shall the officer be, on whom it is to take place ; 
snd how shall he be designated for the purpose." 

' Whila cominmnding a mdoII body of Uoopt ■( > pott on Ton*) R!vcr Is 
Monmouth Coanty, New Jersey, Captain Huddy hod been attacliDd by a party 
of nlu^cct from New York, and lakcn piikonei after a calUnt defence, lie 
irai Gonrcycd to Neir York and put in close coulincnicnl. On the I3lh of 
April he B'Ai lent out of the city, in the chatge of a number of rBluewi. com- 
manded by Captain Llpplncott, and handed on the hdghu near Uiddletowo. 
Tlie people in lh< neighborhood were exiremoly rsat^raled at thla act ol 
B-nnton barbarity ; uid, at their lolicilution. General Formno, Bho resided at 




Dear Sir, NKwnumiH. aoApnl, 1791. 

Since my last to you from Philadelphia I have been 
favoured with your Letter of the 20th iilto. from New 

How far it is proper or improper to delay the ap- 
pointment of a Guardian or Guardians to Mr. Custis's 
children I shall not take upon me to decide, but this 
I am clear in, and beg leave again to urge it, that 
whenever the necessity for it arrives you shou'd take 
upon yourself the trust. I confess to you candidly, 
that I see very little prospect of the War's ending 
with this Campaign, or if it does that 1 shall have 
leizure to engage in New Matters. My own affairs 
will, I am convinced, be found in a very perplexed 

MoMRiouth, obloined sffidaviu and ■ proper ita(Bin«nt of facis, wilh which he 
lint went to Eliiabeihtowa, where the American commiuaoneK, General Knos 
and Gouveiiieur Moirik. were then attcRijiiitig to iicf>utial? an exchange oE 
prisonen. and laid tho matter ticfort ihrm. By Iheir adiite he proceeded to 
Genera] Waihingtori'i heid-quarteis, and hii statement and the popen of which 
he wat Ihc bEorer were lubmlltcd to the cmiklderalion of ihe i^utal and field 

Twenty-five officers wnc onitren to the above queiiei ui writinf;. 1 hey 
were uiianlmouk In the opinion, (hat tclillatjnn waa juiiliriablc and expe- 
dient ; that the leader ol the parly, who murdet«d Captain Huddy, wai the 
pcrxon who ought to snl!n : and that, in com he could not be obtained, an offi- 
cer equal in rank to Captain Huddy hhould he t«]cclcd hy Inl (toin Ihc Britiih 

k'f riconan, Tirnily.tvto of Ihe Amciican oflicen agreed in the dediiun. that * 
Kpres«ntalion ihould finl be maiie to Sir Henry Clinton and Mtitfactton 
dcmftnided ; the oilier three thon{>ht ihxt the lawH of war and tl)c cnonnity Of 
the alienee juttified an immtdiale execution, withonl previoiu notice to the 
Britiih conunander. 
The officcrti auembled at the ([uartert nf General Heath, who vlaled to them 

' ihs qaaitions. He v»ji they were urdctcd not la converse logethct on the 
aubjcct, [ill each one hod written hit opinion, leolcd it up, and icnl il to the 
Cnntmander-in-chief. — HKATit's Mrmairi, p. 3J5. H thi« order wm litetally 

l«bcycd. the unanimity 001 only in Iheit lentiinenti, but in the mantMr of 

Impreuing them, wu remarkable.— .S/«r,6i. 




condition. AH my Book Acc'ts, Bonds, &c., stand as 
I left them (except those which have been dischar^fed 
with depreciated notes)^Biit this is not all — matters 
which relate immediately to myself is the least of my 
concern. Unfortunately for me, I became, much 
against my inclination, but at the earnest request of 
Colo. Thos. Coivill, one of his Executors to an Es- 
tate which was left under the most peculiar circum- 
stances imaginable, as St was intricately involved with 
an Estate of his Brother's (who had died before him) 
— and in Legacies to people in England — not by 
name, hut by dttscription and descent almost from 
Adam ; who had given infinite trouble before I left 
Virginia by their claims, unsatisfactory proofs of thetr 
descent, discontents, &c. The other Executor — a 
Mr. West — whom it was intended by the Testator 
should, and who ought to have had all the trouble, 
died three or four years ago ; and from an Indolence 
of disposition, inattention to business, and bad acc'ts, 
has, I fear, made that which at best would have been 
exceedingly troublesome in a great degree perplexing 
and difficult, so that I have not only all these difficul- 
ties to encounter, but shall think myself verj' fortunate 
if I escape without loss. Besides this business I stand 
alone in another which is also under very peculiar cir- 
cumstances— I mean my transactionsunderapowerof 
attorney from Colo. Geo. Mercer, and his mortgages 
to Colo. Tayloe and myself; in which 1 disposed of 
his Estate to the Am't. of ;^i4,ooo. payable the Nov'r. 
succeeding my leaving home, and left the business 
with Colo. Tayloe to finish ; but this Gent'n never 




took one single direct or proper step in it while he 
was in a condition so to do. and died insane; so that, 
that matter stands on a most wretched and ruinous 
footing. Add to this, that yielding to the pressing 
solicitation of my neighbor Colo. Fairfax, when he was 
about to leave the Country', I accepted of a power 
of attorney authorising me to direct his business, 
which when I left Virginia, was (after selling good 
part of his personal Estate) left at sixes and sevens. 

In a word, I see so many perplexing and intricate 
matters before me, which must be the work of time 
to arrange and bring to a conclusion, that it would 
be injurious to the children, and madness in me, to 
undertake, as a principle, a trust which I could not 
discharge. Such aid however, as it ever may be with 
me to give to the children, especially the boy, I will 
afford with all my heart, with all my soul, and on the 
assurance of it you may rely. 

Inclosed you have a copy of my AccL with Mr. 
Custis, settled by Colo. Mason as the mutual friend 
to us both. I have no doubt but that every Article 
of Debit and Credit contained in it, is right ; but that 
there is a dificiency in the acct. is obvious from the 
face of it, when compared with known facts. This 
acc'L carries with it, the appearante of a final settle- 
ment—comprehending all our dealings up to the date 
— towit, the 28th of June, 1778. Whereas the fact is, 
that all articles of charge, or credit between that 
period and the scttlem't, with the Gcn'I Court on the 
4th Nov., 1773, are omitted ; many of which tnay be 
important, one I know to be so, and that is the rent 




of the dower Estate near Wmsburg. during that 
Interval. This imperfection in the settle't I can only 
acct. for by their having (as I directed for Colo. 
Mason's satisfaction) recourse to certified copies of 
the last settled acc'U as Vouchers with the Gcn'l 
Court, and their not attending, or perhaps knowing 
of the open one on my Books, by which means the 
whole of it is excluded. I shall write to Mr. L.und 
Washington (by this conveyance) for a copy of the 
open acc't subsequent to the date of that settled with 
the Court, and previous to my leaving Virginia in 
May. 1775, as also for any acc'ts which he on my be- 
half may have raised since, and will send them both,^ 
to you. 

You also have inclosed, a Copy of Mr. Custis's 
Bond to and Agreement with me. at the time I re- 
linquished all my right to and property in the Dower 
Estate except the Negros under that description 
which I had on my Estate of Mount Vernon. At 
the lime of Bargaining, 1 gave him all the Horses 
and implements of Husbandry at the Plantation ; but 
he was to pay for the slock of every kind which 
should be found thereon, at such rates as Colo. Bas- 
sett might affix to them ; 47 of the cattle, however, 
he removed to his seat in Fairfax before any valua- 
tion was made ; the remainder was appraised by 
Colo. Bassett on the 21st of December in that year 
(1778), in the manner, and to the amount of the in* 
closed list — the 47 head also included in this list was 
valued the September following at the rate of /^40 
pr. head by Colo. Bassett — in consequence I suppose^ 




of the depreciation: but to this Mr. Custis objected 
on account, he alletlgal, of the extravagant price 
which by the by appeared only so in sound. How- 
ever, as I wanted nothing more than the real value, 
and was persuaded he meant to do me justice, I wrote 
him that the matter might be settled in any manner 
consistently with these views — so the matter (I be- 
lieve) has rested ever since. 

Thus, my dear Sir, have I given you ever>' infor- 
mation in my power respecting the State of my 
Acc'ts with Mr. Custis. When I get, and can send 
you the Acc'ts which I am now writing to Mr. Lund 
Washington for, you will have the whole Matter as 
fully before you as it is in my power to place it. 

If the Legislature of Virga. will not put it in the 
power of Individuals to recover Debts, it would be 
extremely hard upon Mr. Custis's Heirs to have their 
property sold to discharge his ; when there are such 
ample means to do it without ; if they could be got 
at, and when, if property was to be sold on credit, 
there might be the same difficulty to obtain the 
money arising from the Sales as there is to come at 
tJtai which is already due. As the Assembly has 
called in all the Paper Money, it can no longer I pre- 
sume be a tender, but if the case had been other\vise 
the mere attempt to do It is so incompatible with my 
ideas of common honesty, and is of so fraudulent a 
nature that I should have advised the refusal of it in 
every instance. The Articles which you propose to 
sell, to wit — Horses and Mares, can well be spared; 
for I think they contribute more to the amusement 




than pro5t of the raiser at any time, and without the 
latter, there can be no plea for the former in the In- 
stance before us. Without the Household furniture 
Mrs. Custis cannot do ; this therefore ought not to be 

I had no particular reason for keeping and hand- 
ing down to his son the Books of the late Colo. Cus- 
tis, saving that 1 thought it would be taking the 
advantage of a low appraisement to make them my 
own property at it ; and that to sell them was not an 
object, as they might be useful to him. How far 
these considerations should weigh at a time when 
Money is wanting, you are the best judge of. 1 am 
exceedingly glad to hear that you found your family 
well on your return from Fairfax, and that yr. own 
health was improved by the Trip. Your Sister joins 
me in the most Affecte. Manner to all Friends, & I 
am, &c 


Head-Qua KTBXS, si April. 1789. 


The enclosed representation from the inhabitants 
of the county of Monmouth, with testimonials to the 
facts which can be corroborated by other unquestion- 
able evidence, will bring before your Excellency the 
most wanton, unprecedented, and inhuman murder, 
that ever disgraced the arms of a civilized people. 

I shall not, because I believe it to be altogether 
unnecessary, trouble your Excellency with any ani- 
madversions upon this transaction. Candor obliges me 




to be explicit. To save the innocent, I demand the 
guilty. Captain Lippincot, therefore, or the officer 
who commanded at the execution of Captain Huddy, 
must be given up ; or, if that officer was of inferior 
rank to him, so many of the perpetrators as will, ac- 
cording to the tariff of exchange, be an equivalent 
To do this, will mark the justice of your Excellency's 
character. In failure of it, I shall hold myself justifi- 
able, in the eyes of God and man, for the measure to 
which I shall resort. 

I beg your Excellency to be persuaded, that it can- 
not be more disagreeable to you to be addressed In 
thLs language, than it is to me to offer it ; but the 
subject requires frankness and decision. I have to 
request your speedy determination, as my resolution 
is suspended but for your answer. I am, Sir, &c.' 


Hkad QVAKTKXti, NrwnoM), 

Dear Sir, aj April, ntt. 

Your favor of the 8th of Feby. was acknowledged 
in mine of the i8th of March. 

I have now received yours of the 9th ultimo from 
Pompton, covering the correspondence you have had 
with the Count de Rochambeau, and a general return 
of your Army. 

' Sir H^nry Clinton'* Muwer to thU letter, •n<i *ome other p«rti o( the 
cnrrctiKindeiice between Getiernl Wishington knd th« Brilish cormniandcn, 
respecting the cua of Captain Huddy and Captain Ai|[ill. iren published, and 
ate eontnincd in Iho Rtmtmbranetr. vol. kit., pp. 144, IJ5 ; vol. xv., pp. 




Your apprehensions, in consequence of the move- 
ment of the legion of Lauzun, need not be much 
alarmed ; the present situation of Ike enemy in New 
York, I am persuaded, iviJl not afford any reinforce^ 
ments to your quarter. 

The recruits raising in the States, from whence 
your army is composed, are completing as far as cir- 
cumstances will admit, and, if needed, will be ready to 
go to you as early as the operations 0/ the campaign 
are decided ; which, at present, from a variety of cir- 
cumstances, {among which a want of inteUigetiee from 
Europe is not the least,) are held in a state of uncer- 
tainty. The State of Marj'Iand had some time ago 
about three hundred men enlisted, and waiting only for 
their clothes, which have been sent on from Philadel- 
phia. A number also is collected in Pennsylvania. 
But, until our Information respecting the enemy's In- 
tentions, and their future mode of war, is more clearly 
ascertained, as well as our knowledge of the support 
and assistance, which we e.xpect from our ally, // *nay 
not be well to hasten on the recruits to your army. Vou 
an not insensible of the disadvantages we liave ever 
experienced in attetnpts to reinforce at your distance 
by land ; it having hitherto proved a weakening of the 
main army, wit/toul any essential augmentation to 

In present circumstances, tvithout the aid of naval 
forces and water conveyance, your oxon experience and 
the general knowledge you have of the country will 
readily decide upon the impraetieability of transporting 
by land such heavy stores and artillery, as would be 




necessary ftyr great operaiioKs. So that you have only 
to content yourself vfith such a force as will be compe- 
tent to tlu purpose of confiHing the enemy to their 
lines, and preventing them from carrying their ravages 
into tlie country. I wait with impatience for ititelti- 
gence, which will decide the intentions of the enemy, 
and fix the operations of the eam/>aign on our part. 
This, 1 hope, is not far distant. I am, &c.' 


Hbad Qcaktb&s, NewBUXG, 
Dear Sik, a? April. lySa. 

Finding the commissioners appointed to liquidate 
the accounts of moneys due for the maintenance of 
prisoners, and make permanent provision for their 
future support, have separated without accomplishing 
any thing, I think it highly expedient, that measures 
should be adopted, at this moment, for taking the 
German prisoners of war into our service. As this 
measure has been considerably agitated, I shall not 
amplify upon the justice and propriety of it. which to 
me sreem very obvious. I am equally well persuaded 
of the policy there will be in augmenting every com- 
pany with at least ten of these men, or more if they 
can be obtained ; for I am convinced, that, by such 
an incorporation, they will make exceedingly cheap 
and valuable recruits, and. being able-bodied and dis- 
ciplined men, will give a strength and solidity to our 
regiments, which they will not otherwise acquire this 

' Such p«c[t ol Ihis Ititer » are prinled iii italic* were •• cillun c]iph(r. 




campaign. All my accounts respecting the recruiting 
service are unfavorable ; indeed, not a single recruit 
has arrived, (to my knowledge,) from any State ex- 
cept Rhode Island, in consequence of the requisitions 
of Congress in December last. 

Should the plan be adopted by Congress, the sooner 
it is carried into execution the better. In that case. 
I think the men ought to be recruited for the conti- 
nent, and not carried to the credit of the States' 
quotas with whose lines they are to serve. For, 
without making any alteration in the establishment, 
they may be annexed to the regiments in such a man- 
ner, as that they can be formed into distinct corps 
whenever their fidelity and attachment shall be suffi- 
ciently evinced, if circumstances should then require. 
All the matters of bounty and encouragement being 
arranged with the financier, and the particulars of the 
scheme adjusted, as soon as provision shall be made 
for their subsistence on the journey, I would detach 
a captain and subn. from every regiment, to receive 
and conduct them to the army, so that they may 
certainly join the respective regiments, at farthest, by 
the 1st of June. In the interim, I would beg leave to 
propose, lest the enemy should attempt to counteract 
the design, that the business should be kept secret, 
until it is ripe for execution ; and then be negotiated 
by some gentleman of address appointed for the pur- 
pose. I request an answer as speedily as possible. I 
have the honor to be, &c. 

P. S. I am just favored with your letters of the 
20th and 23d instants — I think it would be well to 




permit such of the prisoners mentioned by you to 
return to their Reg^ as can procure testimonials in 
their favor — I submit the matter to your discretion. 


NiwvuRO, April s8. i78». 


I receive with much gratitude the remembrances 
and compliments of the principal officers of the French 
army in Virginia, and thank your Excellency for the 
trouble of being the bearer of them to me, and the 
letter from Count de Rochanibeau. 

With equal sensibility and pleasure I received and 
do now acknowledge my obligations to your Excel- 
lency for the communications from your Court ; which 
tho not decisive, are nevertheless important. The 
late instance of their generous aid, hinted at by your 
Excellency and particularized by Mr. Morris, is one 
among a variety of important considerations, which 
ought to bind America to France in Bonds of indeli- 
ble friendship and gratitude, never, I hope, to be 
sundered.' Induced by that entire confidence, which 
I repose in your Excellency, and a full conviction 
that a nation, which combines her force with ours for 
purposes of all others most interesting to humanity, 

t Alluding 10 1 loan of iLx milliani of IJvret. which, tfler h«arins of Um 
capilulilion at Voiklown, the King of Fiance hud rc&olved to nuke to (he 
Unileit SUte« within ihe corning year ; Although, prcviouslj' (■> lint ewnt. M, 
de la Liucme had b«en instniclnl [o infaim Congicts in positive term*. Ihat 
DO mote monej coald he exj>eclcd liom France. Il wot though) eipedieol not 
to XM}tn this iatcllipDce public fur a time, lest it should diminish Ihe effort* 
of Ibe people in pravidiiig for the continuance of the wu. 




ought not to be deficient of any information I can 
give to point objects to means, that an accordance of 
them may be inseparable, I shall without hesitation 
give you the state of our present force, and my ideas 
of the increase of it by recruits, from the best view 
of it which lyes before me. 

It can scarcely be necessary to inform yr. Excellency 
that our militar)' establishment for the present year 
consists of 4 Regiments of Artillery, 4 Legionarj' and 
two partisan corps, and 50 Regiments of Infantry, 
besides the Corps of Invalids ; or that Congress have 
called in pointed terms upon each State to compleat 
its Regiments to the establishment, the aggregate of 
which, if complied with, would amount to 34,308 men, 
exclusive of commissioned officers, sergeants, and 
music, Hazen's Regiment, and the corps of Invalids. 
Of this force, one Legionary Corps, two regmts. of 
artillery, and 22 of Infantrj'. besides Hazen's Regt. 
and the Invalids, compose the northern army. But 
as Hazen's regiment is fostered by no State, discour- 
aged from recruiting by all, and without funds, if the 
case was otherwise it must soon dwindle to nothing, 
(being now very weak). 

The present totality of the Rank and File, exclu- 
sive of sergeants, of these Regimts. wliich compose 
the northern army, amounts to 9,146. From this 
number the Sick, men in different branches of the 
stafT department, and such as are employed on other 
extra duties, (which the peculiarity of our circum- 
stances compels me to furnish from ye army.) being 
deducted, will reduce the efficient operating force of 




these corps to 7,553 Rank and file ; and I should be 
uncandid if I was not to acknowledge, that 1 do not 
expect it will be increased by recruits in the course of 
the campaign to more than 10,000 fit for Duty in the 
Field. This, Sir, in my opinion, will be the full 
amount of the established Regts. of the Slates East of 
Pensylvania. To ascertain the number of Militia, 
which may be assembled for occasional oHensive 
operations, is more than I can do. The general 
opinion is, that there will be no want of militia for 
any enterprise we can have In view. Be this as it 
may. this one thing is certain, that this class of men 
are not only slow in their movements, but, undertak- 
ing to judge also of the propriety of them, in point of 
am'nt will wait till the necessity for it strikes iketn ; 
which, in most cases, is as injurious to the Service as 
inability or want of inclination ; disappointment being 
the consequence of delay. This observation 1 could 
not refrain making, because, in all combined opera- 
tions, especially those which may depend upon the 
Season or a limited period for their execution it is of 
the utmost importance to be known. 

The enclosed return, wch. is a copy of the last State 
of the force under the orders of Majr-Genl. Greene 
(wch has come to my hands,) will give your Excel- 
lency every information in my power respecting the 
Stale and condition of that army ; which was to be 
augmented by the Partisan Corps of Colo. Armand, 
consisting of about 200 horse and foot. Independent 
of those, there are two small regts. at Fort Pitt, one 
from ye State of Pcnsylva., the other from Vli^, 




which are included in the general establishmt. of the 
army ; but no partr. return is here given of them. 

What measures are adopted by the States of Geor- 
gia and No. and So. Carolina to recruit their bat- 
talions, I know not. Virginia marched abt. 400 men 
the latter end of Feby. for the southern army, and 
by an act of the Legislature passed at their last 
Session, resolved to raise more ; but in what for- 
wardness they are. or what is to be expected from 
the act, I am equally uninformed. Maryland and 
Pcnsylvania depend upon vohintar)* enlistments, and 
are proceeding very slow in the business of recruit- 
ing, especially the latter. It is impossible for me. 
therefore, to say to what number that army will be 

This, Sir, is an accurate state of the force we have 
at present, and my expectation of what it may be, 
independent of militia. 

The enemy's Force, from the best information I 
have been able to obtain of it, may stand thus. At 
New York, Regulars, incKidg. their established corps 
of provincials. Rank and File, nine thousand ; militia 
of the city. Refugees, and Indepl. Companies, 4,000 ; 
sailors and marines, accordg. to the No. of ships, 
whch. may be in the harbr., and this being uncertn., 
no numbr. is given now in N. Y. 13.000; Charleston 
abt. 3.300; Savannah abt 7001 In Canada, includ- 
ing British. German, and Established Provtnls., 
5,000; Penobscot abt. 500; Halifax and its depen- 
dencies, uncertain, but say 3.500 ; In all, 26,00a 

The above estimate, so far as it respects New 





York, Charleston, and Savannah, is I believe to be 
depended upon. The force of Canada by some accts. 
is more, by others less, than 5,00a The regular 
British and German Troops in that country cannot 
exceed 4,000 ; but, in addition to these, are the corps 
of Sir John Johnson and others, which I am told 
have been considerably increased by the disaffected 
of this and other States, who have (led to Canada. 
But it is to be obser\'cd, that this force, be it what it 
may, is employed in the oteupaiion of posts between 
Quebec and Michilimackinac. and on Lake Cham- 
plain, through an extent of not less than 7 or 800 
miles, and that all these Posts are dependent upon 
the former for provision and supplies of every kind. 
I am leas certain of the Enemy's force in Nova 
Scotia than elsewhere. The number here given is 
not from recent intelligence, and may be erroneous, 
as their garrisons are weakened or strengthened 
according to circumstances. Cumberland. Windsor, 
Annapolis, and St. John's River. &c. arc posts de- 
pendent on Halifax, and included in the 3.500 men 
here mentioned. 

If this stale of matters be satisfactory to your 
Excellency, or useful in the formation of any plans 
against the common Enemy, I shall be very happy in 
having given it 

Permit me now. Sir, to express the high sense I 
have of the honor you have done me in communicat- 
ing the favorable opinion entertained of my conduct 
by the Court and nation of France, and to acknowl- 
edge my obligation to those officers, who have in- 




Spired these Sentiments. To stand well in the eye 
of a nation, whch. I view as one of the first in the 
world, and in the opinion of a monarch, whom I con- 
sider as the supporter of the rights of humanity, and 
to whom I am personally indebted for the command 
he has been pleased to honor me with, is highly flat- 
tering to my vanity, at the same time it has a first 
claim to all my gratitude.' It is unnecessary. I hope, 
to add fresh assurances of the respect and esteem, 
with which I have the honor to be, &c. 


Head QVAkTEktt 30 April, 178a. 


I have the honor to transmit to your Excellency 
copies of the minutes of proceedings and reports of 
my commissioners appointed to meet commissioners 
on the part of the British general. Sir Henry Clinton, 
for the purposes mentioned in their instructions 
(copy of which is herewith communicated).* A pri- 

' Frem At, ttt la Imuth/i Liltrr.—" I cannot deny myself (he pkuuic of 
infonning yuu of the sonliments. with which tho toporit of the Frcnd afficen 
on thcit return toVcrutUcs. inspired the cootl mid nation tVHrdt yo\a EitMl< 
lency. Their lutlmony c&n add nothing! to the unircntl opinion respcctitig 
the great terriiTEt, which you have rcndotecl t<> your country ; but, to tbe 
e»teem and adniintion of the French, will heocetorih be added ■ Matimtnl o( 
■ffectlon and attachment, which ik a jukt leturn far the atlcntioiu a«l officer* 
bate tecdTWl Irom you, aiid li>r tlio |>ruf:re>»l)icy hive made in thdrpcofcMlon 
by letving under your otden. "—April i8th. 

< The Hrliiih ciiiamiuloneit wer« General Dalrymple and Mr. Andrew Elliot. 
Three principal poiiils w«ic brought into ditcuuion ; a caticl for • |[eiieral ex- 
change of priionen ; • li(|uid«tioD ol all accounts on both nid«* (or tbe matn* 
Icnancc of priionert ; and proviiion lor tlicir future tupport. In Sir Henrr 




vate letter from my commissioners, and a letter from 
Sir Henry Clinton, both written in consequence of 
this negotiation, arc also enclosed for the observation 
of Congress. 

After this display of the subject it is unnecessary, 
and it might be improper, for me to make any obser- 
vations on these papers. I submit them to the 
wisdom of Congress, and have only to beg for my 
own direction, that I may be early informed of their 
determination, how far any future exchanges of 
prisoners of war shall be continued, under the prac- 
tice which has been formerly adopted for that pur- 
pose, I beg leave to point the attention of Congress 
particularly to that p-irt of the commissioners' letter 
to me, which mentions the extension of a pardon to 
the refugees in service of the enemy. Their ideas on 
this subject are so perfectly consonant to my own, 
formed on the principles of policy and expediency, 
that I cannot omit to notice it, and to submit to the 
consideration of Congress, whether the adopting this 
measure under proper restrictions may not be at- 

Clinton's lellCT ti> Wathiii^on, tUtiiiK llic rexuliiiflf thencgolUtlon u repofled 
bf his cotnmiBiJoaers. lie coinplaini that lh« American* maclv unrmanalile 
(temitnils . liiil. in lequiiing him to agree to an cxchftnge of priioner* in all 
jitns of the world, whrreat it waj kiiinvii thxi hU pi>wer« eiiciidcil 10 wch 
only ai had been captured in America ; sccomtly, in &n exorbitant requisiiian 
o( two hundred ihouiand pound> MeiltDg. oi the balance due 10 the United 
State* lor Ili< maintenvice ol Brili«h pri«i)nert fioni tlie t>eginnlnK of hontill- 
tiei lo that lime, whcieoi. in Sii Henry's opinion, ibe balann waa greatly in 
bii favor ; and thiTdly. in demmding thai, (or the future, proriiioni should not 
be purchoted in ihc Untied ^tatc* (or ibc (uppori n( Rritixh priaotirni, but 
thould be sent to them (rum the Britiih posts. On tbew euenlial pointa, as well 
XA on many othen o( leu momenl. the diSercncc of opinion iru lo great thai 
no arrangement could h« eflectcil. — See Si' ark*' Lift a/ Getntrninr Merrii, 
vol. i., p. 143. 




tended with happy consequences to our cause, and 
be equally productive of ruin and confusion to the 
British interests in America. Lamenting that the 
benevolence of my intentions has been so totally 
defeated, by the unhappy and fruitless issue of this 
negotiation, I have only to add, that, with the most 
perfect regard, I am, &c. 



Nkwhuiiuii. I Mtf, 1783. 

Unacquainted wittf^thc determinations of the Court of France 
respecting the succor which may, in their extensive arrangements 
for the Campaign of 1 73a, be generously extended to the Semce 
of America, or indeed knowing what to expect from the Slittcs. in 
coitsequcoce of the requisitions of Congress for Men and Sup- 
plies ; it is impossible to point operations to particular obiects. 
But as it may give facility to future determinations, to take a 
comprehensive view of the Enemy's strength in different parts 
of America, and sec with what force and means, in what manner, 
and with what prospect, it can best be assailed, the following 
statements are made, and thoughts result : — 

The enemy's effective force in America, from the best infor> 
mation that has been received of it, may be estimated as follows, 
vir : — 

First, at New York and its Dependencies Rane&Ftlb. 

Regulars, including the established Provinc. Corps, 9,000 
City Militia, Independent Companies and Refugees, 4,000 
Sailors and Marine:!, as these depend upon circura- 
slans. none will be put down. t^fiioxi 

Suond, Southern States 

Charles Town 3,300 

Savanna 700 4,000 


Third, Canada 
Regulars and established Provincials 5,000 

Fourth, Hallifax and Penobscot 

Hallifax and its Dependencies 3i5oo 

Penobscot 500 4,000 


The foregoing estimate exhibits four distinct objects to view ; 
each of which tho' in diGFerent degrees, is important, and worthy 
of consideration. — 

The first is, undoubtedly, of the greatest magnitude ; and the 
most beneficial consequences will result from a successful opera- 
tion against it. Consequently it is to be preferred, if our force 
and means are adequate to the enterprise and the season should 
favor. These are matters of very serious consideration, as a dis- 
appointment would not only disgrace our Arms, but would in- 
volve the States in a heavy and ruinous expcnce. — 

Whether the second or third should claim our next attention 
(if we are unable to prosecute the first,) is a matter of serious 
enquiry, and can best be determined by a comparative and im- 
partial view of the advantages of each, which, as far as my knowl- 
edge of them extend, I will state in favor of 

Carolina and Georgia. Canada, 

The wishes, the feelings, the The Annexation of so cap- 
long sufferings, and the dis- itol a Province as this (Canada) 
tresses of the Southern States to the Federal Union, the con- 
in general, and these two in par- sequent subduction of all the 
ticular, especially in the depri- Northern and Western Indians, 
vation of their Capitols, their and the restoration of Peace 
trade, (which is of such a na- and quietness to such an exten- 
ture as to make favorable re- sive Frontier as we have from 
mittances for continental, as the River St, John's, in the Bay 
well as local purposes) — and of Fundy, to the Holstein in 
the principal Gentlemen of the No. Carolina, are matters of 
Country of their homes, and great moment, and worthy of 




the comforM of life, must have 
grcitt weight in this scale — 

Especially vhcn ic is consid- 
ered, what effect the disap- 
pointment might have upon the 
minds of a people who have al- 
ready conceived themselves 
neglected — and who, jiist be- 
ginning to immergc from the 
deplorable situation into which 
their country had been thrown 
by the cruel invasion of it, are 
now cxeiting themselves to sup- 
pott (he common cause, in high 
expectation more than proba- 
ble, of being speedily cmanci- 
pated from the force which at 
present possesses their Capi- 

Under these circumstances, 
it may be difficult 10 bring to 
their view lemotc advantages, 
tbo' ever so important, upon the 
large Ot general scale ; and if 
disgust and resentment should 
be the consequence of disap- 
pointment, it may have an un- 
happy influence on our Plans, 
ia our councils, and upon our 
public measures in general. 

Besides, there is one power- 
ful argument ia favor of the 
Southern Expedition (if we can 
be effectually covered by a fleet, 
without which it is folly even 
to think of one) and that is, a 
moral certainty of success, for 

the most serious attention. Es- 
pecially too, when il is consid- 
ered, that in ihccasc of Charles 
Town and Savanna, if the en- 
emy can be confined within 
their lines, the Inhabitants of 
So. Carolina and Georgia ore 
suffering a temporary suspen- 
sion oniy of their i>ropcrty in, 
and the inconveniences of, 
those Towns, and some impedi> 
menu to their Trade. Where- 
at in the other case, multitudes 
of helpless families (which it is 
impossible to protect) arc daily 
murdered, or carried into hope- 
less captivity by the Savages ; 
whole settlements destroyed ; 
and our Northern and Western 
frontier of more than a thou- 
sand miles in extent, continu- 
ally retreating before a cruel 
and bloodlhirsiy enemy, who 
desolate as they go. 

Besides these, an expedition 
into Canada would at once de- 
velop the mysterious conduct 
of the people of Vermont ; 
bring them to an explanation 
in a manner of all others the 
most advantageous to us, and 
unexceptionable to themselves ; 
disconcert the projects of the 
enemy if they are in league 
with the rulers of these people : 
and turn the arms and resources 
with which they were flattered. 




knowing the number of the en- 
emy which compose the Gtrri- 
sons of Chnrles Town and Sa- 
vanna, and the strength of their 
works ; and that they have no 
exterior resources, wc can ad- 
duce such a force 8s cannot 
upon the common rules of cal- 
culation, fail to insure success. 

Whereas many unforeseen 
difficulties may c;isl up in Can- 
ada. — We may find, notwith- 
standing the flattering acc'ts of 
(he friendly disposition of its 
Inhabitants, and their wishes to 
be released from the yoke of 
British tyranny, that a hostile 
disposition may appear in many 
of them, whilst a painful neu- 
trality pervades the rest. 

Add to these reasons, that 
under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances thai can reasonably 
be expected, — one campaign 
can do little more than give us 
a firm establishment in the 
country — and perhaps posses- 
sion of their upper Posts — To 
expect the conquest of Quebec 
the same season, unless by the 
dispersion of the force in Can- 
ada, and the impracticability of 
assembling it. we should find 
Quebec weakly Garrisoned, illy 
provided with provisions, or 
Military Stores, or a disposition 
in the Country to rise as one 

against them. For the Vcr- 
moDtesc having often soUicit- 
ed an expedition into Cana- 
da, with strong assurances of 
support, duTst not refuse their 
aid if called upon, when a heavy 
body of Troops were marching 
through their Country, avow- 
edly, and apparently to remove 
the source of the evils they have 
complain'd of, and which has 
been the ostensible reason as- 
signed fOTlheirlemporizlngcon- 
duct with the enemy in Canada. 

To these considerations may 
be added, that an expedition 
into that Country-, if undertaken 
with sufficient means, and in a 
proper season and manner, will 
cost very little more than the 
expensive, but ineffectual 
modes which are now pursuing 
by the Continent agregately 
and the States individually, for 
defence of them ; while the lat- 
ter is an annual expcnce under 
all the disadvantages and evils 
here enumerated ; and the 
other, by putting the axe to the 
root, would remove the cause, 
and make a radical cure. 

I shall say nothing of the 
benefits which America would 
derive, and the injury Great 
Britain must sustain, by the 
Fur and other trade of Canada 
shifting hands. Nor of the ira- 




Han, to exterminate the British 
force, would exhibit greater 
pioofn of a Hangutiie temper 
than a dclilwralc judgment. 

mense importance it must be to 
the future peace and quiet of 
lliese Stales, especially the 
Western parts of them, to an- 
nihilate the British Interest in 
that country ; thereby putting 
a stop to their intriguing after 
Peace sliall be established. 
These are loo obvious to stand 
in need of illustration — they 
will speak for themselves. 

To all which may be added 
by way of questions, proper for 
Gent'n of the Navy to resolve 
—■Whether a Fleet sufficient to 
protect the siege of Charles 
Town can lye there in safety 
during the operation ? Whether 
Chesapeake Bay, which is the 
nearest port for Ship* of the 
Line, would afford sufficient 
cover, and give proper securi- 
ty to the Besiegers and their 
convoys during the Siege ? and 
what will be the probable con* 
sequences of the enterprise, tf 
both these questions should be 
resolved in ilie negative. 

Halufax — 

With which I connect Penobscot— is, of the four Statements, 
least important, considered in a separate point of view ; but 
if our force should be unequal to the enter^mse against New 
York ; or other circumstances should render the attack of that 
place unadvi sable, and we could nevertheless combine these with 
Canada, and carry on both expeditions at once with a probabil- 
ity of success ; it would add more weight to the reasons given in 




support of an Expedition into that Country ; and in case of suc- 
cess, would be of the utmost importance, as it would add much, 
not only to the security of the trade of Canada, but the United 
Stales in General ; give a well grounded hope of rescuing the 
iMshcries from Great Britain, which vrill most essentially injure 
her Marine ; while it would lay a foundation, on which to build 
one of our own — It would confine the enemy to one harbor — and 
if that (New York) should be taken from them, deprive them of 
«ver)' port in America; thereby adding greatly to the security of 
our shipping upon this Coast — They would in thai case have no 
Port in which they cd. heave down and rcfii their hca\7 ships ; 
their West India Islands (if any should remain to ihcm) would 
be considerably distressed in the article of Lumber — and lastly, 
another Province (Nova Scotia), which sometime ago was very 
desirous of it, would be added to ihe Federal Union. — 

Having given these general ideas respecting the objects which 
invite to Military enterprises, I will next make an estimate of the 
force which, in my judgment is necessary to each. But it must 
be established as positions : — 

Fifit. — That to undertake the reduction of New York, upon a 
well grounded plan, indeed with any hope of success, we must 
not only have a superior Naval force, but a moral certainty of 
maintaining ii. And that that force, or part of it, ought, if pas- 
situ, to be in possession of the harbor, to cover the Besiegers, 
secure their communications, and facilitate transportation ; — at 
the same time that the enemy, thereby, are effectually deprived 
of Succors and Supplies. 

Sttond. — That to undertake the reduction of Charles Town— or 
Haltifax, without having, and holding, such Naval Force, would 
te folly in the extreme. 

Third. — That tho' a Naval force would be advantageous and 
might greatly facilitate the entire conquest of Canada, It is not 
absolutely neccssar)' to the establishment of a force in the heart of 
ihc Country. In a Siege of Quebec— for the purpose of convoy- 
ing Ordnance, Stores and Provisions proper for it — and depriv- 
ing the Enemy of all succor by sea, a few ships in the St. Lau- 
rence (Frigates might answer) would be highly necessary. 




The above being the Basis on which either of the Enterprises 
here mcntioDcd ihoald be underiulcen, I [hink upon every rule 
of Military propriety wc should have for the attempt agsinut 

New York 

Three limes the force which compose the Garrison of it, to 
enable ii« to carry on the Siege with spirit and vigor, and to give 
a well grounded hope of a siicce^ul issue. Less tlian this nam* 
ber, considering the Posts wc shall have to occupy, and commu- 
nications to establish, would reduce us to one point of attack ; 
or subject us to the hazard of being beaten in detail if we at- 
tempted two ; when the propriety of approaching the City by the 
way of Brooklyn and York Island at, or about the same time, is 
so obviously necessary to a vigorous siege, that nothing but ina- 
bility should dispcnce with it. Upon this calculation then. New 
York will require — 39,000 Men. But as it may be difficult to 
obtain these, as a le^s number in a greater space of time majr, 
effect the reduction of the place, and as an attempt (even unde 
these disadvantages) may be preferable to any other enterprise' 
it may be asked. — 

/"//-//— Wliat is the smallest number of men with which the 
Siege of N. York can be undertaken under these circumstances ? 

Seeonti — To how late a period of the Campaign can tlie com- 
mencement of the operations be delayed, without hazarding a 
defeat from the cold of the Autumn ? 

T'A/fi/— Whether we may rely absolutely upon the support of 
the Fleet during the operation, be it long or short — early or late, 
in the season ? 

The orders of the Court of France, or the admiral, alone can 
determine the last ; but with respect to the other two, I think 
15,000 effective men. fifteen thousand of which to be regular 
Troops, have a tolerable good chance of reducing the Post in 
less than three months — consequently, the commencement 
ought not to be delay'd beyond the first of September — as the 
difficulty, proceeding from the want of wmxl aJane will be found 
almost, if not quite insurmountable, especially upon York Island 
(where there is not a stick) unless wc can secure the navigation 





of the No. River, by passing a Frigate or two above the Enemy's 

Charles Town and Savanna 

Are here classed together, because there can be little doubt of 
the latter's being united to the fonncr, upon the first appearance 
of a movement that way if it can be done. For this service, I 
should suppose men in addition to the regular force with 
Gen'l Greene, and such aids as the Country can throw in, if neces- 
sary, will be fully competent to the enterprise, which cannot, on 
acc't of the heal, and sickly season, be comrocDced before 


If the Expedition is sufBctently masked it will not require 
(to march by Land) more than 8,000 men ; for allho' some Ac- 
counts make the force of the enemy in that Country equal to this 
number, yet dispersed as it is, and so far apart, if the intention 
is concealed till the moment of execution, and the movements 
arc then rapid, it will be impossible to assemble it in time to 
oppose such a body. Two thousand in addition to these, to go 
round by watcras has been already mentioned, and for the purpose 
expressed, would make a firm esublishment in the heart of that 
Country, and very probably reduce every Post in it by January, 
except Quebec ; the conquest of which, as has been observed be- 
fore, depends upon contingencies. 

If the Expedition is wholly conducted by Land, about the first 
of September will be the best time to begin the march, on ac- 
count of the Roads, the waters, and the Provision ; for harvest 
being then over. Bread and Forage will be plenty on the Routes 
the Army will move ; and in Canada ; and it will be too late for 
the enemy to send reinforcements, or supplies into that Country. — 

If it is to be by Land and Water, the sooner perhaps it com- 
mences the better, because a supply of Provisions can be sent 
round in Che Transports ; and the .ships of war will cut of all 
succor to the Enemy ; and their supplies of every kind. 

I can say less to than any other object, having no Inte acc'ts of 

the strength of the Works, number of the Garrison, or temper of 




(he Inhabitants. [By] (he b«st infomutioo. however, which I 
have been able to obtain, the first has been cncreased, and coa- 
sidcrnbty strengthened within the last two or three years : the 
second may be about what I have estimated them at ; and with 
regard to the third, nothing decisive can be said. The whole 
amount of the Militia of that Govcmmcnt is about 5,000 ; and 
some time ago they were very desirous of being united with the 
Conftderated States of America ; but what changes or revolutions 
may have taken place in their system of Politicks, from the little, 
or no prospect of emancipation held up to them, I cannot ua- 
dcrlalcc to determine. — Under the best view of the matter I have, 
I should think less than 8,000 men would be inadequate. 


Being rather extraneous, was not taken into the general view ; 
but as it is a harbor from which many Privateers are sent to 
annoy our Trade, as great part of the Inhabitants are well aEfected 
to the American cause, — nish to be connected with us, and de- 
pend in a very great degree upon America for subsistence, it may 
not be amiss to give it some consideration, as circumstances in 
the course of the Campaign may lead to the Conquest of this 
Island, without incurring much expence, or interfering with other 
Plans — Policy in this case may invite the measure whether it is 
adopted with a view of retaining or ceding the Island by way of 
composition at a general pacification. — 

The force on the Island, by the best accounts I have had theoce 
does not exceed three or 400 Invalids, tn unimportant Works 
commanded by higher ground within a short distance. 

One 50 Gun .thiji and three or four Frigates, with about f,ooo 
Land Troops (to be transported in the Prigates) would be com- 
petent, it is conceived, to the reduction of this Island ; if the 
Enterprise is properly conducted and accompanied in the first 
instance with such offers as will be pleasing to the Inhabitants. 

Having in the preceding pages pointed to the different objects 
which present themselves to view, the strength of each, and the 
force requisite for its subduction ; I shall next give my ideas of 
the mode of attacking them — or such of them — as my knowledge 





of their sitiution will enable me to fonn a judgment upon. And 

Nbw York. 

The mode of attacking this place must depend, in a great 
measure, upon a pretty accurate knowledge of what our Force 
will be at the time fixed upon for the commencement of the 
operations. For if it should be adjudged competent — and the 
measure in its nature practicable without considerable lou, we 
ought, in my opinion, to make two approaches at, or about the 
game lime. If it U not, the principal part of our force must be 
conducted to one point ; and the attack must succeed, instead of 
being combined with each other. In cither case, the approaches 
may diSer ; the fairest way therefore of determining upon the 
best, is to consider 

First. — The present situation of the force we are actually pos- 
sessed of. 

Stcond. — From whence our succors arc to come. 

Third. — The points from whence our Provisions, Siege Artil- 
lery, Military Stores, Boats and other supplies are to be drawn, 

Fourth. — Which is essentially necessary — whether possession 
of (he interior Harbor of New Vork by the French Fleet can be 
so far depended upon as to warrant anterior movements which 
may prove pernicious if ihis event should not happen. — And above 
all, whether it will engage to co-operate to the end of the Siege, 
be it long or short. 

With respect to the first, it is very immaterial so far as the 
Continental Troops are concerned, because they can be moved 
I to any point with almost equal convenience — but if the French 
Army is to march by Land from Virginia, their going to Stalea 
Island (one of the approaches to Brooklyn), or to Westchester, 
will make a difference of ten days, allowing for the passage of 
the North River. 

As I shall include Maryland among the States which will be 
called upon for Militia — and New York is nearly as convenient 
to one point as another H^hs of the whole requisition will be de- 
manded of Connecticut, and the Slates Eastward of it ; if ths of 




New Jersey 2nd tho«e South of it ; and the remaining A*''* *'*" 
come from New York — which is full information respecting the 
second article of succors. — 

With respect to the third, the greatest pan of the Siege Artil- 
lery, a large proportion of Shott, Shells and other Military Stores, 
lay at Philadelphia; and in the Jerseys. The Boats are in the 
North River and Eastward of it ; and a good deal of the Powder 
is deposited at West Point, snd in the vicinity of it — The Flour 
is to be transported principally (rom New Jersey and the 
States Southward of it— and the Beef will conic on foot from the 
Eastward. — 

On ih% 4th Article lean form no decisive opinion. But full and 
absolute possession of the hnrbor is of such immense importance 
in an attack upon New York, and will contribute so much to the 
security of our communications, safety of our convoys, and speedy 
reduction of the Garrison, that no means ought, in ray opinion, 
to be left unessayed to accomplish it. And in the weak and de- 
fenceless state the harbor is in at present, nothing would be more 
cosy and certain, than to effect this by surprize, if the Squad- 
ron destined for this coast could detach previous to its Sailing 
from the West Indies, a few Ships to gain possession; thereby 
facilitating the entrance of the others ; which mi^t, and indeed 
ought, speedily to follow. — 

The Lines on York bland, and the Works at Brooklyn are the 
two avenues to the Town. To arrive at the first, there is but 
one way, except it can be done by stratagem (which is too preca- 
rious to be admitted into any Plan,) and that is by forcing the 
passage of Harlacm River — The approach to the second may be 
either by Stalen Island or Frogs Neck, (if it should be preferred 
to Morrissania) ; each of which supposing the Fleet to be in pos- 
session of the Bay, which is to be considered as a Basis, lias its 
advantages as follows — 

Staten Island 
Would, in the very commence- 
ment of our movements to In- 
vest New York, give us all the 
advantages of a full intercourse, 

Frog's Nkck or MoRftiESANiA 
Is equally, indeed more con- 
venient, to the Continental 
Troops and York Militia, than 
Slatcn Island; and is much more 




Kod perfect co-operation with 
the Fleet ; would afford pro- 
tection to it under all circum- 
stances, and at all seasons ; 
even supposing it to be block* 
Jed by a superior Navy ; 
rould be convenient to the 
French Troops marching from 
Virginia— more convenient to 
any which may arrive in the 
Fleet to debark at, than any 
Other place : more advanta- 
geous on account of the heavy 
Artillery, Stores, &c., which may 
come in, or belong to the Fleet ; 
or which shall be transported 
from Phita. or Virginia by 
Water ; and much more con- 
venient to all such as shall be 
transported by Land from 
cither of these places, or the 
Furnaces in N. Jersey, 
— It will be nearer to our 

^tupplies of Bread and Flour ; 
more contiguous to Brooklyn 
and much more so to Dcrgco 
and Paulus hook. 

— It cuts off (with the assist- 
ance of a ship or two in the 
Sound) every possibility of a 
retreat of the Enemy ; and, 
more than probably, would pos- 
as, unexpectedly, the Forage 

' and other resources which they 
may be holding in reserve on 
Staten and Long Inland ; while 
they attempt to forage, or de- 
stroy the Grain and Crass ia 

sototheMilitia Eastward of the 
North River. It is more con- 
venient on account of the Boats, 
and our Beef Cattle. It will 
alsobean advantageous position 
so soon as a force sufficient to 
maintain it, can be as-tcmbled. 
— It looks equally to York and 
Long Island, and may have 
works thrown up to facilitate 
the passage to cither, or both, 
as circumstances may point, 
— while the Enemy, by being 
suspended between the two, 
will either neglect one or weaken 
both. The communication be- 
tween the main and Long 
Island may be rendered easier 
and more secure ; contetiuent- 
ly, a retreat in case of a disas- 
ter, safer by the way of Frog's 
Neck or Morrissania than by 
that of Staicn Island ; because 
in the first case, there is only 
one water to cross, which may 
be covered by Ilatterics — and 
in the other, two ; one of which 
(from Statcn to Long island) 
is rather difficult and uncertain; 
and should we not possess, or 
by any mischance loose, the 
command of the Bay between 
the Narrows and the city might 
become very dangerous. — On 
the other hand, our I>and com- 
munioation from the place of 
disembarkation, will, when we 
arc established before Brook- 

W«itchestcr, with a view of 
depriving us of them. Besides 
the reasons here given, we 
should he mote convenient to 
the forage of Jersey, and the 
Slates South of it ; front whence 
the greater part of this article 
rouse come, and it might act as 
a stimulus to tlie militia of 
tliose StateH, as their march 
would be shortened by it. 

lyn, not only be much shorter 
by the way of Statcn Island, 
but more secure than the other 
by Frogs Neck or Morrissania ; 
as the first may be reduced to . 
about two miles of good roadi 
with a covered Flank — the tat- 
ter will be at least twelve, of 
rugged road, with a Flank 
exposed to Parteian strokes i 
of the enemy from New York! 
the greatest part of the way. 
Under this state of matters, it is not easy to determine on which 
side to incline. — To approach by the way of Westchester, seems 
to be the safest ; by Staten Inland, the most convenicnL If the 
latter should be adopted, it will, more than probable, draw the 
principal part, if not the whole of the enemy's force from 
the North end of York Island to the city— but whether it does 
or not, there should be a body of live or 6000 Militia and a (cw 
Continental Troops in the vicinity of Kings bridge, to complete 
the Investiture of the Island, establish communications, and be 
ready to take advantage of circumstances. If the former should 
be preferred, the effect will be reversed ; and except the Guards 
which may be necessary for the city, and the stores that are in it, 
the whole force of the enemy will, 1 expect, lake a po*ilion at 
McGowans heights ; where the Island being narrow, and ground 
commanding, they could maintain themselves in the Works they 
now have, or could soon throw up, against numbers much supe- 
rior to their own ; and would only be drawn from it by a move- 
ment to Brooklyn, by way of Morrissania or Frog's Neck. 

Upon the whole, if our force was such as to enable us to make 
two attacks, and each division was decidedly superior to the 
enemy's whole force, I should, in that case, be of opinion : — 

That we bad better approach New York by the way of Staten 
Island and Wettlchester at the same time, because by beginning 
at the two extreme points, we shall distract the enemy and oblige 
them to give up one, or weaken themselves at both ends of York 
Island. If it is not sufficient, I then think— 




That the safety of operating by the way of Westchester, the 
advantages of looking to two points — vw — York and I-ong Island 
at the same time, and of assembling oiir force, and advancing as 
we acquire strength, and can do it with safety, is to be preferred 
to the convcniency of Staten Island— especially as the propriety 
of approaching by the latter, depends upon the position of the 
French Fleet, of which we can have no previous assurance. 

Charles Town. 

If Charles Town should be the object of the Campaign, the 
French and other Troops destined for this Service must be trans- 
ported by water — so must the Siege and other Artillery, ordnance 
and other Stores, Flour, Salt ProviHon, salt and Spirits A Land 
Transportation of Artillery and Military Stores adequate to the 
Siege of this place, would, in our circumstances, be found 
impracticable. And to march men thither by Land, would, 
(as we have too often experienced already) dissipate half of 
them by sickness, desertion and Other causes. The Artillery 
and Saddic Horses might go by Land, and by preceding the em- 
barkation of the Troops, reach some given point by the lime the 
Transports arrive at the Post to which they ate destined. — 

For the Voyage, and support of the Troops in the fir^t stages 
of the Siege — till the resources of the Country can be collected 
^we ought to go provided with at least two Months' Provision — 
three would be sttll better. 

Philadelphia, under present cireumslances and appearances, 
seems best adapted for the Ivmbarkation ; at a sufhcicnl number 
of Transports may probably be had there; and any number, 
if brought there, can be fitted for the accommodation of Troops. 

The most convenient, and advantageous place to debark at 
would be Stone Inlet ; provided the Itanks of the River bearing 
thai name (and seperaling Johns and James Inlands) are not pos- 
sessed and fortified by the Enemy. — This Inlet, while that of 
Charles Town is in possession of the enemy, not only affords the 
best Harbor for the Transports, but is the most convenient 
approach from tlie sea to the City ; the most advantageous for 
forming a junction with the Troops under the command of Majr. 

Genl. Greene ; and for cuttiog off the rctrcAt of the Garrison of 
Savanna to Charles Town. And tncasufcs must be previously 
token by Genl. Greene to pieveni their doing it to St. Augustine, 
by I jnd : — 

To go into a minute deuil of the approaches from the place of 
debarkation to the Enemy's Unes before Charles Town, is more 
than I aro able to do. But Charles Town Neck must be 
sessed in force ; and to do it, the Ashtc}' river must be ctdssc 
as near their Works as it can be done with Safely. Our princif 
operation will be on this neck, between (he Rivers Ashley and 
Cowpcr, and a secure communication must be established by the 
nearest convenient route from hence to the shipping in Stone 
Inlet ; which, as it will lye exposed to the Enemy's whole force, 
will be a good deal exposed while they have the command of the 
harbor of Charles Town. 


If an Expedition into this country should be adopted, from 
choice or necessity — it must be conducted either by Land wholljr] 
or by Land and Water conjointly, according to circumstaBces. 
The last is to be preferred but the former may do — I shall poiot 
to the Measures which to me appear necessary in both cases — 
and first by 


The Array should commence its march in the Cc^umns— the 
right column to proceed by the way of Connecticut River, Co'os 
and Hazen's new Road. The left, by Albany. Bennington, Man- 
chester, Shrewsbury, and Otter Creek, keeping Lake Chaniplaia 
on the Left, and the Green Mountain on the right, till the junc- 
tion is formed ; which should be about the River Michiscone, 
live or 6 miles from the Canada line, and may be (by bringing 
them together more at right angles) st the River A La Moellc, if 
circumstances should require the Junction sooner, or if it should 
be conceived more beneficial, on acc'l of water carriage, and the 
communications which may be useful hereafter (in case we should 
obtain the command of Lake Champtain, which we ought never 




to lose sight of) — the left column may advance by the way of Fort 
Edward, Fort Anne, South Bay and Ticondcroga to the other 
Road by Bennington, and form a junction with it or Otter 

The March of the two columns shou'd be so ordered, as that 
each may arrive at the place destined for the junction at the same 
time; and for this piirpotie the best judgment of the March of 
each should be previously formed ; and a mode of corresponding 
fixed on, to regulate the advances by, afterwards. The left 
column, as it will be more exposed than the right, will have the 
most extensive communication and the greatest difficulty to open 
and secure it, should consist of 5,000 men ; the otl«r of 3,000 — 
both ought to have French Troops in them, that the Canadians 
in any stage of the march, may have ocular proof of our Alliance 
with France, and their co-operation with us. Some Cavalry 
should march with each column ; and all the Indians that can be 

The object of this Expedition, should be masked as long as the 
nature of the movements can possibly conceal it, and the march 
afterwards should be with as much celerity as it can be per- 
formed without injury to the Troops. 

The first object of the Troops, should be to penetrate into the 
Heart of the Country before the enemy can assemble their scat- 
tered forces; and take such a position as will prevent the junc- 
tion of them afterwards, The Country of St, Denis, between the 
Sorrel and St. Lawrence, seems well situated to answer this end. 
To effect this, and prepare for the Winter Cantonmenu and sub- 
sistence of the Army, is all that can be counted upon without 
Heavy Artillery — to transport which, and the stores necessary to 
it by Land, would be next to impossible. But when the Frost 
closes the Lake Chamn., the Enemy's armed vessels therein must 
be possessed, or destroyed ; or if neither of these can be done, 
nor the Post at St, John's reduced ; then to establish one at the 
Isle aux Noix, that we m.iy, by cutting the enemy off from Lake 
Charaplain open a communication by water for our Siege Artil- 
lery, and heavy stores in the Spring. 

If any thing further is undertaken in the Course of the Winter, 

must be from the circumstances of the Moment ; and not con- 




sequential of any general and preconcerted plan — one or two 
Armed Boatx with saits, should be built in the course of the 
Winter at a Post which may be established at the South end of 
Lalcc Champlain (Fort Anne for Instance), and a .tuflicient nnm- 
ber of Balteaux should be transported from the North River to 
the same place, while the sledding is favorable. This Season 
should also be embraced for transporting the heavy Aniltery, 
stores, and Provisions from the one water to the other. 

In the first instance, our Provision of the meat kind will trans* 
port itself ; and it is expected that the upper parts of Connecti- 
cut River and the New Hampshire Grants (or Vermont as it is 
called) ; with such aid as Canada can afford, will supply the 
Flour. Our Baggage should be light, and as Field Artillery only 
will be taken, our movements may be quick. 

Land and Watbr. 

The only difference between this and the last is that our heavy 
Artillery, Provisions and Stores, may go in the first instance by 
water ; with such an additional force as will enable us to com- 
mence the Siege of Quebec, or some other Capital post, imme- 
diately ; and, that the Expedition may be undertaken without a 
moment's unnecessary delay — and the earlier the better, — as the 
French fleet in the St, Lawrence will intercept succors and sup- 
plies by water to the enemy, if any should be attempted — whereas 
if it is confined to a Land operation altogether, it must be delayed 
(ill August, on acct. of Harvest, and because it may be too lata 
after that for the enemy to reinforce till next Vear. 



Provisions, and every article necessary for the Si^e, must b« 
transported thither with the force destined for the Expedition, as 
there can be no dependence upon the Country, The best place 
to debark the troops at, is Sambro Bay, by the Light House, 
about 15 miles from Hollifax ; and to march by Jerusalem to the 
reverse of the Town ; which it more accessabic, and was least 
fortified. How it may be now, I cannot say. 



Alone, is scarcel]^ an object ; but might be visited en passant, 
in the Expedition to Hallifax, or Canada by water ; and would 
give some eclat to either of those enterprises, for the fall of it can 
scarcely be doubted, if attempted. 

If the enterprise is unconnected with any other object, 1,500 
men will be sufficient to employ on the Expedition. 


Some good, and no bad consequences can result from an at- 
tempt to take this Island by Surprise. To effect it, the ships 
destined for this Expedition should hoist British colors as soon 
as they get in sight of Land ; and adopt every other means to 
carry on the deception untill proper Pilots are procured at the 
West end of the Island. The ships should next pursue their 
course as near the South side of the Island as prudence will ad- 
mit When they arrive opposite the mouth of Castle Harbor, — all 
except one or two, should immediately enter and begin the attack 
on the Castie without loss of time ; the other ships should con- 
tinue their course a few miles further, and bring to about a mile 
distance from the Mouth of St. George's Harbor, to prevent the 
escape of any Vessels from thence. If this could be done in the 
night, and troops landed under that cover, it is more than prob- 
able the Castle, and consequently the Island, might be carried 
without much, if any opposition ; for it is presumed very little 
would come from the Inhabitants who have often expressed a 
wish to be united with America and enjoy the benefits of its 

' This pl«n of campugn wtts drawn up by Washington himself, eveiy line 
of the muiuscript being ia bis own hand. 


iz? ■:■: ■:-} 


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