To Major General John Sullivan1
Head Quarters Camp
at Middle Brook [New Jersey] June 4th. 1777
His Excellency has received your favour of this Day.2 In answer to it he commands me to inform you that though he is exceedingly happy to hear such an animation prevails among the inhabitants, yet he can by no means, consent to put arms in their hands. This article is too much wanted for the Continental army to be spared to the militia; and experience has taught us, that there has been infinite abuse and misapplication of the public arms when confided to them. As to ammunition, [The]3 General has no objection that a small quantity should be given them; provided it be lodged with their officers, who are to be accountable, for its being devoted to the uses intended.
I am Dr. Sir Yr Most Obedt serv
A Hamilton ADC
ALS, New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord.
1. When this letter was written, Sullivan was in command at Princeton.
2. Sullivan’s letter to Washington is in neither the George Washington Papers, Library of Congress, nor the Sullivan Papers, New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, New Hampshire.
3. H first wrote, “I have.” He then crossed out “have,” and wrote “General has,” making it read “I General has.”