George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel James Clinton, 21 July 1776

To Colonel James Clinton

Head-Quarters N. Yk 21st July 1776


The Bearer Lieut. Machine I have sent to Act as an Engineer in the Posts under your Command, and at such other places as may be tho’t necessary,1 he is an ingenious Man, and has given great Sattisfaction as an Engineer, at Boston from which he is just returned—I have Received from the Secret Committee a representation of your want of Metrosses which can be supplied in no other way, but by drafting those that are proper from other Corps & exerciseing them to the Artillery it is what we have been obliged to do here—the Men thus drafted may be considered as remaining wt. their own Regiments and only doing Duty wt. the Train on the present Occasion. I am sir &c.


LB, in Samuel Blachley Webb’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW’s orders to Thomas Machin of this date read: “You are without delay to proceed for Fort Montgomery, or Constitution in the High Lands on Hudsons River, and put yourself under command of Colo. George [James] Clinton or the Commanding Officer there, to Act as Engineer in compleating such Works as are already laid out, and such others as you, with the advice of Colo. Clinton may think Necessary—’tis expected and required of You—that you pay strict and close Attention to this Business—and drive on the Works with all possible Dispatch, In Case of an Attack from the Enemy, or in any Action with them you are to join and act with the Artillery on that Station, and to return to your Duty in the Regiment as soon as you can be spared from the Works” (LS, in Samuel Blachley Webb’s writing, owned [1982] by Mr. Richard Maass, White Plains, N.Y.). The LB in DLC:GW varies somewhat in wording from the LS. Both of those documents erroneously refer to “Colo. George Clinton,” but the Varick transcript in DLC:GW correctly says “Colonel James Clinton.”

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