To Major Theodorick Bland or the Officer Commanding the Virginia Light Horse
Head Quarters Trenton 30th December 1776
I am informed that you are on your march from Virginia, to join the Army under my Command and that you have the Charge of the prisoners who were ordered up to be exchanged. As this must delay your march very much, and as I do not think it expedient for the prisoners to come on just at this time, I desire you will leave them at the most convenient Place; there to remain till further orders from me, and advance with the Horse, as quick as you possibly can. If a guard should be wanted to remain with the prisoners, apply for Militia, for I would not have a Horse Man left behind. When You arrive at Philadelphia apply to Genl Putnam who will inform You of the most proper place to cross the Delaware. I am Sir Yr most Obt Servant
Copy, in George Lewis’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
Theoderick Bland (1742–1790), a physician and planter from Prince George County, Va., was appointed captain of a troop of light horse by the Virginia convention on 13 June 1776, and on 4 Dec. the general assembly named him major commandant of the state’s six troops of light horse, which were ordered about that time to join GW’s army. Bland’s regiment of light horse reached GW’s headquarters at Morristown, N.J., in early January. Congress on 14 Jan. 1777 took the regiment into Continental service (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:34), and on 31 Mar. 1777 GW promoted Bland to colonel (see General Orders, that date). Bland actively commanded his regiment until March 1778 when he went to Virginia to purchase horses. He did not return to the army until September of that year, and in November 1778 GW assigned him the task of supervising the march of the Convention Army from Massachusetts to Virginia. Bland served as commandant of the Convention Army’s barracks near Charlottesville, Va., from April to October 1779. He returned to his plantation in Prince George County during the latter month, and on 10 Dec. 1779 Congress accepted his resignation from the army (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 15:1367). Bland was a member of the Continental Congress from August 1780 to October 1783 and a member of the U.S. Congress from March 1789 until his death in June 1790.