George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel George Baylor, 7 February 1777

From Colonel George Baylor

Williamsburg [Va.] Feby 7th 1777.

Dear Sir

This is the fouth day of my being in this disagreeable place, making application to the Governor and Council, for the use of their Factories at Fredricksburg, which I have just obtain’d. I shall set out tomorrow for Petersburgh to get a part of my Saddles made there, and from thence I shall go to Ronoak in North Carolina, to perchase Horses; the price of them being so exorbitant here, that it will be impossible to procure them, that is, such as you would approve of, & I wd shoze to have.

Colo. Grayson is just seting out from this place, who desired me to inform you, tht he had nearly compleated his Corps of Officers. I have my Corps of Officers excepting a Capt. one Lieut. and a Cornet, and those vacancies I amagin by this time are filled up, as I writt to three young Gentlemen (who were desirious of entering into the serivce,) Thornton, Carter, and Brent, to apply to Major Clough, who is at Fredricksburg, for their recruting instructions. The Officers appointed are Capts. George Lewis the Gentleman you mentiond in your last,1 Robert Smith, Cadwalider Jones, and William Fontain, Lieuts. Willm Mackwilliams, William Stark who has the small pox, Churchil Jones, John Stith, and Carter Page. Cornets Capt. Lewises, William Armistead, Chiswell Barret, William Parsons, and Walker Baylor, all of whom I think are Gentlemen, and am in hopes you will not be displeasd with.2

I shall not fail in writing to you by every Post, informing you of my situation and strength of the Regiment. I am with the greatest Respect your Obt Hume Servant

George Baylor


1Baylor is referring to GW’s letter to him of 17 Jan., instructing Baylor to reserve a troop for John Washington.

2Cadwallader Jones (1755–1796) served as a captain in Baylor’s regiment of light dragoons until the end of the war. William Fontaine (1754–1810) received a captain’s commission but failed to raise his troop of light horse (see Baylor to GW, 26 Feb. 1777). William McWilliams, who had been Brig. Gen. George Weedon’s brigade major in the fall of 1776, apparently declined to serve in Baylor’s regiment. McWilliams served as an aide-de-camp to Lord Stirling from October 1777 until his resignation from the army in May 1778. John Stith (1755–1808), a lieutenant in the 4th Virginia Regiment, and William Armistead, an ensign in the 6th Virginia Regiment, both had taken unauthorized leave from their regiments, and on 1 Mar. GW disapproved of their appointments to the dragoons (see GW to Baylor, that date). Chiswell Barrett, who served as cornet in Baylor’s regiment until he was made a captain in April of this year, resigned from the service in November 1779. William Parsons (1760–1829), who had been appointed a cadet in the 6th Virginia Regiment in March 1776, became a lieutenant in Baylor’s regiment in January 1779 and was promoted to captain the following November.

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