George Washington Papers

Circular to the Colonels of Various Continental Regiments, 12 March 1777

Circular to the Colonels of Various Continental Regiments

Head Quarters Morristown 12th March 1777


You are hereby required immediately to send me an exact return of the state of your Regiment, and to march all the Recruits you have to Philadelphia, where they will be innoculated, and receive further orders from the Commanding Officer in that City—No plea’s for delay, drawn from the dispersion of the Officers and Men, can be admitted. Every Commanding Officer should know where his inferior Officers, and those where their Recruits, are; and shou’d be able to collect them in the most expeditious manner—You and the Major must come on with the Regiment, leaving behind a sufficient number of proper Officers to carry on the Recruiting Service; Also the Lieut. Colo. to direct and hurry them on as fast as they get the compliment of men respectively assign’d to them. I am Sir Your Hble Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in John Fitzgerald’s writing, addressed to Col. Mordecai Gist, MdHi: Gist Papers; Df, addressed to the Maryland and Virginia colonels, DLC:GW; Df, addressed to the Pennsylvania and Delaware colonels, DLC:GW; Df, addressed to the New Jersey colonels, DLC:GW; Df, addressed to the New York colonels, DLC:GW; Df, addressed to the Connecticut and Rhode Island colonels, DLC:GW; five Varick transcripts, DLC:GW. The five Varick transcripts, which were copied from the five draft copies, list the individual names of the colonels from each of the states. The colonels of the Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia regiments were instructed to send their recruits to Philadelphia for inoculation against the smallpox; the colonels of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island were ordered to march their regiments to the main army at Morristown; and the colonels of the New York regiments were ordered to report to Brig. Gen. Alexander McDougall at Peekskill, New York. The letters for the colonels of Maryland, Connecticut, and Rhode Island apparently were sent to their respective brigadier generals, who then forwarded the letters to the individual colonels (see GW’s brief covering letters of 12 Mar. to William Smallwood, in Fitzpatrick, Writings, 7:279–80, to Samuel Holden Parsons, in OClWHi, and to James Mitchell Varnum, in DLC:GW). The letters to the colonels of Pennsylvania and Delaware were sent to the governing bodies of those states (see the docket on the draft addressed to the Pennsylvania colonels in DLC:GW, and Tench Tilghman to the Pennsylvania council of safety, 12 Mar. 1777, in PHi: Gratz Collection). Colonels Israel Shreve, Jedediah Huntington, and Henry Beekman Livingston wrote replies to this circular (see Shreve to GW, 22 Mar., Huntington to GW, 25 Mar., and Livingston to GW, March 1777).

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