George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons, 15 May 1777

From Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons

Hartford 15th May 1777


I have recd your’s of the 7th Inst. & have Ordrd all the Troop’s who have had the Small pox and are able to March to peck’s Kill’s; by the Numbr wanting Still to Compleat our Battalions with those who have not yet gone thro’ the Small pox tis probable we shall Soon have Two or three Thousand Men who have not had that Disease as I beleive our Quota will be raisd soon in this advancd Season will it be best to proceed any Further in Innoculating the Troops? I have recd a Request from the Govnr & Councill of this State a Copy whereoff I herewith send you;1 As I could not Comply with their Desire without your Excellency’s Direction, I have stayed those, Only, who have not had the small pox or are in a Convalescent State; I wish to receive your Ordrs respecting this Matter; In the mean Time I shall continue to forward all able Bodied Men who have had the small pox to pecks Kill’s.

The Genll Assembly have passd a Resolve which I think will not fail to procure our Men within Twenty Day’s2 If I can get a Copy of the Act I shall send it by Coln. palfry.

The last Return’s I have had are as Follows

12th may Huntington’s 480
13 Bradly 444
1 Swift 369
6 Chandler 297
10 Durkee 318
13 S. Webb 205
15 Wyllys 371
13 C. Webb 257
13 Lt Col. Meigs 110
Col. Doughlass Suppd 400

This with the addition of the Officers makes us more than One half our Quota; the prospects of Speedily compleating the Battalions are good—Nothing on my part shall be omitted which can forward this Service.

Thirteen Transport’s have gone to Newport there is no Certainty of Troops being on board from the Information we have here, we have no Reason to beleive any considerable Number have gone from thence to New York—I have no great apprehensions of a Descent on our Coast, but think we may make some on theirs to advantage. I am your Excellency’s Obt Hble Servt

Saml H. Parsons


1The enclosed copy of Governor Trumbull’s request, dated 15 May at Hartford, reads: “Wheras, the Genll Congress of the United States of America have given Liberty to have two Battalions of the Continental army Stationed in this State & from best & latest intelligence we have Reason to apprehend a speedy Descent of the Enemy upon Some parts of this State: and there being a number of Continentall raised in & have not Marchd out of this State who are under the Immediate Command of Brigadr Genll Parsons many of them have not passed thro the Small Pox.

“I do therefore by & with advice of the Councill Request the Said Genll Parsons to Detain the Sd Continental Troops within this State and order them to Such place or place’s as he shall thing [think] Proper for the present and untill the mind of Congress or of Genll Washington Shall be further known therein” (DLC:GW).

2For this act, which authorized the drafting of militiamen to complete the state’s Continental quota if it was not filled by 26 May, see Hinman, Historical Collection description begins Royal R. Hinman, comp. A Historical Collection, from Official Records, Files &c., of the Part Sustained by Connecticut, during the War of the Revolution. Hartford, 1842. description ends , 270–71.

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