George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Hancock, 21 August 1777

To John Hancock

Camp at Neshaminy [Pa.] 21st Augt 1777


Since I wrote to you on the 12th instant on the subject of the Militia under the command of Genl Newcomb, I have recd another letter from him which you have enclosed.1

By this it appears that the Men were not employed in any way while they were at Red Bank, and that they are now anxious to get home to their farms as they see no immediate occasion of their Services—As I had in some measure put them under the direction of Monsr DuCoudray I did not chuse to give them a discharge without consulting you, tho’ in my opinion they had better be suffered to go home than to be kept discontented, as they will turn out with more spirit when they are wanted again. The Bearer waits upon you for your determination.2 I have the Honor to be Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 22 Aug. and referred it to the Board of War (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 , 8:664).

2In the lower left-hand corner of the addressed cover, Tilghman wrote: “By Lieut. Ewing.” James Ewing (d. 1823) of Greenwich, N.J., was a lieutenant in the 2d Battalion of the Cumberland County militia, and he also served as a militia paymaster. Elected to the New Jersey general assembly in 1778 and 1779, Ewing was appointed auditor of state accounts in December 1779, and a short time later he moved his family to Trenton. He became commissioner of the Continental loan office for New Jersey in 1785, and he served as mayor of Trenton from 1797 to 1803.

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