George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski, 1 March 1778

To Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski

Head Quarters [Valley Forge] 1st March 1778.


I have received your Letter of the 27th Ulto and in answer to your question respecting the right of command in Officers of equal rank in the Infantry and Cavalry, I am to inform you that there is no other preeminence in our Service than what arises from Seniority; The Officer whose Commission is of prior date commands all those of the same grade indiscriminately whether of horse or foot.

You will afford General Wayne all the assistance in your power, and the rather as the Service in which he is engaged is of great importance —a sufficient number to furnish men for keeping a look-out, and preventing any sudden enterprise of the Enemy against his parties is all that is requisite.1 I am Sir &c.

Df, in John Laurens’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne was in New Jersey seeking to obtain forage for the American army and destroy forage that might be seized by British troops for use in Philadelphia (see Wayne to GW, 25 Feb.). Wayne’s letter of 26 Feb. reporting that the British had crossed the Delaware River in force and that he had called on Pulaski for assistance was received by GW on the evening of 1 March.

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