George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel William Stephens Smith, 18 March 1778

From Lieutenant Colonel William Stephens Smith

Lancaster [Pa.]
March 18th 1778

May it please your Excellency

I have this Day Recd your Excellency’s Letter of the 14th Instant repeating the Orders that I was honour’d with when I had last the Pleasure of waiting on you & must confess that it gives me considerable unneasiness that I should ever give your Excellency the trouble of repeating your Orders. But I can with truth assure your Excellency that upon my return to this Place I Issued Orders for my Men to hold themselves in readiness to March at the Shortest Notice & should have marchd according to your Request if the Roads & Wheather would have permitted as your Excellency was so Polite as to observe in your Letter.

I shall march on Saturday or Sunday next Wheather permitting1 & upon my Arrival at the White Horse shall Wait on your Excellency for my Orders to proceed to the advancd Post of the Army which I hope your Excellency still intends Honouring me with—If your Excellency should have any doubts arriseing in your mind concerning the propriety of my Behaivour in this particular I would wish that Coll Gibson’s sentiments might be taken on the Subject he being Commanding Officer at this Post must be acquainted with the Reason for my Delay2 for I should be render’d extreamly unhappy if I had the least suspission that your Excellency harbour’d a single Sentiment to my Disadvantage particularly that of Neglect of Duty which I hope your Excellency will never find me Guilty of. I remain with the utmost Respect Your Excellency’s Most devoted Servt

Wm S. Smith


1The next Saturday and Sunday were 21 and 22 Mar., but Smith apparently did not leave Lancaster until 24 Mar. (see George Gibson to GW, that date).

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