George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel Jeremiah Olney, 21 July 1778

To Lieutenant Colonel Jeremiah Olney

Head Quarters White plains 21st July 1778


You are immediately to march with Colo. Angells Regt to Providence by the Rout above mentioned.1 The Regt is still to be annexed to a Brigade which will be formed under the command of Genl Varnum, under whose command you are to put yourself if you meet with him upon the march.2 You are to use every possible endeavour to prevent your men from stragling or committing any kind of hurt or waste to the persons or properties of the Inhabitants. I am &c.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The itinerary and note at the top of the draft are in a different, unidentified writing.

1The route suggested at the top of the draft ran from Croton to North Salem, N.Y., Danbury, Newtown, Woodbury, Waterbury, Southington, Farmington, Hartford, Bolton, Windham, Canterbury, Plainfield, Voluntown (now Sterling Hill), Conn., Coventry, and Providence, R.I., with the distances for each leg adding to a total of 160 miles. A note also advised, “It will be Necessary to draw Provision to last danbury—from danbury draw to last to Hartford—from Hartford to Windham from Windham to Providence It will be best to have the Q. Mr go forward to the different Places where You are to draw Provision—before the Regiment as the March is—unknown at those places they may not be so well prepared.”

2On this date GW wrote Brig. Gen. James Mitchell Varnum: “You are to take the command of Colo. James Livingstons Regt Colo. Sherberns & Colo. Saml Webbs, & proceed agreeable to the rout as given you below. It will be necessary as you approach these places to send your Qr Mr forward, that you may meet with no delay in furnishing your men with provision. … When you arrive at Providence you are to put yourself under the command of major General Sullivan or any other superior Officer Commanding at that Post or follow such further orders as you may hereafter receive from me.” Varnum’s route was to Stamford, Norwalk, Fairfield, Stratford, Milford, New Haven, Branford, Guilford, Killingworth, Saybrook, Lyme, New London, Groton, Preston, Voluntown, Conn., Coventry, and Providence, Rhode Island. Voluntown at this time included both present-day Voluntown and the communities of present-day Sterling. Unlike Olney, Varnum was probably routed through present-day Voluntown.

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