George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Benedict Arnold, 30 July 1778

From Major General Benedict Arnold

Philada July 30th 1778

Dear General

I have this minute the honor receiving your Excellencys favour of 27th Inst. Colonel Hartleys Regt was ordered by Congress from this City the 14th Inst. to the Frontiers of this State,1 except a Party of Sixty Men who, Guarded a Number Prisoners to Elizabeth Town, & were afterwards Ordered to East Town—Inclosed is a return of the Troops in Town who are barely sufficient to do the Garrison Duty, & most of them sickly & in want of Arms, & Cloathg.2 a Detacht of Twenty Men of Glovers Brigade, March to’morrow Morning with a Number Prisoners to Elisabeth Town, & are ordered to Join their Brigade as soon as posible. Inclosed is a List of Officers who were in Town the 25th Also, a General Order of the 22th & 25th Inst.3 no Officers are remaining in Town except the Supernumeries, respecting whom I wish to know your Excellencys pleasure—None of the Virginia Troops have ben detained here a moment—and all who Arive shall be Sent on with the greatest Expedition.

I heartily wish your Excellency a succesfull Campaign, and am with great Respect & Esteem Your Excellencys most Obedt Humble Servt

B. Arnold


1On 14 July, Congress directed the Board of War, “in conjunction with the supreme executive council of Pensylvania, to take the most speedy and practicable measures for repelling the present irruption of the Indians, and for protecting the continental magazine at Carlisle” ( 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 , 11:688). The board and the council met at Arnold’s quarters, and by 15 July, Hartley’s Regiment had been made a part of the council’s arrangement for frontier defense ( Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 6:643–45).

2Lewis Nicola’s return of the troops quartered at Philadelphia, dated 29 July, accounted for 420 men, 318 of whom were rank and file (DLC:GW).

3On 22 July, Arnold had directed: “The Town Major is Ordered to make particular Inquirry for all Officers of the Army who Arive in Town, & those whose Furloughs are Out or who have absented themselves from the Army without leave are to be reported to Head Quarters.” On 25 July, Town Major Nicola listed the twenty-three officers who had reported to him, with the regiments and justifications for each, and Arnold issued an additional order: “The General is much surprised to find so great a Number of Officers in Town at a time when their Services are so essential in the Army, and when a General Action with the Enemy may be daily Expected—Those Officers who do not belong to the Garrison, supernumeries, and such as have leave of Absence from his Excellency G. Washington excepted, Are Ordered immediately to Join the respective Corps to which they belong” (all documents, DLC:GW).

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