George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Robert Smith, 4 October 1778

From Captain Robert Smith

Providence 4th Octr 78.


I have been so unfortunate as to have a Relapse of a Fever, with which I was confin’d some Time before I set out. This has detain’d me here two Days, however I hope I shall be able to proceed Tomorrow. I am exceedingly concernd to hear of poor Baylor’s Misfortune, as so many of the Men are kill’d & taken,1 your Excellency may perhaps wish to give some other Directions as to the Cloathing for the Regt. if so I must beg you will be good enough to let me know by the first Oppy to Boston, as I should wish on this unfortunate Accot to hasten my Return.2 I am yr obt Servt

Robt Smith


1For the British attack on Col. George Baylor’s 3d Continental Light Dragoon Regiment on 28 Sept. near Old Tappan, N.J., see Israel Putnam to GW, 28 Sept., and notes 1 and 2 to that document.

2GW replied to Smith on 11 Oct.: “I have not obtained a Return of Colo. Baylors Regt since their misfortune, but I imagine if you procure 120 or 130 suits it will be sufficient” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). GW apparently had not yet received riding master Edward Conner’s return of Baylor’s regiment dated 29 Sept., which showed a total of sixty-one officers and men present (see William Woodford to GW, 29 Sept., n.3). For accounts of the regiment’s strength before the attack of 28 Sept., see GW to Otis & Andrews, 27 Sept., and David Griffith to Stirling, 20 Oct., in Israel Putnam to GW, 28 Sept., n.1.

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