George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Theodorick Bland, 20 November 1778

From Colonel Theodorick Bland

Canaan [Conn.] Novr 20th 1778


I am now on my way to Sharon where I expect to arrive this Eveng & where the first division of the British are to halt to day; The Qur Mastr Informs me that no troops are yet arrived or assembled to receive them from the Militia of this State who will not march one Inch further, owing to thier being engaged by the state & promised not to proceed further; I much fear that my Letter written to Yr Excy from Enfd on my arrival there informg you of the time the troops wd arrive on the Confines of this state has Mi[s]carried or not come to hand;1 As much confusion must Ensue from the divisions mixing or much delay from a Genl Halt am in hopes that Yr Excy will order on a proper Escort as soon as possible The Escort to Each division through this state has been abt 120 men which appear sufft for the purpose2 I am with respect Yr Excy most obet & very Humb. Svt

Theok Bland

P.S. No material accident has yet Happend.


2GW’s aide Robert Hanson Harrison wrote to Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne on 21 Nov.: “His Excellency has just received a Letter from Colo. Bland advising him, that there is likely to be a delay in the advance of the Convention Troops after they arrive at Sharon, where the Van would be last night. The Connecticut Militia are unwilling to come further than the boundary of their own State—as they were only engaged for that purpose in the first instance. He therefore requests, that you will as soon as possible get 500 of your division cloathed that they may march instantly towards Sharon. As they will be divided into Six divisions, it is not necessary that you should order more than one or two field Officers with them, who should be younger than Colo. Bland. The Officers in general who are to go with the Detachmt should be good & of authority. The Men will take two days provisions with them—that they may not want before their Commissary can furnish proper supplies. When the Detachment is in motion—as it must come by Head Quarters—you’l desire the commanding Officer to advance before it himself & call upon his Excellency for the route & further orders. The General wishes the Men to be good & that they may march as light as they can—as they will fall in with you again at or near the North River” (PHi: Wayne Papers).

Harrison wrote to Wayne again on the same date: “I received your favor in answer to mine of this morning. Since this His Excellency has had a Letter from Colo. Bland [see Bland to GW, 21 Nov.], informing him, that he has been obliged to halt the whole of the Convention troops for want of a Guard to bring them on. The Connecticut Militia as I observed before were only to come on as far as the boundary line by their engagement. His Excellency begs you will put the Detachment in motion as early as you can tomorrow” (PHi: Wayne Papers).

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