George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Theodorick Bland, 19 December 1778

From Colonel Theodorick Bland

Lancaster [Pa.] Decr 19th 1778


Having Sent off expresses on the 6th of the month to the officers Commandg the Militia of the Counties of York and Lancaster according to yr Excellencies Instructions to me; to have the Militia of those Counties in Readiness as well as that of Philidelphia & Bucks; I was not a little surprized, (after the Information I recd from the board of War, of the proceedgs of the President & Executive Council therein,) on my arrival here to find no step had been taken in those Counties & therefore immediately sent off other dispatches to hasten the getting in readiness the Militia of those Counties; which as there was a Genl Halt, & a day of Rain which prolonged the Halt; I was in hopes wd have been done in time. But to my great astonishment Recd a letter from the Lt of York County of which the Enclosed is a Copy.1

This will at once plead my Excuse with Yr Excelly I hope if I shd be under the necessity of ordering on the Continental Escort further as ’twould by no means be safe to March the Convention troops without Escort. Some disputes have Arisen in this Place, which I have had some difficulty to settle between the Troops of the Convention & the Inhabitants, but they are at length pretty well adjusted. I am Sr Yr Excelly’s Most obedt Humb: Sert

Theok Bland

P.S. the 3d division Marchd from hence this Morng & will Cross the Susquehannah to day. the 5th were at North Wayles on the 15th inst. the last acct I have had from the River. I recd a letter from Genl Specht complaing of abusive treatment from the Militia to some of the Germans; & have Issued orders immediately to Enquire into it & have the delinquents punished accordg to their deserts.



1The enclosed copy of a letter from Lt. Col. Philip Albright to Bland, dated 16 Dec. at York, Pa., reads: “I recd this day by Express your letter in order to have the Militia in readiness—I beg leave to Inform you that I did in persuance of Orders from the Executive Council on sunday last, to have 4th Class of the Militia of this County amounting to about 400. 100 thereof I had ready to March on the Important Exigence (viz of Receiving the Convention troops at Susquehannah[)] But on the 14th of this Instant I received fresh orders, from the Council to discharge the Militia in Consequence whereof their March was Countermanded, and it is not in my power to get them together without the Express orders from the Council” (DLC:GW).

Albright (1734–1800), a York County miller, had served from March 1776 to January 1777 as a captain in Col. Samuel Miles’s Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment before his appointment as lieutenant of York County, which carried the rank of lieutenant colonel.

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