George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Caesar Rodney, 19 January 1779

To Caesar Rodney

Head Quarters Philadelphia 19th Jany 1779.


The Quarter Master General has represented to me, that our resources in point of forage will not with the greatest œconomy and management satisfy the demands of the Army—unless the Cavalry of Pulaskis Legion is removed to some position where it will interfere less with the general Supply—The Counties of Kent and Sussex in your State, he thinks will be able to maintain this Corps, with less inconvenience to the Country than any other place within a reasonable distance.1

I am therefore to request that Your Excellency will give Mr Quarter Master Wade, who is charged with this business, proper authority to canton these troops in the most advantageous manner.

At the same time that I would have them so disposed as to be secure of a sufficient Supply, and not too much scattered for the preservation of discipline; I would wish them to be as little burthensome to the Inhabitants as possible.

Your Excellencys Countenance and Support to Mr Wade will conciliate these desirable ends—and in full assurance of your granting them—I remain with great respect—Sir Your most obedt Servt.

Go: Washington

LS, in John Laurens’s writing, sold by Remember When Auctions, Inc., Wells, Me., catalog no. 44, item 4, 18 July 1998; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Q.M. Gen. Nathanael Greene was in Philadelphia from late December 1778 to early February 1779. Greene wrote the commissary general of forage, Clement Biddle, on 20 Jan.: “I have got an order for Pulaski’s legion to go down into Kent and Sussex in the Delaware State. I don’t think it advisable to order in horses out of Salem County [N.J.], neither can Maj. [Henry] Lee’s corps be removed. There is nobody willing to receive the horses, and everybody desirous of getting rid of them” (Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 3:172–73).

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