George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Horatio Gates, 16 March 1779

From Major General Horatio Gates

Boston 16th March 1779:


Last Night I had the Honour to receive Your Excellencys Letter of the 6th Instant. The Man who undertakes the Indian Service, should enjoy Youth, & Strength; requisites I do not possess; it Therefore Grieves me Your Excellency should Offer me The only Command, to which I am intirely unequal; in Obedience to your Commands, I have forwarded Your Letter to General Sullivan, & that he may not be one moment detain’d, I have desired him to leave The Command with General Glover, until I arrive in providence, which will be in a few days1—Your may be Assured of my Inviolable Secrecy, & that Your other directions shall be fullfilled. I am Sir Your most Obedient Humble Servant

Horatio Gates

ALS, DLC:GW; ADf, NHi: Gates Papers; copy, in James McHenry’s writing, enclosed in GW to John Jay, 14 April 1779, owned (2006) by Mr. Joseph Rubinfine, Cocoa, Fla.

1Gates is referring to GW’s letter of 6 March to John Sullivan instructing that general to take command of an expedition against the Six Nations along the Pennsylvania-New York frontier if Gates declined the offer to lead the expedition. For the letter from Gates to Sullivan, this date, that covered GW’s letter to Sullivan, see Hammond, Sullivan Papers description begins Otis G. Hammond, ed. Letters and Papers of Major-General John Sullivan, Continental Army. 3 vols. Concord, 1930-39. In Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society, vols. 13–15. description ends , 2:534 (see also Gates to GW, 24 March). Gates arrived at Providence, R.I., on 3 April.

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