George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Theodorick Bland, 21 March 1779

To Colonel Theodorick Bland

Hd Qrs Middlebrook 21st March 1779


I received your favor of the 22d with the list of the officers of the regiment and the return.1

As subsisting the horse is become a matter of much difficulty, congress may not & I believe do not2 think it convenient to increase their number under present circumstances3—On this consideration the officers actually belonging to your regiment, I would suppose fully adequate to its duties.

The promotions will take place in the order of the vacancies: And the Gentlemen which you mention for commissions will no doubt4 claim proper attention agreeable to your recommendation, should the regiment be completed.5 An application for clothing must be made to the board of war.6 You may send the pattern down by a non-commissioned officer,7 And As it will be some time before the Clothing can be finished, he need not wait at Philadelphia on expence but return when it may be suppose[d] it will be in readiness. I am &.


Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Bland’s letter to GW of 22 Feb. has not been found, but the enclosed list of officers probably was a document titled “Arrangement of the officers of the 1st Regt of Light Dragoons, from the Raising the Sd Regt to the 1st day of March 1779, at present Commanded by Theodorick Bland Col:” (DLC:GW).

2GW inserted the previous five words on the draft in his own writing.

3GW inserted the previous three words on the draft in his own writing. For the basis of this view on cavalry recruitment, see GW to Timothy Pickering, 20 March.

4GW inserted the previous two words on the draft in his own writing.

5For problems re-enlisting Bland’s 3d Continental Dragoons, see GW to Bland, 17 Oct. 1778, and Bland to GW, 3 Nov. 1778.

6Virginia governor Patrick Henry wrote Bland from Williamsburg in a letter of 29 May, which reads: “The board of war have just told me that four hundred suits of clothes are ordered in for your corps, that is to say–-coats, vests, and breeches, Shirts &c., are directed to be procured by Colonel Finnie. From his known efficiency and activity, I am in hopes something may be done to make your people easy as to the articles directed to be procured by him” (McIlwaine, Letters of the Governors description begins H. R. McIlwaine, ed. Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia. 3 vols. Richmond, 1926–29. description ends , 1:378).

7At this place on the draft, McHenry first wrote “instructing him to return should there be no prospect of obtaining it in a short time.” He then struck out those words and reformulated the thought.

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