George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Horatio Gates, 17 April 1779

To Major General Horatio Gates

Head Quarters Middle Brook April 17th 1779


I shall be under the necessity of drawing away a part of the troops now under your command to be employed elsewhere—You will therefore be pleased to direct General Glover’s Brigade to hold itself in readiness to march at the shortest notice—I hope the powerful aids of Militia, which you may call in on any emergency, in conjunction with the force still remaining and the 1500 troops to be raised by a late act of the State of Rhode Island,1 will secure you from experiencing any ill effects from this diminution, and enable you to cover the principal points which require attention.2 I am Sir Your most Obet servant

Go: Washington

LS, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, NHi: Gates Papers; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DLC:GW, series 9; copy, M-Ar; copy, Nh-Ar; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The Rhode Island assembly had passed “An Act for raising and equipping fifteen hundred men” in its February 1779 session, providing for the formation of a brigade consisting of two regiments of infantry and one of artillery (Bartlett, R.I. Records description begins John Russell Bartlett, ed. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England. 10 vols. Providence, 1856–65. description ends , 8:509; see also The Providence Gazette; and Country Journal, 6 March 1779).

2This move, proposed by Maj. Gen. John Sullivan at a conference with GW on 15 April (see Sullivan to GW, 16 April, n.2), displeased Brig. Gen. John Glover and evoked a howl of protest from Rhode Island. GW eventually suspended it, citing an easing of the British threat from New York, but reserved the right to call upon the brigade at any time in the future (see Glover to GW, 26 April; the Rhode Island Legislature to GW, 26 April; GW to Glover, 4 May; John Jay to GW, 10 May [first letter]; GW to William Greene, 11 May; GW to Gates, 14 May; and GW to Jay, 14 May).

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