George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 31 May 1779

To Major General John Sullivan

Hd Qrs Middlebrook 31 May 1779.

Dr Sir

I transmit you a letter of the 8th—extracts of the 12th—and one of the 24th instant from Brigadier General Hand, which he forwarded to me, not knowing where to find you. I have mentioned in my letter to Gen: Hand my forwarding Them to you.1

I shall write the board of war to send the supplies of clothing for the 11th Pennsylvania regiment I shall also request them—to forward a set of shoemakers tools &c. for each brigade—or regiment2 These will serve in some measure to lessen our demands on the article of shoes—and of course lessen our portage.

As to the propriety of dismounting the men under Capn Carbury3 as mentioned by Major Prowel I leave it entirely to your directions.

It looks as if both men and horse might be better employed than in the condition in which they now act. The one by joining the regiment—the other as pack horses or the like.

That part of late Malcom’s regiment which belongs to the 11th Pennsylvania and now doing duty with Col. Spencer’s is to join its own regiment on its arrival at the Susquehannah.

Col. Shreves Regiment is now on its march to Easton. It passed this place yesterday. The remains of late Formans which accompanies it, you will be pleased to order to join Col. Spencers—I hope the incorporation of the officers and men of the corps with the regiment will render it pretty4 complete & subject to no further changes.

Inclosed you have my instructions for your goverment5—The more I consider the object of baggage, the more forcibly does the necessity of disencumbering both of officers and men press upon my mind. In addition to what I have said in the instructions suffer me to request your particular attention to see your army in such a situation with respect to lightness as will give it that rapidity of motion upon which so much of our success will depend. All superfluous baggage—every thing not absolutely indispensible to both officer and soldier should be deposited at Easton. The officers I am persuaded will see the propriety of the measure and adopt it without hesitation.

I also transmit you extracts from a letter of General Schuyler of the 21st instant. The letter to which he aludes has been sent you. I am Dr Sir &c.

G. W——n

Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; copy (extract), DNA:PCC, item 166; copy (extract), DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The letters of 8 and 24 May have not been found; see GW to Edward Hand, this date.

2See GW to the Board of War, 1 June (DLC:GW).

3Henry Carbery (Carberry; 1757–1822) served in 1776 as a cadet in an independent company from St. Mary’s County, Md., and as an able seaman on the state ship Defence. He was appointed a second lieutenant in Col. Thomas Hartley’s Additional Continental Regiment in January 1777, and he was promoted to first lieutenant in September 1777 and to captain in November 1778. He remained with the regiment after it became the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment in 1779, and he left the army in January 1781. For a detailed discussion of Carbery’s later career, which included an attack on Congress and two stints in the U.S. Army, see Carbery to GW, 25 July 1789, and n.1 to that document, in Papers, Presidential Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series. 17 vols. to date. Charlottesville, Va., 1987—. description ends , 3:309–12.

4GW wrote the remainder of this sentence on the draft.

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