George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Moses Hazen, 20 July 1779

To Colonel Moses Hazen

Head qrs New Windsor July the 20: 1779


I have duly received Your favors of the 10th Ult. & 10 Inst.1 I am obliged to you for the Intelligence from Canada and should be happy if circumstances would authorize an implicit credit to be given to the whole of it. The persons who gave it to Major Whitcomb and Captain paulant, I fear, have taken it up in several parts upon slender grounds.2

The pressing situation of Affairs will not permit me to go into a minute consideration of your Letters; but I am to desire in the most explicit terms that you will not put the public to any expence in those points. I have no objection to your building Block Houses and Stores— if it can be entirely done by your own people;3 Your command was to answer a particular Object—intimately connected with or at least intended to promote and facilitate the execution of a plan which I had in view.4 There cannot be a full communication of the real objects of every command to the Officer detached—and he should always in such cases make his instructions as nearly as possible—the rule of his Action. In the present instance—I wish You may not greatly have exceeded my intentions in many things & incurred an Expence that will greatly disatisfy the public.

Your Return shall be transmitted to the Board of War.5 I have granted Warrants to Captain White for the pay of Your Regiment for A. & M. and he has received the Money.6

Capn White will inform you of our success against Stony point. I am sir Yr Most Obedt sert.

Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1These letters from Hazen to GW of 10 June and 10 July have not been found, but see Jacob Bayley to GW, 10 June.

2In his letter to Hazen of 5 May, GW had instructed that officer to “push” his “enquiries into Canada, and collect such information as may be useful and necessary.”

Antoine Paulin (Paulent; c.1737–1813) became captain of an independent company of Canadian volunteers in November 1775 and joined Col. Moses Hazen’s 2d Canadian Regiment at the same rank in November 1776. He left the army in July 1782.

An undated document, docketed July 1779, from GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison to George Measam, identified as “Copy of Order to Mr Measam,” reads: “It is His Excellency, the Commander in Chief’s desire that you will deliver Major Benjamin Whitcomb Thirty One Coats—Jackets—Breeches & Blankets—Sixty two Shirts. Sixty Two pair of Shoes 31 pair Stockings Thirty one pair of Overalls & Thirty One Hunting Shirts. & Thirty one Hats—for the Men under his command. 15 Shirts for himself & Officers—10 p[ai]r Stockings 10 p[ai]r Shoes—paying—three Hundred per Cent on the Sterling Cost” (DLC:GW).

3In his letter to GW of 26 April, Hazen had apprised him of an intention to “build a fort on the Boundry line Betwen New Hampshire and Canada.”

4For GW’s “plan,” a misinformation scheme to employ Hazen’s command as a decoy to keep British forces in Canada and away from Maj. Gen. John Sullivan’s expedition against the Six Nations, see GW to Horatio Gates, to Hazen, and to John Sullivan, all 6 March; and Nathanael Greene to GW, 17–24 March.

5This return has not been identified, but see GW to the Board of War, 22 July.

6GW issued a warrant on this date for $16,275.52 to “Capn Moses White— Actg paymr to Colo. Hazen’s Reg. for M[arch] A[pril] & May” (Revolutionary War Warrant Book 4, 1779–1780, DLC:GW, Ser. 5).

Moses White (c.1756–1833), Hazen’s cousin, joined the 2d Canadian Regiment as a captain in November 1776 and variously served as adjutant, paymaster, and inspector. White became an aide-de-camp to Hazen in September 1781, after that officer was breveted a brigadier general, and he remained in that position until the end of the war.

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