George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Heath, 28 August 1780

Head Quarters near the liberty Pole August 28th 1780

Dear Sir

I have received your letter of the 22d—The late European intelligence has so altered the immediate prospects of the Campaign, that I think it adviseable to dismiss the militia now in service and prevent any other coming out for the present. You will therefore let those now with you return home as soon as their services are no longer thought necessary by the Count de Rochambeau, for as the probability of operating in this quarter is greatly diminished, and that of an operation elsewhere remote, it becomes our duty to reduce our expences and oeconomise our supplies as much as possible.

With respect to what you mention concerning the works erecting on Butts hill, if our allies expect we are to contribute to the expence of it, we shall be obliged, in delicacy to do it; but if it could have been avoided, it would have better suited the present state of our affairs—I do not consider the works raising on the Island as of any great utility to us further than as they contribute to the safety of our Allies; and the expence which may be incurred will in my opinion have little other equivalent than this—You will therefore easily conceive that I should be glad every thing of this kind might be avoided, so far as it can be done without impeaching the generosity of the States; for while our allies are sending Fleets and Armies to our assistance and maintaining them at their own expence in our Country, it might not be decent to refuse bearing such little expences as they seem to expect us to bear; but we ought not to volunteer any thing of this kind; and I am persuaded you will not—You will act agreeable to these ideas.

With respect to the culprits you mention, you have my consent to pardon such of them as you think proper.

I omitted acknowledging your two favors of the 19th. You will accept Lieut. Cooks resignation in the usual forms. I am with great regard Dear Sir Your Mo. Obet & hum. Servant

Go: Washington

MHi: Heath Papers.

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