West point 17th January 1781.
I was honoured with your Excellency’s favour of yesterday and am obliged to you for the pleasing information of the insurgents having moved on to Trenton and given up the british Emissaries, from which good effects must certainly derive. how happy Should I be, My Dear General, if Congress can fall upon measures to accommodate this unfortunate affair with dignity to them Selves and without injury to the Service? but alas! There appears to me no medium for them betwixt dignity and Servility but coertion, nor any other method without wounding discipline.
General Parsons & Col. Scammel suggest to me that Should the troops proceed, it will be absolutely necessary that a number of Shoes should be taken on or follow Soon after the men, as many of those they have are So bad they will probably be worn out in a few days, and the men by that means be rendered unfit for Service.
I thank you, Sir, for the letter forwarded from North Carolina and am, Dear Sir, with the greatest respect your Excellency’s Most obedient & Most humble servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.