George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Clinton, 29 January 1781

Head Quarters New Windsor Janry 29, 1781

Dear Sir

In the Letter which I did myself the honor of writing to your Excellency the 23rd Instant; I informed you of the revolt of the Jersey Troops, and of the measures I intended to pursue in consequence. I have now the pleasure to inform you, that Major General Howe, with the Detachment under his command, surrounded the Mutineers in their Quarters on the Morning of the 27th brought them without difficulty to an unconditional surrender, and had two of the most active Instigators immediately tried and executed. It was judged unnecessary to extend the example further, as there was every appearance of genuine contrition.

I hope this will completely extinguish the spirit of Mutiny, if effectual measures are taken to prevent its revival, by rendering the situation of the Soldiery more tolerable than it has heretofore been. Without this it may be smothered for a while, but it must again break out with greater violence. It is not to be expected that an Army can be permanently held together by those ties on which we have too long depended.

I cannot omit doing justice to the Detachment which was sent on this service. There was in its behaviour every mark of fidelity, obedience, disapprobation of the conduct of the Mutineers; and a conviction of the necessity of bringing them to submission, and punishment. They made a long march over mountainous roads, and thro a deep snow with the greatest patience, and obeyed every Order with alacrity. I have the honor to be With the greatest esteem & respect Your Excellencys Most Obedt & Hble Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. I have received your favor of the 26th inst.

Sent also, without this P.S., to John Hancock (M-Ar), William Greene (DeHi), Jonathan Trumbull, Sr. (Ct) and Meshech Weare (Nh-Ar). In the Circular to Greene, the postscript reads: "I am favored with your letter of the 22nd Inst." In the Circular to Trunmbull, the postscript reads: "I have had the honor to receive your favor of the 16th inst. by Colonel Dennison."


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