Westpoint Feb. 17. 1781
The light companies are completing with all possible dispatch; but it will be difficult to obtain the whole number of proper men in the present debilitated state of the regiments; however, the best will be carefully selected. After the light companies are gone, we shall scarcely be able to relieve the guards, while so many men are on different commands as at present. The regiment to which Capt. Welles’ company (who is now with the Guardboats) belongs, I am this moment informed, will not be able to complete their company, exclusive of the men who are with him. In mine of the 8th instant I took the liberty to mention to your Excellency the circumstance of that company; I have not yet had the honor of your answer—and a doubt now arrises, whether his company is to be considered as one of the light companies from the Connecticut line—or that each regiment is to have a company of fifty rank & file exclusive of it; the latter cannot at present, be effected. I have the honor to be With the greatest respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.