George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 18 February 1781

Westpoint, Feb. 18, 1781.

Dear General,

The inclosed from Major Maxwell came to hand last evening. Colo. Delaney, a day or two since sent up a Flag to Major Maxwell with a verbal proposal for the exchange of some of the prisoners taken at Morrissania: as it almost immediately preceded their excursion, it was probably designed to discover our situation.

Inclosed is also a letter this day received from Major General Parsons. I have advised to the sending back such of the recruits mentioned as are manifestly unfit for service: but something further seems necessary to be done, effectually to prevent such impositions in future.

I am this moment honored with your’s of this date, to which I shall pay due attention.

I have not received any information or directions with respect to Major Reid. Your Excellency’s decision on the proceedings of the Court- martial, if passed, has not come to my knowledge. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant

W. Heath

P.S. I have ordered the execution of Taylor on thursday next between the hours of eleven and twelve A.M. near the Connecticut huts. Will your Excellency give the Warrant for his Execution?W.H.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Crompond. Febuy 16th 1781

Dear Generall

I have this moment recd a letter from Capt. Prichard at Bedford, Informing me that the enemy came out last Night, and that this morning they took Eight prisoners, Viz. Lieut. Carpenter, Leiut. Wright, Leiut. peacock and five others, all good freinds to the Country; that they Burnt Justice Lyons House, Leiut. Carpenters, Benjamin Claps, mr Webbes’s, and one more; and Stript Severall of every thing they had on them, that he followd them as far as mile Square, but could not Come up with them; that their force by the best accounts was about three hundred horse and foot; and that they Intended to have proceeded further, but were disapointed by hearing that Capt. Prichard was in the Neighbourhood: also that they told the Inhabitants, that they were paying for Morisania. I think the method they take to pay their debts is not much to their Honour in the Military way.

While Writing I am Honourd with your Favour of the 16th. I am happy to find that my Conduct With Regard to the exchange of prisoners Meets with your approbation; tho they Grumbled at their answer When they were dischargd and thought that I might have wrote to the Commisary of prisoners on the Subject, but that I think is no business of mine.

The hard money Sent from Massachusetts State I beleive will answer a Very Valuable purpose among the men.I was going to Say that the officers would be glad of the Same favour, but the news with which you are pleasd to Honour me from the Southward is Vastly More welcom than Money hard or Soft, and I hope will answer a more Valuable purpose by Restoring peace to that State.

I shall take all the pains in my power to procure the News papers and Send them to you. I am With the Highes respect your most obedient, and Very Humble Servant

Hugh Maxwell Major

2d M. Regt


Sunday Morning 18th Feby 1781

Dear Sir

Seven Recruits for the War & three Years, arrivd from Connectt last Night not One of which are fit for Service.

As the State have adopted their own Mode of mustering their Levies, I am at a Loss what to do with them, if some Measures are not taken to prevent this Evil, the Impositions will be so very numerous that little good will result from an Attempt to free the Army, as these are the first Recruits which have arrivd & the Assembly is sitting this Week I have Thoughts of sending them under the Care of an Officer to Hartford to the Assembly, with the Reasons of their Discharge and procure an Order to the Town to furnish other Men. I wish your Directions on the Subject and am with much Esteem yr Obedt Servt

Saml H. Parsons


West point Feb. 18. 1781.

Eight companies of light infantry from the eight eldest Massachusetts regiments form a battalion commanded by Colonel Vose and Major Galvon.

The light companies of the 9th & 10th Massachusetts, the Connecticut and Rhode Island regiments form a battalion commanded by Colonel Gimet and Major Throop (Major Wyllys being absent).

The light companies of the New Hampshire line and Colonel Hazen’s regiments will form together under the command of Major Reid, in case he should be released from arrest in season to join the detachment.

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