George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, 21 April 1781

Hd Qrs April 21st 81

My Dear Marquis

Though the situation of Southern affairs would not permit me to recall your corps to this army, yet it was with great reluctance I could resolve upon seeing you separated from Head Quarters—My friendship for you makes me desirous of having you near me, and there will occur frequent occasions in cooperative measures in which it would be of the greatest utility I should have it in my power to consult you. These motives would have induced me to propose to you to return personally to Head Quarters, did I not believe you would not have chosen to quit your corps—and had I not foreseen a difficulty in giving you a command in the remaining troops. A select corps you could not have and there are so many Major Generals who conceive themselves in a manner wedded to the different lines and who are to be prov[ided] for that it would not be easy at present to accommodate matters to your having a command in the line. But the difficulty might be overcome, and I cannot forbear late as it is, leaving it to your option to proceed with your corps or return personally to Head Quarters—If the last should be your choice, you will give the necessary orders to the officer you leave in comm[and] to march with all the necessary precau[tion] and take the orders of the Baron De Steuben. You will at the same time write to The Baron communicating to him your instructions and to General Greene informing him of your return.

If you resolve to proceed forward, I shall have one consolation which is that from the present aspect of things it is perhaps most probable the weight of the war this campaign will be in the Southern states, and it will become my duty to go there in person where I shall have the pleasure of seeing you again. Of this I would not have you to say anything—Adieu My Dr Marquis wherever you are, assure yourself of my unalterable friendship & affection


DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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