winshester december 1st 1782
I am this instant honored with your lettre of the 30th octo. last—when I joigned the remaindre of count pulaski legion at wilmington in north carolina there was in the whole twenty two men commanded by capitain le brun lieutenant verdier & cornet des conture—I find no others nor did ever any others come afterwards—your exellency is sensible that the numbre of 22 men which did not make out one troop did not require more than the three officers above mantioned which is the only numbre allowed to a full company—had capt. second been there at the time, I do not know what I could have done further than to give the preference to the seignoirity of commission betwixt him & capt. le brun or to have them to draw ballots if they had agreed—for the captains of my own corps having each of them their company it could not be expected that congress and your exellency having ordered the incorporation as a favor done to me & the officers of my corps of which you was pleased to approve the conduct & services—would take their men from them to give them to others—but it was not the case, no such idea or arrangement where ever debated & my instructions were to take officers of pulaski in proportion of their men.
I heard nothing of capt. second who by what I have been told is an officer brave & intelligent—he is wrong to think that he would be the oldest—capts. Markley who has since resigned—capt. shaffner who is major—capt. sigougne who has resigned & capt. bedhen were all older than himself, of course if the idea & experience I had of those gentlemen merite made me desirous of seeing one of them & every one of them after the other promoted --capt. second by comming in to the corps could not bring any impediment to my wishes—after I returned from france I received a lettrer from capt. second to the following purpose—to tell him if he was an officer or not in the legion under my command—I saw him at york & told him that I had allready received an over proportion of officers for the proportion of men—that the arrangement had been made so long since that the number of officers were full at present & that the legion having been formed intirely by new orders & on a new footing & did not conceive that he had under those circumstances any claim to inter in to that corps—then he resumed a new plan of raising one or two independant company of horse & made me confident of his project—he appeared so certain of his succés that I told him he should be well come to joign & act with the legion with his troops—since every officers have endeavoured to raise their troops they have been so succesfull that we are above 300—those officers have suffered as the rest of the army by a continual activity without pay—on the other hand I have been told (which whoever I do not ascertain to be a fact) that capt. second had settled his affairs with congressreceived a sum of money as a reward to his services & resigned his commission—then he went to france—what company can he take the command of in the legion—without doubt of a seventh one if you order it to be raised & still if capt. second had once quited the service it would be wrong the first lieutenant.
I am sorry to not receive any orders relative to our winter quarter—we are still encamped & suffer much from the cold and badness of the weather as well as from the want of forage.
permit me to give your Exellency my respectful thanks for the assurance of your Esteem, which is the thing in the world I am the most anxious to preserve. I have the honor to be with the highest respect, Your Exellency, Sir, the most hble obdt St
DLC: Papers of George Washington.