George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Benjamin Lincoln, 24 December 1782

Newburgh Decr 24 1782


As it was your opinion when you honored the Army with your presence in Octr last, and as it was clearly mine, that the two Regiments of New Jersey and New Hampshire & the Regiment of Rhode Island, had better remain entire Corps until the States to which they respectively belonged should (on application being made to them) determine whether they would recruit those Corps to the number required by Congress, or not; and as the States of New Jersey & New Hampshire, have resolved to recruit their said Regts to 500 Rank & File each—I am now more fully convinced that we ought at least to wait the issue of these measures, before a reduction shall take place.

Policy, true interest, and every other consideration point so strongly to the expediency of this, that I hope there can be no hesitation in complying with it—To you Sir, who know the disadvantages of broken Corps, especially haw expensive they are, how impracticable it is to establish good oeconomy in them, to keep up a proper police, & preserve them from mouldering away, no Arguments can be necessary, and I persuade myself, on your representation of the matter. Congress will suffer them to remain & take the chance of recruiting.

At all events, in the present temper of the Army, there appears to have been good policy in postponing the reduction of these Regts untill the derangement of the larger Lines was effected—In the Lines of Massachusetts & Connecticut, (where the reduction could be made without involving the evil of broken Corps), the arrangement has taken place—the ten Regts of the former having been reduced to eight, the five of the Latter to three. I have the honor to be with perfect esteem Sir Your Most Obedt Servt

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DNA: Item 149, Letters and Reports from Benjamin Lincoln, Secretary at War, PCC—Papers of the Continental Congress.

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