Winchester Barracks Jany 13th 1783
I have been Honord with Your Excellencys Letter of the 13th of November, relative to the Governors charge against Captn Fox, the recruiting Officer appointed for Spottsylvania—previous to the receipt of Your Excellencys Letter, I had allready [summond] Captn Fox to the Rendezvous; together with Mr Mountjoy who had lodgd the information with the Governor. Captn Fox attended, and denied the charge in the most positive terms—Mr Mountjoy did not attend but asserted that he had recd his information from his Brother Captain Mountjoy—Captain Fox at the same time produced a Certificate from Captain Mountjoy, asserting that he had never heard Captn Fox make use of the expression alluded to. Mr Mountjoy has since attended & informed me, that the only evidence he had agt Captn Fox was Captn Mountjoy—as this was the case & there was nothing to found a Charge upon agt Captn Fox, I put off the trial & wrote to the Governor, enclosd him the papers & requested his further directions but have not yet heard from him—Enclosd I do myself the Honor to transmit Your Excellency, the returns of the recruiting Officers for last Month—They include those transmitted in November. These returns are only from such officer[s] who have found it practicable, at this Season of the Year to obtain a conveyance to this place—those in the lower part of Virginia are to make their returns to the Governor, who has promis’d to transmit them to Your Excellency.
In November only we recd part of the 300 Suits of Clothing, promisd us last Spring, since their arrival the recruiting service comes on much better than before—There are two obstacles still remaining which greatly retard us, to remove which I have repeatedly applied to Government in vain. The first is That no provision is allowd by the State for the Recruits at the different places of rendezvous. The recruiting Officer must therefore suffer his Men to Shift for themselves, and get to the Rendezvous as well as they can; by this means a number of the Men are lost, for after spending their Bounty Money, they refuse to March to the G. Rendezvous, without provisions—Major Poulson on the eastern Shore after collecting eighteen Men, was obligd to disband them, for want of provisions—The other is—that no Steps are taken to apprehend Deserters, or to put the Laws against them in force—It is out of my power to send out parties to apprehend them, as no provision is issued on Continental account, at any post but this, within the State, where the party could be supplied—I have indeed offered a reward out of my own pockett, for apprehending two or three notorious Offenders, but unless Government will interfere, any thing I can do at this place, to prevent Desertion will have no effect. I have the Honor to be with the highest respect Your Excellencys Most Obedt humble Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Return of the Recruits, reported to me by the Recruiting Officers—in Novr & Decr 1782.
|Captain Lieut. A.||Bohannen||21|
|Thomas Mountjoy Esqr.||Stafford||11|
|Major Poulson||Eastern Shore||18|
P: Muhlenberg B.G.