Philada April 17th 1783
Your very friendly and obliging Letter of the 19th of feby was Yesterday, together with the Order your refer to transmitted by General Hand, delivered to me on my Way to this City—there seems a strange Fatality to attend Letters that come to me thro’ the War Office, and from that Circumstance I must have suffered the Suspicion of inattention at least.
I am fully sensible of the Necessity there is for the presence of the General Officers with their Commands, independent of the aditional Burthen their Absence throws upon You; I was sensible of it at the time your Excellency consented to my leaving it and found myself under the greater Obligation—It was my firm Intention to have returned punctually at the Day, but unavoidable and irremoveable Obstructions fell in the way, at least even to this Moment I have found them irremovable and for these six Weeks past I have been confined to my Bed, with a fit of the Gout that went near to rid me of all my Cares—some public Business, and another Trial I mean to make to raise Money induced me to venture to Town—if I can s[erve] I shall join you the Moment I am able to ride on Horseback—as yet however I am far from it, and the Journey I fear has put me back—Tis true I should have wished, most ardently, to have shared in some brilliant Operation before the Conclusion of this War, but I beg you to believe that as no Man in [the] Army would more gladly and chearfully take any share of the Business, the Cares & the Troubles of the Army I could Execute, or be happier in contributing to relieve or assist You. I am Dear Sir with every Sentiment of Respect Your most obedient Servant
Ar. St Clair
DLC: Papers of George Washington.