George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Howe, 20 August 1783


Philadelphia 20th August 1783.

Dear sir,

In consequence of your Excellency’s letter received yesterday, I have ordered Colonel Sprouts Regiment to be ready for march on a moments warning, and shall direct them to take the rout prescribed. I do not believe they will be able to moove off before saturday, but they shall if possible. They will march under the command of one field officer—the other with the officers on Court martial duty will be detained until the proceedings are gone through.

Some very interesting circumstances of a domestic nature had induced me to give Colonel Sprout leave of absence to go to Rhode Island previous to my receiving of your Excellency’s letter. He left two field officers with the regiment.

I have written to Mr Parkers agent at Trenton to prepare the necessary supplies for the Troops on the destined rout and expect his answer to morrow. I have just heard, and hope it is true that your Excellency is at Princeton and I have desired the Post master to direct the carrier to enquire that this letter may not pass you.

As the proceedings here are drawing to a close perhaps it may not interfere with service to let Sprouts Corps remain until the whole can move off together. I venture to suggest this only because it will be more satisfactory to the officers and men—a matter I am certain not unimportant to your Excellency’s benevolent attention when it is admisable with the principles of service.

I shall lay before you sir, the whole of my conduct upon this unfortunate untoward business as soon as possible after the whole is gone through. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect and regard sir, Your Excellencys most obedient, very humble servant

Robt Howe

P.S. For fear that my letter by the post may by some accident miss you upon the road I have inclosed this duplicate to the President of Congress.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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