Newburgh Octr 27. 1783.
I have been honoured with your letter of the 10th desiring me to give furloughs to such officers in my department as were not necessary for the troops remaining in service; agreeably to an act of Congress of the 26th ultimo, which you was pleased to inclose. I beg leave to inform your Excellency, that when the men inlisted for the war were furloughed last June, & the brigades in consequence broken up, I considered the surplus brigade quarter masters as discharged from my department; and advised them of it accordingly. I have also since the close of the campaign of 1782 discharged sundry officers who had no appointments in the line; and had lately given notice to most of those who still remain in the department, that they would of course be discharged by the first of January next at farthest; the business of the remaining troops not requiring their detention. This I have done on the very strong presumption that they would not be again wanted; or if they were, that I could easily recall them, or find others to supply their places. I should wish therefore, as business decreases, to continue to discharge such officers as become supernumerary: This, while it hazards no injury to the service, will better promote the oeconomical views of Congress, than by granting them furloughs. I beg to be favoured with your Excellency’s answer on this head. I am, with great respect, your Excellency’s most obedt servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.