George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Captain Robert Smith, 4 October 1778

From Captain Robert Smith

Providence 4th Octr 78.

Sir

I have been so unfortunate as to have a Relapse of a Fever, with which I was confin’d some Time before I set out. This has detain’d me here two Days, however I hope I shall be able to proceed Tomorrow. I am exceedingly concernd to hear of poor Baylor’s Misfortune, as so many of the Men are kill’d & taken,1 your Excellency may perhaps wish to give some other Directions as to the Cloathing for the Regt. if so I must beg you will be good enough to let me know by the first Oppy to Boston, as I should wish on this unfortunate Accot to hasten my Return.2 I am yr obt Servt

Robt Smith

ALS, DLC:GW.

1For the British attack on Col. George Baylor’s 3d Continental Light Dragoon Regiment on 28 Sept. near Old Tappan, N.J., see Israel Putnam to GW, 28 Sept., and notes 1 and 2 to that document.

2GW replied to Smith on 11 Oct.: “I have not obtained a Return of Colo. Baylors Regt since their misfortune, but I imagine if you procure 120 or 130 suits it will be sufficient” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). GW apparently had not yet received riding master Edward Conner’s return of Baylor’s regiment dated 29 Sept., which showed a total of sixty-one officers and men present (see William Woodford to GW, 29 Sept., n.3). For accounts of the regiment’s strength before the attack of 28 Sept., see GW to Otis & Andrews, 27 Sept., and David Griffith to Stirling, 20 Oct., in Israel Putnam to GW, 28 Sept., n.1.

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