George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Henry Laurens, 13 August 1778

To Henry Laurens

Head Quarters White Plains Aug. 13th 1778

Sir,

I have the honor to transmit you a letter from General Sullivan, which, from the tardiness of the expresses, is but just come to hand—I suppose it gives Congress the same information communicated to me; but lest there should be any particulars mentioned in his letter to me, which may not be contained in the one to you, I am induced to accompany the latter with a copy of the former.1

The papers sent from Congress to Head Quarters and returned, respecting the case of Major General St Clair, will be wanted immediately, as it is probable his trial will now very speedily come on.2

I beg you will excuse the trouble, I give you, in requesting you will favour me, in your next with copies of the resolve of Congress, for raising the regiment of Artillery in Virginia, and appointing Col: Harrison to the command of it, and of another passed the latter end of 76, for raising three batalions of Continental Artillery.3 Some disputes about rank have arisen which make these resolutions necessary; and it happens, that my papers of that period are absent. With the utmost respect I have the honor to be Sir Your most Obedt servt

Go: Washington

P.S. I request you will be pleased to forward the inclosed to Mr Serjeant without delay.4

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 15 Aug.; see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 11:801.

1GW enclosed Maj. Gen. John Sullivan’s letters to him and to Laurens of 10 August. Sullivan’s letter to Laurens contains much the same information as his letter to GW, but it adds the detail that the French fleet “came through Newport Harbor on Saturday night [8 Aug.] & Silenced two of their Batteries” (DNA:PCC, item 160; see also Laurens Papers description begins Philip M. Hamer et al., eds. The Papers of Henry Laurens. 16 vols. Columbia, S.C., 1968–2003. description ends , 14:145–46).

2On 7 Feb. the Continental Congress evacuation committee had sent to GW the evidence that they had collected against major generals Arthur St. Clair and Philip Schuyler, but GW wrote Henry Laurens on 27 Feb. to request that Congress “state explicitly the charges they wish to have exhibited against the Officers.” On 29 April, Congress appointed a new committee to examine the evidence and state charges, and on the following day, Laurens wrote GW to request the return of the papers. GW returned them to Congress on 1 May.

3For the three resolutions, of 26 Nov., 30 Nov., and 27 Dec. 1776, see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 6:981, 995, and 1045–46.

4For GW’s letter to Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant, see GW to William Paterson, this date, source note.

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