George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major Henry Lee, Jr., 13 April 1780

To Major Henry Lee, Jr.

Head Quarters Morris Town 13th April 1780.

Dear Sir

I have recd your favr of the 10th: I am sorry to find that the repairs of your accoutrements and the general indisposition of your Horses will prevent your moving so soon as could have been wished, but I have confidence in your making no greater delay than is absolutely necessary.1

The Board of War having powers to order a General Court Martial, the prisoner you mention may be tried at Philadelphia⟨,⟩ but it is worth considering, whether you can have him tried, and the proceedings sent up to me for my approbation (which will be necessary) and an answer returned, before the Corps will probably march. The example, should the Man be found guilty and sentenced to death, is wanted more immediately for your own people, than the Army at large; and therefore the desired good Effect would be lost⟨,⟩ should you march before the trial can be regularly gone thro’ and the proceedings confirmed.

You omitted to inclose the letters from Virginia to which you refer.

I wish you an expeditious, safe and agreeable march and every honor and success to yourself and your Corps,2 as I am with great Regard Dear Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, ViHi; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Obscured material is supplied in angle brackets from the draft manuscript, which also is in Tilghman’s writing.

1Lee’s corps eventually remained with GW and left for the southern department in the later fall (see GW to Lee or the Officer Commanding His Corps at Burlington, N.J., 30 March, n.2).

2GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman enclosed this letter to Lee in one to Moore Furman, deputy quartermaster general at Trenton, written at Morristown on the same date: “General Washington requests that the enclosed may be immediately forwarded to Major Lee” (NjP: William R. Barricklo Collection). A note on Tilghman’s letter reads: “Recd Sunday morning the 16th Apl, & forwarded the Letter immediately by Mr Burchan.” The notation probably refers to Robert Burchan (c.1742–1792), who apparently had relatives in Philadelphia and held a local office in Burlington County, N.J. (see Pa. Genealogies description begins Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families: From the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine. 3 vols. Baltimore, 1982. description ends , 3:120).

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