George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Timothy Pickering, 21 March 1779

To Timothy Pickering

Head Quarters Middle Brook 21st March 1779.

Sir

As I shall have occasion to remove Colo. Rawlins’s Corps from Fort Frederick in Maryland, (where they are guarding the prisoners,) to Fort Pitt, I must request the Board to call upon Governor Johnston of Maryland to furnish a Militia Guard to releive Colo. Rawlins. I wish no time may be lost in making the requisition, and that the Governor may be informed of the necessity of sending the Releif speedily, as I very much want to have that Corps advanced upon the frontier1—The inclosed directs Colo. Rawlins to march as soon as he is releived. I shall be obliged by your forwarding it to him.2 I have the Honor to be with great Regard Sir Yr most obt Servt.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; copy, MdAA; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The Board of War apparently notified Maryland governor Thomas Johnson of GW’s request in a letter of 25 March, and the Maryland Council directed Daniel Hughes of the Washington County militia to call out men for this guard duty in a letter of 3 April (see Md. Archives description begins Archives of Maryland. 72 vols. Baltimore, 1883–1972. description ends , 21:336). The Maryland Council then wrote to the Board of War on 15 April that Lt. Col. Moses Rawlings believed it would be easier and less expensive to disperse the prisoners, “one or two at a Place, with Men who have taken the Oath of Allegiance,” where they could work, rather than raise an adequate number of militia to serve as guards at Fort Frederick during such an important season for farmers (Md. Archives description begins Archives of Maryland. 72 vols. Baltimore, 1883–1972. description ends , 21:348–49). A letter of 23 April from the council to Hughes indicated the Board of War’s approval of “Rawlings’s Idea of placing the Prisoners out to work with good Whigs” and directed the militia officer to implement the design, being sure to take enough security “to make those who have the Prisoners attentive & vigilant. The Plan of keeping up a small Guard at Fort Frederick to receive back such of the Prisoners as may misbehave, will be a prudent and, we hope an effectual Check on the Conduct of those who are let out and we much wish that a sufficient Number of Men may be engaged” (Md. Archives description begins Archives of Maryland. 72 vols. Baltimore, 1883–1972. description ends , 21:363).

For the arrival at Pittsburgh of the detachment formerly on guard duty at Fort Frederick, see Daniel Brodhead to GW, 29 May, DLC:GW; see also GW to Brodhead, 22 March; GW to the Board of War, 8 April, DLC:GW; and GW to Brodhead, 10 May, MBU.

2The enclosure has not been identified, but GW almost certainly is referring to his letter to Moses Rawlings, this date.

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