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From George Washington to Brigadier General John Sullivan, 10 January 1776

To Brigadier General John Sullivan

Cambridge 10th Jan: 1776

Dr Sir,

In looking over the list of Officers in your Brigade, I find the whole compleated, except in one Instance, without paying the least regard to the order wch directed, that no Person should be Inserted that was not in the first arrangement, otherwise than by recommendation.1

I also find, in the Regimental returns of our Strength, in your Brigade, several matters that need explanation—to wit—a number of Men on Command—and in Colo. Poors last return the whole number of his Regiment consists but of 277 Men whereas by the different weekly returns which he has given there appears to have been Inlisted 511 Men. In like manner, by the different Weekly returns our whole number of Recruits ought to amt to about 10,500 Men, whereas by the Regimental Returns of Saturday (which were only compleated last Night) they stand at 8212 and but 5582 of these returnd present, fit for duty—These things are so alarming & stand so much in need of explanation that I must desire you to take a ride to head Quarters & see if they can be accounted for—Major Scammell & Colo. Poor may be necessary also in the illucidation of some of these points.2

If you were to come to Dinner, I should be glad of your Company & am Dr Sr Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, NhHi: Sullivan Papers.

2The “General Return of the Army of the United Colonies” for 8 Jan. 1776 signed by Horatio Gates reports a total of 13,509 rank and file in GW’s army and 10,209 present and fit for duty. For Enoch Poor’s regiment it gives a total of 435 rank and file, of whom 343 were present and fit for duty (DNA: RG 93, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775–1783). Alexander Scammell was Sullivan’s brigade major. Enoch Poor of Exeter, N.H., was colonel of the 8th Continental Regiment in Sullivan’s brigade. Poor became a Continental brigadier general on 21 Feb. 1777 and commanded a brigade until he died of typhus at Paramus, N.J., on 8 Sept. 1780.

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