George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 30 July 1779

From Major General John Sullivan

Camp Wyoming [Pa.] July 30th 1779.

Dear General, I have the honor to inform your Excellency, that I have at length surmounted every obstacle and shall commence my March tomorrow morning.1 I have taken the necessary precaution (by duplicates) to apprize Genl. Clinton of this circumstance a copy of which I do myself the honor to inclose you.2

Your Excellency will be pleased to direct Col. Paulding to begin his march at such time, as you may think proper.3 I have the honor to subscribe myself with great respect D’r Genl. Y’r Excellency’s Obe’d, & very hum. serv’t

Jno. Sullivan.

Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers, description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends 5:177–78; copy (partially burned), enclosed in GW to George Clinton, 3 Aug. 1779, N: George Clinton Papers. The transcription in Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers, description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends was taken from the now partially burned copy before its mutilation and varies in no significant fashion from what remains legible.

1Sgt. Maj. George Grant of the 3d New Jersey Regiment wrote a journal entry from Wyoming on this date: “A party of 600 men was employed from 6 o’clock in the morning until 9 in the evening, loading the Boats and Pack horses” (Sullivan Expedition Journals, description begins Frederick Cook, ed., and George S. Conover, comp. Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 With Records of Centennial Celebrations. Auburn, N.Y., 1887. description ends 108).

Lt. William Barton of the 1st New Jersey Regiment described the departure of Sullivan’s main body from Wyoming in his journal entry for 31 July: “The army marched at 12 o’clock, after signals being given by a discharge of cannon from the fort, which were immediately answered from the boats, which carried all the artillery and stores, excepting some kegs of flour, which were carried on horses—Gen. Hand having previously advanced about one mile being appointed to the light corps on this expedition. The whole proceeded, only our Regiment, which composed the rear guard—having in charge stragglers, cattle, etc., which occasioned us to march very slow” (Sullivan Expedition Journals, description begins Frederick Cook, ed., and George S. Conover, comp. Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 With Records of Centennial Celebrations. Auburn, N.Y., 1887. description ends 5). Lt. Col. Henry Dearborn of the 3d New Hampshire Regiment described the same movement in his journal entry for the same date: “After passing the forenoon at very severe fatigue in loading the boats & pack horses the army movd from Wyoming at 2 o’clock P.M with 120 boats about 1200 pack horses & 700 beef cattle We proceeded to Lachawanea 10 miles & Encamp’d here … We have had a remarkable rainey time for 10 days past & still continues” (Sullivan Expedition Journals, description begins Frederick Cook, ed., and George S. Conover, comp. Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 With Records of Centennial Celebrations. Auburn, N.Y., 1887. description ends 68–69). The journal entry of Thomas Grant, a surveyor, for the same date reads: “The whole Army under the command of Major Janaral Sullivan marched from Wyoming about one o’clock P.M. The fleet under the command of Col. Thos. Proctor saluted the fort, which was Returned to the mutual satisfaction of all present. We marched this afternoon to Lackawana, neer 10 mils from Wyoming, where the army Encamped in Regular order. Gen. Hand’s Light Troops in front, Gen. Maxwell’s Brigade on the Right, Gen. Poor’s on the left, Col. Ogden’s Regt the Rear guard. A chain of Centinels a Round the camp; the Boats som mils in our Rear, owing to their Loading being Eregular” (Sullivan Expedition Journals, description begins Frederick Cook, ed., and George S. Conover, comp. Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 With Records of Centennial Celebrations. Auburn, N.Y., 1887. description ends 137). For additional descriptions of the departure from Wyoming on 31 July, see the journals of Lt. Col. Adam Hubley, Jr., Lt. John Jenkins, and Maj. James Norris, Sullivan Expedition Journals, description begins Frederick Cook, ed., and George S. Conover, comp. Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 With Records of Centennial Celebrations. Auburn, N.Y., 1887. description ends 146–47, 170, 227.

2A version of Sullivan’s letter to Brig. Gen. James Clinton, written at Wyoming, Pa., on 30 July reads: “I with pleasure assure you (after surmounting every impediment to my march) that I shall leave this tomorrow morning.

“I wish you to set out the 9th of the next month (marching moderately) as some allowance is to be made for bad weather, which will probably detain us some time. On my arrival at Tioga, I will immediately detach a considerable body of light troops to favour and secure your march” (Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers, description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends 5:178).

GW forwarded a copy of Sullivan’s letter to Clinton, which has not been identified, in his own letter to Clinton, written at West Point on 3 August. GW’s letter reads: “I have just received the inclosed copy of a letter to you from General Sullivan, of which he informs me he has sent you a duplicate; but I think it best to forward you, the triplicate lest the two former should miscarry (Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; see also GW to George Clinton, 3 Aug., DLC:GW).

3GW replied to Sullivan on 4 Aug. (NhHi: Sullivan Papers). For Lt. Col. Albert Pawling’s marching orders, see Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers, description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends 5:181–83.

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