George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Horatio Gates, 23 December 1776

To Major General Horatio Gates

Head Quarters [Bucks County, Pa.] 23d Decr 1776

Dr Sir,

I shall not object to yr going to Philadelphia on Acct of your Health, but wish it would have permitted you to have gone to Bristol rather, in order to have conducted matters there in cooperation with what I hinted to you as having in view here.1

I fear their may be some little uneasiness about Command there, as some of the Continental Colonels have gone down with the Brigade that Marchd last. If you could only stay there two or three days to concert with Colonels Read & Cadwallader a Plan, & direct in what manner it is to be conducted I should be glad of it2—I am Dr Sir Yrs &c.

Go: Washington

ALS, NHi: Gates Papers.

1For the location of a popular health spa at Bristol, see GW to Richard Dallam, 5 Dec., note 2. For GW’s plans for attacking Trenton on 25 Dec., see his letter to Joseph Reed of this date.

2Gates proceeded to Congress at Baltimore where he arrived on 28 Dec. (see John Hancock to Philip Schuyler, 30 Dec., in Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 5:700–703). For a discussion of Gates’s reasons for leaving the army at this time, see Nelson, General Horatio Gates description begins Paul David Nelson. General Horatio Gates: A Biography. Baton Rouge, La., 1976. description ends , 75–78.

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