George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel John Patton, 11 January 1777

To Colonel John Patton

[Morristown] Jany 11th 1777.


Consequent of the good opini⟨on⟩ I entertain of you as an Officer, I present you with an Appointment to the Command of a Regiment.

Parke will be your Lieutt Colo.; and Scull (late Brigade Majr to Genl Thompson) your Major. I have also to desire that Lieutt Jno. Dennis (recomd by Genl Cadwallader) may be one of your Captains.1

The rest of the Officers you, and your Field Officers will, I hope, make a happy, & judicious choice of—always keeping in view, how much your own honour & the reputation of the Regiment depends upon their goodness.

Inclosed you have a Warrant upon the Paymaster for 5,000 Dollars to begin your Recruiting with—more may be had as wanted.2 Wishing you to use every possible exertion in the discharge of this duty I remain Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

N.B. The Surgeons & Mates are to pass Examination of the Director Genl of the Hospital before they are appointed. Philadelphia may be the place of Rendezvous for your Regiment.

ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. In the dateline of the draft GW inadvertently wrote “New Town,” the name of his former headquarters in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The text in angle brackets is mutilated.

John Patton (1745–1804) of Pennsylvania served as a major in Col. Samuel Miles’s Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment from 13 Mar. 1776 until his transfer to the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment on 25 Oct. 1776. Patton commanded his Additional Continental Regiment until November of this year although he did not actually resign his commission until 3 Feb. 1778. Patton’s regiment, which consisted mostly of recruits from the Philadelphia area and eastern Pennsylvania, lost much of its strength during the Valley Forge winter encampment of 1777–78, and the following summer it was attached to Col. William Grayson’s Additional Continental Regiment. It was assigned to Col. Thomas Hartley’s Additional Continental Regiment in October 1778, and the two regiments were consolidated as the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment that December.

1John Dennis (d. 1778) served as a captain in the New Jersey militia before being appointed a captain in Patton’s Additional Continental Regiment. Dennis was captured at Fort Mercer, N.J., on 22 Oct. 1777 and died the following January while still in captivity.

2The warrant for $5,000, which has not been identified, was issued on this date (see GW’s warrant book no. 2, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 18).

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