George Washington Papers

Circular to the Commanding Officers of Several Virginia Regiments, 7 April 1777

Circular to the Commanding Officers of Several Virginia Regiments

[Morristown, 7 April 1777]


I am informed, and indeed I have observed, that the men of your Regiment are so exceedingly bare of necessaries that it not only contributes to their unhealthiness, but renders them absolutely unfit to take the feild. Inattention to the Wants of Soldiers marks the bad officer—it does more, it reasonably removes that Confidence on which the officer’s Honour & Reputation must depend—As there is Cloathing now here, I desire you may immediately cause inquiry to be made into what is wanting, and make returns, that if the things wanted are not here, they may be ordered on. If advantage is not taken to supply the Men now we have a little leisure time, they will be miserable and naked during the active part of the Campaign.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s and George Johnston’s writings, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Tilghman wrote all of the draft except the second and third sentences, which Johnston added.

The draft is addressed below the text: “To the Commanding Officer of 1st 3d 4th 5th 6th 9th Virginia Regs.” The date is taken from the docket on the reverse, which reads: “Morris Town 7th April 1777 Copy of Circular letters to Commanding Officers of 1st 3d 4th 5th 6th & 9th Virginia Battalions. also Colo. Bland of Virginia Horse.” The commanding officers of the 1st, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 9th Virginia regiments at this time were, respectively, James Read, Thomas Marshall, Thomas Elliott, Josiah Parker, James Hendricks, and George Mathews. Theodorick Bland commanded the 1st Continental Light Dragoon Regiment.

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