George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Edmund Pendleton, 12 April 1777

To Edmund Pendleton

Morris Town April 12th 1777.

Dear Sir

I am exceedingly sorry to hear of the accident you have lately met with, an acct of which I receivd from B. Genl Woodford, whom I am glad to find will again enter into the Service.1

I have been favour’d with your Letter by Majr Taliaferro and shall always think myself happy in shewing proper attention to any Gentn of your recommending—Motives of prudence and policy however forbid me to be particular to any.2

High as the Militia Accts will run I have had but few Men with me all Winter, and the present prospect I think is, that the Campaign will be opened by General Howe before we shall be in any condition to oppose him—No Men are yet come in from the Eastward, and but a small number from the Southward, whilst the few old Regiments that remain’d after the dissolution of the Army are in a manner reduced to a mere handful of Men.

The designs of the Enemy are not, as yet, clearly unfolded; but I believe that Philadelphia is the object in view—this however may, or may not be the case, as the North River must also be a capitol concern of theirs, whilst they keep an Army in Canada—Circumstances therefore will govern their Movements.

They are exceedingly busy in preparing to open the Campaign—they have constructed a floating bridge (to be supported by flat bottom’d Boats and these again to be transported on Carriages, by Land) with design, it is imagined, to throw over the Delaware—and they are preparing Transports for the reception of Men, for the purpose it is thought, of getting round into that River, to co-operate therewith—these however are guesses in the field of Conjecture—a little time now will manifest their Intention’s.

Your friendly, and affectionate wishes for my health and success has a claim to my thankful acknowledgements—and, that the God of Armies may enable me to bring the present contest to a speedy and happy conclusion, thereby gratifying me in a retirement to the calm and sweet enjoyment of domestick happiness, is the fervent prayer, and most ardent wish of my Soul. My best respects attend Mrs Pendleton,3 and with every Sentiment of regard and Affection I am Dr Sir, Yr most Obedt Hume Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, MHi: Washburn Papers. GW also franked the cover of this letter, and he addressed it: “To The Honble Edmd Pendleton Esqr. Speaker of the House of Delegates In Virginia.”

1This letter from William Woodford to GW, which apparently was written in response to GW’s letter to him of 3 Mar., has not been identified. Pendleton’s fall from his horse in March severely injured his hip, crippling him for the remainder of his life.

2Pendleton’s letter to GW recommending this officer has not been identified. William Taliaferro (d. 1778) of Caroline County, Va., who had been appointed a captain in the 2d Virginia Regiment in September 1775, became major of the 3d Virginia Regiment in October 1776 (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 6:864) and was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 4th Virginia Regiment on 21 Feb. 1777. Taliaferro was captured by the British at the Battle of Brandywine on 11 Sept. 1777 and died on 1 Feb. 1778.

3Sarah Pollard married Edmund Pendleton in 1743.

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