George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel John Patton, 14 April 1777

To Colonel John Patton

Morris Town 14th Aprill 1777


Your favor of 7th Instt with a Return of your Regiment came to hand two days ago,1 & am sorry to find that your Officers are so slow in the Recruiting Service—The Company you intend to March2 in a few days you will order directly to head Quarters, unless countermanded.

The Expences that necessarily arise to recruiting Officers I believe is much increas’d, but at same time cant help remarking, that (by every Information I receive) they spend a great part of their time in Idleness & Dissipation, to the great detriment of the Service & increase of Expence.

I by no means intend to charge your Officers with these Crimes,3 but request you will be attentive that they account in a Satisfactory manner for the Public4 money you supply them with.

As to the additional allowance for recruiting I can do nothing in it, as I am intirely govern’d by a Resolve of Congress on that head, If the Board of War upon application to them will allow it, I am perfectly Satisfied. I am Sir Yr mo. Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

LS (photocopy), in John Fitzgerald’s writing, NjP: Armstrong Collection; LS, sold by Sotheby, Parke-Bernet, New York, sale no. 4588E, item 182, 28 April 1981; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The draft and Varick transcript are dated 12 April 1777.

1The draft of 12 April, which also is in Fitzgerald’s writing, reads: “Your favor of the 7th Inst. with a Return of your Regiment I this day receiv’d.”

2At this place in the draft, Fitzgerald wrote and struck the words “send off” and then inserted “March” above the line.

3In the draft Fitzgerald wrote and then struck the word “faults” in front of “Crimes.”

4At this place in the draft, Fitzgerald wrote and struck the word “any” and then inserted “the public” above the line.

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