George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Henry Emanuel Lutterloh, 2 June 1777

From Major Henry Emanuel Lutterloh

at Bridgewater Township [N.J.]
Mrs Van allstale the 2d June 1777.1


your Excelle. will be pleased to ex[c]use the Liberty I take in Sending this Plan. I called it a Legion formed of 13 Companys in case it should be called the Legion of the Congress! any Alteration Your Excelle. should think proper to order, I could soon make.2

In case the Congress should not like the raising of such a Corps—I still wish to be Usefull to Your Excle. Army in any other Brange [branch], and as I have had the Department of a Quarter Master Generale in our Army abroad, I think, that with a Titul of a Colonell I could Serve, and introduce many Usefull Regulations, till an other opportunity offers. We had in our Army a standing Depots, Kept in a Secure place out of which all the Regiments were furnished with their Recruits (which were Trained & exercised for Service) as allso the bad & Seak [sick] horses were Kept & fed there and then Send to their Trains again when recovered. Such an Establishment Prince Ferdinand found Usefull & Necessary3 and a Colonell had the Command who exercised the Men with his officers and Kept all in order; and Deserters & Prisoners are lickwise Usefull to the Labour in that Department. We make never any objections to place a Foreigner in any Place if he is able to performe Usefull Service: The great Armys abroad could never exist if not the Gentlemen & Men out of other Countreys Served in them—if a Man does not his duty & Serves well, he is punished & Dismissed. I should have waited on Your Excelle. with this plan myself but my leg is So bad, & Swelled Such that I must beg pardon for writing,4 and also beg your Excelle. will be pleased to honour me with a Letter to the Congress—and Your future high protection and Friendship which I shall strife to Merit, Thro’ a faithfull Service for this Country, and have the honour to be with the profoundest Respects Your Excelle. Most obedient & most humble Servt

H. E. Lutterloh

ALS, PHi: Gratz Collection; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW.

1Bridgewater Township is the part of Somerset County, N.J., that includes Bound Brook and Middlebrook. Lutterloh’s hostess may be Margaret Stryker Van Arsdale (Vanarsdallen), the widow of Isaac Van Arsdale (Vanarsdallen) of Somerset County, who died in the summer of 1776 (see N.J. Archives description begins Documents Relating to the Colonial, Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary History of the State of New Jersey. 42 vols. Newark and Trenton, 1880–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 5:535).

2Lutterloh’s undated plan of organization for his proposed light infantry corps is with the documents at the end of May 1777 in DLC:GW, ser. 4. In a note accompanying the plan he says: “For the Safety and ease of an Army—the light Troops are absolutely necessary. To raise these Corps, We followed in the last War the King of Prussia[’s] maner and inlisted all the Deserters, and those of the Prisoners who chused to Serve.

“The objections which may be made against these Men, are not sufficient, in regard to the Service and benefit the Country gains by Safing the inhabitants. as I have Served so long in the Brunswick Service and am Known to all the Hessians, I have no doubt, but that I shall be able to compleat a light Corps very soon; I know likewise a number of good officers in Germany, which will come over if I want them in my Corps; of which I take the Liberty to annese [annex] the Plan.”

In another note to the plan Lutterloh says: “a light Corps must have no Waggons to incumber its quick Marches—but the Tents, Bagage &ca must be carried upon Pack horses. even the light Cannones can be carried upon horses. very Usefull upon the advance Posts, and in difficult passages.”

3Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick (1721–1792), served as an officer in the Prussian army from 1740 to 1766, and during the Seven Years’ War he commanded the allied British and German forces in western Germany with the rank of field marshal.

4Lutterloh was injured in a carriage accident on his journey to GW’s headquarters (see GW to Thomas Mifflin, 31 May).

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