George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Benedict Arnold, 20 June 1777

From Major General Benedict Arnold

Corryells Ferry June 20th 1777

Dear General,

Your favour of the 17th Inst. I receiv’d the Next morning, & immediately communicated the Contents to Congress,1 at the same time recommended the Posting two thousand Men on the Delaware from this place to Bristol, & fifteen hundred at the Posts below, Philada to Compleat the Works already began, & raise such new ones, as are necessary. The State Regt formerly commanded by Colonel Bull, now by Colo. Stewart, is on its March to Join your Excellency, this will be Delivered By Capt. Patrick Anderson, who has the Advance Guard,2 & is charged with a Letter And fourteen half Joannes & three Guineas for Lieut. Colonel Thos Bull a Prisoner in New York, which beg the favr of your Excellency to forward.

I went yesterday from this to Trenton by the Rivers Bank, & Carefully examined all the Passes, I am fully of Opinion Two Thousand Men will effectually guard them with some few works, which will be immediately hove up Brigr Genl Potter is Posted here, I am Just Seting offor Trenton, where I shall continue Untill further Orders, Genl Mifflin I am told will be here this evening on his way to Join your Excellency, last evening I receiv’d A line from Genl Sullivan who writes me the Enemy had Abandoned their Posts at Sommerset, & were retireing to Brunswick.

I am Ordered by Congress to remain at this Post, or Trenton, untill I received further Orders from your Excellency as there are no Troops Posted here, except Militia who have a sufficient Number of Officers, I can be of little service here, If I am not wanted—with the Army, I should be glad to return to Philada as my Accots with the Publick have not yet been settled oweing to Mr Milligan one of the Commissioners being out of Town.3 I am very respectfully Dr Genl Your Obedt Hbl. Ser.

B. Arnold

ALS, DLC:GW. Although no reply to this letter has been found, the docket on the cover reads in part “ansd liberty to go to Philada.”

1See Arnold to Hancock, 18 June 1777, in DNA:PCC, item 162.

2Patrick Anderson (1719–1793) of Chester County, Pa., a veteran of the French and Indian War and a member of the Chester County associators in 1774 and 1775, was the senior captain of the Pennsylvania state rifle regiment. He remained with the regiment after it was incorporated into the Continental line as the 13th Pennsylvania Regiment in April 1777, but the following fall he was suspended from the service for nonattendance (see General Orders, 15 Oct. 1777). Anderson served in the Pennsylvania assembly from 1778 to 1780.

3James Milligan (d. 1818) of Philadelphia had been authorized by Congress to sign Continental bills of credit in July 1775, and between that time and 1781, when Congress appointed him comptroller of the treasury, he held several other important positions relating to Continental finances. As comptroller Milligan was responsible for auditing and settling many of GW’s Revolutionary War accounts (see Milligan to GW, 13 Jan. 1784, GW to Milligan, 18 Feb. 1784, Milligan to GW, 9 Mar. 1784, and GW to Milligan, 1 April 1784). In July 1787 GW dined with Milligan at the latter’s south Second Street home in Philadelphia (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:176, 242).

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