George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Richard Peters, 30 December 1777

To Richard Peters

Head Quarters [Valley Forge] 30th Decemr 1777


Captain Jones of Coll Baylers Regt of Light dragoons has a troop of Men inlisted and accoutrements compleat, but not having been able to procure Horses at the limited price, the Men are as yet dismounted.

I am informed that there are a number of horses at Lancaster and Carlisle which were purchased for the North Carolina light dragoons but tis said they have neither proper Arms or Accoutrements, if therefore those Horses could be delivered to Capt. Jones they would immediately render very essential service, for the Regs. that have been upon duty the last Campaign are so reduced, that they can scarcely furnish the necessary patrolls for the security of the Camp. I am sending off all the worn down horses to recruit, and I could therefore wish that the Board would give order that the Horses at Lancaster and Carlisle may be delivered to Capt. Jones except the North Carolinians for whom they were intended are ready to mount and take the feild.1 I am &c.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Tilghman docketed the letter “ Capt. Jones.”

1Congress resolved on 9 Aug. 1777 that “such troopers of the North Carolina light-horse . . . as shall inlist for three years, or during the war, be furnished with horses, and be properly accoutred” (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 , 8:627). Little had been accomplished, however, by 5 Dec. 1778, when the Board of War reported that “from an impracticability to provide for them, they have been hitherto unemployed in the field, except about forty. . . . That, from their not being annexed to any corps, they cannot, in the opinion of the Board, be of much utility to the states, unless they can be employed to the southward under General [Benjamin] Lincoln, and then much expense will accrue in fitting them for the field” (ibid., 12:1193–94). In consequence, Congress resolved on that date to dismiss the regiment from the Continental service effective 1 Jan. 1779.

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