George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Lachlan McIntosh, 5 January 1778

To Brigadier General Lachlan McIntosh

[Valley Forge, 5 January 1778]


The Plan proposed by the Feild Officers of your Brigad⟨e⟩ is Similar to what is Adopted by some New England Corps, does them Honor, & is approved of.1 You are therefore as soon as possible to make up the 1st 2d & 3d Battalions of ⟨No.⟩ Carolina as nearly equal as Conveniently may be, from the Non Commissioned Officers & privates of the other Regiments of that state, and order all the Commissioned Officers of the Vacant Regiments upon the Recruiting Service without Delay that they may if possible under the advice & direction of their Governor2 be able to fill their Regims. and Join the Army early the next Campain. they are to use their Utmost Exertions to pick up all Deserters & other stragglers belonging to the Continental Army wherever they may be fou⟨nd⟩ and the better to effect these purposes, they are to request h⟨is⟩ Excelly the Govr of No. Carolina that he will be pleased to ⟨give ev⟩ery Asistance in his power, & fall upon some effectual m⟨easures⟩ to fill up expeditiously the quota of Troops from that st⟨ate⟩ in which its own Honor & that of the Continent is so ⟨much⟩ Concerned. And Asist in Clothing their Troops as other ⟨States⟩ have done which prevents Desertions & Save many Usefu⟨l Lives.⟩ Given at head Quarters V⟨alley⟩ Forge this 5th day of Ja⟨nuary⟩ 1778.

Go: W——n

DfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The scribe has not been identified; GW inserted one passage and wrote the closing sentence. The mutilated text is supplied in angle brackets from the Varick transcript.

1A copy of the plan of the North Carolina officers, dated 4 Jan., is in DLC:GW. It reads: “The Field Officers of the No. Carolina Brigade being convened at the request of Brigr Genl McIntosh to take into consideration the present weak state of their Regts and recommend such alterations as might be thought most conducive to the Honor of the Brigade & Interest, of the service, are of opinion that it wou’d be very much for the good of the Service to have the non Commissd Officers & Privates of said Brigade turned over to a smaller number of Regiments & the supernumery Officers to be employed in disciplining and forwarding to Head Quarters such recruits as may be put into their hands by the state of No. Carolina. But submit entirely to his Excelly the Commander in Chief to point out and direct a mode for that purpose.” The plan was signed by colonels James Hogun, Gideon Lamb, Thomas Clark, and John Patten; lieutenant colonels James Thackston, Archibald Litle [Lytle], William Lee Davidson, Levi Dawson, and Selby Horney; and majors William Polk, John Armstrong, William Fenner, and Henry Dixon. GW made similar proposals in his letter of 29 Jan. to a Continental Congress Camp Committee.

2“Under the advice & direction of their Governor” is in GW’s writing.

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