George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General John Lacey, Jr., 21 January 1778

From Brigadier General John Lacey, Jr.

Camp Graham Park [Pa.] Jan. 21st 1778


Since General Potter Left me, Dozens of the Inhabitants of Germantown and the Neighbourhood are applying, to Carry Flour Beef &c. to that Quarter; I would be Glad to know what Quantity to Permit them to Carry or weathr any.

I Learn from Philadelphia that the Prisonrs are Bad off, for Beding If your Excellency pleases I would propose Sending them, one or two Waggon Load of Straw.

The Fatigues our Scouting Parties have, are heavy, and our Whisky Exosted, and none to Give them, my Numbers are Decreasing.

The Enemy comes out every Day four or five Miles Distance, but soon Returns again, I have the Honour to be your Excellences most Humbe Servent

Jno. Lacey jur

ALS, NN: Washington Collection; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW.

John Lacey, Jr. (1755–1814), a Quaker from Bucks County, Pa., became captain of a company of Pennsylvania Associators in August 1775, “throwing off,” he later wrote, “my passive and non-resisting principles” (see Lacey, “Memoirs,” description begins John Lacey. “Memoirs of Brigadier-General John Lacey, of Pennsylvania.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 25 (1901): 1–13, 191–207, 341–54, 498–515; 26 (1902): 101–11, 265–70. description ends 25:10). In January 1776 he was commissioned a captain in the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion under Col. Anthony Wayne, with whom he engaged in a bitter feud until Lacey resigned in November of that year. In March 1777 he accepted the office of sublieutenant for Bucks County with the rank of lieutenant colonel, taking command of the 4th Battalion of Bucks County militia in May 1777. On 9 Jan. 1778 Lacey was appointed a brigadier general in command of the Pennsylvania militia, temporarily replacing Brig. Gen. James Potter (see Daniel Morgan to GW, 5 Jan., n.1). Potter returned to his command, displacing Lacey, in May 1778 (see GW to Lacey, 11 May 1778), but Lacey continued in service as a brigadier general of Pennsylvania militia at least until October 1781.

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