George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Stirling, 21 March 1778

To Major General Stirling

Valley Forge Mar. 21st 1778.

My Lord,

In answer to your favor of this date give me leave to say that I am well pleased at the termination of your corrispondance with Colo. Wilkinson—I sent for that Gentn after the conversation had with your Lordship, & showed him the Letters wch Mr Harrison furnished you with a sight of. he seemed a good deal surprized at G——s’s Letters & was not at all sparing in his abuse of him & C——y.1

The arrangement of the two Regiments, as Inclosed by you, will be perfectly agreeable to me, & must, I fancy, be so to the Comee; unless it should interfere with any general Plan they may have in view for the reduction of the sixteen additional Battalions.2

The sooner you can furnish the Characters of the four Pensa Regiments in your Division the better; as Genls Reed and Wayne are, I believe, upon that business with the whole Pensa. Line.3

Colo. Burr must wait till more field Officers return to Camp before he leaves it. the daily application for discharges and furloughs distresses me beyond measure. I am sorry to hear of your indisposition but hope it will soon go of. I am Yr Lordships most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. Upon re-examing the arrangemt you Inclosed, I find 1st & 2d Leiutts wch are not to be in the New Establishment.4 I also perceive that all the Officers nearly, are taken from Malcolms Regt. Is this agreeable to Spencer?

ALS, NHi: Stirling Papers.

1Stirling’s “favor of this date” has not been found. The letters shown to Stirling and to James Wilkinson probably included Horatio Gates to GW, 8 Dec. 1777 and 23 Jan. 1778, and Thomas Conway to GW, 5 Nov. 1777 and 27 Jan. 1778. For a discussion of the so-called Conway Cabal, see GW to Gates, 4 Jan. 1778, n.3. A correspondence of 18 Mar. 1778 between Wilkinson and Stirling about the propriety of Stirling’s decision to pass on what Wilkinson’s conversation had revealed about Conway was published much later in Wilkinson, Memoirs description begins James Wilkinson. Memoirs of My Own Times. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1816. description ends , 1:391–92.

2The “arrangement” sent by Stirling has not been found. The “Comee” was the congressional camp committee.

3On the arrangement of the Pennsylvania line, see GW to Anthony Wayne, 12 Mar., and note 1 to that document.

4The “New Establishment” was a reference to the army reorganization being discussed by GW with the congressional camp committee (see GW to a Continental Congress Camp Committee, 29 Jan., and source note to that document). For the establishment as finally passed on 27 May, see 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 , 11:538–43.

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