George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Theodorick Bland, 3 July 1778

To Colonel Theodorick Bland

Head Quarters Brunswic [N.J.] 3d July 1778

Dear Sir

I have been favd with your two letters of the 5th ulto. As it was not possible for Capt. Medici to procure Horses at the prices to which he had been at first limited, I think you did right in advising him to purchase upon the best terms he could, without limitation: but I do not think that you should advance him any money. He will, with more propri⟨ety draw it⟩ from the State to which he belongs. ⟨There are⟩ some Horse Accoutrements arrived fro⟨m Fra⟩nce at Portsmouth New England, but how many, or what kind, I do not know. I would therefore have you still procure all you can in Virginia. I have ordered the above accoutrements to m⟨eet⟩ me at the North River,1 and therefore I desire that you may send forward the Men and Horses as fast as the first are cloathed and the last fit for service, and I will accoutre them th⟨ere.⟩

⟨Lieut.⟩ Lewis is certainly intitled to a Captaincy ⟨from the da⟩te of Major Lee’s promotion, but what reason Capt. Jones has to complain, I cannot conceive, unless it be, that Congress, on account of the extraordinary merit of Capt. Lee and the officers who served under him last Campaign, have promoted them in a separate Corps.2 Had Capt. Lee been promoted in the Regiment, Capt. Jones would then have had reason to think himself injured.

It was the pleasure of Congress that Capt. Lee’s former troop should make part of his presen⟨t⟩ Corps, and therefore I can say nothing about it, further than that in the inlistment of Men for your Regiment, you must make provision for that deficiency.

I should have been exce⟨edingly happy⟩ had the settlement of the Rank of th⟨e officers of Ho⟩rse been agreeable to all parties. You m⟨ust be⟩ sensible that it is not in my power to do more than I have done, or to alter the determination of the Board of Officers to whom it was left.3

You are mistaken as to ⟨ the ⟩ Colonels of the other Regiments of Cavalry having filled up the vacancies in their Regiments: They have only taken an account of such Gentlemen as are willing and qualified to serve, and I sh⟨all be g⟩lad that you would do the same.

I have just recd yours ⟨of the 1⟩4th ulto with the Returns inclosed and am Dear Sir Your most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, in private hands; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Where the LS is mutilated, the text in angle brackets has been taken from the draft.

2For Congress’s resolution of 7 April promoting Henry Lee to major, 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 , 10:314–15.

3For the determination of cavalry ranks by a board of general officers ordered in November 1777, see John Sullivan to GW, 24 Nov. 1777, n.1. On receipt of this letter, Bland wrote Henry Laurens to lay his claim to a higher rank before Congress (Bland to Laurens, 18 July, DNA:PCC, item 78).

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