George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel William Malcom, 27 July 1778

To Colonel William Malcom

Head Quarters [White Plains]1 27 July 1778


I this morning recd yours of the 26th by Capt. Bicker.2 I shall be glad to receive a perfect Return of the State of the Works, and what will be necessary for their completion, as soon as possible. In the mean time I shall lay the Commissary’s return of provision before the Commy General and desire him to lay in what further supply may be necessary. The Qr Mr Genl has given orders to Colo. Hay respectg the supernumerary Waggons.3 If the commanding Officers of the two Continental Regiments will make out Returns of the Cloathing wanting and will apply to the Cloathier at Fishkill, he will supply them, if he has the Articles. If he has not, he must immediately order them from Boston or from Philada.

Colo. Kosciusko was left at the Fort as acting Engineer and I have always understood is fully competent to the Business, I do not therefore see why another is necessary.

By the 12th Article of the 14th section of the Articles of War you are empowered to hold Garrison Courts Martial.4 If any case occurs which affects life or the trial of a Commd Officer, I will, upon application, order a general Court Martial.

I have no objection to the person you mention doing the duty of Major of Brigade. But I think the same person may very well perform both duties of Brigade Major and Adjt General, as the whole Garrison may be thrown into one Brigade.

There certainly is reason in your demand of some thing extra for your Expences as Commandant of the Posts. I am therefore willing to allow you double your stated subsista⟨nce,⟩ but as this, if known, may be drawn into precedent where there is no right or real occasion, I would wish you to say nothing about the matter.

I some time ago directed the German or Armands Regiment to be sent to Fort Arnold as the most proper place of security, they being chiefly deserters. But as the order has been neglected I now inclose a letter to Colo. Armand or the commanding Officer directing him to repair thither.5 I cannot at present spare Grahams Regiment. A few days ago I sent up eight persons to Fort Arnold who were sent from Vermont.6 If they could be confined in any other place, I think it would be more proper, as, if they are really inimical, they may make themselves masters of the state of the Garrison, Works &ca. If you can see Govr Clinton, you may consult him upon a proper place. I am &ca.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Tilghman wrote, “Valley Forge.”

2Walter Bicker (1747–1821), a son of Col. Henry Bicker, was appointed as a lieutenant and adjutant of the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1776. Captured at Fort Washington on 16 Nov. 1776, he was apparently exchanged by January 1777, when he was commissioned a captain in Col. John Patton’s Additional Continental Regiment. Bicker was left out of the new arrangement when Patton’s regiment was consolidated with Col. Thomas Hartley’s Additional Continental Regiment in January 1779, but he was paid as a captain until April of that year.

3Tilghman inserted this sentence on the draft in place of his original sentence, which read: “I shall lay that part of your letter which respects the Waggons before the Qr Mr General and he may either discharge them or bring them down to the Army, as he thinks proper.”

4For this article, 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 , 5:802.

5The enclosed letter has not been found, and the previous order has not been identified.

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