George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 5–6 September 1778

To Major General John Sullivan

Head Quarters White plains 5[–6] Sepr 1778

Dear Sir

I have recd yours of the 31st ulto by Major Morris and of the 2d and 3d instants by Express. At the same time that the former relieved us from infinite anxiety upon your account, it served to convince—that the enemy felt the weight of their repulse, by their permitting you to pass the River without the least interruption. I sincerely congratulate you not only upon your safe retreat, but upon the success of our Arms upon the 29 Augt and I beg you will present my thanks to the Officers of all Ranks and to the troops for their gallant behaviour upon that day. I am exceedingly happy to find by yours of the 3d that harmony is again reestablished between our Army and our Allies. I have transmitted a Copy of your letter to Congress1 and I am certain it will afford them pleasure.

I have been informed that you were obliged to draw all the Arms from the Magazine at Spring feild to put into the hands of the Militia.2 If this has been the case, I entreat you to make use of all possible means to have them returned, when the Militia are disbanded, and lodged again in the Magazine. A large Regiment arrived a few days ago from North Carolina, unarmed, and we have none to supply them.3 Besides this, there is a considerable deficiency in the other parts of the Army. I beg you will upon no account or pretence suffer them to turn their backs upon you, before they have delivered their Arms and other stores, for if they once carry them out of your sight, it wi⟨ll⟩ be impossible to recover them. 6th Sepr[ ] I have recd yours of the 4th respecting the complaints of Colo. Sherburnes & Colo. Webbs officers. Their circumstances are similar to those of all the other 16 additional Battalions. What will be determined upon in regard to those Battalions I do not know, but I imagine the Committee for arranging the Army upon the new establishment, who are now sitting here, will have direction from Congress4 concerning them. As soon as they come to any resolution, that affects them, I will communicate it. I am &c.

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

2The source of GW’s information has not been determined.

3GW was referring to the 3d North Carolina Regiment, commanded by Col. James Hogun. The monthly return for September reports 564 men in the regiment (Lesser, Sinews of Independence description begins Charles H. Lesser, ed. The Sinews of Independence: Monthly Strength Reports of the Continental Army. Chicago, 1976. description ends , 85).

4On the draft, Tilghman first continued this sentence with the words “either to put them upon some certain and permanent footing, or,” but he struck out that text and inserted the two words that follow.

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