From Brigadier General Charles Scott
[Westchester County, N.Y.] 9th Sept. 1778
I have the unhappiness to inform You that Desertion still prevails among my Corps, we Seldom Send a Detachment on the line, But we loose one or two. and last night Deserted From this Camp three Serjants and 29 privats of Colo. Grayhams Regt of Militia, whom I am much afraid has gon to the enemy. as three of them are taken up by one of my Picquets making that way, this togather with those Inlisted in the Waggon Department has reduced That Regement from a 171 to about thirty, but Fiew of them fit for Duty, indeed war they able to do duty I should be very unwilling to trust Them. this togather with the loss of Armands Corps will in Som measure Prevent my Covouring this Country as Well as I Could Wish, without Fatiguing the men Very much.
Since my Taking the Comd at this post I Have lost By Desertion Sickness & other ways Near three hundred men, the Guards indispensably Necessary as well for the Security of the Grand armey, as this Corps, leads me to wish they may be replaced, the loss of Armads horses Is sevearly felt. Since their departure we Have been obligd to furnish a Strong patroll on the Sawmill River & Albany Roads, but In order to ease the men I had Just posted majr Washington for that Purpose, whilst majr Lee would do the like Duty on the East Side of the Brunx. But had orders from the Adjutant Genl Last night for majr Washington to return to his Regt, if it is not Indispensably Necessary that he should do So, I should be proud he Could Stay if it was But a fiew days untill I could make some other Disposition. I am Your Excellencys Obt Servt
ALS, DLC:GW. Scott’s signed note on the cover reads: “Suffer the bearer to pass to Head Quarters.”
GW’s aide Richard Kidder Meade replied to Scott: “His Excy Commands me to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of this date & express his uneasiness at the frequent Desertions from your Corps—He however rests satisfied that you take the necessary steps to prevent it, & apprehend them when it happens—Agreeable to your request you have permission to detain Majr Washington some time longer, of this the Adjt Genl will have immediate notice, as also to replace the loss of your Original command by Detachments from the Line” (DLC:GW).