George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 19 September 1778

To Major General John Sullivan

West point 19th Sepr 1778

Dear sir

I had the pleasure of your letter of the 15 Inst. last night and another of the 14 the day before.

By a resolve of Congress lately passed all horses killed in action are to be paid for by the Quarter Master General on the oath of the party, a sum not exceeding 500 Dollars.1

We have pretty authentic intelligence of Lord Howes return with his squadron to New york—and a large fleet of transports came down the Sound the 16th Inst., which is supposed to be General Gray returning.

Nothing has been done as yet decisive by the Committee of arrangement with respect to Lee, Henley & Jacksons Regiments but I believe it is the design of the Committee to throw them into one. It is not therefore of immediate necessity2 to fill up the Commissions till the matter is finally settled.

The army is in motion to Fredericksburg and its neighbourhood—We shall there be in a more favourable position to give you assistance should the war take an Eastern direction or to take care of ourselves should the enemy meditate an attempt on the main army—or the defences on the North river.

You will be pleased to give the Counts letters the speediest conveyance. I am &c.

Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. An extract of this letter, which contains only the third paragraph regarding British naval movements, was published with slight alteration in wording in the Providence Gazette; and Country Journal, 26 September.

1At the end of this sentence on the draft manuscript, McHenry wrote and then struck out the following phrase: “to be proportioned to the value of the horse.” For Congress’s resolution of 12 Aug. 1778 on this subject, see General Orders, 19 Aug.; see also Henry Laurens to GW, 13 Aug., and 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 , 11:777–78.

2At this place on the draft manuscript, McHenry first wrote “importance.” He then struck out that word and inserted the words “immediate necessity.”

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