From Henry Laurens
[Philadelphia] 13th October 
My last trouble to your Excellency was dated the 9th by Messenger Dodd who was detained by bad weather and a little management of his own until yesterday.1
Within the present inclosure your Excellency will receive the undermentioned Papers.
1. An Act of Congress of the 12th Inst. strictly enjoining all Officers in the Army of the United States to see that the good and wholsome Laws provided for the preservation of Morals among the Soldiers be duly observed.2
2. Extract of a Letter from Governor Livingston dated the 2nd Instant, received this day.
Congress have directed me to request your Excellency to give proper Orders for suppressing the evil complained of by the Governor.3
3. Copy of a Letter from Colo. Hartley dated Sunbury 8th October 1778.4
4. An Act of Congress of this date founded on Colonel Hartley’s Letter for preventing the Enemy from occupying a Post at Chemung &c.5
LB, DNA:PCC, item 13. The heading to this letter on the manuscript includes the notation: “by [Charles] Freeman.” GW received this letter on the evening of 18 Oct. (see GW to Laurens, 22–23 Oct.).
2. A great deal of parliamentary maneuvering apparently was involved in Congress’s approval on 12 Oct. of this resolution and a companion one recommending to the states that they adopt effectual measures for encouraging “true religion and good morals” and for suppressing “theatrical entertainments, horse racing, gaming, and such other diversions as are productive of idleness, dissipation, and a general depravity of principles and manners” (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 , 12:1001–3; see also Henry Laurens to the States, 13 Oct., and note 3 to that document, in Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 11:54). For Congress’s further attempt to suppress theatrical entertainments, see Laurens to GW, 16 October. For GW’s effort to promote morality in the army, see General Orders, 21 October.
3. After reading William Livingston’s letter to Congress of 2 Oct. on 13 Oct., Congress had referred it to the Board of War and ordered “that an extract of so much of it as relates to the trade carrying on with the enemy at Shrewsbury, be sent to General Washington” (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 , 12:1005). Neither Livingston’s letter nor the extract sent to GW has been identified, but Laurens replied to Livingston on 13 Oct. that he had been “directed to transmit the paragraph respecting illicit Commerce with the Enemy to General Washington; and to desire His Excellency will take proper Measures for crushing the Evil” (Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 11:54, n.4). GW sent the extract of Livingston’s letter to Stirling on 21 Oct. and referred the matter to him; see also GW to Laurens, 22–23 October.
4. In this letter to Congress of 8 Oct. from Sunbury, Pa., Col. Thomas Hartley gave a long, detailed account of the punitive expedition that he had led against the Indians on the upper reaches of the Susquehanna River in late September. Hartley concluded the main body of his letter by recommending “that the Congress would be pleased to send a Connecticut Regiment or a Pennsylvania one to Garrison Wyoming as soon as possible, it is but 120 Miles from Fish Kills. I have done all I can, for the good of the whole. I have given all the Support in my Power to that Post—but if the Troops are not immediately sent, these Settlements will be destroyed in Detail: In a weeke a Regiment could march from Fish Kills to wyoming.
“My little Regiment with two Classes of Lancaster and Berks County Militia, will be scarcely sufficient to preserve the Posts from Nescopecke Falls to [Fort] Muncy, and from thence to the Head of Penns vally.”
In a postscript written at 9 p.m. on 8 Oct., Hartley added: “Two Persons have made their Escape from the Savages, 20 Miles above Chemung, the most of the Facts I have mentioned are confirmed[.] they left the Enemy last Friday [2 Oct.]—a very large Body are collected[.] they mean to destroy these Frontiers—instead of one Regiment from the main army, there should be two sent, on immediately[.] we might then probably act offensively.
“The whole Force of the northern Nations except the oniedas and Part of the Tuscaroras, is now ready to fall on these Frontiers—These Savages are a common Enemy—let not State Distinctions prevent the aid, and ruin the Frontiers” (DNA:PCC, item 78; the copy sent to GW has not been identified; most, but not all, of Hartley’s letter was published in the Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser [Philadelphia] for 17 Oct.; see also Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 7:5–9).
5. Congress had resolved on 13 Oct. that “the letter from Colonel Hartley be transmitted to General Washington, and that General Washington be directed to take immediate measures for preventing the enemy from occupying a post at Chemung, and for repelling the invasions of the savages on the frontiers of New York, New Jersey, and Pensylvania” (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 , 12:1005–6). For GW’s response to this resolution, see his letter to George Clinton, 19 Oct.; to Edward Hand, 21 Oct.; and to Laurens, 22–23 Oct.; see also George Clinton’s plan for an expedition to Chemung, 20 Oct., in Clinton to GW, 21 Oct., n.2, and the report on that subject from Clinton, Philip Schuyler, and Edward Hand, 22 Oct., in GW to Laurens, 26–27 Oct., n.6.