George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Charles Scott, 17 October 1778

To Brigadier General Charles Scott

Head Quarters [Fredericksburg] 17th October 1778.


You will give orders to your Commissary to supply such small parties of Militia with provision as Genl Morris may judge necessary for the protection of the Farmers whose Situation renders them liable to be interrupted in their farming business—and you will as far as circumstances will allow second the Militia in this duty—by disposing your patroles as much as is in your power for the Security of the Country people. I am &c.

Df, in John Laurens’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The text of this letter that is printed in Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 4:167, apparently was taken from an unfound recipient’s copy. That text varies from the text of the draft in wording but not in essential meaning. It reads: “You will give Orders to the Commissary of your Corps to Supply such small Parties of Militia with Provisions as Genl. Morris shall think Necessary for the Protection of the Farmers, who by their Situation are Liable to be Interrupted in their farming business, and you will Second the Militia in this Duty as much as circumstances will allow by the Disposition of your Patrolls contributing all in your Power to the Security of the Country People.”

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