George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Israel Putnam, 20 October 1778

From Major General Israel Putnam

Mandovels [N.Y.] the 20 of october 1778

Inclosed I send you by Expres your Leattor and won to Coll Thackston or Collo. litel the Expres Left this at [ ] a Clock at night and hop thay wil Com saf to hand1 Dannel has not returned yeat nor have I heard any thing of him2 your Exelancys request as to wintor quartors for the trops3 is beyond what I can protend to tel without I knew the intention of the Enemy but if the Enemy Continnu in New york I think thare ought to be 3 or 4 Birgaids Stationed at hors neack and sawpits and at harrisons purChis and as many at Newark and Elisabath town and in them parts and won Brigad at Weast p[o]int the reson that I plas but won Bregaid at West p[o]int is the Difecutly of suplieng them and the Impractabilety of thar comming up the rever in the wintor the oather to be stationed in a Lin from fishkils Eastword in a lin so as to be Abel to act at any won plas Shuld the Enemy Atempt any thing in the wintor Season. I am your Excelancys Most obedant humbel sarvant

Israel Putnam

ALS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1These enclosures have not been identified. James Thackston (Thaxton; d. 1792) of Hillsborough, N.C., who had commanded a militia company against the Regulators during the Alamance campaign of 1771 and a minuteman battalion against the Loyalists during the Moore’s Creek campaign of 1775, had been appointed lieutenant colonel of the 4th North Carolina Regiment in April 1776. At this time Thackston commanded a camp near Peytonsburg in Pittsylvania County, Va., where North Carolina recruits were being assembled. Although Thackston retired from the army on 1 Jan. 1781 for lack of a command, he continued serving in various military capacities in North Carolina until April 1782. He subsequently became a merchant in Fayetteville, N.C., and served in the North Carolina general assembly in 1787. Archibald Lytle (1730–1790), a native of Scotland who had settled in Hillsborough, N.C., before the war, had been appointed a captain in the 6th North Carolina Regiment in April 1776 and had been promoted to lieutenant colonel of that regiment in January 1777. After serving in the Philadelphia campaign, Lytle had returned to North Carolina to recruit his regiment in the spring of 1778. He commanded light infantry troops at the Battle of Briar Creek, Ga., in March 1779 and was wounded at the Battle of Stono Ferry, S.C., in June 1779. Captured when Charleston, S.C., surrendered to the British in May 1780, Lytle was exchanged in February 1782. He was promoted to colonel in September 1783 and represented Hillsborough in the North Carolina general assembly 1784–85.

2For Maj. Daniel Putnam’s trip to New York City with the flag sloop carrying Henry Cuyler’s family and personal effects, see Israel Putnam to GW, 18 Oct., and note 5 to that document. Daniel Putnam returned to Mandeville’s house on 23 Oct. (see Baldwin, Revolutionary Journal description begins Thomas Williams Baldwin, ed. The Revolutionary Journal of Col. Jeduthan Baldwin, 1775–1778. 1906. Reprint. New York, 1971. description ends , 137).

3See Circular to Seven General Officers, 14 October. GW’s questions about winter quarters also were posed at the council of war that met on 16 Oct., which Putnam did not attend.

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