George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General William Woodford, 10-13 February 1779

To Brigadier General William Woodford

Head Quarters Middle Brook 10th[-13] Feby 1779

Dr Sir

The Circumstances and Situation of the Virginia line call loudly for your return to the Army as soon as possible, more especially as General Muhlenberg, the only General Officer of the state now present, has long had a promise of leave to visit his family and private Affairs whenever he could be possibly spared.1 As the time which you expected to be absent has considerably elapsed, I am not without hopes that you will be here before this reaches Virginia. Should it find you there, I must desire you to set out for the Army immediately upon the rect of it.2 I am Dear Sir &.

P.S. 13th. Yours of the 3d is come to hand by which I am informed that this will find you still in Virginia.3 I have only to refer you to the above which will point out the necessity of your return.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Brig. Gen. Peter Muhlenberg had requested leave to go home to Virginia in his letter to GW of 22 Oct. 1778. GW had promised in his reply to Muhlenberg of 28 Oct. 1778 to give his assent when the needs of the army permitted. Muhlenberg, however, did not go to Virginia until the following winter, when he was sent there to recruit and train troops (see Muhlenberg to GW, 24 Feb. 1780, and GW to Muhlenberg, 20 April 1780, both DLC:GW).

2Woodford had departed the army for Virginia on 21 Oct. 1778 in order to serve as an administrator for the estate of his father-in-law, John Thornton (see GW to Samuel Washington, 22 Oct. 1778, and n.3 to that document). For Woodford’s further delay in returning to camp, see his letter to GW of 1 March 1779. He returned by 8 April (see General Orders, that date).

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