George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Patrick Henry, 6 March 1779

To Patrick Henry

Head Quarters Middle Brook 6 March 1779

Dear Sir

I do myself the honor to transmit you the Returns of the Officers and Men of the Virginia line who are intitled to the donation of six Months pay,1 except the Return of the 13th Regt which is at Fort Pitt and that of Colo. Harrison’s Regt of Artilly which has not been yet brought in:2 Upon consulting the Officers of your State, they were of opinion that the donation intended for the privates could be presented in no way so satisfactory as in money, as any article that could be purchased with the sum would appear so trifling that they might think they were imposed upon by the public.3 The Officers have added their subsistance money to their monthly pay. If it was not the intent of the state to include it, it may be easily deducted, being in a separate Column. As the Sum will be very considerable, I would advise that some Gentleman already upon the spot should be empowered to receive and pay the money, or that an Agent may be sent up for the express purpose.

I have directed Genl Scott to remain in Virginia to superintend the recruiting Service and have furnished him with the names of such Officers already in the State on command or Furlough, as are to be detained to assist him and march the Recruits to Camp as they are collected.4 He will wait upon your Excellency for your orders. I have the honor to be with the highest Respect & Esteem Yr Excellency’s most obt Servt.

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

1The enclosed returns have not been identified. For the act of the Virginia general assembly authorizing this additional pay, see James Wood to GW, 17 Jan., n.2.; see also GW to the Continental Congress Committee of Conference, 20 Jan., and n.29; and GW to Peter Muhlenberg, 1 March.

2GW wrote a letter to Henry from Middlebrook on 11 March, which reads: “Inclosed I do myself the honor to transmit you the Return of Colonel Harrisons Regt of Artillery for the State donation of 6 Months pay” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). The enclosed return has not been identified.

3GW initially thought it would be better to purchase goods for the privates rather than present them with money (see GW to Henry, 7 Feb.).

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