George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Benjamin Lincoln, 15 March 1779

To Major General Benjamin Lincoln

Head Quarters Middle Brook 15th March 1779

Dear Sir

I have had the pleasure of receiving your favors of the 19th Decemr and 5th January. I thank you for your communications and shall always be happy to hear from you when you have leisure. I am so utter a stranger to the Country in which you are,1 that I cannot pretend to offer my opinion upon the measures that ought or ought not to be pursued. Of this however I am confident, that your Abilities and activity will accomplish whatever can be done.2

The enemy have been intirely still in this quarter, except making two small excursions—one to Elizabeth Town to endeavour to surprize Genl Maxwell—the other as far as Horseneck.3 They were disappointed in the former, and retreated precipitately from the latter with the loss of 47 prisoners—some deserters, and a few killed and wounded. They destroyed a trifling salt work at Horseneck.

I wish you every success and honor as I am with the warmest Affection Dear Sir Your most obt & humble Servt

Go: Washington

I beg leave to recommend Lt Colo. Laurens who will deliver you this, to your particular notice.4

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

1At this place on the draft manuscript, Tilghman wrote and then struck out “and to every other circumstance.”

2Lincoln was then defending against British offensive operations in Georgia and South Carolina (see Lincoln to GW, 7 Feb.).

3For the British raid on Elizabeth, N.J., on 25 Feb., see William Maxwell to GW, 25 and 27 Feb., and notes 3, 4, 5, and 7 to the latter document; see also GW to John Jay, 26 February. For the British raid on Horseneck (now Greenwich), Conn., in late February, see Israel Putnam to GW, 2 March, and notes 4, 5, and 6 to that document.

4The postscript does not appear on the draft manuscript. For GW’s aide-de-camp John Laurens’s departure from headquarters to assist with the defense of South Carolina, his home state, see GW to John Rutledge, this date.

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