George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Alexander McDougall, 16 March 1779

To Major General Alexander McDougall

Head Quarters Middlebrook March 16th 1779

Sir

In order to supply the place of the drafts which you mentioned would leave you by the 1st of next Month—I have sent orders for the remainder of Poor’s Brigade (one regiment of which has been detached) and one of the North Carolina battalions (Patton’s) to march forthwith to reinforce the troops under your command. I have directed the Officer commanding the Carolina troops, previous to marching the regiment, to send an Officer to receive your orders for their precise destination.1

In addition to these measures, to provide the better for the security of the posts under your command, I have written to Governor Clinton requesting him to make disposition for calling to your aid the neighbouring militia in the speediest manner in case of any sudden movement of the enemy your way; and to this end, I have recommended that he will concert with you, conventi[on]al signals and have beacons fixed at proper places to convey the alarm with rapidity through the country.2 I am unwilling to draw any militia into the field; but in the moment of absolute necessity.

As, by a late resolve of Congress, Colo. Malcom’s regiment and the regiment late Patten’s are to be incorporated with Spencer’s and Hartley’s, you will be pleased to have them held in readiness to march, though they will not move off ’till the other troops join you, and the season is a little more advanced; when you will receive further directions from me for the purpose.3 With great regard and esteem I am Dr Sir Your Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, CSmH; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW franked the cover of the LS.

1GW is referring to McDougall’s letter to him of 4 March. For the movement of troops from Brig. Gen. Enoch Poor’s brigade and Col. John Patten’s 2d North Carolina Regiment to reinforce McDougall’s command, see GW to Israel Putnam, 6, 16, and 17 March, and GW to Thomas Clark, 14 and 16 March; see also Putnam to GW, 22 March (first letter), and McDougall to GW, 15 April (first letter), DLC:GW. Colonel Clark commanded the North Carolina troops.

2See GW to George Clinton, 15-16 March, and Clinton to GW, 21 March; see also Clinton to Alexander McDougall, 18 and 27 March, and McDougall to Clinton, 24 March, 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 , 4:644–46, 664–66, 671–73. For Clinton’s order of 18 March concerning signals to alert New York militia units, see 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 , 4:648–49.

3GW is referring to the Additional Regiments of colonels William Malcom, John Patton, Oliver Spencer, and Thomas Hartley and Congress’s resolution of 13 Jan. (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 13:58). For the consolidations of troops from these Additional Regiments, see Hartley to GW, 1 March, and n.5; see also GW to Clinton, 9 April, DLC:GW.

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