From Brigadier General Charles Scott
Powhatan [Va.] March 22d 1779
I received Your Excellencys Instructions Respecting the recrutes this day,1 and shall Set out Tomorrow morning for Williamsburg in order to receive The Govrs farther Instructions, I cannot but Observe to You That I am fearfull it will not be in my power to git them to Camp So soon as Your Excy Expects, Owing to the inattention respecting the Clothing without Which (by an Act of our Assembly) they are not to March out of the State,2 I have (previous to the Rect of Your Excellencys orders,) been urging That every thing should be put in the Greatest readiness, but am now exceedingly fearfull this Will be a means of a Considerable delay, However from what has already been don it is to be hoped that this will not be the case, and For what respects my duty You may be assurd That not one Hour Shall be Miss Spent3 I am Your Excellencys Obt Servant
2. Scott is referring to a recruitment act that passed the Virginia general assembly the previous fall and read in part “that each person who will enlist for three years, or during the war, shall be entitled to four hundred dollars, together with the continental bounty of lands, and shall be entitled to receive the pay and rations which are allowed to soldiers in the continental army from the day of their enlistment, and shall be furnished annually, at the publick expense, with the following articles, a coat, waistcoat, and breeches, two shirts, one hat, two pair of stockings, one pair of shoes, and a blanket, to be delivered for the first year at the place of general rendezvous, before the delivery of which necessaries they shall not be obliged to march out of this commonwealth” (Va. Statutes description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends [Hening], 9:588–92; see also GW to Daniel Morgan, 12 Nov., and to Patrick Henry, 23 Nov. 1778).
3. The minutes of the Virginia privy council for 31 March indicate that consultations involving Scott, Gov. Patrick Henry, and the council over the previous days resulted in a decision to order “the Commissary of Stores to send on without delay, Cloathing for 1000 of the new recruits to Fredericksburg; that being the Place of rendezvous pitched upon by the Genl for the First Division” (McIlwaine, Letters of the Governors description begins H. R. McIlwaine, ed. Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia. 3 vols. Richmond, 1926–29. description ends , 1:364). For further problems with clothes for these recruits, see GW to Scott, 10 April (DLC:GW); and Scott to GW, 24 and 28 April and 12 May (all DLC:GW).