George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons, 6 May 1779

From Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons

Redding [Conn.] 6th May 1779

Dr Genl

by the inclosd Copy of a Letter from Mr Hubbard your Excellency will be able to form a Judgment of the Embarasments in the Way of my Brigade’s marching so early as I could wish.1

This is no Neglect of mine: on the 23d of April the Day I received your Excellencys Letters of the 17th & 19th2 I sent to Mr Hubbard desiring him to send in the Horses and Teams belonging to the Brigade and forward the Tents &c. by the 10th of May. On the 25th I recd yours of the 23d3 and immediately sent to him to forward the Horses Tents &c. without the least Delay. On the 2d of May I recd the Order of the 28th of April4 and sent another Letter by Express to Mr Hubbard to which the inclosd is an Answer.

My Men are ready to march, and I hear the Horses &c. are on the Road; when they arrive I will march the Brigade but they cannot march with their Baggage & Artillery according to your Excellency’s Order before that Time.

I am much concerned that it was not in my Power to yeild a literal Obediance to the Order of the 28th of Apl immediately on Receit of the Order; I was ever attentive in complying with the Letter & Spirit of every Order I receivd without Hesitation or Delay, in this Case I am not the faulty Cause if there’s a greater Delay than was expected; I cannot be answerable for the Conduct of other Departments in the Army; but I am sure Genl Green and Mr Hubbard are able to Satisfy your Excellency that any want of Preparation in their Department is more a Misfortune than a Fault.

I shall march my Brigade to Peekskill to releive Genl Huntingtons in a very few Days5 and hope to receive there the Necessaries to enable us to take the Field.

I have receivd your Excellency’s Letter of the 1st Inst. but do not find Cpt. Mattocks Commission said to be inclosd.

The Enemy march to Day from the East to the west End of Long Island.6 the Fort on Laurel Hill goes on with Dispatch. a Report prevails that the Troops on Long Island are soon to move to Kingsbridge. I am with Respect & Esteem yr Excellency’s Obedt Servt

Saml H. Parsons


1The enclosed copy of a letter from Nehemiah Hubbard to Parsons, dated 4 May at Hartford, Conn., reads: “I am this Moment favour’d with yours of the 3d inst., no time shall be lost on my Part, in geting every thing in Readiness for Marching—every thing shall be done that is Possible to do without Money—I have been entirely destitute of this Article for more than six Weeks, and have lately recd Orders to Purchase 114 Horses & 38 Oxen to Compleet the Teams in Genl Putnams Division, and a large Number of Waggoners to enlist for Nine Months, Salted Provisions to be Transported to Different Parts of the Army, & Flour to be brought from New York State & Transported to Providence, & much more is to be done without Money—God knows how all these Matters are to be Accomplish’d without Money—I cannot Promis to Compleet the one half, and shall not think myself Culpable—as I have done every thing a Man could to get things in Readiness—The Teams are now coming on from Colchester & will carry the Tents on as fast as Posible—I have no Camp Utensils of any kind, the Kittles Intrenching tools &c., are most likely to Come from Jersey, of this I inform’d Mr Belding some time ago, I have no Portm⟨anteaus⟩ except the one I now send you, and no Leather to make any, & cannot Purchase for want of Money—I have troubled you with a long Naration, which I shou⟨ld⟩ not have done, could you have been inform⟨’d⟩ of the Perticular Disadvantages attending the Dep⟨t⟩ in another way more Concise” (DLC:GW).

2GW’s letter of 17 April was to Israel Putnam; Parsons opened it in Putnam’s absence.

3GW’s letter of 23 April was to Israel Putnam; Parsons opened it in Putnam’s absence.

4GW’s letter of 28 April was to Israel Putnam; Parsons opened it in Putnam’s absence.

5Parsons had already sent Brig. Gen. Jedediah Huntington’s brigade to Peekskill before he received GW’s letter to Putnam of 28 April ordering that Parsons’s brigade be sent. GW wrote to Parsons on 11 May that as Huntington’s brigade had already marched, Parsons’s brigade could remain where it was.

6For the purpose of this movement, see Samuel Holden Parsons to GW, 8–11 April, n.2.

Index Entries