George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General James Clinton, 2 June 1779

To Brigadier General James Clinton

Head Quarters Middlebrook1 2d June 1779.

Dr Sir

I have to acknowlege your favor of the 23d May.

The taking of the two light three pounders in place of the artillery of the brigade, as you propose will depend entirely on the place of your junction with General Sullivan. If on the Susquehannah there will be no necessity to carry any artillery whatsoever, as General Sullivan has made adequate provision. If the other route is determined on I have no objection to your moving with these two pieces.2

I do not conceive much danger from letting the mortar remain in Albany. Should I find that it can be employed I shall give orders on the subject.

If Major Wright3 and the officers you mention have behaved up to the spirit of their parole; and there are no reasons to suspect them, it might be as well to continue their indulgence. But should it be otherwise you will have them properly restricted. I am sir, your most obt and hble servt

Go: Washington

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, NNPM; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1McHenry inadvertently wrote “Middleblebrook” on the manuscript.

2Maj. Gen. John Sullivan, then preparing a major offensive against the Iroquois Confederacy, or Six Nations, had received discretion from GW to order Clinton’s brigade to rendezvous with the main body along the Susquehanna River or to operate in an independent but cooperative manner along the Mohawk River (see Sullivan to GW, 16 April, and GW to Sullivan, 31 May [first letter]; see also Clinton to GW, 28 May). For Clinton’s junction with Sullivan’s main body at Tioga, Pa., on 22 Aug., after much debate and delay, see Sullivan to GW, 20 Aug. (Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser [Philadelphia], 18 Sept. 1779), and Sullivan Expedition Journals, description begins Frederick Cook, ed., and George S. Conover, comp. Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 With Records of Centennial Celebrations. Auburn, N.Y., 1887. description ends 70–71, 93, 153.

3Zadock Wright, a major in the Queen’s Loyal Rangers, was captured in the spring of 1778 and remained a prisoner on parole as late as the spring of 1781.

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