To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne
Smiths in the Clove [N.Y.] June 21: 1779
I request that you will join the Army as soon as you can. I wrote you upon this subject before we marched from Middle Brook, but as you have not arrived—It is probable my Letter has miscarried or that it did not come to hand till very lately.1 I am Dr Sir with great regard Yr Most Obedt servant
LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, PHi: Wayne Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW signed the cover of the LS, which was addressed to Wayne in Philadelphia. An undated notation on the same cover reads: “gone to Camp—original never received.”
Wayne discussed his prospective command of the light infantry corps in a letter to Brig. Gen. William Irvine, written at Easttown Township, Pa., on 7 June: “I have ground to believe, every effort will be requisite to set bounds to the progress of the Enemy, Apropos I am this moment Informed that they have made a movement from New York and are advancing up the North River both by Land & Water.
“should they by a Rapid move get possession of the passes in the Highlands & defences on the River it will be in their power to Harass us much & by Seperating our Army bring their whole force to act against either part of it—however this is an Idea that I am Confident has not escaped His Excellency—would to God he was as equal in force as he is Superior in Abilities to the Generals he has to Contend with—on that Ground I would with chearfulness pledge my live & Reputation for the Speedy establishement of the peace happiness & Independance of America, but why he had not that force the Honble Congress can best determine—the Languid & unworthy torpidity that pervaded their Councils during the Winter give but A Melancholy presage of the difficulties we shou’d experience the Ensuing Campaing, but adieu to such Ideas—it is now our buisness to make head against them & Surmount every Obstacle—& altho’ its not in the power of man to Command Success yet I am Confident that under the Conduct of our Worthy & Gallant General the sons of America will produce a Conviction to the World that they deserve it.
“for my own part I am not tired of Life & have as high a Relish & as great a Value for it as any man—but when my Country demands my Service I trust that I shall not be the last to enter—nor the first to quit the field—Indeed I begin to be anxious to be in it & wait with Impatience for his Exccelencies Command” (PHi: Wayne Papers). For Wayne’s original assignment to command the light infantry corps, see Wayne to GW, 10 Feb., and GW to Wayne, 16 February.
1. This letter from GW to Wayne has not been found.
Wayne wrote his wife, Mary Penrose, familiarly called “Polly,” from Philadelphia on 24 June in a letter that in part reads: “Upon my arrival here I found an Order calling me Immediately to Camp to take charge of the Light Corps— which were all ready formed & were Impatiently waiting my presence” (PHi: Wayne Papers).