George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major Benjamin Tallmadge, 14 August 1779

To Major Benjamin Tallmadge

Head Quarters West point 14th Augt 1779.

Dear Sir

I have your favors of the 11th by Capt. Edgar,1 who has got an order for the Arms necessary for the dismounted Dragoons. I have wrote to Colo. Sheldon by this opportunity respecting the inlistment of Men to fill up the Regiment provided they can be obtained upon the terms of serving on foot untill there shall be a necessity or conveniency of mounting them2—If you can procure a proper person to bring the intelligence from [ ] I consent to your engaging him upon the terms you have mentioned.3 I am Dear Sir Your most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NNFTM; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC: GW. The docket indicates this letter was received on 16 August.

1Only one letter of this date from Tallmadge to GW has been found.

3GW apparently is referring to the contents of another letter of 11 Aug. from Tallmadge that has not been found. The unnamed person most likely was one of Tallmadge’s “Culper” spies: Abraham Woodhull or Robert Townsend. The identity of the “proper person” is unknown, but for Tallmadge’s employment of a “Brown,” presumably to carry letters of the “Culper” spies, see GW to Tallmadge, 7 September. With his unfound letter of 11 Aug., Tallmadge may have enclosed Samuel Culper, Jr.’s letter to him of 6 Aug. (see Culper Spy Ring Intelligence, 6–17 Aug., Document I).

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