George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Charles Scott, 17 August 1779

To Brigadier General Charles Scott

Head Quarters West Point 17th Augt 1779

Dear Sir

I have been favd with yours of the 20th & 26th ulto.1 You will find the several matters contained in the former sufficiently answered in a letter which I wrote to you upon the 27th July.

I am pleased to find by your last that you had at length a prospect of getting the remaining Troops equipped, and I hope that the account of the Enemy having left Charles Town will not damp your exertions nor those of the persons concerned in procuring necessaries for the Troops. We know not what may be the real intentions of the Enemy—whether to give over the enterprise or only to withdraw till they receive Reinforcements—We should therefore be prepared for the latter event.2

Those Officers who are offered promotions in the new State Regiments must undoubtedly be allowed to accept them, as there is no power or right to restrain them. Care must be taken that they settle their accounts with their former Corps before they quit them.

I shall acquaint the Director General with your want of Surgeons, untill you are supplied you must agree with Doctor Shore upon the best terms you can. I cannot possibly affix a price to his services.3 I am Dear Sir &.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Scott’s letter to GW of 26 July has not been found.

2For the account of the British retreat from Charleston, see GW to John Armstrong, 10 Aug., and n.4 to that document. For the operations of the British and American armies in the vicinity of Charleston, S.C., see Benjamin Lincoln to GW, 7 July.

3GW did not write to Dr. William Shippen, Jr., the director-general of the Hospital Department, about Scott’s need for regimental surgeons until 19 Oct.—after Scott apparently reminded GW of his need in September (see GW to Charles Scott and to Shippen, both 19 Oct.).

John Shore, Jr. (1756–1811), a doctor from Petersburg, Va., was a medical graduate of the University of Edinburgh. In 1779 Shore entered into a partnership at Petersburg with Dr. Isaac Hall, and in 1783 Shore served as mayor of the town. In September 1802 he was appointed collector at Petersburg and retained that post until his death.

Scott apparently did choose to employ Shore, because, in December, GW wrote to Scott concerning the “monstrous nominal Sum” of Shore’s account (see GW to Scott, 14 Dec., DLC:GW).

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