George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 16 February 1780

To Thomas Jefferson

Head Qrs Morris Town Feby 16th 1780


I have the pleasure to transmit Your Excellency a Letter from Major Genl de Riedesel which only came to hand Two days ago.1

I would now inform Your Excellency, that agreeable to my Letter of the 18th of December I have obtained a Return of Moylan’s Regiment of Light Dragoons2—and find as I apprehended, that there are Sixty three Non Commissioned Officers & privates in it, who belong to Virginia. Of this number Two only are inlisted for the War—and the service of the Rest will expire in December next. Having given Your Excellency an account of these men—I have only to observe, that with the Returns transmitted in my Letter of the 18th of December—You now have the fullest and most accurate state of the Virginia Troops that I can furnish—and of those to be applied to the credit of your Quota. By these and the information Your Excellency may have received with respect to the Levies under General Scot3—& Blands & Baylor’s Regiments You4 may perhaps be able to form a pretty just estimate of the force of the State employed in the Army—and to govern yourself with tolerable certainty as to the deficiency of the State’s Quota which Congress, as Your Excellency will no doubt be informed by the president, have required to be levied for the ensuing Campaign by an Act on the 9th Instant.5 I have the Honor to be with the most perfect esteem & respe⟨ct⟩ Yr Excellency’s Most Obedt sert

Go: Washington

Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The enclosure probably was Maj. Gen. Friedrich Adolph von Riedesel’s letter to Jefferson of 10 Feb. (see Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends 3:291).

2GW is referring to his letter to Jefferson of 26 Dec. 1779. For an explanation of the probable reason for GW’s error in the dating of the letter, see the source note to that letter.

3GW had assigned Brig. Gen. Charles Scott to raise a brigade of new Continental levies in Virginia to reinforce the southern army (see GW to Scott, 5 and 25 May 1779; to Richard Henry Lee, 30 April 1779, n.1; and to Lee, Henry Laurens, and Thomas Burke, 5 May 1779). By 8 March 1780, Scott had sent two of his three regiments to South Carolina, but the bulk of the third regiment, not yet ready to march, was still in Virginia (see William Woodford to GW, 8 March).

4Harrison wrote “Your” but crossed out the word “Excellency” following that word.

5See Samuel Huntington to GW, 10 Feb., and n.1 to that document.

Index Entries