George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Samuel Huntington, 6 June 1780

From Samuel Huntington

Philadelphia June 6. 1780


I am directed by Congress to inform your Excellency that in their Opinion it is expedient for Major Lee with the Corps under his Command to proceed immediately to South Carolina, unless his March to the Southward should counteract or embarrass such Plan of Operation as you may have concerted with Intention of employing that Corps otherwise.1

The Foot belonging to that Corps have marched to the Southward some Distance from hence, how far I am not able to say. The Horse I am informed are in and about Darby. Major Lee is now in this City. As Congress have never given any Orders to direct Major Lee in his March, and are ignorant of Occurrences that may have taken place since he received Marching Orders,2 I am directed to communicate the sense of Congress as above expressed, with the fullest Confidence that your Excellency will give such Orders respecting Major Lee’s Corps as shall appear most conducive to the public Service, and Safety of the United States.3 I have the honour to be with the highest respect your Excelly’s most obedt hbble servant

Sam. Huntington President

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 15.

1On this date, Congress considered the report of a committee assigned to frame a response to a letter from South Carolina governor John Rutledge. One resolution from that report was entered in the journals and then struck out: “That Major Lee be ordered to proceed immediately to South Carolina with the Corps under his Command” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 17:491–92).

For the orders directing Major Henry Lee, Jr., to halt the march of his partisan corps until further notice, see GW to Lee, 20 May, found at GW to Lafayette, that date, n.11.

2For GW’s original marching orders for Lee’s corps, see his letter to Lee of 30 March.

3GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote under the docket of this letter: “Commr in Chief at liberty to recall Maj: Lees Corps if necessary.”

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