George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Captain William Reily, 18 June 1780

To Captain William Reily

Head qrs Springfield June 18: 1780.


I have received your Letter of the 17th Instant to Mr Harrison1—and You will find inclosed an order for such Men of the Maryland line as may be in the provost Guard: and also for one, who is with Mr Ludnick, the Baker. When You have got these, You will proceed with the whole of the party under your command, to Trentown, where the Men with an Officer will embark and go down the River to Wilmington in a Vessel or Vessels to be provided by the Quarter Ma[s]ter at the former place on your application. after you arrive at Trentown & have put matters in train for the party’s proceeding—You will go on yourself to philadelphia & inform the Honourable the Board of War, of your command and of the orders You have received, who will give such directions as they may think necessary—with respect to your further destination and will order Vessels to be provided at the Head of Elk to take yourself [and] party down the Bay. None of your Men should be permitted to land at philadelphia, unless it should be ordered by the Honourable Board of War—and those with Colo. Nichola should be joined to them. With respect to the Cloathing which the party wants—it cannot be supplied here. You will therefore make out a Return of the Articles and present it to the Board of War, who will order them to be furnished at philadelphia.

I have inclosed an Order on the quarter Master General at Morris Town for a Horse, which You will deliver to the Quarter Master at Philadelphia.2 I am Sir Yr Most Obedt Sert


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

1On 17 June, Reily wrote GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison from the hospital at Pluckemin, N.J.: “I am Sorry my Case requires me to trouble you at a time of so great a multplicity of business, a month haveing past Since the time Genl Gist expected me to proceed after the [Maryland] devision. I am thereby induc’d to make my Situation Again known to Head Qrs—the 15 men who Deserted me here were overtaken at philadelphia & deliver’d to Colo. Nicholow who has Charge of them untill I come on with the remainder of the Devision—Seven men has Arriv’d from Albany who informs me about the same number was to follow in a few days. but is not yet come. from the account I receiv’d the[y] ought to have been here three weeks ago. am much Afraid the are deserted. from what I Can learn there is no move to be expected from there this Season. had but Seven men return’d to me at the Other Hospitals in that qua⟨rter⟩ And the Chief of them has been Absent So long that I hardly expect any of them to Join. there is about thirty at this & Baskinridge Hospitals, which with the advice of Doctr [Moses] Scott, do Imagine will recruit faster on a moderate march than here—I learn we have three of our line in provo. at Morris Town, one of which writes me, is Confin’d by Major [Benjamin] Walker Aid to the Baron Stuben, whom he waited on, for insisting on Joining his regiment (this the man Says) the Other two for Suspission of Desertion. if his Excellincy the Commander in Chief thinks fit to Order the party on, Clothing will be Necessary, in particular, Shoes, Overalls & Shirts. these articles the are entirely destitute off—also one Waggon will be wanted for the removal of the baggage—in Case this party is to march I Shall be much at a loss to know how to act as to my Self. my present indisposition being such as to render me incapable of marching. my greatest complaints is rheumatic pains & weakness, therefore, think I could not possibly bare the Jostling of a waggon.

“I Shall ever Sir Esteem it a particular favour if you will please to make my Situation known to his Excellency, who perhaps will indulge me with the privaledge of a horse Untill I recover so as to be Able to march, which I hope will Soon be, as I am Certain Strength will drive off] the pains. indeed if his Excellency thought proper, a horse is highly Necessary for us to have on this Command as we Cannot possibly Discharge our duty properly without one. if a man Deserts we are sure to loose him for want of a horse to follow. two is already gon that I think might have been recover’d with the asistance of a horse. … Seven or eight men I think is all that will be incapable of marching from these two Hospitals. & I believe never to recover” (DLC:GW).

2The enclosed order has not been identified.

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