George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Francis Johnston, 28 July 1780

From Colonel Francis Johnston

Philada July 28th 1780.

May it please Your Excellency,

Captain Henderson who carries this to Your Excellency, has the charge of forty Six Recruits or Volunteers—I shou’d have been happy had it been in my power to have forwarded a much larger number, but I had it not in my power, & I fear this business is nearly over—The Officers whom I sent into the respective Counties have return’d with very little success;1 a want of Cash, a want of proper Exertion in the County Lieutenants and the business of Harvest have all conspired in retarding the completion of the Volunteers; however I am happy in informing Your Excellency, that the Recruiting Service for the War goes on tolerably well, & I have not the least doubt but with good Officers & Music our Line might very soon be compleated as to numbers.

Captain Henderson will shew Your Excelly the Route by which he marches—If it is agreeable to Your Excelly I shou’d be glad to be recall’d, there being very little probability of farther success in the business on which I came here.2 I have the honor to be Your Excellys Most Obt Servt

F: Johnston


1For the dispatch of these officers, see Johnston to GW, 12 July; see also Johnston to GW, 7 July, n.1.

2GW replied to Johnston on 8 Aug. from headquarters “near Orange Town,” N.Y.: “I have received Your Letter of the 28th Ulto and am sorry to find that You suppose the business of sending on the Drafts nearly over. If this is the case, and of which You can judge much better than I, You have my permission to return to Camp. However as You went to philadelphia on the requisition of the State for an Officer to superintend the forwarding the Drafts, and as not near the small number even, which was voted, has joined the Army, I would rather wish your return to be determined by a consultation with & the consent of the president” (Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). For the legislation of the Pennsylvania assembly raising these drafts, see Joseph Reed to GW, 5 June, and n.2; see also Reed to GW, 20 June.

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