George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Arthur St. Clair, 1 August 1780

To Major General Arthur St. Clair

Hd Qrs [Peekskill] Aug: 1st 1780

⟨Dr Sr

You will perceive by the orders of this day that the corps of light infantry is im⟩med⟨iately to b⟩e formed⟨. The⟩ command of it for the Campaign is promised to the Marqs De la Fayette for reasons which I dare say will be to you obvious & satisfactory.

If we attack New York the part this Corp will act will make it a most desirable command. Should it be agreeable to you to take it till the return of this Gentn (which is uncertain[)] ⟨it will give me great pleasure. I wish you however to consult your own delicacy, and determine without the least1 restraint. I wait your answer2—I am with the⟩ greatest regard⟩ Dr Sir Yr Most obedt Ser.

Go: Washington

ALS (fragment), MBAt; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Missing portions of the ALS are supplied in angle brackets from the draft, which is in Alexander Hamilton’s writing.

1GW wrote the previous two words on the draft.

2No reply from St. Clair to GW has been found, but St. Clair evidently accepted the command (see General Orders, 3 Aug.). Major General Lafayette resumed command of the light infantry corps on 8 Aug. (see the general orders for that date).

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