George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko, 3 August 1780

To Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko

Head Quarters Peekskill 3d Augt 1780.


I have been favd with yours of the 30th July. The Artificers are drawn from the post at West point for a particular and temporary service only,1 and as there is a necessity for a Gentleman in the Engineering department to remain constantly at that post, and as you from your long residence there are particularly well acquainted with the nature of the Works and the plans for their completion, it was my intent that you should continue. The Infantry Corps was arranged before the receipt of your letter2—The southern Army, by the captivity of Genl du portail and the other Gentlemen in that branch,3 is without an Engineer, and as you seem to express a wish of going there rather [than] remaining at West point, I shall, if you prefer it to your present appointment, have no objection to your going.4 I am &.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

2For the formation of the light infantry corps, see General Orders, 16 July; see also General Orders, 1 August.

3For Brigadier General Duportail’s capture at the fall of Charleston, S.C., see his letter to GW, 17 May.

4Kosciuszko replied to GW on 4 Aug. from West Point, N.Y: “The Choise your Excellency was pleased to give me in the Letter of yeasterday is very Kind—and as the Complition of the works at this place this Campag⟨n⟩ as Circumstance are, will be impossible in my opinion. I prefer going to the Southward to Continuing here—I beg you to favor me with your orders, and Letter of recommendation to the Board of War, as I shall pass throw Philadelphia—Shall wait on your Excellency to pay due respects with in a few days, but lest the mouvements of the Army should prevent, beg my request may be granted and Sent me at this place” (ALS, DLC:GW).

Kosciuszko wrote GW again on 7 Aug. from West Point: “I beg, your Excellency would grant me a request to Carry my boy with me, who since three years wait on me, I have no other at present, and I Cannot get one to go with me so far off. Colo. Sprout is willing if your Excellency will give order for it” (ALS, DLC:GW).

GW replied from headquarters on 8 Aug.: “I have received Your Letter of Yesterday. It is perfectly agreable to me that You should carry your servant with You, and so You will inform Colo. Sprout” (LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW).

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