George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Greene, 28 August 1780

To William Greene

Head Quarters Liberty Pole Bergen County
28th August 1780


The intelligence brought by the Alliance Frigate renders it so very uncertain whether we shall be in condition to commence our expected operation before the expiration of the whole or the greater part of the time for which the Militia were engaged, that I think it will be prudent to dismiss them as soon as possible, not only on the general scale of Oeconomy, but more particularly to avoid the unnecessary consumption of provision, for which we are extremely distressed, as my circular letter of this date fully describes.1 You will therefore be pleased to discharge all those required by the Committee of Cooperation as soon as General Heath shall be of opinion that the forwardness of the works at present on hand will admit of it.2

I would however recommend the compleating your Continental Battalions upon this consideration, that in case we should be unexpectedly called to operate—the fuller those Battalions are—the less will be the demand for Militia. I have the honor to be with great Respect Sir Your Excellency’s Most obt and humble Servant

Go: Washingto⟨n⟩

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, R-Ar; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

2GW requested these militia regiments for Continental service for three months from 15 July (see Circular to the States, 2 June, and n.1 to that document). He dismissed most militia regiments because he no longer anticipated attacking New York City (see GW to James Bowdoin, this date; see also GW to William Heath, this date and 8 Sept.).

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