George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons, 4 September 1780

From Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons

Danbury [Conn.] 4th Sepr 1780

Dear General

I am induc’d to beleive very few Recruits will be added to the Connectt Line this Campaign, and I should wish your Excellency’s Permission to join my Brigade1—some Success has attended the inlisting Volunteer Companies to be cal’d when New York is invested & to continue subject to the Regulations of the Army during the Seige. I am not yet certain of the Numbers ingag’d three or four Companies are full & I beleive about Six Hundred are ingag’d & more are inlisting for that Purpose;2 the Recruits sent on are 1536 besides those from the Horse; I don’t expect they will amount to more than 1700 this Year3—inclos’d is a Representation of the Conduct of Cpt. Sill of Colo. Warner’s Regt which I receiv’d from Governor Trumbull with a Desire that his Conduct may be examin’d into; the Proofs are in Connecticutt; as I have no Way to call him in Question, I have transmitted the Complaint to your Excellency that proper Measures may be taken respecting him.4

just as I was closing this Letter I receivd your Excellency’s Letter of the 2nd Inst. and shall join the Troops near North Castle the Day after to Morrow and pursue the Directions your Excellency has given therein.5 I am with great Respect yr Excellency’s Obedt Servt

Saml H. Parsons.


1GW wrote Parsons from headquarters at Hackensack Bridge, N.J., on 5 Sept.: “From the advanced stage of the Campaign, and the small number of recruits which have lately come in for the Connecticut Line, I presume we have recieved the greater part of the Levies which will be obtained from the State, and that your presence there can be of but little further service—And as no intelligence has been received since I wrote you last, which will render it necessary for you to continue with the Troops on the East side of the River—I have to request that you will join the Main Army as soon as you can after the receipt of this; leaving Colo. Durkee to superintend the recruiting service & to forward such Levies as may yet be collected” (Df, in David Humphreys’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). Parsons replied to GW on 8 Sept.; see also GW to Parsons, 2 Sept., found at GW to Benedict Arnold, same date (first letter), n.2.

Parsons wrote Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold from Redding, Conn., on 5 Sept.: “I have just receivd his Excellency’s Orders to take Command of the Troops at North Castle and near the Lines subject to your Orders, and shall proceed to that place to Morrow if my Health will permit me to ride, being now much unwell” (DLC:GW).

3By 16 Aug., Connecticut had enlisted 1,356 Continental soldiers and still owed 1,866 (see GW to the Committee at Headquarters, 17 Aug.; see also Circular to the States, 2 June, n.1, and Parsons to GW, 10 July, n.2).

4Lt. Samuel Richards wrote the undated enclosure, which detailed corruption charges involving recruits against Capt. Thomas Sill (DLC:GW).

Thomas Sill (d. 1780) of Hartland, Conn., served as a lieutenant in Col. Seth Warner’s Additional Continental Regiment. He became a prisoner on parole after being captured in July 1777. Returning to service, Sill rose to captain in November 1778 and perished in combat near Fort George, N.Y., in October 1780.

5See n.1 above.

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