George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Nathanael Greene, 6 October 1780

To Major General Nathanael Greene

[Tappan] 6th Octr 1780

Dear Sir,

There is no disposition that can be made of the Army at this time under our prest uncertainties that may not be subjected to material change (as you will be convinced by recurring to the conversation I held with you on Wednesday last)1—It is as I observed to you on that occasion, a matter of great question with me, whether West point will not become the head quarters of the Army when we go into Cantonments for the Winter—I am very apprehensive that the diminution of our present force,2 & little prospect of recruiting the Army in Season—The importance of West-point—& œconomical motives will compel us to concenter our force on the North-river, keeping light parties only on our Flanks—If under this information you should incline to take the immediate Command of the Detachmt which is about to March for West point—and the general direction of matters on the East side of Hudsons river—it will be quite agreeable to me that you should do so—but candor has led me to a declaration of the uncertainty of that Post’s being long removed from my immediate Command. I am with much esteem & regd Dr Sir Yr Obt Ser.

Go: Washington

P.S. The Army will March and seperate to morrow—your immediate determination is therefore necessary that the orders may be prepared accordingly.3

ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The previous Wednesday was 4 Oct.; see also Greene to GW, 5 October.

2Six-month levies in Continental service were scheduled for discharge before 1 Jan. 1781 (see Christopher Greene to GW, 14 Oct.).

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