George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Samuel Huntington, 14 October 1780

From Samuel Huntington

Philadelphia Octor 14th 1780


By the enclosd Copy of an Act of Congress of the 13th instant, your Excellency will be informed of the promotion of Col. Morgan to the rank of Brigadier.

From the representations respecting the Situation & Cir[c]umstances of affairs to the Southward this measure was thought in a degree indispensible I hope it may be attended with happy Consequences.1

The enclosd Copies of dispateches from Govr Jefferson & Genl Gates from No. 1—to No. 9 will give your Excellency the latest intelligence we have receivd from the Southern department.2

I have been honourd with your Obliging letter of the 7th instant with the important dispatches to which it refers, the proceedings relative to Majr Andrée are Ordered to be published under the care of Judicious persons to inspect the press.3 I have the honour to be with the highest Esteem & Respect Your Excellencys humle Servt

Sam. Huntington President

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 15. GW replied to Huntington on 21 October.

1Huntington enclosed a congressional resolution dated 13 Oct. that implemented a Board of War recommendation to promote Col. Daniel Morgan to brigadier general to “remove several embarrassments which impede the public service in the southern department” (DLC:GW; see also JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 18:920–21, and General Orders, 19 Oct.).

2Huntington enclosed nine letters with sequential docket notations (all DLC:GW).

“No. 1” is from Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates to Huntington, written at Hillsborough, N.C., on 5 Oct. asking for French reinforcements to “strike a stroke at Charles Town, that would decide the War in this department. … I am confident the Eyes of Congress, and the Commander in Chief will be attentively directed to Sir Harry Clinton; for should he, as he did last Year, direct his Winter Operations this way, and be in all respects superior in land, & naval force, to the United States; what fatal consequences may not be apprehended, from his attempts—By my instructions to Brigadier Genl Smallwood—Congress will perceive, that until I am properly reinforced, I have determined only to harrass, and delay the Enemy; for this purpose a Light Corps, is selecting for Col. Morgan; consisting of Continental Cavalry, Hunters mounted with Rifles, and light foot, as well Continentals, as Militia chosen for the purpose—With these I hope to retard, and confine Lord Cornwallis’s Army, until I am in strength to play a different Game. This urges me again to repeat my request, that Congress will appoint Colonel Morgan a Brigadier General, not only as his services entitle him to it, but as it will give him a weight, and consequence with the Militia, that is just now absolutely necessary.

“By intelligence this Morning received from certain Tory Officers taken from the Enemy near Charlotte, we are informed that Lord Cornwallis has received a reinforcement of One thousand regulars at that post, which they say came from New York.” The intelligence regarding reinforcements was erroneous.

“No. 2” is from Gates to Maj. Gen. William Smallwood, written at Hillsborough on 3 Oct., ordering him to “immediately proceed to the [Trading] Ford upon the Yadkin where you are to take command of all the troops” and conduct a “defensive War” until the anticipated arrival of French reinforcements.

“No. 3” is from Gates to Virginia governor Thomas Jefferson, written at Hillsborough on 5 Oct., asking that “all the Letters and papers, I now send your Excellency may be as soon as possible dispatched to Congress” (see also Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 4:13–14, and Jefferson to Huntington, 8 Oct., in Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 4:23).

“No. 4,” from Brig. Gen. Jethro Sumner to Gates and dated 24 Sept., carried military intelligence.

“No. 5” is Brig. Gen. William Lee Davidson’s letter to Gates on 26 Sept. with news that the British had “marched into Charlotte … The inhabitants are flying before us in consternation, and except we are soon reinforced, the West side of the Yadkin must inevitably fall a prey to the enemy.”

“No. 6,” from Sumner to Gates, was written at “Camp at the Yadkin ford” on 29 Sept. with word that “the enemy continue in Charlotte about 2,000 strong, some enlarge their number to 3,000.”

“No. 7” is Gates’s letter to Jefferson from Hillsborough on 3 Oct. with reports on recent British successes and “light infantry” countermeasures under Morgan (see also Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 4:5–6).

“No. 8” is Sumner’s letter to Gates dated 1 Oct. with intelligence on British and Loyalist movements.

“No. 9” is Lt. Col. William Washington’s letter of 4 Oct. notifying Gates to anticipate the arrival at Hillsborough on 6 Oct. of Washington’s force “consisting of 82 privates 6 Serjeants & two trumpeters.”

Index Entries