George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Steuben, 10 December 1780

To Major General Steuben

Head Quarters New Windsor Decr 10th 1780

Dear Sir

I have received the three Letters you did me the favor to write, before you Left Philadelphia;1 and have made representation to Congress respecting the Inspector Department agreeable to your request.2

This Moment I am also favored with Yours of the 24th Ulto from Richmond, and am pleased to find you are still pursuing, with indefatigable industry those measures which will tend so much to promote the public Service.3

You will see by the Dating of this Letter that Head Quarters are at the same place they were in the Campaign of 17794—The Army is Cantoned in the following manner: the Pennsylvania Line near Morris Town—the Jersey Brigade at the entrance of the Clove to cover the Communication—the New York Brigade in the Vicinity of Albany furnishing the Garrison of Fort Schuyler—and the New England Lines at West Point & its dependencies;5 the Regts much weakened by discharging the Levies.6

It is reported from New York that the Enemy are about to make another Detachment, consisting of 1 Battalion Grenadiers—1 Batt. Lt Infantry—1 Batt. Hessian Grenadiers—Knyphausen’s Regt—42nd British—a Draft of 5 Men from each Company in the Line, and two Troops of Light Dragoons, under the Generals Knyphausen & Philips—their destination conjectured to be Southward.7 I shall be glad to hear from you often8 & am Dear Baron With great esteem & regard Your Most Obedt Hble Servt

Df, in David Humphreys’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For Steuben’s three letters to GW, see GW to Steuben, 22 Oct., n.3, and Steuben to GW, 23 Oct., and n.8.

2For GW’s appeal to Congress to modify the new plan for the inspector general’s department, see GW to Samuel Huntington, 26 Nov.; see also Huntington to GW, 6 Dec., and n.1 to that document.

4GW maintained headquarters at New Windsor from 21 June to 16 July 1779 (see General Orders, 23 June 1779, n.1).

5GW outlined his army’s winter encampments (see GW to Huntington, 28 Nov. 1780, and n.12).

6See GW to William Heath, 28 Nov., and n.1 to that document.

7This intelligence proved largely accurate (see GW to Thomas Jefferson, 9 Dec., postscript, and n.9; see also Anthony Wayne to GW, this date, n.2).

8Steuben replied to GW from Richmond on 29 Dec.: “I received Yesterday Your Excellency’s Letter of the 10th inst. I am Exceedingly obliged to you for the intelligence it contains; I wish it may prove only a report, however, whatever may be the Case, I beg your Excellency will be So kind as soon as any thing is confirmed, to give me notice of it immediately.

“I have not yet heard that Congress have done any thing towards amending their resolution respecting my Department; I have written this Day to the Board of War on this subject, & hope Shortly to hear that this matter is arranged for the best” (LS, DLC:GW; Steuben’s letter to the Board of War dated 29 Dec. has not been identified). GW replied to Steuben on 6 Feb. 1781 (DLC:GW).

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