George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Zebulon Butler, 12 December 1780

From Colonel Zebulon Butler

Garrision Wyoming [Pa.]
Decemr 12th 1780

May it Please your Excellency,

This Waits on you with a return of the Garrision1 we have lately had a Visit from the Enemy. a Party of twenty five men one of Whom Disarted to us, his Account I have Inclos’d,2 the[y] have took seven men Prisioners, that had Moved four miles from the Garrision, with their families, they Left the Women and Children unhurt. took the Men and Provisions and some Clothing with them, and Pushed of[f] the same Night, this was done without fireing a Gun. I heard of it the next Morning and sent a Party after them who followed them two Days but Coud not pursue any further for want Provissions, as we have had no flower at this Post this two Months, we have had Quantities Procured for this Post and I Sent soldiers for it but it was Stopped at sunsbery and made use of there by Goverr Reids Order, I have Accquinted Congress with those Matters.3 I Have the Hounour to be Your Excellencys Most Obt Humle servt

Zebn Butler C. Cg.

LS, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp David Humphreys wrote on the cover: “Mem—to be ordered to join his Regt” (see GW to Butler, 29 Dec., found at GW to Alexander Mitchell, 30 Dec., n.2).

1The enclosed return has not been identified.

2Butler enclosed a report written at Wyoming on 7 Dec. with information from an Irishman who deserted from “the Ranger Service with Tory Butler.” He remarked that 600 “Troops of White men” garrisoned Niagara and that the number of Indians at that post was “very unsteady Sometimes Near Two Thousand Men Women & Children who all draw Rations.” The deserter had “lived at Detroit and Says Detroit is very thick Settld with Inhabatants for thirty Miles in lenghth who are very favourably Inclind towards the Country but dare not Appear Open in it, that they have Built a New fort there and the Garrisson Consist of about 300 Men” (DLC:GW). For the new fort at Detroit, see Daniel Brodhead to GW, 7 Dec., and n.9.

3For Butler’s request for flour, and for the actions of Joseph Reed, president of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council, to stop the shipment at Sunbury, Pa., see Butler to the Board of War, 26 Oct., and Reed to the Board of War, 1780, in Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 8:601, 611–12.

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