George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Mordecai Gist, 2 January 1781

To Brigadier General Mordecai Gist

Head Quarters New Windsor 2d Jany 1781.

Dear Sir

I am pleased to hear, by yours of the 15th ulto, that the Legislature of your State are making spirited exertions and preparations agains⟨t⟩ the next Campaign.1 This seems to be the prevailing disposition, but I fear the means which have been generally adopted, for procuring Men, wil⟨l⟩ not answer. Where there is an alternative of Money or Men, the former will be preferred by the Classes, as being least troublesome.

Mrs Washington informs me, that when she passed th⟨r⟩o’ Baltimore, you were at a loss to know how to apply the Shirts purchased by the subscription of the Ladies. I wonder at that, as I had, sometime before, written to Mrs Governor Lee, and desired that they might all be sent to the southern Army. My letter, I presume, had no⟨t⟩ then reached her, or she had not communicated ⟨my⟩ intentions to those who2 have the care of them.3 I am Dear Sir Your most obt and humble Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, MdHi: Gist Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Gist replied to GW on 19 January.

1In his letter to GW of 15 Dec. 1780, Gist noted the Maryland legislature’s action on several fronts: finance, confiscation of British property, funding the purchase of horses for one of the army’s legionary corps, and obtaining supplies for the army.

2This word is taken from the draft, which GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman also penned; Tilghman inadvertently wrote “you” on the LS.

3See GW to Mary Digges Lee, 11 Oct. 1780, found at Lee to GW, 27 Sept 1780, n.2.

Martha Washington left Mount Vernon in November to join GW at his winter headquarters, and she had arrived at New Windsor by 15 Dec. (see Robert Hanson Harrison, to GW, 28 Nov., and n.15).

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