George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Armand, 11 January 1781

From Colonel Armand

New windsor January 11th 1781st


it was not in my power to finish sooner with Congress the business of the legion & yet I Have not anny prospect of Establishing that Corps on a proper footing & according to the Command I received from your Exellency1—the board of war tells me, that, they Have no Clothing, arms, nor Horses & that they do not Expect to Have money to putchass thoses articles for the time they shall be wanted, as for the men Having no money to Expect, I made a purposal to Congress, upon which they Have Come to the resolve Here enclosed2—from thoses your Exellency may know How many Difficulty attend my wishes & succes & How far I am still of Having at last a true respectable Command—I beg to be forgiven if I dare Say Here my oppinion upon the whole of that business & wishes in the mean time your Exellency would give me His Sentiments & orders accordingly—Had I not been Honored with the good will which is shewed to me in your last letter3—did all your words & Commands not be powerfull over my Hart as Comming from the sole & only othority & persone in america who I do serve, I beg your Exellency will forgive my frankness but as no flattery is about my word I Hoppe your Exellency will See nothing in it further than the Expression of a soldier whoses life & fortune are entaerly devoted to that one which my reason & inclination Have chusen for master—Had I not been in that situation of mind I would have put an end to all my troubles by retiring immediatly from the Service—but my resolution being to Continue under your Command & in the mean time to be able to increase in you the Esteem of which your Exellency Has been so Complaisant as to assure me, I purpose to set off for france with Cnl laurance & bring from there the Equipment & clothing for the legion—I offer to make the advance of the money for the putchass of thoses articles, provided Congress will engage to pay it again in three or for years & the interest of it every years—I do not want to spent more than three weaks in france for the performing of that business but I put under the Consideration of your Exellency if it Should not be Nécéssary that previous to my Journey to france the remainder of the legion should be Called this way where it Could be properly taken Care of—the officers receive their men when Drafted, form them together, & get the Horses—by thoses means Every thing would be ready at my arrival, & the legion take the field few days after—I must Confess to your Exellency that since my going from the legion a bad order Has prevailled in it—the officers for the gretest part will reither quite the Service than to Continue to the suthern, the men will desert—& should the Corps remains where it is I would not found one man & perhaps not one officer at my return—I am sorry to say that my major Since in Carolina & Specially Since I quitted the legion Has not proved Himself entaerly equal to His Command & that it appears that manny disorders Have taken place from not paying His whole attention to His business—this & others reasons taken from my wishes for the good of the service have persuaded me to ask a lnt Colonel to your Exellency & to reccommand for that post lnt Cnl ternant whoses Services & merite your Exellency is allready acquainted with—I am Confident that He would answer the Confidence with which you would Honore Him on that Head—& that during my Journey to france He would put the things in such order as to enable the legion to take the field at my return—lnt Cnl ternant Expect His Exange every days—should your Exellency approve of my plan & my wishes that the legion should serve to the north the next Campeign, & Should be Called back at this time, I would be Happy to receive your orders & reccommendations to Congress as soon as Convenient to your Exellency—I Have Here a plan for the arrangement of the officers—which I will take the liberty to put under your Consideration.4 With the gretest respect of your Exellency sir The most Hble obt St

C. armand


2The enclosed document, with an extract from the journals of Congress dated 2 Jan., is in DLC:GW. For the resolution on the means of providing soldiers for Armand’s legion, see Samuel Huntington to GW, 6 Jan., n.2. Armand’s letter to the president of Congress, dated 2 Jan. and asking for authorization to “draft” six men from each of the army’s regiments for his legion, is in DNA:PCC, item 164.

3See GW to Armand, 27 Nov. 1780, found at Armand to GW, 21 Nov. 1780, n.10.

4The arrangement has not been identified. GW replied to Armand on 12 January.

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