George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Philemon Dickinson, 16 January 1781

To Major General Philemon Dickinson

Head Quarters New Windsor Janry 16th 1781

Dr Sir

I am this Moment favored with Your Letter of the 12th Instant by Express.1

The Measures You have taken, in consequence of the late alarming Affair, appear to have been very proper, and calculated to promote essentially the public service.

I approve entirely of Your Dismissing all the Militia who have been called out on the occasion, as soon as the circumstances will justify the Measure, of which You will be a much better judge on the spot, than I can at such a distance.

It was happy for us, the Troops on this quarter shewed an extremely good disposition—And I have only to add in confidence (for the publication of it might be disadvantageous) that had Matters proceeded to extremities, and called for coercive Measures. A formidable Detachment was in readiness & would have marched to Your assistance2—but it is much more to have the affair amicably & honorably settled—I am Dr Sr—Your Hble.

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

2For this detachment, prepared to suppress the mutiny of the Pennsylvania line, see William Heath to GW, 11 January.

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