George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Elisha Sheldon, 24 January 1781

From Colonel Elisha Sheldon

Hartford Janry 24th 1781


By the Bearer of the monthly Return of my Regt I have an opportunity to acknowledge Your Excellencys favor of the 4th Instant.1

In my last I informed your Excellency that I had no Expectations of any Assistance from the State of Connecticut in point of Horses.2 since which I have recd a Letter from Lt Col. Jameson of my Regt now at Philadelphia, requesting that I woul[d] desire your Excellency to write to the Board of War on the subject and press the necessity of procuring Remounts.3 As I have so few Horses in my Regt and having a number of old Dragoons who were engaged expressly to serve on Horseback (before the Establishment of Legionary Corps was known)4 I beg they would attend to this matter, and if no more Horses can be procured than may be sufficient to remount those of the above Discription, I hope it will be attended to, that we may not be reduced to the necessity of compelling men to serve Contrary to the original stipulations between them and the public. I shall continue to exert myself to engage Recruits for my Regt to serve during the war. But since the Legislature of Connecticut have been pleased to direct that their Quota of Troops only be raised for three years or During the War,5 I fear I shall hardly be able to get my Complement on the Latter Terms, I have however as yet recd none on any other Conditions, but as my Regt is assigned to the state of Connecticut, I conclude I shall be obliged to receive Recru⟨its⟩ on such Terms as the Legislature Direct.6 I have the Honor to be with the greatest Regard your Excellency’s Most obt & Humbe Servt

Elisha Sheldon

1See GW to Sheldon, 4 Jan. 1781, found at Sheldon to GW, 27 Dec. 1780, n.4.

2In his letter of 27 Dec. 1780 to GW, Sheldon reported that he had marched his cavalry regiment to the towns in Connecticut designated for its winter encampment and reported on his prospects for obtaining forage and remounts.

3Lt. Col. John Jameson’s letter to Sheldon has not been identified.

4The new organization of the Continental army converted each regiment of cavalry to a legionary corps, with four troops, or companies, of mounted dragoons and two of dismounted dragoons (see General Orders, 1 Nov.).

5For this act of the Connecticut legislature, passed in its October 1780 session, see Conn. Public Records description begins The Public Records of the State of Connecticut . . . with the Journal of the Council of Safety . . . and an Appendix. 18 vols. to date. Hartford, 1894–. description ends , 3:174–76; see also Samuel Holden Parsons to GW, 11 Nov., and n.6 to that document.

6In the new organization, Sheldon’s legionary corps was assigned to Connecticut’s quota of regiments.

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