George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 28 January 1781

From Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Trenton 28th Jany 1781

Dear General

The Commissioners appointed by Congress have nearly closed the settlement of the Inlistments of the Pennsa Line, the last or Eleventh Regiment will be finished this Evening, we have now Discharged out of the Aggregate1 12202 men so that we may count upon about 11803 Non commissioned Officers & privates as a nest egg, who are all furloughed by Order of the Committee until March & toward April, except recruiting ser[gean]ts & Musick.

I shall leave this place the day after tomorrow or as soon as all the straglers have passed the Delaware, & the Whole of the Arms & Accoutrements are forwarded to Phila. where I shall expect your Excellency’s further Orders, Genl Irvine will also be anxious for your Directions; he is now there preparing for the Recruiting service.4

I am happy to Inform you that the loss of Arms is far short of what we had reason to expect, Indeed there is scarcely a man Discharged or Furloughed, but what has produced a Rect for his Musket bayonet &ca.

there was early Orders given to the Regimental Q. Masters to secure the public Stores of their Respective Corps—& particular Directions to Mr Hughes to Collect the Whole & return them into the Dy Q. Master at Morristown.5

Inclosed is an Order of Discharge—a blank discharge—& furlough; by which your Excellency will find that I have had my share of very distressing duty, attended with some Disagreeable events at Almost every hour of day & Night which will also paliate for any seeming neglect in point of Information &ca.6 I have the honor to be with much Esteem Your Excellys most Obt & Obliged Hume Sert

Anty Wayne

N.B. I have sent the Paper of the 24th Instant in which you’l find a Circumstanl acct of the Defection of the Pennsa Line—where some Gentlemen have taken full Credit for the part they have had in the business.7

ALS, DLC:GW; LS, PHi: Wayne Papers; ADfS, PHi: Wayne Papers. Wayne wrote the postscript of the LS, which is dated 29 January. GW acknowledged this letter when he wrote Wayne on 2 February.

1The LS has the following additional text after this word: “of the Infantry, and 67 of the Artillery.”

2The LS has “1250” instead of this number.

3The LS has “1150” instead of this number.

4For the directions for recruiting, see GW to Arthur St. Clair, 3 Feb.; see also GW to William Irvine, that date.

5The LS has the following additional text after this word: “except the few Arms & Accoutrements Left in the Huts, which I have ordered to be sent to this place by the Return Waggons & so by Water to philadelphia.”

6A printed order for a discharge, with this date and addressed to Wayne—with a soldier’s name, rank, number of his regiment, and the date filled in by hand—signed by the chairman of the committee to settle the discharges of the Pennsylvania line is in DLC:GW. A printed order for a furlough, also this date—with a soldier’s name, the number of his regiment, the number of days of the furlough, the location, and the date filled in by hand—signed by Wayne is in DLC:GW.

7The enclosed paper has not been identified. The 27 Jan. edition of The Pennsylvania Packet or, the General Advertiser (Philadelphia) also carried an account of the mutiny signed by Joseph Reed and James Potter of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council.

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