George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 17 February 1781

From Major General William Heath

West point, Feb. 17. 1781.

Dear General,

I am just honored with your’s of this date. The light-companies shall be immediately formed into battalions, and field officers appointed to them conformable to your directions. But a difficulty arrises with respect to Major Reid; the sentence of the court-martial, which is before your Excellency, has not yet been published, & Major Reid is under arrest. If your Excellency should think proper to publish the sentence to morrow, he may possibly join the detachment in season.1

Lt Colonel Commandant Sherman I am informed, is on furlough. Colonel Vose will command the eight eldest companies of the Massachusetts line—The particular arrangement, as soon as completed shall be presented to your Excellency.2 I have the honor to be With the greatest respect Your Excellency’s most obedient servant

W. Heath

P.S. Lt Colo. Commandant Sprout and Major John Porter are both present, but are not in the list of field officers received from headquarters.3


LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

2Heath apparently sent orders from West Point on 18 Feb.: “Eight companies of light infantry for the eight eldest Massachusetts regiments form a battalion commanded by Colonel Vose and Major Galvon.

“The light companies of the 9th & 10th Massachusetts, the Connecticut and Rhode Island regiments form a battalion commanded by Colonel Gimet and Major Throop (Major Wyllys being absent.).

“The light companies of the New Hampshire line and Colonel Hazen’s regiments will form together under the command of Major Reid, in case he should be released from arrest in season to join the detachment” (DLC:GW; see also Heath to GW, 2 March).

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