George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Benjamin Lincoln, 21 February 1781

To Major General Benjamin Lincoln

Head Quarters New Windsor 21st February 1781.

Dear sir

I have lately been obliged to make so large a temporary detachment, that it becomes indispensibly necessary to call in the Recruits from the States nearest at hand.1 You will therefore be pleased to dispatch orders to the superintending Officers to send forward, to the Army, such as may have come in to the places of rendezvous, and to exert themselves to collect and send in any which may yet be scattered—Could they come cloathed, it would be a most desirable event, but as circumstances do not admit of delay, they must endeavour to procure as much as will make them comfortable, and let the remainder, if it is provided by the state, follow. We have a tolerable supply of every thing but shirts and Coats for 1500 or 2000 Men at this place—I should hope that the Recruits from Boston may come on both armed and Cloathed.

I most sincerely congratulate You on Genl Morgans brilliant success to the southward. I have not heard whether it has occasioned any change in the disposition of the enemy.2 I am in hopes that it will, at least, retard any forward movement, and give Genl Greene, what he is very much in need of, time to collect and organize a more respectable force than he was possessed of when I last heard from him. He had, with his small main body, taken a safe and distant possition on the Pedee, and had detached General Morgan with his handfull of Continental Light troops and all the Militia to keep the enemy from extending themselves to the Westward or drawing supplies from thence.3 If they always acquit themselves as handsomely as they did the 17th January, we shall have no reason to complain.4 With very sincere Regard I am Dear sir Your Most Obedient and Humble servant.

Go: Washington

LS, in William Colfax’s writing, MH; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For the detachment, see GW to Lafayette, 20 Feb. (both letters [1 and 2]).

2For Brig. Gen. Daniel Morgan’s victory at the Battle of Cowpens on 17 Jan., see Nathanael Greene to GW, 24 Jan. (first letter), n.3.

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