George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Harrison, 25 February 1781

From Benjamin Harrison

25th Feby 1781

My Dear General

I wrote you on the sixteenth a letter on the business I was sent on but supposing you were gone from Camp I did not send it on till now, which will make my appology for the Delay1—Cornwallis is advancing fast into our Country. a letter from Gen. Green tells us he was retiring before him not being strong enough to fight him tho’ he is only about 2500 Strong; Green has passed the Stanton where I hope he will be immediately joined by such numbers of militia, as will soon do my Lords business, he has destroyed all his Waggons and baggage, for which reason he has no hopes even of subsistance but in success, even a delay of which will ruin him, Green acts with prudence and I dare say will bring on his destruction which may God send;2 I suppose this furious Lord expects to be joind by Arnold but in this he must be disappointed as he is block’d up by French men of war to prevent his getting up Ja[me]s River and Barron Stuben is before him with 2700 men besides what he may collect on the alarm[.] the defiles in the way are many, and such that I think he cannot pass them—I have now my dear Sir an interesting subject to say a few words on which I know your goodness will attribute to my Love for you and your family.

Some Gentn of the last Assembly proposed to apply to that body for assistance to your mother, who they said was in great want, owing to the heavy taxes she was oblig’d to pay; I took the liberty to put a stop to this supposeing you would be displeased at such an application, I make no doubt but the assembly would readily grant the request, and it now only rests with you to say whether it shall be made or not. My Compliments to your good Lady and my friends in your family—I am Dear Sir with every sentiment of esteem and friend⟨ship⟩ Your affectt. and most Obedient Hble Servt

Benja. Harrison

p.S. It appears to me that Green must have mistaken the Dan River for the Staunton that being the southern branch of Roanoke—I set out on my return on wednesday mor[nin]g next.3


GW replied to Harrison on 21 March, explaining that he had provided his mother with a house in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was paying the rent for her land at Ferry Farm and had directed his steward at Mount Vernon to answer any of her requests for money. He asked that all proceedings regarding her pension be stopped (DLC:GW).

2Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene’s letter has not been identified.

3The next Wednesday was 28 February.

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