George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Arthur St. Clair, 26 February 1781

To Major General Arthur St. Clair

Head Quarters New Windsor 26th February 1781.

Dear sir

Congress, by a resolve of the 20th instant, have determined that the Pennsylvania line except Moylans Dragoons and the troops upon command to the Westward shall compose part of the southern Army, and have directed me to order it to join the Army in Virginia by detachments, as they may be in readiness to march1—You, will therefore, in obedience to the above resolve, put matters in proper train to carry it into execcution with all dispatch possible—You will now, in case circumstances should permit the detachment under the command of the Marquis to proceed down the Chesapeak, not confine yourself to a single Battalion of 400 Men as mentioned in mine of the 22d but endeavour to send as many as possible by so good and expeditious a conveyance.2

I think it essential that one of the Brigadiers should proceed to Virginia with the first detachment that moves, and there be ready to receive and form the remainder as they come on—There may be greater necessity of an Officer of rank being at hand, as the line, from the late disturbances in it, will have lost somewhat of its discipline—General Irvine being employed in superintending the recruiting Buisiness—The tour devolves upon General Wayne—I have written to him on the subject.3 I am Dear sir With great esteem and Regard Your Most Obedient and Most Humble servant.

Go: Washington

LS (photocopy), in William Colfax’s writing, ViMtvL; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. St. Clair replied to GW on 2 March.

1See Samuel Huntington to GW, 20 Feb. (both letters [1 and 2]).

2For the previous orders, see GW to St. Clair, 22 February.

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