George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 26 February 1781

To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Head Quarters New Windsor 26th February 1781.

Dear sir

Congress, as you will have been informed, have determined that the Pennsylvania line shall compose part of the southern Army, and have ordered it to proceed to Virginia, in detachments, as they may be in readiness to march.1 I have given General St Clair directions to carry the Resolve into execution as speedily as possible2—I think it essential that one of the Brigadiers should proceed with the first detachment, that he may be at hand to receive and form the remainder as they arrive. This may be the more necessary, as the presence of an Officer of Authority and Rank may be requisite to restore that discipline which the late convulsion will have in some degree destroyed3—General Irvine being employed upon the recruiting Buisiness,4 this duty of course devolves upon you.

I have advised General St Clair, if circumstances will admit of the detachment under the command of the Marquis going down the Chesapeak by Water, to endeavour to take the opportunity of sending as many as possible by the same conveyance5—You will, in that case, either make use of the Water passage or proceed by land and meet the troops at their place of debarkation, as you may think best—But I imagine you will prefer the former when the Marquis informs you of the object of the detachment.6

Wherever your duty calls you, I shall wish you happiness and success as I am With very true Esteem Dear sir Your Most Obedient and Humble servant.

Go: Washington

LS, in William Colfax’s writing, PHi: Wayne Papers; Df, DLC:GW; copy, PHi: William Irvine Papers; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW signed the cover of the LS, which is addressed to Wayne at Philadelphia.

3For the Pennsylvania line mutiny, see Wayne to GW, 2 Jan., and the source note to that document.

5For the detachment, see GW to Lafayette, 20 Feb. (both letters [1 and 2]).

6Wayne replied to GW on 19 March that he had experienced delays in forming and marching the Pennsylvania troops (DLC:GW).

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