George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Samuel Huntington, 27 February 1781

To Samuel Huntington

Head Quarters New Windsor 27th Feby 1781.


I was yesterday honored with your Excellency’s favor of the 21st.1 General Greenes letter so strongly points out the increasing danger to the Southern States, and the detachment of the pennsylvania Line to their succour makes such an alteration in our prospects here, that different dispositions, from those originally intended, are become adviseable. On this principle, I beg leave to suggest to Congress the expediency of their taking the most effectual measures, as soon as possible, to recruit—equip and mount Moylans Regt of Dragoons, and as soon as they are respectable enough to be an object, to order them also to join the Southern Army.

A superiority of Cavalry, in that Country, has always been represented to me, by the commanding Officers and others who have served there, as a thing of the utmost importance, and, what, with a tolerable equality of Foot, would give numberless advantages to the Army possessed of it.2

The surprize of George Town, a place so far within the Enemy’s line of posts highly bespeaks the good conduct and behaviour of Colo. Lee—his Officers and Men.3 With the most perfect Respect I have the honor to be Your Excellency’s Most obt and humble Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 147; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 5 March and referred it to the Board of War (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 19:230).

3Huntington acknowledged this letter when he wrote GW on 5 March, postscript.

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