George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 27 February 1781

From Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Philad. 27th Feby 1781

Dear General

I was honored with your favor of the 3rd Instant and experience much happiness in your Approbation of my Conduct during the unfortunate Defection of the Pennsa line1 but as I am informed that the tounge of slander (among some Individuals in the State of N. Jersey) has not been Idle on this Occation I hold it my duty to mention that as far as Orders & example had Influence the persons & property of the Inhabitants were protected & the strictest discipline Observed—Inclosed is a Copy of one of the last Orders Issued for this purpose, which was faithfully Obeyed in every minutia on the part of the Officers, even at 9 OClock the night of the revolt at which hour everything appeared favourable, and all the Soldiers either in their Hutts or properly Accounted for—Indeed one of their Complaints was, that they had experienced more restraint & stricter duty than Usual in Winter—however I would much rather be accused of that—than a relaxation of Discipline—or inattention to the rights of the Citizens, nor was any legal means left unattempted to quiet the minds of the troops which your Exceely will see by the Inclosed copy of an Order of the Ultimo.

It is with pleasure I again Assure you that I am very much Indebted to every Officer for their attention to duty & Spirited exertions on this Occation & in particular to Colo. Stewart & Butler who as Commanding Officers of Brigades cheerfully risqued their lives & participated in every vicisitude of fortune with me.

I now Inclose your Excellency a Copy of the General Officers answer to the Queries of the Honble House of Assembly, & their proceedings thereon, which I hope will be productive of very salutary effects.2 I have the Honor to be with Singular Esteem Your Excellency’s Most Obt & very Hume Sert

Anty Wayne

ADfS, PHi: Wayne Papers. The enclosed documents have not been identified.

1Wayne refers to GW’s letter to him of 2 February. For the Pennsylvania line mutiny, see Wayne to GW, 2 Jan., and the source note to that document.

2The queries and proceedings likely stemmed from the officers’ meeting with a committee of the Pennsylvania assembly. On 15 Feb., that body had passed a resolution “appointing a committee” of five “to confer with the President and Council, and the general officers of the Pensylvania line, now in town, on the subject of recruiting the said line. To request the Supreme Executive Council to furnish the House with an estimate of the expences of the current year, and report the same to the House, together with some mode of satisfying the officers and soldiers still remaining in the Pensylvania line.” The council, and presumably the general officers, met with the committee on 21 Feb. (Pa. Col. Records description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends , 12:635–36).

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