George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Jeremiah Olney, 4 March 1781

From Lieutenant Colonel Jeremiah Olney

Providence 4th March 1781


I had the Honor to Receive your Excellency’s favr of 21st Ulto & Shall punctually Execute your orders in Collecting & forwarding the Scater’d Recruits1—Those that have from time to time Joyn’d the Rendezvous assign’d, I have lost no time in preparing & Sending forward in Several Detachments amounting to 132 the greater part of which must have arriv’d before this,2 your Excellency is pleas’d to call for a Return of the Number of men that may be Shortly expected from this State, I have no doubt of Collecting and Sending on as many as Fifty in the Course of this month, which is Nearly the whole that is at present Muster’d (Except a few Deserters) & is as large a Number as I Can with Safety promis your Excellency from this State in the time mention’d, as the Imbodying 1,200 Militia to do duty in this State for one month will very much Retard the Recruiting Service;3 as to Cloathing the Recruits before they march, I have not been able to Do, Except in the articles of Shirts, Shoes, Stockings & Blanketts—Though the State have at present 380 Coats—200 Vests & 200 pair Breeches Nearly Compleated which is all the Wollens that is procur’d, & as the Recruits which have March’d are Comfortably Clad, & the Season far advanc’d, his Excellency the Govr & Some of the Counsell advise the Detention of the Woollens & Recommend haveing The Frocks & overalls made up Immediately & Sent on to the Troops (These may be had here of the Best Quallity) I wish to know your Excellency’s pleasure Respecting this matter & it Shall be punctually observ’d.4 I have the Honor to be your Excellency’s Most Obedt Servt

Jereh Olney

ALS, DLC:GW; ADfS, RHi. Olney addressed the ALS to GW at New Windsor.

2Recruits joined the Rhode Island Regiment near Peekskill, N.Y. (see GW to Christopher Greene, 2 Jan.).

3Lieutenant General Rochambeau had requested these men (see his letter to GW of 25 Feb.). In its session commencing on 26 Feb., the Rhode Island legislature had passed “An Act for embodying and bringing into the field twelve hundred able-bodied, effective men, of the militia, to serve within this state, for one month, from the time of their rendezvous, and no longer term; and not to be marched out of the same” (Bartlett, R.I. Records description begins John Russell Bartlett, ed. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England. 10 vols. Providence, 1856–65. description ends , 9:333).

4No reply from GW to Olney has been found, but GW passed through Providence on his return from his meeting with the French commanders in Newport (see GW to William Greene, 12 March, postscript, NNGL).

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