Springfield 17 April 1780
The Connecticut Line becomes weaker every Day by the three years Men leaving us, besides two hundred unfit for Duty for Want of Shoes & Shirts—the Duty is at present as hard as in the most active Parts of a Campaign—I shall be obliged to diminish the Guards & consequently to attend more to their security and less to the other Objects of the Command—indeed, as to the Intercourse & Trafic with the Enemy, the Coast is so extensive & the Places of Access so many, we cannot be, in any Disposition, but a feeble Barrier.
I do not learn that the Enemy have any serious thoughts of an Entreprize this way, but should they come with a Number much inferior to ours and act with Vigour, we could not possibly collect ourselves in season to give effectual Opposition—in such a Case the Country finding themselves defenceless will be very ready to lead us with Reproaches, with military Men, our situation would in some Measure apologize.
For some Reasons, it would be agreeable to this Line to be relieved, if the service admits of it—We are not, however, uneasy—I remain, Your Excellencys very affectionate & hble Servant
Please turn to the other Side half after two, P.M. Capt Betts, on Command at Newark, has just informd me that the Enemy have returned from Paramus to NYork, that they have burnt two Houses belonging to the Hoppers and plundered considerably.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.