George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Clinton, 18 June 1780

Head Qrs Springfield June 18. 1780

Dr Sir

I have received advice which appears to be direct, that the Legislature of this State has determined on a draft from the Militia to serve for the Campaign under their own Officers, instead of being incorporated with their Continental battalions. This mode if adopted, will be attended with so many inconveniencies, if followed by the States in general, will be so absolutely pernicious to all the prospects of the campaign—that I cannot forbear taking the liberty to send Brigadier General Knox to represent on my part the ill consequences of the measure, and the superiour advantages of the plan recommended in preference. I entreat Your Excellency to procure him the honor of a conference with the Legislature for this purpose. The crisis is so delicate and important—the honor and interest of these States so essentially depend on a judicious and vigorous exertion of our resources at this juncture—that I cannot but manifest my anxiety when I see any measures in agitation that threaten the disappointment of our hopes, and take every step in my power to prevent their being carried into execution. In military questions the Officers of the Army have a right to flatter themselves the[ir] country will place some confidence in their experience and judgment and it is the policy of every wise m[an] to do it. I cannot doubt that on reconsideration, the zeal and wisdom which have distinguished the Councils of this State will embrace what the true interest of America on this occasion demands. I have the Honor to be with every sentiment of respect & esteem, Yr Excellency’s Most Obedt & Hbl. Servant

Go: Washington

NjP: Armstrong Collection.

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