George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Clinton, 27 June 1780

Hd Qrs Ramapough June 27th 1780.

Dr Sir

In the absence of the Committee agreeable to the direction of your Excellencys letter I opened it and perused the contents. The measures taken by the Legislature are vigorous and correspondent to that spirit which has uniformly actuated them. In the execution I am persuaded whatever depends on you will be done. I regret that there seems to have been a mistake in a very essential article—the men for completing the battalions. I know not what may have been the intention of the Committee; but mine was to have the Battalions filled to their establishment in the field independent of the Levies for frontier service; and my calculations of the force requested for the intended cooperation have turned upon this principle: any thing short of it will be a serious and injurious disappointment.

As I am not near enough the Committee to take their sense and as the point is of too much importance to admit delay, I have thought proper instantly to return your express with an explanation of my views: If they arrive before the Legislature rises, I entreat your Excellency to lay my letter before them and obtain their determination. There is a certain proportion of regular continental force which is essential to our success, and the full complement of our Continental Battalions is the least that gives a tolerable prospect of success. By having these we may possibly lessen the number of Militia, but without these no additional number of Militia will compensate for the deficiency. Your Excellency’s knowledge of Service will make this reasoning clear to you and supersedes the necessity of any arguments to enforce it. I have the honor to be with perfect respect & esteem Yr Excellencys Most Obed servt

Go: Washington.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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