George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Nathanael Greene, 3 November 1780

Philadelphia, Novemr 3d 1780.


Lt Colonel John Lawrence is very anxious to join the Southern Army, as soon as he gets exchanged. His knowledge of the Southern States and of the customs and manners of the people will render his services very necessary in that quarter.

Congress have passed a resolution authorizing me to make exchanges. I could wish to know your Excellency’s intentions in this business, as it is my wish to regulate my conduct agreeable to your views.

The Arms we are likely to get from the board of War and this State fall far short of my expectations. The whole will not exceed fifteen hundred.

I must beg your Excellency therefore to forward us three or four thousand from the Eastern States as it is impossible to get them here. We are not less deficient in Cartouch boxes than Arms.

I am apprehensive the difficulty of forming a large body of Cavalry in Virginia will be much greater than I imagined I wish therefore if it was possible the Duke Lazunes legion might be detached to serve with the Southern Army provided it can be done consistent with the views of Count Rochambeau. The British might recieve a deadly blow in Virginia if Count Rochambeau and Admiral Ternay would suddenly embark their troops and land in Virginia. The Enemies fleet there is much inferior to that of the French, and the land force of the former greatly inferior to the latter when joined by the troops levying in Virginia and the Militia of the Country. But this will be thought too hazardous perhaps.

I am with esteem & respect Your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servant

Nath. Greene

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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