Philadelphia January 2d 1781
The only apology I can make for not answering Sooner your Excellencys favor of the 17th ulto is that I wished to forward my Letter by Colo. Laurens who has been unexpectedly Delayed from Setting off for Head Quarters. Since Rivingtons Publication I feel Some reluctance at venturing my Letters by the Post.
Your Excellencys Letter of the 27th ulto was Yesterday read in Congress & Referrd to General Varnum myself & I think Colo. Bland I shall call the Committee together as Soon as I receive the papers and Endeavor to have Some Rule adopted respecting promotions which will avoid the Difficulties Your Excy has been pleased to mention I will Endeavor to Avail myself of Your Sentiments upon the Subject.
I am much mortified that I could do Nothing respecting the Jersey Line the Jealosy of the States prevented any thing being done though often attempted by Mr Clerk & Myself I could not Avail Myself of Your Exceys Sentiments upon the Yatter as I had no right to Communicate any part of a Confidential Letter which Your Excey had honored me with—I had much Difficulty to Save Colo. Smith who I know your Exy would reluctantly part with. Mr Duane was Indisposed & did not tend Congress Yesterday but a resolution for his being Continued was obtained by a very great Majority a Motion was Made this Day and warmly urged for reconsideration but did not prevail So a valuable officer is Saved to the Army.
I am not Certain but Dayton may yet be Saved by our Report on your Excys Letter of the 27th.
I have no news Except that the Enemy have landed under Lesley at Bald Head in North Carolina I really fear much for the Southern States. I beg Yr Excy will be so oblidging as to present my most respectful Compliments to Mrs Washington & that You will believe me to be Most Sincerely Dr General Your Excellys Most obedt Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.