Philadelphia April 22d 1781
After having recovered from a very severe fever, which attack’d me on my passage from Annapolis to the Head of Elk, and confined me to my bed at the last mentioned place, for ten day’s. I arrived in this City the night before last, rendered very weak by the violence of the disorder tho’ at present recovering fast.
When the Marquis received your Excellency’s Orders for his present movement, he communicated them to me, & after some conversation upon the subject asked me what line of conduct I ment to adopt, I told him that as the importance of my station ceased to exist when the expedition against Portsmouth failed, I flattered myself that it could not be your Excellency’s intention that I shou[ld] continue as adjutant to three Regiments, & therefore presu[md] as I had no command in the Corps that my remaining behind untill your Excellency’s pleasure should be known on the subject, could not meet with your disapprobation. He therefore advised me upon my recovery to repair to this place & here wait Your Excellency’s orders, wher[e]by I might regulate my future conduct, at the sam[e] time assuring me that he would forward letters to Head Quarters upon the subject, in which he would mention that the movement of the Corps not being pleasing to Colo. Vose, as he immagined his presence would be absolutely necessary with his Regiment, that if your Excellency would honour me with the command & perm[it] Colo. Vose to bend his Attention to the formation of his own Regiment, it might prove agreable to all parties.
Flattered with these assurances & the prospect of a Command I here wait to be made acquainted with your Excellencys determination upon this subject, and notwithstanding a southern Climate does not seem to tally with my constitution, I shall with pleasure proceed in what ever line your Excellency may think proper to point out. With the utmost respect I remain Your Excellency’s Most Obliged & Very Humble Servt
Wm S. Smith Lt Col[o.]
N.B. A Letter directed to me at the City tavern where I lodge will probably meet with a safe consequence.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.