George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin, Baron [von] Steuben, 1 May 1781

Head Quarters New Windsor 1st May 1781.

Dear Sir

I have received your favor of the 15th. Had it been possible for you to have carried your plan of marching suddenly into North Carolina into execution it would most probably have occasioned the ruin of Lord Cornwallis—But this is one of the thousand instances which daily shew the evils resulting from feeding and paying troops which can only be used for local purposes.

The arms which Capt. la Touche landed in the Delaware have been forwarded and one thousand Stand with as many Cartouch Boxes will go immediately from hence—Lead is a very scarce article with us, but as much of that and as much Ammunition as can possibly be spared will be forwarded. In short nothing shall be wanting on my part to give every assistance in my power to a quarter which so much needs it.

I have repeatedly urged to Congress and the States the Completion of their Cavalry. I believe the want of means to purchase Horses at the exorbitant prices asked for them is the reason why it is not done.

I inclose you a list of all the Virginia officers who have been exchanged in this department since January 1780—The Dy Commy to the southward can furnish you with an account of those who have been exchanged there—I never have yet had the returns from him.

The Virginia officers transmitted me a Copy of their representation against General Weedon’s coming again into service. It being a matter intirely dependant upon the pleasure of Congress, I did not conceive myself at liberty to give an opinion upon the subject, and gave them that answer.

I am exceedingly happy to hear that you are to remain a while longer in Virginia, as I am certain that much of what has been done has been owing to your assiduous exertions, and that matters would go on slowly were they left to the management of persons not acquainted with the Business. I am &a.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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