Head Quarters New Windsor June 23d 1781
I have just been favored with your Letter of the 14th Inst. I can easily conceive the inexpressible disapointment and mortification you have suffered, upon finding the flattering prospects of filling your Line so unexpectedly blasted, by the anxious sensations I have experienced on the same subject. If what has been so often urged, and repeated will not excite the States to the most strenuous exertions in compleating the Continental Battalions I almost despair of success from any thing that I can add to my former representations, arguments, & entreaties—This however should not relax our unremitting endeavour to serve our Country; to the extent of our abilities, in every possible Way.
The desire you express for active service is very commendable—I beg you will be persuaded that I have not the least inclination to restrain so laudable a passion—You will therefore be at liberty, to attempt to rouse the spirit of the Country & to put yourself at the head of the Cavalry in the Manner you propose; I sincerely wish your efforts may be crowned with success.
If the State has not already appointed a General Officer to command the State Troops destined for the southern service, I could wish these Troops might also be put under your Orders—Possibly, it might be well to give an Offer of your services, & to intimate that you have my consent to accept this Command, if the State should think proper to confer it upon you. I am Dear Sir With great regard Your Most Obedt Servant
PHi: Papers of Brigadier General William Irvine.