Poughkeepsie 26th April 1782
I have been duly honored with your Excellency’s Letters of the 24th & 25th Instant. Previous to the Receipt of the letters I had made out Instructions, a Copy of which is enclosed, for Colo. Weissenfels who is to command one of the Regiments of Levies. The Reasons which induced fixing upon the different Places of Rendezvous for the Levies raised on the West Side of the River and in other Parts contiguous to the Frontiers, were that even while they were collecting they would afford some Protection to the exposed Settlements, and experience has evinced the Propriety of the Measure, as the Enemy have already appeared in small Parties at or in the vicinity of several of the Places of Rendezvous and have taken of some of the Inhabitants, and I am persuaded from the Impression these uncommonly early Incursions have made on the Minds of the People that should the Levies, directed to assemble among them be now called to Fishkill, the Settlements will be abandoned. I would therefore rather submit to any Inconveniency, however great, in procuring Subsistence for the Levies until they are collected and the Detachments made for fitting up the Line of the State in the Army, than be obliged to change their Rendezvous. Your Excellency may rest assured that every possible Dispatch will be given to this Business, as similar Orders to those now enclosed are forwarded to Colo. Willet who is to command the other Regiment. I have the Honor to be with the highest Sentiments of Respect & Esteem Your Excellency’s most Obedt Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Poughkeepsie April 26th 1782
Your Regiment is to be composed of the Levies raised from the Militia of Orange Ulster Westchester & Dutchess Counties. You will accordingly appoint suitable Persons from among the Officers, a list of whom is delivered you, to receive and muster them agreeable to Genl Orders at the Places of Rendezvous therein assigned. By an Act of the Legislators, passed the last Meeting, it is directed that Detachments should be made from the Levies to be raised for the Defence of the frontiers to complete the Line of this State in the Service of the United States; but as it cannot be ascertained what number will be raised until Returns of the number of Classes in each Regiment of Militia are received it cannot therefore be determined with precision what proportion ought to be detached from your Regiment. You will however as soon as the Men are collected at the Places of Rendezvous, detach one third of the whole for this Service in such equitable Manner as you shall deem most proper and forward them, under the direction of careful Officers, to such Posts as His Excellency the Commander in Chief shall direct. I presume you will not meet with any difficulty in the execution of this Business as the Time of service of those detached will be of equal Duration only with those on the frontiers and in all probability the most agreeable Duty. It is to be wished, if practicable and without doing Injustice or creating discontent, that those who from Connections & other Circumstances will be most likely to continue in the continental Regiments, might be detached. The Moment this Business is effected and your Regiment is formed you are to consider yourself under the Direction of the Commander in Chief of the American Army and you are to receive his Orders accordingly. It may be proper to inform you that for the immediate Protection of the frontiers of Ulster & Orange Counties I have ordered Major D’Witt to draw out the Levies from the three upper Regiments in Orange and the Regiments of Ulster Counties & after mustering to distribute them among the Inhabitants of the frontier Settlements until proper Means of Subsistence are provided for them and the Officers of your Regiment residing on the West side of the River are to take charge of them accordingly. Those raised in Westchester County with as many from Dutchess as would form two Companies have been usually employed for the protection of that County & those raised in [Hay’s] Regt in the lower part of Orange have been left to cover the Settlements of that part of the County—the Residue of the Regiment have been heretofore posted at the different Passes on the western frontiers of Ulster & Orange from Minisink to [Kishataminatie] inclusive, at the discretion of the Commanding Officer. This is however, only to be received by you as information, as in this as well as in all other Matters you are to be governed by the Commander in Chief’s Orders. It has been intimated to me that some of the Officers appointed in Westchester County, decline serving; if this should be the case you will report them as well as any others who may decline, to me that others may be appointed in their stead. I have to recommend that you will be particularly attentive that every Regiment deliver their compliment of men & use every possible precaution to prevent Desertion. His Excellency the General has consented that the Contractors issue Provisions to the Levies collecting at the lower Places of Rendezvous. You will be careful to adopt regular Measures for the Issues that no impositions may be practiced on the Contractors or the Public. I am &c. &c. &c.