George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Walter Stewart, 18 January 1783

Head Quarters Janry 18th 1783.

Dr Sir

I am extremely happy to hear from some Gentlemen, who very lately left Philadelphia, of your recovery; and I take the more pleasure in congratulating you on this event, from having once almost despaired that it would ever happen; this was in consequence of the repeated accounts I had received of your dangerous illness.

I cannot now omit taking the first opportunity of mentioning the state of the Inspection Department to you—Notwithstanding I am convinced that Major Barber uses the greatest diligence, and does as much as is in the power of any one Man towards accomplishing the business of Inspecting & Mustering the Troops Monthly; yet it scarcely need be suggested, that without more assistance the Department must lose in a great degree its efficiency & utility, and dwindle into a name only—it is for these reasons that I feel exceedingly anxious for your return to the Army; and especially as the great object in taking a Cantonment of repose for the Winter, was to improve the tranquillity of that season by encreasing the emulation, & establishing the Discipline of the Army; and by introducing a perfect system of police to render the Troops more & more fit for the activity of service at the opening of the Campaign to which purposes I flattered myself the frequency & exactness of Inspections would have greatly contributed—I shall therefore expect to hear from you, or rather to see you, as soon as it can possibly be made convenient for you to undertake the journey—bring Mrs Stewart with you, & then your temptation to return to Phila. will not be so powerful. I am, Dr Sir, With great esteem & regard Your Most Obedt Servt

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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