Hingham January 26. 1783.
My dear General
There are a number of deserters confined in the Goal in Boston, whose sufferings (notwithstanding their follies) demand attention. Colo. Popkins has applied to me for directions how they should be sent to their respective regiments. I have order’d him to detain a sufficient guard from the men now on furlough. As soon as they can be collected they will march. This order may interfere with the principles which have been adopted of suffering but a certain number of men from each Regiment to be absent at a time, and operate to the injury of some who are waiting for the return of those now on furlough. But this evil may be remedied if the men detained are considered as on command.
Lt Colo. Popkins will return their names.
We have no news here. I expect the pleasure of seeing you about the middle of February at Newburgh. With the highest esteem I have the honor to be, your Excellencies most obedt hum. servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.