Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 2

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Author: George Washington

U.S. History

General Washington to Robert R. Livingston.

Head-Quarters, Valley Forge, 12 March, 1778.

DEAR SIR,

I should have answered your letter of the 14th of January before this time, had I not been daily in hopes that I should be able to give you a satisfactory account of a change of men and measures in the North River department. It has not been an easy matter to find a just pretence for removing an officer from his command, where his misconduct rather appears to result from want of capacity, than from any real intention of doing wrong; and it is, therefore, as you observe, to be lamented, that he cannot see his own defects, and make an honorable retreat from a station in which he only exposes his own weakness.

Proper measures are taking to carry on the inquiry into the loss of Fort Montgomery, agreeably to the directions of Congress; and it is more than probable, from what I have heard, that the issue of that inquiry will afford just grounds for a removal of General P. But whether it does or not, the prejudices of all ranks in that quarter against him are so great, that he must, at all events, be prevented from returning. I hope to introduce a gentleman in his place, if the general course of the service will admit of it, who will be perfectly agreeable to the State and to the public. In the mean time, I trust that General Parsons will do every thing in his power to carry on the works, which, from his last accounts, are in more forwardness than I had expected.

I wish that all the men in the upper part of the river had been drawn down to the Highlands, instead of being kept to carry on an expedition, in which I never was consulted, but which I saw from the beginning could never succeed, from a variety of reasons, which it would be needless to give to you, or any man acquainted with the state of the country through which it was to have passed. Those who were the most sanguine, I fancy, now see the impracticability of it.

Peekskill and the neighbouring posts were, by a resolve of Congress, included in the Northern department, and the care of carrying on the works put under the direction of the officer commanding in that district. General Gates being, soon after the resolve, called to the Board of War, he had no opportunity of doing any thing towards it. Whether there will be any alteration in the extent of the command this campaign, I cannot tell But, if it falls again into that department more immediately under my particular command, you may depend that all the attention due to posts so important shall be paid to them.

I am, &c.,

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

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Chicago: George Washington, "General Washington to Robert R. Livingston.," Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 2 in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, ed. Jared Sparks (Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1853), 553–554. Original Sources, accessed July 6, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LT9YJF2DJTTC1WU.

MLA: Washington, George. "General Washington to Robert R. Livingston." Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 2, in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, edited by Jared Sparks, Vol. 2, Freeport, NY, Books for Libraries Press, 1853, pp. 553–554. Original Sources. 6 Jul. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LT9YJF2DJTTC1WU.

Harvard: Washington, G, 'General Washington to Robert R. Livingston.' in Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Vol. 2. cited in 1853, Correspondence of the American Revolution: Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, ed. , Books for Libraries Press, Freeport, NY, pp.553–554. Original Sources, retrieved 6 July 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LT9YJF2DJTTC1WU.