The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

From Baron Steuben,

Col. [Edward] Carrington, the bearer, has "so far arrang{ed} his Department as to be able to set out to join" NG.[1] Steuben "cannot he{lp} repeating" how obliged he is to Carrington for his assistance. Was previously unable to inform NG about Armand's Legion, "chiefly unarmed & without Cloat{hes}," which joined him the day the enemy entered Richmond.[2] He provided arms for Armand's infantry, whereupon "Eleven of them declared they were Prisoners taken with [John] Burgoyne [at Saratoga in 1777], & would not fight against the English." Steuben immediately "secured" the "Mutineer{s}, who were all Germans," and ordered the other eleven infantrymen, who were French, to guard them. The next day, Steuben had the sergeant who had headed the mutiny shot. He sent the others, after ordering three of them whipped, to Charlottesville to be held as prisoners of war until exchanged.[3] He armed and clothed the cavalry and "pressed 14 Horses" for them, so that they could "render some service during the invasion."[4]
Autograph letter signed (Greene Papers: DLC) 2 pp. The ALS is damaged; portions of the letter have been taken from a copy at NHi.
    [1.] On Carrington's joining the Southern Army, see his letter to NG of 28 January (PGNG, 7: 209-210).
    [2.] NG, finding Armand's Legion unfit for duty, had ordered it to Virginia in December 1780. (See PGNG, 6: 577-78 and n.) On the British capture of Richmond, see Steuben to NG, 8 January (PGNG, 7: 76-81).
    [3.] In a petition to Gov. Thomas Jefferson, the prisoners later claimed that they had been deserters from "Burgoins Army," who had served out their enlistments in Armand's Legion and had been seeking discharges when Steuben tried to press them into action. (Enclosed with James Wood to Jefferson, 20 February, Boyd, Jefferson Papers, 4: 673)
    [4.] In recounting the incident to Washington in a letter of 1 February, Steuben said Armand's men were serving with Gen. Peter Muhlenberg's force; he asked Washington what he should do with them. (Washington Papers, DLC) On 20 February, Washington replied that Steuben should station the legion "at some proper place to repose and attend to its discipline and equipment." (Fitzpatrick, GW, 21: 258)