The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

From George Washington,

From NG's description and available maps, Washington finds NG's position at the Cheraws on the east side of the Pee Dee "judiciously chosen" and his detaching of and orders to General Morgan based on "just Military Principles." It will be "a great point" if NG can keep the enemy from taking the offensive until he has put his army "on a more reputable footing."[1] Encloses resolutions of Congress concerning the arranging of officers in captivity and the "compleating" of Armand's Legion by the "Continent at large." It was "undoubtedly best" to send the legion to Virginia, but Washington fears it will not "be fit for service, for a considerable time," unless Armand succeeds in outfitting it "on his own credit" in France.[2]
Since Washington's last letter of 9/11 January, "the Emissaries from the Enemy have been executed, and the affair of the Pennsylvania Line compromised by the intervention of the Civil Authority of the State: This (tho perhaps the only measure that could have been adopted in our circumstances) has been productive of ill consequences, by inducing" part of the New Jersey line to mutiny "in the same manner" on 19 January. Washington, who was "Determined to put a stop to this conduct, & to restore discipline," immediately dispatched troops under Gen. [Robert] Howe, who "surrounded the mutineers by surprize in their Quarters, reduced them to unconditional submission & executed two of their Instigators on the spot. This has totally quelled the spirit of mutiny, and every thing is now quiet."[3] The "States seem to be somewhat roused from their late supine condition." Congress has called upon them "in the most pressing manner for money & supplies," and Washington hopes "vigorous & effectual exertions" will result.[4] Reports a successful raid by Gen. [Samuel] Parsons on an enemy camp at Morrisania, N.Y.
Draft (Washington Papers: DLC) 3 pp.
    [1.] See NG to Washington, 28 December 1780 (PGNG, 7: 11). By the time Washington wrote this letter, the British had taken the offensive.
    [2.] On the arranging of the captured officers, see Huntington to NG, 9 January (PGNG, 7: 86). Congress had voted on 23 January to let Col. Charles Armand go to France to obtain supplies for his legion. It had also made the "Continent" responsible for furnishing horses to "remount" that unit and money to "recruit" it and had authorized Washington to decide where it should be stationed. (JCC, 19: 76-77; see also note at Steuben to NG, 30 January, PGNG, 7: 224-225.) NG had ordered the legion to Virginia.
    [3.] On the mutiny of the Pennsylvania line and the execution of Sir Henry Clinton's "Emissaries," see Madison to NG, 13 January (PGNG, 7: 116-118). According to a historian who studied both insurrections, the uprising in the New Jersey line repeated "the Pennsylvania story on a smaller scale." (Van Doren, Mutiny, p. 206) For more on the New Jersey mutiny, see Howe to NG, this date (PGNG, 7: 237-239).
    [4.] On 27 January, Samuel Huntington, the president of Congress, had sent the northern states copies of a letter from the commissary general concerning "the critical Situation of the Army respecting Provisions and other Supplies." Huntington "most earnestly requested" that the states make "every possible Exertion" to meet their quotas. (Smith, Letters, 16: 627)