Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Rediscovering George Washington
Washington: Father of His Country The Washington Collection
Washington in the Classroom About the Program
Timeline: George Washington's Life Milestones
Multimedia Room Search the Site
Gilder Lehrman Collection Documents
Gilder Lehrman Collection Images
Other Documents
Gilder Lehrman Collection Documents
  Letter to Daniel Brodhead, October 13, 1780
George Washington. Letter: Head Quarters near Passaic Falls, to Colonel Daniel Brodhead, 1780 October 13. 3 p.

Head Quarters near Passaic Falls 13th October 1780

Dear Sir

Your favors of the 18th: and 21st: of August reached my hands a few days before I set out for Harford to meet the French Admiral and General. This has occasioned their remaining unanswered to this time. I have approved the sentences of the Court Martial against Captn. Beal Peter Davis of the 9th: Virginia and David Gamble of the 8th: Penn Regiment Gamble appearing to me the most proper object for an example, I have directed his execution. The time and place is left to your option. The Adjutant General transmits you the extract from General Orders respecting the above.

I am sorry that I cannot, considering the former good character of Capt. Beal, comply with the recommendation of the Court in his favor. The circumstance of his receiving the Grain and Rifle Gun for transferring McCloud to another Corps is so inconsistent with the Character of an Officer, that I cannot, with any degree of propriety, reinstate him.

I return you part of the proceedings of a Court Martial upon John Gosset of the 9th: Virginia Regt. I imagine the remainder has been left out when your packet was made up

[2]The want of provision is a clog to our operations in every quarter: We have several times, in the course of this Campaign, been without either Bread or Meat, and have never had more than four or five days beforehand. The smallness of your force will not admit of an expedition of any consequence, had you Magazines: you must therefore; of necessity, confine yourself to partizan strokes, which I wish to see encouraged.

The State of Virginia are very desirous of an expedition against Detroit, and would make great exertions to carry it into execution. But, while the enemy are so formidable to the southward, and are making such strides in that quarter, I fear it will require a greater force of Men and supplies to check them than we, since the defeat near Camden, shall be able shortly to draw together.

I am Dear Sir
Your most obt. Servt.
Go: Washington
Colo. Brodhead

[3]P.S. Since writing the foregoing I have received your favors of the 5th: 14th: and 17th: Septemr. Your distress for provision, considering the distance you are from supplies and the approach of Winter is very alarming, and I shall therefore take the earliest oppurtunity of laying before Congress the situation of the Garrison, and the necessity which there seems to be of furnishing the department with more certain means of procuring provisions, than a bare dependance upon the requisitions made from the States. Necessity must in the mean time justify the measure of taking by impress what the inhabitants can spare.

When the Court Martial have finished the business before them, it may be dissolved.

Notes: Published in Fitzpatrick, John C. The Writings of George Washington. v. 20: 175-77.