Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO PRESIDENT REED. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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TO PRESIDENT REED. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VII (1778-1779).
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TO PRESIDENT REED.
Middlebrook, April 8th, 1779.
Your favor without a date, acknowledging the receipt of my letters of the 28th, & 9th ulto came to hand a day or two ago.
Colo. Patterson (as he is called) was a stranger even in name to me, till he came here introduced by Colo. Cox as a person capable of giving the best information of the Indian Country, between the Susquehannah and Niagara of any man that was to be met with; and as one who had it more in his power than any other to obtain such intelligence of the situation, numbers and designs of the enemy in these regions as I wanted to enable me to form the Expedition against them—In this light, & as the Brother-in-law of Genl. Potter who is known to be a zealous friend to America, I viewed & imployed Colo. Patterson for the above purposes; concealing as much as the nature of the case would admit my real design.—If I have been deceived in the Man, Colo Cox is the author of the deception and is highly culpable, because he represented him to me as a person he was well acquainted with,—The Troops from Minisink were to begin their March for Wioming last Monday—The bad weather all the Month of March and an accident to one of my Letters to Genl. Hand occasioned a delay of some days. Orders also went (before the receipt of your Letter) to Genl. McDougall to put the remains of Patten’s & Malcolm’s Regiments in motion for the same quarter—and the Board of War, some time since, has been applied to for a relief to Rawling’s Corps that it might reinforce Brodhead for the purpose mentioned to you when at Camp, but what they have done in the matter is unknown to me—I shall be very glad to know from time to time what progress is made in compleating the five independent Companies; and let me beseech you my dear Sir while I am upon the subject of recruiting to give the most pointed orders to those who are engaged in this Service, for your Battalions, to take no Deserters.—They weaken instead of strengthen the Regiments, and not only rob the public of the bounty money, arms, accoutrements and cloaths which they receive, but poison the minds of other Soldiers and carry many away with them to the enemy.—In Genl. Potter’s letter (now returned) the propriety of offering Land as an encouragement to Men to enlist in the above Companies, is suggested for your consideration—I have long been of opinion founded in observation that if the State bounties are continually increased for every short & temperary Service & enlistment, that the price of Men another year will be far above our purchase; & a final end will be put to recruiting;—the consequences of which, under present appearances, are well worthy of consideration.
To hear that all party disputes had subsided & that harmony (not only between Congress & the States but between the discordant parts of the State) was restored, wd. give me very singular pleasure.—If party matters were at an end, & some happy expedient hit upon to check the further depreciation of our money, we should soon be left to the enjoyment of that Peace and happiness which every good man must wish for & none but the viciated & abandoned tribe of speculators, &c would be injured by.1
If propositions have not been made to Congress of the Court of G. Britain for negotiating a Peace on the terms which have been held out to the Commissioners upon what ground is the resolutions you speak of founded? They surely do not mean to be the movers of a Negotiation, before they know the terms that will be offered, or which can certainly be obtained?—In a word the whole matter (to me) is a mistery.—I am, &c.
April 9th. P. S.—Since writing the foregoing I have spoke to Genl. Greene concerning Patterson—He says that Cox is not, nor was not unacquainted with the suspicions harbored of him—that in ye early part of the War he got disgusted by some disappointment, withdrew from Public Service—& has conducted himself in such a manner as to be suspected of favoring the back Settlers who have joined the Enemy—but nevertheless he will answer for his fidelity & the due performance of what he has undertaken if impediments are not thrown in his way.—
I have accts of the marching of Pattens and Malcolm’s Regiments—& that the Troops from Minisink will be at Wioming this night if no accident happens to them.
[1 ]The draft of this letter, in Washington’s own hand, contained the following paragraph, struck out by the pen: “I am clearly in sentiment with you, that Congress ought to be left totally unembarrassed by the interference of particular States, even if negotiation is actively begun, or proposed on the part of Great Britain. But if it should not, the resolutions you speak of are not only unseasonable, but pernicious in the extreme.”