Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL GREENE. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IX (1780-1782)
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL GREENE. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. IX (1780-1782) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. IX (1780-1782).
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL GREENE.
New Windsor, 18 April, 1781.
My Dear Sir,
Your private letter of the 18th ulto. came safe to hand.1 Altho’ the honors of the field did not fall to your lot, I am convinced you deserved them. The chances of war are various, and the best concerted measures, and the most flattering prospects, may and often do deceive us; especially while we are in the power of militia. The motives wch. induced you to seek an action with Lord Cornwallis, are supportable upon the best military principles; and the consequences, if you can prevent the dissipation of your Troops, will no doubt be fortunate. Every support, that it is in my power to give you from this army, shall chearfully be afforded; But if I part with any more Troops, I must accompany them, or have none to command, as there is not at this moment more than a garrison for West Point, nor can I tell when there will be.
I am much pleased to find by your letter, that the State of Virginia exerts itself to your satisfaction. My public and private letters strongly inculcate the necessity of this; and I have again urged Congress to use every possible mean in their power to facilitate the march of the Pensylvania line; as also to recruit, equip, and forward Moylan’s Dragoons to you with despatch.
I should be very sorry on any occasion to hurt the feelings of the Baron de Steuben, whom I esteem as a very valuable officer. But in the instance you have mentioned, there is no cause of complaint; for, if he will advert to his own letters to me, he will find that there was a great probability of his having marched with a detachment to reinforce you. Besides which there was a necessity for sending a Genl. officer with the detachment from hence, and political considerations, as it was to be a combined operation (depending upon critical circumstances) with a French land and sea force, pointed to the Marquis. Add to this I know that the French Troops were to be commanded by an officer of senior rank to either the Baron or Marquis. These are the facts, the knowledge of which must, I am persuaded, satisfy the Baron.
I am truly sensible of the merit and fortitude of the veteran bands under your Command, and wish ye sentiments I entertain of their worth could be communicated with the warmth I feel them. It was my full intention to have requested you to thank Morgan and the gallant Troops under his commd. for their brilliant victory; but the hurry, in which my letters are too often written, occasioned the omission at the time I acknowledged the official account of that action.
Your conjecture respecting the cause of the P.—M—y1 has more substantial ground for its support, than the letter of the m. of C.; and I am mistaken if the licentious conduct of that line was not more the effect of an overcharge of spirits, on the 1st of January, than of premeditated design.
I have the pleasure to tell you, that, as far as I am acquainted with the opinion of Congress with respect to your conduct, it is much in your favor. That this is the sentiment of all the Southern delegates I have great reason to believe, because I have it declared to me in explicit terms by some of them. Since writing the above I have recd. a letter from Mr. Custis, dated the 29th ulto., in which are these words. “Genl. Greene has by his conduct gained universal esteem, and possesses in the fullest degree the confidence of all ranks of people.” He had then just returned from the Assembly at Richmond. I hope the disorder, of which you complained, in your letter of the 18th was no other than the effect of over fatigue, and that you are now perfectly well. That success equal to your merits and wishes may attend you, is the ardent desire of, dear Sir, &c.
P. S. Mrs. Washington and the rest of the family present their best wishes to you, and I have the pleasure to tell you that Mrs. Greene and your children were well lately. Your letters to her under cover to me are regularly forwarded by the Post.
[1 ]From General Greene’s Letter: “Our force, as you will see by the returns, was respectable, and the probability of not being able to keep it long in the field, and the difficulty of subsisting men in this exhausted country, together with the great advantages which would result from the action, if we were victorious, and the little injury if otherwise, determined me to bring on an action as soon as possible. When both parties are agreed in a matter, all obstacles are soon removed. I thought the determination warranted by the soundest principles of good policy, and I hope the event will prove it so, though we were unfortunate. I regret nothing so much as the loss of my artillery, though it was of little use to us, nor can it be, in this great wilderness. However, as the enemy have it, we must also.
[1 ]Mutiny of the Pennsylvania line.