Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE GENERAL OFFICERS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IX (1780-1782)
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TO THE GENERAL OFFICERS. - 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 THE GENERAL OFFICERS.
Newburgh, 15 April, 1782.
The Commander-in-Chief states to the General Officers,
That, from the best information he has been able to obtain, the regular force of the enemy in New York, at this time, including their established Provincial Corps, amounts at least, to nine thousand men.
That the City Militia, Volunteer Companies, Rangers, and some other small Corps in the Town, amounted by a report made to the Secretary of State in the Winter of 1780 (when the enemy apprehended an attack on N. York & were preparing for defence) to 3390 Men, exclusive of Sailors & Marines—and that this is the best criterion by which he can form judgment of their present strength.
That the enemy’s force in Charles Town by the last information & estimation of it consisted of 3300 Men.
That the Garrison of Savanna, in Georgia, he conceives, can not be less than 700 Men.
That even among men of political knowledge & judgment a diversity of sentiment prevails respecting the evacuation of the Southern States.—That if this event should take place & the whole force of the enemy shd. be concentrated at New York it will stand thus:
Under this state of the Enemy’s force the Commander-in-Chief requests the opinion of the Genl. Officers seperately & in writing upon the following hypothetical questions.
First.—Supposing the Enemy’s force at New York to be as above — That they retain possession of the Harbor of New York—and that, they have a naval superiority upon this Coast.
Secondly.—Supposing the same force—that they keep possession of the harbor—but loose their superiority at sea.
Thirdly.—That they shall have the same force in the City—but shall loose the command of the Water both in the harbor & at Sea.
Is there, it is asked, a probability in all or either of these cases that we shall be able to obtain Men, & means sufficient to undertake the seige of New York?
—What efficient force will be necessary for the enterprise in the cases wch. may be deemed practicable? And what number of Militia ought to be demanded to secure this force?
If the enemy should not reinforce New York with their Southern Troops—and none should arrive from Europe, their force at that place will then be
The Commander-in-Chief propounds the same questions—identically—on this number as he did on the larger one (of 16,390) & requests that they may be answered accordingly—numbers only making the difference of the cases.
That every information may be received which is in the power of the General to give to form a judgmt. on these questions—heard—
That the Northern Army will (at present) be composed of the Regiments from New Hampshire to New Jersey inclusive—also of Hazen’s; Lamb’s & Crane’s Regiments of Artillery and Sheldons Legionary Corps—
That the total number of the R. & File in the above Regiments of Infantry, by the last Genl. return in his possession amounts to 8,005—but from this the deductions incident to all services & peculiar to ours, are to be made, to come at the efficient strength.
That it is not in his power to inform what strength these Regiments will be brought to in season for an operation against New York.—he can only say that every argument he was master of has been urged to the respective States to have them compleated to their full establishment.—
That in case the enemy shd. evacuate the Southern States, the Continental Troops in that Qr. as far at least as North Carolina, will be ordered to rejoin the Main Army; but their numbers being small, and the March great, the support from them cannot be much—2500 Men is the most that can be expected.
That in the month of March last, he apprised the States from Delaware Eastward, that the Plans, & operations of the Campaign might require a considerable aid of Militia; & entreated that the Executive of each might, to avoid delay, be vested with sufficient powers to order them out for three months Service, to commence on their joining the Army—and
That the French force on the Continent at this time, does not, he believes, exceed 4000 effective Men—whether any or what further succors are to be expected from our allies is, as yet, unknown to him.
The Commander-in-Chief concludes the above state of matters with the following observations, that offensive operations of whatever kind they may be (being generally the result of choice) ought to be undertaken with due consideration of all circumstances & a moral certainty of succeeding; for besides involving the Public in a heavy expence, wch. the situation of our affairs can illy afford, disgrace & censure scarce ever fail to attend unsuccessfull Plans—while the enemy acquire spirits by and triumph at our misfortunes.