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I have received your favor of the 16th instant, directing the march of the city light-horse, for which the necessary orders will be given, and they will proceed with all possible despatch. Upon the new plan of our militia, there are light-horse attached to the troops of every county. The short time since the plan has been adopted has not permitted a thorough execution; but, if your Excellency should be of opinion they would be specially useful, I shall endeavour to have them completed as soon as may be. The troop of the county of Philadelphia is already well mounted, armed, and in uniform. I do assure your Excellency every stimulus has been used to forward the recruits. According to information, they are chiefly selected, and only wait a proper equipment; but, as I found this was tedious in the country, I directed them to be sent hither, and they are now coming in. I am of opinion, if your Excellency could spare a few officers, say five or six, prudent and discreet, who could bear with the oddities and humors of the persons with whom they will have to do, it might forward the men; and, as it is proposed to set about a voluntary additional enlistment, as soon as this is over, we are sanguine enough to believe some men might be had. For this purpose some clever sergeants would be of great service.
The spirit, which your Excellency seems to wish, I think, is recovered beyond expectation. The loss of Charleston, like many other seeming misfortunes, may perhaps (heavy as it now appears) prove a real blessing to America, A measure has been set on foot here to establish a bank, which, from the unanimity with which it is espoused, seems likely to produce considerable advantages, and supplies to the army. It was at first constructed upon so narrow a scale as to meet with difficulties; but, being since enlarged, I hope will prove a more fruitful source of supply than the occasional expedients from time to time adopted. Whatever measure promotes the public good, shall have my aid and concurrence, from whatever quarter it proceeds. The ladies of the place have also caught the happy contagion, and, in a few days, Mrs. Reed will have the honor of writing to you on that subject. It is expected she will have a sum equal to one hundred thousand pounds, to be laid out according to your Excellency's direction (in the absence of Mrs. Washington) in such a way as may be thought most honorable and gratifying to the brave old soldiers who have borne so great a share of the burden of this war. I thought it best to mention it in this way to your Excellency, for your consideration, as it may tend to forward the benevolent scheme of the donors with despatch. I must observe, that the ladies have excepted such articles of necessity as clothing, &c., which the States are bound to provide.
We have just heard that Mrs. Washington is upon the road to this city, so that we shall have the benefit of her advice and assistance here, and, if necessary, refer afterwards to your Excellency. I am, with the greatest respect and regard, dear Sir,
Your most obedient and very humble servant,
JOSEPH REED, President,
- Joseph Reed
- Correspondence of the American Revolution; Being Letters of Eminent Men to George Washington, from the Time of His Taking Command of the Army to the End of His Presidency, Volume II., Jared Sparks, 1853