<br /> Lee Letter: n340_0098

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Richard Henry Lee
Recipient: Patrick Henry

Dear Sir.

I am favored with yours by Majr. Johnston and I should certainly have
served him to the utmost of my power in Congress if the appointment you
proposed for Mr. Johnston had not now been in another channel. You know
Sir that by a late resolve of Congress the General is to fill up all
vacancies in the Continental troops that shall happen for six months
from the date of the resolve. I have recommended it to the Major to get
a letter from you and the council, with one from Colonel Harrison, to
the General in his favor, and if he is very intent on success, to carry
them himself.1 I think this will not
fail to procure him the commission he desires, and in the meantime the
Lieutenants and Ensign may be recruiting the company. We have not
heared from General Washington since the 5th instant when he was at
Morris Town in West Jersey, about 20 miles from Brunswick where the
enemy keep their head quarters. But a Gentleman who arrived here
yesterday, and who passed thro our army at Morris Town on the 8th says
the men were in high spirits, that he thinks they were 12,000 strong,
that they were under marching orders and they were supposed to be going
towards Elizabeth Town, which is between the main body of the enemy
& New York. That Gen. Heath was to join them on the 9th with
between 2 and 5 thousand men. That the Jersey militia had many
skirmishes with the British troops and always beat them. That he met
large bodies of militia on march to the Jersies, whence he concluded
that the enemy must either quit that State soon or be exposed to great
danger by remaining there. Unluckily our army consists almost entirely
of Militia whose say is very uncertain, and renders the speedy coming
up of regular troops absolutely necessary.

I am, with very particular
regard and esteem dear Sir your most obedient and most humble
Servant,

Richard Henry Lee

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio.

Printed in William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry, 3:40. Printed also in James Curtis Ballagh, The Letters of Richard Henry Lee, Volume 1, 1762 – 1778, pp. 250 – 51.

1 Washington was already considering George Johnston for a position as one of
his aides-de-camp and made the appointment on January 20. See
Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, 6:487 – 88, 7:41.