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General Sullivan to New-Hampshire Committee of Safety



Winter Hill, October 4, 1775.

GENTLEMEN: Your favour of the 28tb ultimo is now before me. I am extremely sorry that you have had such unexpected trouble about the New-Hampshire Forces. I am well apprized of your original contract, and suppose there would not have been any difficulty, had it not arisen from the adoption of the Army by the Continent, and the general orders for the Colonies to pay their Troops up to the 4th of August; which the other Colonies complying with, and the New-Hampshire neglecting, caused the uneasiness among the soldiers. I suppose the orders were not seasonably made known to you, which may, perhaps, be in some measure my fault; but it being more peculiarly their province to acquaint you, I left it with them, especially as my hurry would scarcely permit me to write a line. I know General Washington thought of paying them off with Continental money; but that not corning to hand, he found a failure of his promise, and disorders would be inevitable, unless some of the Colonies could advance the money for their Troops. He applied to me. I told him I supposed our Colony could do it as well as not, as it would eventually be only exchanging your money for Continental money. He also required that the several Colonies should clear off with those men up to the 4th of August, and after that the Continent was to pay them and reimburse the Colonies. This occasioned the postscript in my letter, in favour of those who went with Colonel Arnold; and sure I am that no difficulty could arise, as the money carries no interest, and you are to receive Continental money for all you advance; therefore, I might well be excused in telling General Washington that New-Hampshire could and would as willingly do it as Connecticut and Rhode-Island. You ask me where the great defect has been. I never said it laid with you, but that there was a defect somewhere; and I think you have, without my assistance, been pleased to point it out.

You say that the general orders were not made known to you, which surely the Committee ought to have done; and had I suspected they would have been deficient in their


duty, should, amidst the hurry and confusion I then was in, have done it myself.

You said you understood there were only a few blankets in arrear; which not being the case, the persons in whom you confided must have been deficient in giving you proper information.

You say that Mr˙ Rollins had orders, in July last, to provide a hundred coats ; this was not done, nor has that attention been paid to your order which you might reasonably expect. I hope, therefore, you, gentlemen, will readily agree with me that there was a defect somewhere, and, without my assistance, find where to place it. I should be extremely sorry to have it thought I meant to censure or condemn so respectable a body as the Committee of Safety. I suppose it my duty to write facts as they are; I shall thereby do justice to you, and acquit myself of the charge of indolence and inattention.

I am sorry to find that you have so just a foundation for hinting that some of the officers raise difficulties themselves, and then instil them into the minds of the men. I believe that is too often the case; but from whatever source these difficulties spring, the trouble to me, and dishonour to the Troops, and consequently to the Province, is equally the same. I shall use my endeavours to make the terms you propose in your letter as agreeable as possible to the men, and spare no pains in endeavouring to keep the Troops from troubling you with complaints.

Gentlemen, I am, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


Honourable Committee of Safety.