Greene, Nathanael (1742-1786) to Henry Knox
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.01388 Author/Creator: Greene, Nathanael (1742-1786) Place Written: Headquarters Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 14 April 1782 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 31 x 18.5 cm.
Written by Major General Greene to Major General Knox. References two letters from Knox. Congratulates him on the birth of his son. Asks how his godson is. In reference to the godchild says, "Such a set of responsers I believe never happened before. A quaker and Roman Catholick for the same Child. Which will you chuse[?]" Asks questions about the other Knox children. Says Mrs. Greene has arrived and given him an update on the social life in Philadelphia. Had not seen his wife in 2 years. Says, "She is kinder to me than I am just to her." Says the military situation is gloomy with the enemy daily threatening them and his numbers dwindling. Wishes he knew the enemy plans, so he could prepare. Thinks he will have to go on the offensive soon. Laments how much South Carolina has suffered in the war. Mentions he heard Congress "wounded his feelings" -- a reference to Congress's not promoting Knox to Major General (although Knox had been given the rank in March 1782). Says "General Washington I am told has been wondrous gay this winter; and that no Roman in the greatest splendor of that republic was ever equally adored." Written from "Head Quarters," probably outside Charleston, South Carolina.
April 14th 1782
My dear friend
After a full dinner and in the midst of chit chat you are not to expect a very long letter. Your two letters gave me great pleasure; and nothing would be more pleasing than the prospect of spending the declining hours of life together. I congratulate you on your second son; and the happy recovery of Mrs Knox. How is my little god son? Such a set of responses I believe never happened before. A quaker and Roman Catholick for the same child. Which will you chuse. Let his morals be good and you may have what dress you please. How is little Lucy has she the female pouts as usual? Does George and she coquete it with  eachother? Mrs Greene has arrived and given me a full history of all your gaiety in Philadelphia; and of the refinement little behind London and Paris. After almost two years absence you may well supposed I was made very happy on the arrival of Mrs Greene. She is in better health and spirits than I could have expected after such a disagreeable journey. She is kinder to me than I am just to her. To come eleven hundred miles to visit me through such a variety of difficulties and dangers claim a grateful and generous return. I should feel happy was our military prospects but tolerable; but alas they are too gloomy to dwell upon! However I shall make the most of matters.  You know I never shrink at difficulties. The enemy are dayly threatening us and our numbers are dayly diminishing. In this situation our prospects are not pleasing; and however agreeable my domestic situation the heart feels heavy. - I am anxious to learn the enemies plan of operations that we may know what we have to expect. I cannot help thinking that offensive operations will take place in this Country again. If they should how unfortunate to a Country which has felt the ravaging hand of war little less than Saxony last war. Their intentions to me are generous and grateful but the benefit depends greatly upon contingencies.
I find Congress have once  more wounded your feelings. Will they never leave off? Surely they cannot but be sensible how injurious this conduct is to the service and how unjust to individuals. I hope you will not hastily quit the service; for I am persuaded they will do you all the justice they can after such a pointed injury. Cursed intrigue how baneful to candour and inginuity [sic].
General Washington I am told has been wonderous gay this winter and that no Roman in the greatest splendor of that republic was ever equally adored. How happy his lot. You and I have been faithful servants and contributed each our share to his glory.
Mrs Greene joins me in best compliments to you and Mrs Knox.
Your aff NGeene
From General Greene
14 April 1782
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