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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 75,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Washington, George (1732-1799) to Anthony Walton White

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04859 Author/Creator: Washington, George (1732-1799) Place Written: Wilmington, Delaware Type: Manuscript letter signed Date: 1 August 1777 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 21.6 x 25.1 cm.

Summary of Content: Washington writes that the recipient should scrutinize the characters of his men and immediately dismount any suspicious ones since "the loss of a worthless soldier will occasion less regret when it is not accompanied with that of a Horse and Accoutrements." Written in response to the disappearance of a horse from White's unit.

Background Information: Anthony Walton White was the lieutenant-colonel of the fourth regiment of light dragoons in the Continental army, and had previously served as an aide-de-camp for George Washington.

Signer of the ...U.S. Constitution.See More

Full Transcript: Head Quarters Wilmington
1 August 1777.
A Letter just received from Brigadier General Maxwell informs me of the desertion of one of your light horse - this disagreeable Circumstance will naturally ...put you upon your guard; but I desire that you will farther make very particular Scrutiny into the Characters of your men and if you shall find any more suspicious ones among them, that you will immediately dismount them and order them to Head Quarters - the loss of a worthless soldier will occasion less regret, when it is not accompanied with that of a Horse and Accoutrements.
[text loss]am Sir
Your most obedt hble Servt.
Go: Washington

Lieut. Collo. White

Letters from his Excellency Genl. Washington
[struck: illegible]
July 1840 from Dr. Sprague who had access to Washington's papers
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People: Washington, George, 1732-1799
White, Anthony Walton, 1750-1803

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: PresidentRevolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralMilitary HistoryContinental ArmyMilitary SuppliesDesertion

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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