To the
General, Field & other
Officers
Assembled at the New Building
pursuant to
the General Order of the
11th. Instant March.

[Note: page 2 is blank.]

Head Quarters Newburgh
15th. of March 1783.

Gentlemen,

By an anonymous sum=
mons, an attempt has been made to con
vene you together--how inconsis
tent with the rules of propriety! --
how unmilitary! -and how sub=
versive of all order and discipline
-let the good sense of the Army
decide.--

In the moment of this sum
mons, another anonymous producti
on was sent into circulation; ad=
dressed more to the feelings & passi
ons, than to the reason & judgment
of the Army.--The Author of the
piece, is entitled to much credit for
the goodness of his Pen: --and I could
wish he had as much credit for the
rectitude of his Heart-for, as men
see thro' different Optics, and are
induced by the reflecting faculties
of the Mind, to use different means
to attain the same end;-the Author
of the Address, should have had
more charity, than to mark for

Suspicion, the Man who should recom=
mend moderation and longer forbea
rance-or, in other words, who should
not think as he thinks, and act as he
advises.--But he had another plan
in view, in which candor and libera
lity of Sentiment, regard to Justice,
and love of Country, have no part,
and he was right, to insinuate
the darkest suspicion, to effect the
blackest designs.--

That the Address
is drawn with great Art, and is de=
signed to answer the most insidious
purposes.--That it is calculated
to impress the Mind, with an idea of
premeditated injustice in the Sove=
reign power of the United States, and
rouse all those resentments which
must unavoidably flow from such a
belief.--That the secret mover
of this Scheme (whoever he may
be) intended to take advantage
of the passions, while they were
warmed by the recollection of past
distresses, without giving time for
cool, deliberative thinking, & that
composure of Mind which is so neces
sary to give dignity & stability to Mea
sures, is rendered too obvious, by
the mode of conducting the business,

to need other proof than a reference
to the proceeding.--

This much, Gentlemen, I have
thought it incumbent on me to ob=
serve to you, to shew upon what
principles I opposed the irregular
and hasty meeting which was pro
posed to have been held on Tuesday
last: -and not because I wanted
a disposition to give you every op
portunity, consistent with your own
honor, and the dignity of the Army,
to make known your grievances.--
If my conduct heretofore, has not
evinced to you, that I have been a
faithful friend to the Army, my
declaration of it at this time wd.
be equally unavailing & improper
.--But as I was among the first who
embarked in the cause of our com
mon Country--As I have never
left your side one moment, but
when called from you, on public
duty--As I have been the constan[t]
companion & witness of your Dis
tresses, and not among the last to
feel, & acknowledge your merits
--As I have ever considered
my own Military reputation as in
seperably connected with that of
the Army--As my Heart has

ever expanded with Joy, when I have
heard its praises-and my indigna
tion has arisen, when the mouth of
detraction has been opened against it--
it can scarcely be supposed, at this
late stage of the War, that I am indif
ferent to its interests.--

But--how are they to be promoted?
The way is plain, says the anonymous
Addresser---If War continues, remove
into the unsettled Country--there esta
blish yourselves, and leave an un=
grateful Country to defend itself
--But who are they to defend?--
Our Wives, our Children, our Farms,
and other property which we leave
behind us.-or-in this state of hostile
seperation, are we to take the two
first (the latter cannot be removed)
-to perish in a Wilderness, with hun
ger cold & nakedness?--     --If Peace
takes place, never sheath your Swords
says he untill you have obtained full
and ample Justice* [Asterisk leads to the following sentence located in the margin written perpendicular to the main text; see page image:]
*-This dreadful alternative, of either deserting our Country in the extre
mest hour of her distress, or turning our Arms against it, (which is the ap=
parent object, unless Congress can be compelled into instant compliance)
has something so shocking in it, that humanity revolts at the idea.- [End of text written in margin.]
[Continuation of text on main part of page:] My God! What
can this writer have in view, by recom
mending such measures?--Can he
be a friend to the Army?--Can he
be a friend to this Country?--Rather,
is he not an insidious Foe?--Some

Emissary, perhaps, from New York,
plotting the ruin of both, by sowing
the seeds of discord & seperation be=
tween the Civil & Military powers of
the Continent?--And what a Compli
ment does he pay to our understan
dings, when he recommends mea=
sures in either alternative, imprac
ticable in their Nature?

But here, Gentlemen, I will
drop the curtain;--because it wd.
be as imprudent in me to assign my
reasons for this opinion, as it would
be insulting to your conception, to
suppose you stood in need of them.
--A moments reflection will convince
every dispassionate Mind of the phy
sical impossibility of carrying either
proposal into execution.--

There might, Gentlemen, be
an impropriety in my taking notice,
in this Address to you, of an anony
mous production--but the manner
in which that performance has been
introduced to the Army--the effect
it was intended to have, together
with some other circumstances, will
amply justify my observations on the
tendency of that Writing.--With
respect to the advice given by the

Author-to suspect the man, who shall
recommend moderate measures and
longer forbearance--I spurn it--as
every man, who regards that liberty,
& reveres that Justice for which we
contend, undoubtedly must--for if
Men are to be precluded from offering
their sentiments on a matter, which
may involve the most serious and
alarming consequences, that can invite
the consideration of Mankind; reason
is of no use to us--the freedom of Speech
may be taken away-and, dumb &
silent we may be led, like sheep, to
the Slaughter

I cannot, in Justice to my
own belief, & what I have great rea
son to conceive is the intention of Con
gress, conclude this Address, without
giving it as my decided opinion; that
that Honble. Body, entertain exalted
sentiments of the Services of the Army
;--and, from a full conviction of its
Merits & sufferings, will do it compleat
Justice: --That their endeavers, to
discover & establish funds for this
purpose, have been unwearied, and
will not cease, till they have succeeded,
I have not a doubt.--But, like all
other large Bodies, where there is

a variety of different Interests to
reconcile, their deliberations are
slow.--Why then should we dis
trust them?-and, in consequence
of that distrust, adopt measures,
which may cast a shade over that
glory which, has been so justly ac
quired; and tarnish the reputation
of an Army which is celebrated thro'
all Europe, for its fortitude and Pa=
triotism?--And for what is this
done?--to bring the object we seek
for nearer?--No!-most certainly,
in my opinion, it will cast it at a
greater distance.--

For myself (and I take no
merit in giving the assurance, being
induced to it from principles of gra=
titude, veracity & Justice) -a grate
ful sence of the confidence you have
ever placed in me-a recollection of
the chearful assistance, & prompt
obedience I have experienced from
you, under every vicisitude of Fortune,
--and the sincere affection I feel for
an Army, I have so long had the honor
to Command, will oblige me to declare,
in this public & solemn manner, that,
in the attainment of compleat justice
for all your toils & dangers, and in
the gratification of every wish, so

far as may be done consistently with
the great duty I owe my Country, and
those powers we are bound to res=
pect, you may freely command my
services to the utmost of my
    abilities.

While I give you these assu=
rances, and pledge my self in the
most unequivocal manner, to exert
whatever [space] ability I am
possessed of, in your favor--let me
entreat you, Gentlemen, on your part,
not to take any measures, which, view
ed in the calm light of reason, will les=
sen the dignity, & sully the glory you
have hitherto maintained--let me
request you to rely on the plighted faith
of your Country, and place a full con
fidence in the purity of the intentions
of Congress; that, previous to your
dissolution as an Army they will cause
all your Accts. to be fairly liquidated,
as directed in their resolutions, which
were published to you two days ago--
and that they will adopt the most ef=
fectual measures in their power, to
render ample justice to you, for your
faithful and meritorious Services
.--And let me conjure you, in the
name of our common Country--as you
value your own sacred honor--as

you respect the rights of humanity; &
as you regard the Military & National
character of America, to express your
utmost horror & detestation of the Man
who wishes, under any specious pre=
tences, to overturn the liberties of our
Country, & who wickedly attempts to open
the flood Gates of Civil discord, & deluge
our rising Empire in Blood.--

By thus determining-& thus
acting, you will pursue the plain & direct
road to the attainment of your wishes.
--You will defeat the insidious designs
of our Enemies, who are compelled to resort
from open force to secret Artifice.--You
will give one more distinguished proof
of unexampled patriotism & patient
virtue, rising superior to the pressure
of the most complicated sufferings;--
And you will, by the dignity of your
Conduct, afford occasion for Posterity
to say, when speaking of the glorious
example you have exhibited to Man
kind,     "had this day been wanting,
"the World had never seen the last stage
"of perfection to which human nature
"is capable of attaining"

G: Washington

[Endorsement]

Address to Officers

George Washington

33.2 cm x 20.1 cm

This manuscript document is comprised of a manuscript title page, a blank page, nine pages of text, and an endorsement page.