"...none fight more for the approbation of Genl. Washington, as to publick Virtue & Love of one Country, that all my Eye, Its Honour & thanks in Genl. Orders, which I esteem of more Value than all the Gold medals & Sword"
The late winter of 1778 did not find all of Washington's Army at Valley Forge: many of the additional regiments raised from the start of the year were posted further to the west, such as at Lancaster, PA, where the men of the 16th Massachusetts Regiment (Henry Jackson's Additional Continental Regiment) languished, with a significant portion of the regiment sick in hospital. The first of a series of letters from the regiment's field commander, Major John Steel Tyler, demonstrates the renewed fighting spirit with which American troops approached the new campaign season of 1778, following on the heels of significant victories in 1777. Despite the deaths of several key officers (occasioning recommendations for replacements in Tyler's letter), the Major assured his commander that the new regiment was ready to do his name justice. Tyler's letter (presented in full below) also testifies to the personal loyalties that officers and men felt to General George Washington, which occasionally eclipsed the larger issues around which the Revolution is generally considered to have turned. Our thanks go to Library Research Assistant David Swain for tackling some particularly challenging handwriting and grammar.
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