George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain John Baker, 14 September 1775

From Captain John Baker

Cambridge, 14 September 1775

“Whereas Some Deficulty has arose between him & Joseph Pettigill who Shall Command the tenth Company in the 38 Regiment Command[ed] By Colonel Baldwin,” the matter was referred to “three officer[s] in Sd Regimt who brought in their award in favour of Sd Pettingall.”1 Baker asks to be discharged from the service.


For a discussion of the various Capt. John Bakers in the Continental army during this period, see Gideon Foster to GW, 11 Sept. 1775, n.1.

1The 38th Regiment, formerly commanded by Col. Samuel Gerrish, was now commanded by Lt. Col. Loammi Baldwin. Joseph Pettingill (Pettengill; 1741–1785) of Andover, Mass., served as an enlisted man on expeditions against Canada and Crown Point during the French and Indian War. He apparently joined Col. James Scammans’s regiment as a second lieutenant in May 1775, and by 22 June he was a first lieutenant in Gerrish’s regiment. Pettingill served as a captain under Baldwin until the end of 1776, when he transferred to the 9th Massachusetts Regiment. After some dispute about precedence with other Massachusetts captains, Pettingill was promoted to major in July 1779. A year later GW appointed him brigade inspector for a Massachusetts brigade, and in Sept. 1781 Pettingill became major of the 1st Massachusetts Regiment. He served in that regiment until the end of the war.

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