George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Garret Tunison, 10 February 1776

From Garret Tunison

Roxbury Camp
February 10th 1776

May it please Your Excellencie,

When Orders came to Capt. Hugh Stephenson of Virginia to inlist a Compy of Rifle men to joyn this Army I than inliste’d on Presumption of being appointed Surgeon for Said Company: And in order to Proceed in that Capacity, Provided myself with every Necessary Article out of my own Shop, which put me to no inconsiderable expence, as well as leaving my Practice there which was much to my Prejudice. And have since my coming into Camp (whenever called upon) attended upon, and Administred my Medicine to the Sick of each of the three Rifle Companies here (as will appear by the inclosed Certificate from the Officers of the Said Companies) without any certainty of Recompence.1 I therefore beg Your Excellencie wou’d take the Same into consideration, and woud be Pleased (if not to allow me the rank and Pay of Surgeon as my Present pay which is no more than of a Private, will not furnish me with Necessaries) to grant that I may recieve Pay for the Medicine I brought with me which is now almost expended which favor wou’d ever be Acknowledged by Your Excellencies most obedient Humble Servt

Garret Tunison


Garret Tunison (1751–1837) moved to Shepherdstown, Va. (now W.Va.), from New Jersey in 1773 and joined Hugh Stephenson’s rifle company as a surgeon in June 1775. When a Virginia and Maryland rifle regiment was organized under Stephenson’s command in June 1776, Tunison became the regimental surgeon, and he was one of the few members of the regiment who escaped capture at Fort Washington, N.Y., the following September. Tunison served as surgeon of the 2d Continental Artillery Regiment from 1 Feb. 1779 to June 1783. After the war he returned to New Jersey.

1The certificate, which is in Hugh Stephenson’s writing, is signed by Stephenson, Moses Rawlings, and Otho Holland Williams (DLC:GW).

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