George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Thomas Bullitt, 2 July 1776

From Colonel Thomas Bullitt

Charlestown July 2d 1776


My having Early in Life ingaged in the Last war under you, and the present one we are Ingaged in, appearing to be an affair that will not be Verry Shortly Settled Induces me to Solicit your Notice and patronage, in obtaining a promotion of rank in Some measure adequate to my Long Service and rank Last war, in this I Flatter myself with your Notice to Congress, as otherwise I may pass altogether unnoticed amongst the many promotions taking place, and my principles having Left a Vacancy by his promotion, hope this application will not be out of time.1 I am with the Utmost respect Your obedt Humble Servt

Thos Bullitt


Charles Lee wrote at the end of this letter: “Dr General—You must consider this as a Post[s]cript and at the same time recommendatory letter of your old Freind Thomas Bullet—He is certainly a Man of Merit and entitled from his length [length] of service zeal and valour to higher rank than He enjoys.”

For GW’s low opinion of Bullitt, who had been a captain in his Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War and was currently deputy adjutant general in the southern department, see GW to John Augustine Washington, 31 Mar. 1776, and note 2. GW replied to Lee rather than to Bullitt about this request for promotion (see GW to Lee, 12 Aug. 1776).

1Bullitt apparently is referring to the promotion of Horatio Gates, who had been adjutant general of the army before becoming a major general in May 1776.

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