George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Board of War, 8 November 1776

To the Board of War

White plains Nov. 8. 1776


I have been favoured with yours of the 31st Ultto by monsr Laytaniac and must take the liberty of referring you to my former Letters upon the subject of providing for the French Gentlemen who shall incline to enter the service of the States.1 to me there appears that One of two modes must be adopted—they must either be appointed to places in some of the Regiments, or formed into a distinct Corps—the former was advised as the most eligible in Respect to the Gentlemen who were here before. It requires time to form an accurate Opinion of the merits of an Officer and the present situation of the Army, will not allow me to pay a particular attention to monsr Laytaniac or such notice as he may wish to receive or I to give, nor is there any way of making his stay here agreable. I have the Honor to be with great esteem Gentn Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169.

1“The Bearer Monsr Le Chevalier Lantagniac,” Richard Peters wrote GW on 31 Oct., “is a French Gentleman who says he asks no Pay as his Fortune is sufficient to support him. He requests Employment in the Army of the States & Rank suitable to his Merits. What these are your Excellency will on Experience be capable of forming a Judgment. Monsr Lantagniac now waits on you, having desired a Letter of Introduction from the Board of War who could not provide any Station for him until they have received your Excellency’s Opinion on the Subject of establishing a Corps to be composed of such foreign Gentlemen as are desirous of entering into the Service of the States” (DLC:GW). For GW’s previously expressed views about employing French officers, see GW to Hancock, 7 Oct. 1776, and note 4.

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