George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Christian Febiger, 6 March 1777

From Lieutenant Colonel Christian Febiger

Philadelphia 6th of March 1777.

May it please Your Excellency

After returning Your Excellency the most sincere Thanks of Colonel Morgan, Major Heth and myself for your particular Favour in getting us exchangd and restord to the Service of our Country—I have the honor of informing your Excellency of my Arrival in this City with the first Company of our Regiment, two Companies more being on their March and hourly expected, those men, who are in Town are under Inoculation and recovering fast, as soon as they can be cloathed and arm’d, I shall march them to Camp, which is the Directions I have receiv’d from Generall Gates. Unfortunately the Government of Virginia have appointed to serve under us the 5 Companies, that formerly belongd to Colol Rawlin’s Battallion, of which only one Commanded by Captn Wm Blackwell now in this City is existing, Captn Sheppards, Wests & Longs being chiefly taken at Fort Washington, and Captn Brady is gone to Berkeley on what Business or for what Purpose I Know not. There are two Captains who have receiv’d Recruiting Instructions from your Excellency. Viz: Captn John Paul Schott and James Calderwood, who both are very desirous of serving in our Regiment, and have desir’d me to request the Favour of your Excellency to permitt them to join us in Room of two of those Companies that are taken. If your Excellency should think proper so to do, I should be extremely happy in receiving your Commands relative to them, as I might perhaps be of some Service to Captn Calderwood, who is now here recruiting.1

of the 5 new Companies allotted to us by the Government of Virginia, Captn Bruin of Frederick and Gallihue of Prince William are hourly expected with full Companies, having been some Time on their March. Captains Wm Johnson and Smith of Loudon will come in a Short Time under the Major and Colonel Morgan will come with the last whom I don’t Know, as it was not determin’d whether we should have the Forquair or Dunmore Company, when I left Winchester.2

Colonel Crawford desir’d me to inform Your Excellency, that his men should be immediately inoculated, and as soon as they recover’d, he would March them directly for Camp, he likewise told me, that his Regiment would be compleat.

In Expectation of Your Excellency’s further Commands I have the honor to be May it please your Excellency Your most obedient and most humble Servant.

Christian Febiger

P.S. Captn Calderwood is gone in the Country recruiting and has left a Subaltern here with his Recruits. I Shal give him all Assistance in my power.


Christian Febiger (1746–1796) was born and educated in Denmark and lived for a period in the West Indies with his uncle, the Danish governor of St. Croix, before settling in Massachusetts in 1772. He was serving as Benedict Arnold’s brigade major when he was captured at Quebec on 31 Dec. 1775, and he apparently was paroled in late September 1776 and exchanged the following January. In November 1776 Febiger was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 11th Virginia Regiment, and following the Battle of Brandywine in September 1777 he was promoted to colonel of the 2d Virginia Regiment. He was brevetted brigadier general in September 1783. After the war Febiger settled in Philadelphia, and from 1789 to 1796 he held the office of state treasurer of Pennsylvania.

1William Blackwell (1736–1778), Abraham Shepherd, Thomas West (d. 1777), Gabriel Long (1751–1827), and William Brady were appointed captains in Col. Hugh Stephenson’s Maryland and Virginia rifle regiment in July 1776 and served under Lt. Col. Moses Rawlings after Stephenson’s death in August 1776. Blackwell served in the 11th Virginia Regiment until January 1778, when he apparently resigned from the service because of illness. Both West and Long were captured at the fall of Fort Washington on 16 Sept. 1776; West apparently died before being exchanged, and Long served in an independent rifle company that was attached to the 11th Virginia Regiment from May 1777 to May 1778 and in the 7th Virginia Regiment from May 1778 to May 1779, when he resigned from the service. Brady served in the 11th Virginia to March 1778, when he left the army. James Calderwood (d. 1777), who had served briefly as a quartermaster in the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment and as a lieutenant in the navy in 1776, raised an independent company of troops in Cumberland County, Pa., that was attached to the 11th Virginia in May 1777. Calderwood was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine on 11 Sept. 1777 and died two days later.

2Peter Bryan Bruin (1754–1827) was commissioned a lieutenant in Daniel Morgan’s independent rifle company in July 1775. Wounded and captured at Quebec on 31 Dec. 1775 and exchanged the following July, Bruin was nominated to serve as a captain in the 11th Virginia Regiment in December 1776. Bruin became an aide-de-camp to Maj. Gen. John Sullivan in November 1777, and from September 1778 to the end of the war he served as a captain in the 7th Virginia Regiment. Bruin was a judge in the Mississippi Territory from 1798 to 1810. Charles Gallihue (d. 1777), a captain in the militia of Prince William County, Va., in 1776, became a captain in the 11th Virginia Regiment in January 1777 and was killed during a skirmish at Sag Harbor on Long Island, N.Y., in May 1777. William Johnston (Johnson; 1751–1815) and William Smith of Loudoun County, Va., were appointed captains in the 11th Virginia in November 1776. Johnston served in various Virginia regiments to September 1783, when he was brevetted major. Smith resigned from the army in July 1777.

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