George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Lovell, 26 May 1777

From James Lovell

Philada May 26th 1777


This will be delivered to you by a German Officer who expresses much inclination to enter into the army under your command.1

The trouble which your Excellency receives from Foreigners commissioned by Congress has made the Committee, appointed to examine their pretensions, averse to offering any resolutions for places above the rank of subalterns.

The Bearer speaks english very well, and has an honorable character in a letter from Doctor Franklin, with 4 commissions proving his regular service.

I have told him that, notwithstanding these advantages, he cannot expect any place till you have pointed out a situation wherein he may subserve the interest of these United States.

The resolute importunity of some strangers of less desert has, I fear, gained the post which would be better filled by this modest veteran.

The promotion of monsr Armand by Congress to the rank of Colonel was a surprize to the Committee who had considered his pretensions, and rashly enough in all conscience had proposed a majority for him. With affectionate Respect I am Your Excellency’s Most obedient Friend

James Lovell


1A notation on the addressed cover indicates that the bearer was Henry Emanuel Lutterloh (d. 1793), a retired Prussian major who had served under Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick, during the Seven Years’ War. Lutterloh claimed that he had been an aide-de-camp and brigade major to Ferdinand for two campaigns and his agent in London for a period after the war (see Lutterloh to Benjamin Franklin, 3 Jan. 1777, Franklin Papers description begins William B. Willcox et al., eds. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. 40 vols. to date. New Haven, 1959—. description ends , 23:110–12). Lutterloh also said that he had acquired considerable experience as a quartermaster in Europe (see Lutterloh to GW, 2 June). GW on 1 July 1777 appointed Lutterloh a deputy quartermaster with the rank of colonel (see General Orders, that date). Failing to obtain appointment as quartermaster general of the army and provoked by what he considered to be unwarranted accusations of neglect, Lutterloh resigned his office in March 1778 (see Lutterloh to GW, 22 Mar. 1778, DLC:GW). He remained in America, however, and on 30 Sept. 1780 he returned to the Continental army as commissary general of forage (see General Orders, that date). Lutterloh served in that capacity at least to the end of 1782, and at the end of the war he settled on a plantation near Wilmington, North Carolina.

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