George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Smith, 16 November 1777

From Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Smith

Woodberry [N.J.] 16th Novr 1777


Gen. Varnum will have inform’d your Excelly of the Evacuation of fort Mifflin.1 I am extremely Sorry for the Circumstance. Major Thayer defended it too bravely.

My party taken (as your Excelly knows) from the picquet, think they have done their Tour of duty, & hope for your Excellys permission to join their respective Regiments, who (they Say) want their immediate Attention. the Officers have no Cloths with them. My Arm is yet very painful. Major Fleury is hurt but not very much. he is a Treasure that ought not to be lost. Capt. Dickinson of the first Virga Regt deserves much Attention. he Stay’d with & assisted Fleury. he is a brave industrious good Officer.2 Capt. Walls of the 4th Virga has distinguish’d himself on every Occasion, for a brave, Industrious & prudent Officer. Capt. Bell of the 6th Maryland has much Merit.3 I have the Honor to be Your Excellys Most Obedt Servt

Sam. Smith

ALS, DLC:GW. This letter is docketed in part “Answd 19th,” but that letter has not been found.

1James Mitchell Varnum reported the evacuation of Fort Mifflin in his letter to GW of this date.

2Edmund Dickinson (d. 1778) was appointed a captain in the 1st Virginia Regiment in February 1776, and he was promoted to major the following October. Dickinson was killed at the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778 (see GW to Henry Laurens, 1 July 1778).

3William Dent Beall (c.1755–1829) of Prince George’s County, Md., was appointed a second lieutenant in the Maryland flying camp in July 1776 and a captain in the 6th Maryland Regiment the following December. In November 1781 Beall was promoted to major, the rank he held until the end of the war, and in 1799 he was named a major in the U.S. Army. Following his discharge in 1800, Beall became active in the militia of the District of Columbia. Beall served briefly as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, and he later served two terms in the Maryland House of Delegates.

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