George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel William Malcom, 6 January 1778

To Colonel William Malcom

Head Qrs [Valley Forge] January 6th 1778


I have received your Letter of the 4th Inst.1 When you reflect how lately you Joined the Army—What indulgencies you have had, and how long you were at & in the Neighbourhood of your Home, after your Appointment, you cannot be surprized, that I disapproved your Application for a Furlough and with some degree of displeasure.

It has been a custom with several Officers to resign of late when Furloughs could not be granted them consistently with the good & demands of the service. This practice you seem to wish to pursue; I therefore inform you, However anxious I might have been before for your continuance in the Army, that if you can obtain liberty from Congress to resign, to whom it will be necessary to apply, that you will meet with no difficulty with me. I am Sir Yr Most Obedt sert


Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Malcom’s letter to GW of 4 Jan. reads: “I was under the necessity of solliciting your Excellency, through Lord Stirling for leave of absense. And his Lordship informs me that my application was rejected with marks of displeasure. I am therefore unavoidably oblidg’d to leave the Service. My small public account shall be punctually settled” (DLC:GW). Malcom also apprized George Clinton, on 14 Dec. 1777, of his intention to leave the service (see Hastings, Clinton Papers description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 2:607). Nevertheless, perhaps in light of GW’s admonitions, Malcom did not resign his commission.

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