George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Thomas Cartwright, 14 February 1778

From Captain Thomas Cartwright

Lancaster [Pa.] Feby 14th 1778

May It please Your Excellency.

By order of The Honble B. General Wayne of 27th ultimo, A general court martial was held in this Place for the Trial of Lt McMichael of the Pennsylvania State Regt and Henry Dickenson Lt of the 5th Virginia Regiment accused of “Infamous and ungentlemanly behavior:” The proceedings & Sentence of the Court on the crime of Lt McMichael were deliver’d by the President to The Honorable The Marquis De La Fayette in this Town. Those on the charge against Lt Dickenson I have the honor herewith to transmit your Excellency by order of the President.1 With deference & profound respect I have the honor to be Your Excellencys Most Obedient Servant

Th. Cartwright J. Advo.


Thomas Cartwright (c.1753–1783) of Boston had been appointed a captain in Col. Henry Jackson’s Additional Continental Regiment in February 1777. Cartwright was among the officers who lost their positions when Jackson’s regiment merged with two others in April 1779, and he served subsequently as an aide-de-camp, with the rank of major, to Maj. Gen. William Heath.

1As it turned out, “Henry Dickenson Lt of the 5th Virginia Regiment” did not exist, although that did not prevent him from being tried again with Lt. William McMichael (see GW to Cartwright, 21 Feb., George Gibson to GW, 17 Feb., GW to George Gibson, 21 Feb., and 11 Mar., and General Orders, 11 and 12 March). The court proceedings enclosed by Cartwright have not been identified.

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