George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 10 March 1778

From Major General William Heath

Head Quarters Boston Mar. 10th 1778

Dear General

Inclosed is an application from Lieutenant Colonel Tudor of Colo. Henleys Regiment for leave to resign his appointment in that Regiment, finding but ill success in recruiting the Regiment. He has for some time discovered an inclination to resign; but having a few days since married a young Lady here, he now appears anxious to do it, and I imagine cannot be persuaded otherwise.1

I am endeavouring to collect the Men who have been home on furlough & in the Hospitals &c., and shall forward them as fast as possible. Some Recruits are in the Hospitals with the small pox, Some small Detachments will march in a day or two for the Army.

The General Assembly are divising some method to compleat their several Battilions, I earnestly wish it may be done in season.2

The Transports intended to receive the Troops of the Convention are arrived at Cape Cod Harbo⟨ur⟩ and have sent up a Flag to know if the Troops are to embarke; the Flag has received an answer this day.3 this Fleet had sailed from Rhode Island before the News of the detention of the Troops had reached that place.

A Resolve of Congress of the 19th Ulto for the seperation and removal of the Troops of the Convention is just received here.4 What measures will be adopted by the Council is, as yet, uncertain.5 I have the honor to be with great respect Your Excellency’s Obedient Servant

W. Heath

P.S. I have this moment received the inclosed application from Lieutenant Thompson of Colonel Henleys Regiment for leave to resign his appointment for the reasons therein given.6 He has not been commissioned.


LS, DLC:GW; ADf, MHi: Heath Papers.

1William Tudor married Delia Jarvis (c.1752–1843) on 5 Mar. 1778. The enclosure was an undated letter addressed to Heath in which Tudor stated his “Conviction that the Recruiting the 3 additional Battalions assigned for this State is impracticable. This Truth must doubtless have struck you, Sir, in a pointed Light, & I presume will lead his Excellency General Washington to incorporate the Battalions of Lee & Henley into one Regiment.” Claiming that “The Profession I was bred up to strongly urges my quitting a Department in which I cannot be of much use, under the Circumstances mentioned,” and that “the great Number of Officers who are without Men to command will render my retiring, of no Consequence to the Service,” Tudor solicited permission to resign and asked Heath to represent the request to GW (DLC:GW).

2The Massachusetts general assembly did not complete this task during the January–March meeting, but before recessing on 13 Mar. it passed a “Resolve for appointing a Committee to Sett in the recess of the General Court, to call upon the deficient Towns, to compleat their quota’s of Men for the Continental army.” In a “Resolve vesting the Council with certain Powers during the recess of the General Assembly,” the assembly also provided “That in case advice should be received from General Washington during the recess of this Court, that it is necessary he should be furnished from this State, with two or three thousand men, as a reinforcement to his army, that the Council be, and hereby are impowered to draft such a number of officers and men from the militia of this State, not exceeding three thousand men, as they shall judge the circumstances of this State will admit of, and for such a term of time not exceeding four months from the time of their arrival at camp, as they shall think the public safety requires” (Mass. Resolves description begins Resolves of the General Assembly of the State of Massachusetts-Bay, Begun and held at Boston, in the County of Suffolk, on Wednesday the twenty-eighth Day of May, (being the last Wednesday in said Month) Anno Domini, 1777; and thence continued by Adjournments to Wednesday the seventh Day of January 1778, following, and then met at Boston aforesaid, being the fifth sitting of said Assembly. [Boston, 1778]. description ends . May 1777–April 1778 [7 Jan.—13 Mar. 1778], 57–58).

3See Heath to Hugh Dalrymple, 10 Mar., DNA:PCC, item 57.

4The resolution of 19 Feb. expressed concern about confining “so large a body of men” within the “narrow limits” of Cambridge until the British ratification of the convention could become known and “authorized and requested” the Massachusetts council to “remove, separate and place” the prisoners in other parts of the state (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 10:184–85).

5At this place on the draft, Heath started a paragraph but crossed it out: “Our Embarrassments on account of the want of money are so great.”

6In this undated letter to Heath, William Thompson cited “an insufficient Constitution to support the Fatigues of a Camp, and the Hardships of military Duty” as the reason for his request to resign (DLC:GW).

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