George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major William Courtis, 28 April 1778

From Major William Courtis

Boston Aprill 28 1778


having Served my Country three years I hope with your Exelenceys Approbation and my frends, not tired with Serving it Longer, but am Constrained through Nessesity to Ask a Dismission, not having a fortune Sufficent to Suppote me, I was at the begin[nin]g of this war in Tolurable good Curcumstanaces but my Pay being not Sufficent to Supporte me, my family Living on what Little I had when this war begun has Reduced me so Low as not to be able to Supporte my Character as an officer any Longer, when I Cannot do that your Exelency would not wish to Se me in the feild, if I Should be oblidged to Come to Camp it will Distress myself and family very much, after Stateing dificutyes which are facts, I flatter myself your Exelency will Except my Resignation without sensure, I flatter myself my Character Stands fair, if in Some futer day your Exelency Should have ocation for my Services I Stand readey to obey your Exelencys Command, but at Present must beg Leave to Resign,1 I have the honor to subsribe myself your Exelencys obedent humble Servant

Willm Courtis Major in Colo. Henleys Regt

ALS, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 20165.

William Courtis (Curtis; c.1748–1802), of Marblehead, Mass., was commissioned a captain in Col. John Glover’s regiment of Massachusetts state troops in April 1775 and remained with the regiment when it was adopted into the Continental army in June 1775 and redesignated the 14th Continental Regiment in January 1776. On 1 Jan. 1777 he was commissioned a major of Col. David Henley’s Additional Continental Regiment.

1GW replied to Courtis on 20 May: “I received yours of the 28 Ulto and sympathise with your situation. Finding that you look upon your stay in the army as distressing to your interest and family I accept of and confirm your resignation. You will not therefore be considered any longer as an officer in the Continental army of the United States under your present commission” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 18399).

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