George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Captain Nathaniel Jarvis, 13 June 1778

To Captain Nathaniel Jarvis

Head Quarters Valley Forge 13th June 1778


I recd yours of the 11th:1 It is my wish to indulge every Officer, who thinks himself aggrieved by his superior, with an opportunity of redressing himself by a Court of Enquiry. But when I reflect how often these enquiries are demanded, upon differences occasioned by sudden heat, I wish Gentlemen would cooly consider before they carry matters to such a length, that the decision of the Court and my determination thereon, must appear before the public.

The Charges you make against ⟨Colo. Jackson⟩ are of as high a nature as one Officer can make against another, and if you cannot fully support them, you will lay yourself open to censure.

I would therefore advise you rather to leave the matter to a few Gentlemen of your own Corps, than to bring it before a Court, except, upon reflection, you conceive yourself able to support your allegations fully. I am Sir Your most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NN: Washington Collection; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The name in angle brackets, cut off here, is taken from the draft.

Nathaniel Jarvis (c.1750–1801) of Boston had been appointed a captain in Col. Henry Jackson’s Additional Continental Regiment in February 1777 and resigned in October 1778 (see William Heath to GW, 12 September). For more on his dispute with Col. Henry Jackson, see General Orders, 16 June, and Jackson to GW, that date.

1This letter has not been found.

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