George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Charles Lee, 30 June 1778

To Major General Charles Lee

Head Qrs English Town [N.J.] June 30th 1778


I received your letter (dated thro’ mistake the 1st of July)1 expressed as I conceive, in terms highly improper. I am not conscious of having made use of any very singular expressions at the time of my meeting you, as you intimate. What I recollect to have said, was dictated by duty and warranted by the occasion. As soon as circumstances will permit, you shall have an opportunity, either of justifying yourself to the army, to Congress, to America, and to the world in General; or of convincing them that you were guilty of a breach of orders and of misbehaviour before the enemy on the 28th Inst. in not attacking them as you had been directed and in making an unnecessary, disorderly, and shameful retreat. I am Sir your most obt servt

Go: Washington

Copy, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

GW’s aide John Fitzgerald wrote and signed the following note at the bottom of this letter: “The original Letter of which the above is Copy was read by me before it was sealed, and delivered by me to Major General Lee by command of his Excellency Genl Washington.”

1See Lee’s first letter to GW of this date.

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