George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel John Lamb, 4 July 1778

From Colonel John Lamb

Farmington [Conn.] 4th July 1778


Inclos’d you have an Extract, from Genl Gates’s Orders bearing Date 4 June; From which it appears, that, I am superceded (by an inferior Officer) in the Command of the Artillery, in the Middle Department.1

From your Excellency’s known Character, for Justice, and generosity; and a full conviction, that, you will never give your sanction, to so flagrant an Act of injustice, I am induced (tho’ reluctantly) to trouble you at this time, on so disagreable a Subject. And shall Esteem it a singular favor, to be honour’d with a Line (for my information) respecting the true State of this matter. I am with the greatest Respect your Excellency’s Most Obdt Hume Servant.

Copy, in Lamb’s writing, NHi: Lamb Papers. Lamb enclosed this letter in one of the same date to Brig. Gen. Henry Knox for delivery to GW. Knox received the letters on 19 July, when he wrote Lamb that he would deliver Lamb’s letter to GW (both letters, NHi: Lamb Papers).

1The enclosure has not been identified, but Lamb quoted the offending extract in his letter to Col. William Malcom of this date: “Lt Colo. Ebenezer Stevens, by the direction of Congress, and the approbation of his Excellency Genl Washington, is appointed to the Command of the Artillery, in ⟨the⟩ Northern, and Middle Departments.” Lamb added, “Good Heaven if this be the base, and cruel treatment, we are to meet with, for sacrificing our Property, destroying our health, risqueing our Lives, and bleeding in the defence of our Country, it is high time, for every Man of Spirit to quit a Service, where superior Officers, may insult with impunity, and where maltreatment, is to be the only reward, he is to receive, for bravely doing his duty, as an Officer, and Soldier” (NHi: Lamb Papers; for the full text of Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates’s general orders of 4 June, see Gates orderly book, 20 Aug. 1777–16 July 1778, NN: Emmet Collection).

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