George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel John Lamb, 12 August 1778

From Colonel John Lamb

Park of Artillery [12 August]1 1778


I am extremely sorry to inform your Excellency, that, a dispute has arisen between Colo. Harrisson of the Artillery, and myself, respecting Seniority; As I came into the Service, a Capt. in the Artillery, on 30th June 1775, and had the honor of being appointed (by Congress) to the sole Command of the Artillery in the Northern Department, with the Rank, and Pay of Major 1st Janry 1776 (at the first of which periods, I am informed Colo. Harrisson was not in the Service) I conceive myself possessed of the right of Seniority; And cannot possibly submit to be commanded by him, ’till his right is properly ascertain’d.

And as disputes of this nature, destroy that harmony which ought to prevail among Officers, who are embarked in the same Common Cause, & may have a tendency (if not settled soon) to injure the Service,2 I must intreat your Excellency, to Order a Board of Genl Officers, for that purpose, as soon as may be convenient. I have the honour to be, with the greatest Respect, your Excellency’s most Obedient Servant.

Copy, in Lamb’s writing, NHi: Lamb Papers.

1Lamb wrote “Sepr” on the copy, but GW’s reply of 13 Aug. makes it clear that this letter was dated 12 August.

2On the preceding day, 11 Aug., Capt. Gershom Mott of Lamb’s regiment wrote him to complain of directions about the regiment that Mott had received from Col. Charles Harrison (NHi: Lamb Papers).

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