George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel William Malcom, 11 October 1778

From Colonel William Malcom

Fort Clinton [West Point, N.Y.] Ocr 11th, 1778


Captain Carter of the Train insisted on being Supplyed with Forage for his Riding horse, by the Quarter master whose refusal brought the matter to a Court martial.

Inclosed are the proceedings, a Copy of the Arrestment, and of an order, which by reason of the Scarcity of Forage, I was oblidged to make Some time ago.1

I wish to know your Excellencys pleasure concerning Mr Chandonet by the bearer, because his Service is much wanted.

We know of no Such Act of Congress at this post, as is refer’d to in the Arrest—if any Such exist, or any other late resolve or general order that affects the duty of the Garrison, or the priviledges of the Army. I should be glad to be informed thereof. I have the Honor to be with great respect—Your Excellencys most obedient and very humble servant

W. Malcom


1The enclosed copy of the arrest order that Capt. John Champe Carter of the 1st Continental Artillery issued at Fort Clinton on 8 Oct. reads: “Quarter Master Chandonet will Consider himself under an arrest for refusing to syn my order for forage when Congress has passed a Resolve that every Captain Artillery shall be entittled to forage.” Following that order on the same manuscript page is an extract from the garrison orders issued at Fort Clinton on 1 Aug., which reads: “No horses are to be Kept in Garrison except One for the Commanding Officer of each Corps—and for Labour—The forage Master will provide forage for Such as are allowed by the public elsewhere” (DLC:GW). The enclosed copy of the proceedings of Asst. Deputy Q.M. Francis Chandonet’s trial and acquittal by a court-martial that sat at West Point on 11 Oct. has not been identified, but see the brief summary in the general orders for 16 October. John Champe Carter (1758–1826) had served as an ensign in the 7th Virginia Regiment from March 1776 to January 1777, and after several months out of Continental service, he had become a captain of the 1st Continental Artillery in October 1777. Taken prisoner by the British when the American garrison at Charleston, S.C., surrendered in May 1780, Carter apparently was not exchanged until the end of the war, when he was breveted a major.

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