George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Johann Kalb, 18 October 1778

To Major General Johann Kalb

[Fredericksburg] 18 Otbr 1778


I have been favoured with your letter of the 14th Instant.1

The undecided state of rank in the Maryland line makes it a point of some difficulty to determine in such cases as that of Major Adams and Captn Winders, where the complaint is founded on their respective claims to a precedency in rank—I think it most expedient therefore that Capt. Winder shd be released from arrest, as you have mentioned, and to suspend the further consideration of the matter, till such time as the relative rank of the whole line is finally determined. For this purpose, I have taken every measure that can lead to its accomplishment.2 You will be pleased to signify this to Major Adams, and that the affair cannot be investigated before a general settlement of rank is obtained—as the issue of the case is manifestly involved in its determination. I am &c.

p.s. As there may be a number of other officers in a similar situation with Major Adams and Captn Windor, I do not doubt but you will so arrange their several duties without any prejudice to the service, as to prevent their clashing with each other or giving rise to disputs of the same nature.

G. W——n

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

1Kalb’s letter to GW of 14 Oct. has not been found.

2For GW’s recent attempts to settle the disputes about officer ranks in the Maryland line, see General Orders, 18 Aug., and note 1 to that document, and GW to the President of the Maryland Senate and the Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, 5 October. For GW’s continuing efforts to obtain such a settlement in the spring of 1779, see General Orders, 8 April 1779; GW to Thomas Johnson, 8 April 1779, MdAA; GW to a Board of General Officers, 9 April 1779, DeHi; and GW to the President of the Maryland Senate and the Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, 10 April 1779, DLC:GW. For the settlement of Lt. Col. Peter Adams’s rank, see GW to the Board of War, 6 Dec. 1779, DLC:GW.

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