From Major General Arthur St. Clair
Philadelphia Novr 15th 1778
I am sorry to inform you that Congress have not yet entered into the Consideration of my Court Mar[s]hal and that it will probably be three Weeks or a Month yet before they will take it up.1 This Delay is exceeding irksome but I am obliged to submit. one Reason given for it is that they cannot with any propriety go upon that untill General Lees is determined and it appears to me that they will not be in a hurry with it—indeed I think their Design is to tire him out and force him to a Resignation.2 I suppose Your Exellency has heard that Mr R.H. Lee is returned to Virginia.
The unfortunate Return of Mrs St Clairs Illness this Fall, will make my Absence from my Family this Winter extremly inconvenient3—if my Attendance, after my Business with Congress is over, can be dispensed, with for the Winter, it will be doing me a very great Favour—if it cannot Your Excellency will oblige me much by hinting where it is probable our Quarters will be, that I may take Measures for rendering it as convenient as Circumstances will admit. I have the Honour to be Sir Your most Obedient Humble Servant
Ar St Clair
1. A court-martial that sat from 25 Aug. to 29 Sept. had acquitted St. Clair of charges relating to the fall of Fort Ticonderoga in July 1777. Congress approved the acquittal on 16 Dec. (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 12:1225–26).
2. For the court-martial of Maj. Gen. Charles Lee, which ended in a guilty verdict and a sentence of dismissal from the army for a year, see GW to Lee, 30 June (second letter), n.2. Congress resolved on 5 Dec. that the court-martial’s sentence be carried into execution (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 12:1195).
3. St. Clair married Phoebe Bayard (1743–1818), of Boston, in 1760. She suffered from mental illness for most of her life.