George Washington Papers

To George Washington from François, Marquis de Malmedy, 20 November 1778

From François, Marquis de Malmedy

philadelphia 20. of. november. 1778.


i am on the point of returning to my country, where i must give an account of my conduct in the american army; and as your Excellency’s approbation of my services would be of the greatest advantage to me, permitt me to have the honour to request it from you, i have slender titles to that favour, not having been so happy as to serve Last year under your immediate commands; but i hope your Excellency will recollect my good will in the campaign of 1776, as soon as i arrived at harlem; the approbation of the governor of rhode island, in the account, he rendered you at morisetown of my Exertion in that state; and i desire that my conduct in the begining of this campaign—might have been agreable to your Excellency.

i shall think myself happy, if you judge me worthy of a certificate of a military and uniform character in your armies, which will be the most pretious reward of three campaigns, & of the danger of twice crossing the sea.

permitt me to Express here the just sense i have for the civilities with which your Excellency honoured me at my arrival in this continent; and please to accept my sincere wishs for the success of every thing which may Encrease your glory & happiness. i have the honour to be of your Excellency your very most obedient very humble servant



GW replied from Middlebrook, N.J., on 13 Dec.: “It is some days since I recd your favr of the 20th November, but being upon my Journey from the North River to this place I have not had an oppertunity of answering it before. As I am not furnished with the requisite materials to make out the Certificate of your services, I must desire you to send me an account of the different Commissions which you have borne in the American Army with their several dates. I thank you for your good wishes in my behalf” (DLC:GW).

A memorandum dated at Middlebrook on 8 Feb. indicates that: “A Certificate [was] granted to Colo. Malmedy, specifying the Dates of his Commissions, Adding that as far as his Conduct had fallen under the Generals Observation it had been that of a brave intelligent Officer” (DLC:GW; the original certificate has not been found). Malmedy enclosed GW’s testimonial in a letter that Congress read on 23 Feb. and referred to the Board of War; and on 9 Mar. the Board of War recommended to Congress that he be given leave to join the Southern Army (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 , 13:238, 296–97). Malmedy remained in service in America until 1780.

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