From Colonel Edward Wigglesworth
Providence 11th Feby 1779
I did myself the honour to address your Excellency in a Letter dated 4th Jany last—in whic⟨h⟩ I represented, wherein I conceived myself to be injured with respect to Rank, a Copy of which I’ve inclos⟨ed⟩ fearing the other might have miscarry’d.1 since which the Circumstancs of my family are so essentia⟨l to⟩ attend, that should I tarry longer in the Army I must see them suffer, without a Possibility of being able to relieve their distresses; must therefor⟨e⟩ beg your Excellency to dismiss me from the Army I must acknowledge I’ve been appointed to a Comman⟨d⟩ above my abilities & consequently more than I had a⟨ny⟩ reason to expect; but it has ever been my Study to discharge my duty, in the best manner I’ve been capable a Soldiers life is by no means disagreable to me, but mere necissty has oblige’d me to ask a Dismission. I am your Excellency’s most Obedt & very Humble Servt
Edwd Wigglesworth Col.
P.S. Should your Excellency grant my request—I shall go immediatily to France2—& should be extreamly glad to have some thing to show, that I’ve had the Honour to serve under your Excellency—& if I’m so happy as to have a Line, shall take it as a very great favour to have a Certificate from under your Excellency’s hand to that Purpose. I’m as above
E Wigglesworth Col.
ALS, enclosed in GW to John Jay, 24 Feb. 1779, DNA:PCC, item 78. The cover is addressed to “His Excellency General Washington Head Quarters Pr Capt. Sargeant [Winthrop Sargent, Jr.].” The docket reads: “Letter from Col. Wigglesort⟨h⟩ Jany 4 & Feby 11. 1779. Read Feby 27. Referred to the delegates of Massachusetts bay.” For those actions, see John Jay to GW, 2 March (second letter), and GW to Wigglesworth, 11 March (see also 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 , 13:259). For Congress’s acceptance of Wigglesworth’s resignation, see John Jay to GW, 12 March, and GW to Wigglesworth, 19 March (see also 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 , 13:302).
1. GW had received Wigglesworth’s letter to him of 4 Jan. while he was in Philadelphia, but had not yet replied to it (see GW to Wigglesworth, 26 Feb.). The original ALS is in PHi: Gratz Collection; the duplicate ALS, which Wigglesworth enclosed in his letter to GW of this date, is in DNA:PCC, item 78.
2. In June 1779 Wigglesworth took command of a Massachusetts privateer, the schooner Friendship, which carried six guns and had a crew of twelve men (Allen, Massachusetts Privateers description begins Gardner Weld Allen. Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution. Boston, 1927. In Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, vol. 77. description ends , 140).