George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Thomas Clark, 14 March 1779

To Colonel Thomas Clark

Head Quarters Middle Brook 14 March 1779


The inclosed has been presented to me by Lieut. Varner of your Regt. If Mr Scull is, as the representation sets forth, a junior Officer to the three subscribers, I shall be glad to be informed how he comes to be ranked above them in the arrangemt.1

Be pleased to order Colo. Patten’s Regt to hold themselves in readiness to march from their prest quarters which they may expect to do in a few days.2 I am Sir Yr most obt.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1This enclosure, apparently dealing with a rank dispute among junior officers in the 1st North Carolina Regiment, has not been identified, but for a resolution of this dispute that placed Robert Varner in the superior position as captain lieutenant and John Gambier Scull as the most junior of three lieutenants, see GW to Peter Scull, 20 March.

Robert Varner was commissioned ensign in the 1st North Carolina Regiment on 28 March 1776 and became a first lieutenant on 8 March 1777. He was cashiered on 1 Oct. 1779 for playing cards in camp and encouraging the practice among soldiers General Orders, 31 Aug. and 1 Oct. 1779).

John Gambier Scull (d. 1811) was commissioned ensign in the 1st North Carolina Regiment on 1 June 1776 and became a first lieutenant on 26 April 1777. After the war, he served as a delegate from New Hanover County in the November 1789 North Carolina convention that ratified the federal Constitution.

2Col. John Patten commanded the 2d North Carolina Regiment.

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