George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Peter Scull, 20 March 1779

To Peter Scull

Head Quarters Middle Brook 20th March 1779


I have your favs. of the 15th and 18th instants, with the latter, the Commissions for the Jersey Brigade and 1st and 2d North Carolina Regiments came safe.1

Capt. Ogdens Commission in the 1st Jersey Regt bears date 2d Feby 1779.

There was a mistake in the Rank of the Capt. Lieut. and three oldest Lieutenants of the 1st Carolina Regt—It stands truely as follows.

Robt Varner Capt. Lieut. 8th March 1777
James King. Lieut: No. 1. 3d April 1777
Robt Nicholson   do 2. 19 April 1777
J. G. Scull   do 3. 26 April 1777

I have altered the Commissions accordingly, and you will be pleased to make the same alterations in your list of the Army.2

By this Conveyance I transmit the Arrangement of the Virginia line compleated.3 Those Officers who are prisoners are distinguished from the others, and I do not think there is any occasion of transmitting their Commissions at present, as there may possibly be a change in their rank before they are liberated. Those of the Officers in service will be very acceptable as soon as possible. I am &.

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

1The letters of 15 and 18 March from Scull to GW have not been found. GW forwarded the commissions of the Jersey Brigade with his letter of 25 March to William Maxwell.

2For a dispute over the arrangement of junior officers in the 1st North Carolina Regiment that involved lieutenants Robert Varner and John Gambier Scull, see GW to Thomas Clark, 14 March (see also GW to Clark, 22 Feb., and Clark to GW, 1 March). James King (d. 1780) was commissioned an ensign in the 1st North Carolina Regiment in June 1776 and became a second lieutenant in August of that year. Promoted to first lieutenant in April 1777, he served at that rank until commissioned a captain in March 1780. King was taken prisoner at Charleston, S.C., on 12 May 1780, and died on 8 Sept. while in captivity.

Robert Nicholson (d. 1819) was commissioned a lieutenant in the 10th North Carolina Regiment in April 1777 and transferred to the 1st North Carolina Regiment in June 1778. At a court-martial on 4 May 1779, he was found guilty of repeatedly signing false returns and sentenced to a reprimand (see General Orders, 14 May). For Nicholson’s resignation from the army, see Thomas Clark to GW, 25 June 1779 (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 14501).

3The enclosed copy of this document has not been identified. For efforts to arrange the Virginia line, see GW to Peter Muhlenberg, 17 February.

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