George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Jedediah Huntington, 7 April 1779

From Brigadier General Jedediah Huntington

Reading [Redding, Conn.] 7 April 1779

Dear Sir

The affairs of the 2nd Connecticut Battalion, by I know not what Fatality, seem to be in more Confusion than any other. just after General Putnam left Camp the three inclosed Arrangements were brought me from his Aid de Camp to forward to Head Quarters, I have numbered them 1, 2, 3;1 in N. 1, Lieut. Woolcot obtains his Rank which crowds Capt. Ten Eyck down to a Capt. Lieut. upon which Col. Sherman obtaind an Order of General putnam for another Committe to revise the pretensions of Alden & Ten Eyck & of Lieut. Taylor—this Comme made the Arrangement No. 2, upon that major Alden declined serving in that Battalion—whereupon it seems Col. Sherman (who is not present) made out Arrangement N. 3—such as he would have it & filled up the Vacancies.2

Col. Butler comes in Octor 15 1778 in Room of Col. Mead resigned—but ought, I think, to fill the Vacancy of the 25th of May 1778 to which Col. Mead was appointed but never served in it.3

I hope the Board of War will think proper to act definitively upon the inclosed as I don’t believe greater Justice or satisfaction will be had by another Decision here—the Arrangement N. 3. is the least exceptionable.

Lieut. Col: Grosvenor Commission should be dated the 13th March 1778 and Lt Col. Johnson’s the 15th April 1778.4

From the Representations of the Commissaries of the extreem Scarcity of Flour, I have reduced the Ration of flour from one pound to threefourths and ordered the Value of the remaining fourth to be paid the Troops in money—this was more perhaps than I had a Right to do—but I thought it better than to give an Equivalent in any other Article.

Major Eayres appeared here this Day in order for Tryal on the Complaint made against him at Springfield—but as the papers were transmitted to Head Quarters—he has returned to his Duty at springfield.5 I am with the greatest Respect Your Excellencys most obedient servant

Jed. Huntington

P.S. Genl Parsons has come in to Camp.

ALS, DLC:GW. GW replied to Huntington on 16 April (DLC:GW).

1These enclosures, which GW returned with his reply to Huntington of 16 April, have not been identified. Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam had gone home on leave on 2 April, returning to Redding in early May. His aides-de-camp were his sons Israel Putnam, Jr., and Daniel Putnam.

2For the disputes involving these officers of the 2d Connecticut Regiment, see GW to Israel Putnam, 13 March, and n.3 to that document; GW to Putnam, 1 April; and GW to Huntington, 16 April, DLC:GW. For the settlement of the regimental arrangement, see Huntington to GW, 25 May, and GW to Huntington, 28 May, both DLC:GW. Timothy Taylor (1753–1802), who had served as a sergeant in the 5th Connecticut Regiment from May to December 1775, was commissioned an ensign in Col. Philip Burr Bradley’s Connecticut state regiment in June 1776 and was captured at Fort Washington, N.Y., the following November. Exchanged sometime previous to this date, Taylor was arranged later this spring as a lieutenant in the 2d Connecticut Regiment with a date of rank of 1 Sept. 1777. He transferred to the 3d Connecticut Regiment on 1 Jan. 1781 and was promoted to captain in December of that year. Returning to the 2d Connecticut Regiment on 1 Jan. 1783, he served as a captain in that regiment until June 1783 and then in Col. Heman Swift’s Connecticut regiment to November 1783, when he retired from the Continental army. Taylor was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 13th U.S. Infantry Regiment in February 1799 and was discharged in June 1800 (see Papers, Retirement Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Retirement Series. 4 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1998–99. description ends , 4:109, 284, 303).

3Lt. Col. Matthew Mead of the 5th Connecticut Regiment apparently had been named to succeed Charles Webb as colonel of the 2d Connecticut Regiment following Webb’s resignation on 13 March 1778, but then Mead resigned his commission on 25 May 1778. For GW’s agreement that Zebulon Butler’s subsequent promotion to colonel of the 2d Connecticut Regiment should be dated from the time of Mead’s resignation, see GW to Huntington, 16 April (DLC:GW).

4For the rank dispute concerning Thomas Grosvenor and Jonathan Johnson, see GW to the Board of War, 4 March; Israel Putnam to GW, 4 March; and GW to Putnam, 9 March. For the issuance of their commissions bearing the dates recommended by Huntington, see GW to Peter Scull, 15 April; Scull to GW, 19 April; and GW to Putnam, 23 April, all DLC:GW.

5For the ordering of this court-martial and those of two other officers stationed at Springfield, Mass., see GW to Israel Putnam, 22 Feb., and n.2 to that document.

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