George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Holt Richeson, 14 April 1779

From Lieutenant Colonel Holt Richeson

King Wm County Virgia April 14th 1779


I have this day delivered my Commission to Major James Quarles1 to get my resignation which I hope your Excellency will not have any Objections too, my reasons are in asking this request is that our money is so depreciated that the little pay I am allowed by Congress will not Surport me, & I have but a very Slender fortune a wife & Seven Small Children, & if I Continue in the Service it must in a very few months bring me & family to want, for every thing now, is Selling from twenty to thirty times as much as they did about eighteen months ago, when my pay was equal to what it is now, if I Could be Surported in the Army I wood much reather be their then to have any honour that this State Could perfuse on me, therefore I hope your Excellency will be So good as to let me resign, but if your Excellency will not give me leve, I’ll return to Camp at the risk of every thing I have as Soon as your Excellency will give me motice.2 I Am Your Excellency Most Humble & Most Obediant Sert

Holt Richeson

ALS, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 31277.

1James Quarles (1737–1824) was appointed captain of the 2d Virginia State Regiment in January 1777. He was commissioned a major in early 1779, but that commission was revoked following a rank dispute (see General Orders, 11 May, n.1; GW to Patrick Henry, 9 June [DLC:GW]; and General Orders, 24 August). Quarles left the army in January 1780.

2GW’s aide Richard Kidder Meade replied for GW on 18 May: “Your letter and Commission came to the Generals hands a few days past. He has desired me to acknowledge the receipt of it, and assure you, that the too frequent resignations in our army, gives him the greatest pain, more especially at this season, and, after the new arrangement had taken place, when there was good reason to expect the continuance of the Officers[.] however, under the circumstances which you represent His Excellency cannot think of requesting your stay in the army, and directs that you will consider yourself as discharged, from the 10th day of this month” (DLC:GW).

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