To Captain Samuel Kearsley
Hd Qrs Middlebrook 29th April 1779.
I have to acknowlege your letter of the 25th instant.1
When officers have decided on leaving the army; as I cannot oblige them to continue, so it would be in vain to make the attempt. I could not add superior considerations to those of serving their country; nor would it be in my power to reconcile every change of situation, to the sentiments of those who may be seperated from their brother officers; should not their own ideas, on the occasion, correspond with the necessity of pursuing some general principle, where alterations in corps become expedient.
In case you have finally resolved to retire, you will be pleased to transmit the usual cirtificate that you have settled your Regimental or public accounts with your commission I shall then receive your resignation, altho it is my wish could that have any operation to retain a good a⟨nd⟩ valuable officer.2 I am sir your most [&]c.
Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. Kearsley’s letter of 25 April, written from Minisink, N.Y., reads: “I am at length Compelld to Retire from the Army—yet with all the Reluctance A Sensible mind Can feel on parting with the agreeable society of belov’d Companions—I mean my Brother Officers grown dear to me by Adherence to the Common cause long acquaintance in the service & mutual Sacrifice of Interest.
“Encouraged by the wisdom and prudence of our Grand Council I have persevered thro A Variety of difficultys which no pecuniary Views would ever have Reconciled.
“the act of the Board of War Respecting our Regiment may at least be calld Inconsiderate & distresses me as an Ind[i]vidial as I wished to finish the war with my early Companions in distress.
“as we are unalterably separated honor forbids my Breach of sentiment & the Peculiar situation of my family is such as earnestly Calls for my Attention Your Excellency will please to accept of this as my Resignation” (DLC:GW).
2. Kearsley replied from Easton, Pa., on 8 May: “I acknowledge the Receipt of your Letter of the 29th Ultimo in answer to mine from the Minisink, on the Subject of my Retiring from the Service—my accompts Respecting Recruitg &ca I have setled with the auditors in August Last—Regimental accompts I have none the Accompts of Cloathing &ca I shall Transmit in order to Major Prowell I mean those drawn for my Company while Independant as it is not in my power to make Stopages in behalf of the Continent where there has been a Surplus or make up dificiencys where they may have hapned—I Refer your Excellency to Colo. Malcom who does me the honour to forward this for farther Information Respecting matters & your Excellency will I hope believe me when I Tell you I Enter’d the Service on principle & the same principle still Exists” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 18287).