George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 20 June 1792

From Henry Knox

War department June 20th 1792.


I have the honor to submit to your consideration a letter to Andrew Moore Esq. upon the appointment of some Ensigns in the Rifle Companies raising in the South Western parts of Virginia, and also a conditional appointment to Richard Chandler as an Ensign.1

This Gentleman is well recommended to Mr Jefferson, and also in a letter from Captain Ballard Smith to me—He is stated to Mr Jefferson as a person who most probably can raise a number of good rifle Men.2 I have the honor to be with the highest respect Your most obed. Servant

H. Knox


On this date Tobias Lear, at GW’s command, returned “to the Secretary of War the enclosed letters which have been submitted to the President” and informed him “that the President has no objection to the footing upon which the appointments mentioned in these letters are placed, altho at the same time the President observes that he thinks Captn [James] Stephenson’s Company is upon ground different from the others” (DLC:GW).

1Knox’s letter to Andrew Moore has not been identified. Richard Chandler (d. 1801) wrote Jefferson on 18 Nov. 1792 that when he had applied in “June in Person to Genl. Knox, Secretary of War, for an appointment in our Foedral Army thare was no Vacancey but [he] was promised the first that might happen” (Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 24:630–31). Chandler was appointed an ensign in the U.S. Army in May 1794, and he was promoted to lieutenant in July 1798. He served as a paymaster from July 1795 until December 1801.

2Jefferson had received written recommendations of Chandler from Hugh Rose, on 15 May, and Thomas Bell, on 4 June (see ibid., 23:500–503, 24:24). Ballard Smith’s letter to Knox has not been identified. Ballard Smith (d. 1794), who had risen to the rank of lieutenant during the Revolutionary War, was appointed a captain in the U.S. Army in June 1790, and he was promoted to major in June 1792.

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