George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 20 February 1794

From Henry Knox

War department. February 20th 1794


Agreeably to the request of Major Thomas Cushing of the 3d Sub Legion, I submit to you his letter to me of the 4. of December 1793 and his correspondence relatively to his being arrested with Major General Wayne and his Aid de Camp and Brigadier General Posey.1 I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Your obedient Servant

H. Knox
secy of war


1The letter from Thomas Humphrey Cushing to Knox of 4 Dec. 1793 and its enclosures, Cushing’s correspondence with Anthony Wayne and Thomas Posey, have not been identified. According to GW’s executive journal, this letter set “forth the injustice which has been done him & the contempt with which he has been treated before & during his arrest” (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 285). At Cushing’s court-martial, 11 Dec. 1793 to 8 Jan. 1794, he was tried for charges “exhibited against him by Captain Edward Butler, late acting adjutant general, on the 8th of November and 1⟨0⟩th of December 1793. 1st. For repeated neglect of duty, and disobedience of the general orders of the 27th of August 1792, in not having made reports of the Sub-Legion under his command to the acting adjutant general (and by reason of said neglect) . . . the provisions of the said Sub-Legion have been obtained at a late hour. 2d For neglect of duty as field officer of the day on the 2d and night of the 2d and 3d of November instant, in not having furnished the guard of the redoubts of the light corps (which furnished at least one half of the chain of sentinels) with the countersign, and for not having visited the guards and sentinels during the night, which conduct tends to eminent resque of the safety of the Legion. 3d. For neglect of duty, in not having furnished the acting adjutant general, with a general return of the third Sub-Legion under your command when officially called on thereof on the 1st day of October last. 4th. For disobedience and contempt of the general order of the 6th day of November last—contempt of that order, in having on the morning of the 7th of November aforesaid signed a report & provision return for part of the third Sub Legion and afterward cut his signature therefrom, and sent them to me for my signature on the provision return.-–2d. For disobedience of the said order, in having afterwards refused to sign any return, whereby part of the troops of the third Sub-Legion were kept long without provision.” Cushing pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was acquitted on each count (Centinel of the North-Western Territory [Cincinnati], 25 Jan. 1794). Cushing may have been among those officers of whom Wayne complained to Knox in his second letter of 15 Nov. 1793 (see n.1 of Knox to GW, 3 Jan.).

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