George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 12 July 1794

From Henry Knox

War department July 12th 1794


Before the definitive step is taken for the reappointment of Captain Lee I beg leave to submit to your view the proceedings of the Court Martial on his Case—It appears that all the Officers who composed the Court signed the petition for his restoration.1 With perfect respect I have the honor to be Your obedient Servant.

H. Knox secy of war


1Neither the enclosed proceedings nor the petition for William Aylett Lee’s restoration has been identified, but a report of Lee’s court-martial appears in Anthony Wayne’s general orders for 20 February. At the trial, Lee was found not guilty of embezzling soldiers’ pay, but guilty of charges that included keeping a man on guard for forty-eight hours, "repeated drunkeness," the "misapplication of Public property" in "disposing of Public ammunition and provision on the Ohio" in November 1792, "neglect of duty in not keeping a company book," and "leaving . . . arrest and going into the state of Kentucky" when ordered to stand trial. He was sentenced to dismissal from the service, and Wayne, though declaring his belief that Lee "erred more from the want of attention to the military discipline . . . than from any defect of the heart," confirmed the sentence (PHi: Wayne Papers).

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