George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Daniel Morgan, 12 June 1799

From Daniel Morgan

Soldiers Rest June 12th 1799

Dear Sir

I was honored with your Letter of the 10th Ultimo. have consulted Colo. Parker on the occasion: inclosed is a list of such characters as I thought would fit the Army, and who offered their services. most of those characters that are inserted in the list of recommendation are in my opinion good men and may be depended on; they are mostly young men of good family and education, who are determined to continue in the Army while their services may be wanting; they enter the service purely from principle, Their attachment to Government are unquestionable.1

I should have answered your letter sooner, but wished to inform myself of such characters as would best fit the Army—I find but few of the old Officers that are altogether fit for the Service, from different causes (Vizt) some too old and infirm; others incumbered with large families, and some too much in the habit of drinking which I always view as a very great misfortune to mankind, should any in future offer of superior talents, I will transmit you a list of their names.

Major James Stephenson who you will find placed on the list of recommendations would command a Regiment with as much propriety perhaps, as any officer in the service. he commanded a Company, (in the Army commanded by Genl St Clair in the year 1791) with great propriety and at the defeat of that officer on the 4th of November he rendered very singular service, in addition to what has already been said he is a great disciplinarian and of course will be a great acquisition to a new raised Army; he is also a man of good Character and education, and firmly attached to Government.2

I have mentioned Capt. Archd C. Randolph to you some time since I must again repeat it, that I think he will make a great officer, he has not seen so much service as some, but he has seen a good deal, and were I to have my choice of a Cavalry officer I would take him in preference perhaps to most men within my knowledge.3 I have the Honor to be sir Your Hle Sert

Danl Morgan


1Morgan enclosed the following list of potential officers for the Provisional Army: “James Stephenson Berkeley County, at this time Major and Inspector to Genl [William] Darkes Brigade, he thinks from the Services he has seen he is intitled to the Command of a Regiment.

Samuel Washington, Berkeley County Captain of Cavalry.

Joseph Crane, Berkeley County Recommended by Colo. Joseph Swearingen, as Capt. of Infantry perhaps a first Lieutenancy will do.

Thomas Hammond, Berkeley County Lieutenant to Saml Washington in the Cavalry.

William Eskridge, Frederick County was a Lieutenant in the late War, has been in the Habit of drinking, but has left it off, and says he is determined to do so.

William Baylis, Frederick County—was also a lieutenant in the late war: has been in the habit of drinking too much—and has also left it off and is determined to do so.

William Monroe, Frederick County was a Lieutenant in the late war: a sober man of Good Character.

Samuel Turner Frederick County a man of Good Character has Seen Some Service, and wishes the Command of a Company; which I think him Equal to.

Ferguson Bell Frederick County he now Commands a troop of Cavalry; and wishes to Continue to do so.

John Morgan, Frederick County has Seen Som Service, and wishes the appointment of a Subaltern in the Cavalry.

Samuel Bell, Frederick County has Seen Some Service and wishes a first Lieutenan[c]y.

Tarlton F. Webb—Fredk County first Lieutenant.

George Barnett, Frederick County first Lieutenant.

Benjamin Barnett, Frederick County Second Lieutenant.

Robert Bell Frederick County Second Lieutenant.

Elias Edmonds, Fauquier County, Subaltern.

Matthew Whiting Brooke Fauquier County Subaltern.

Whiting Diggs, Fauqueir County Subaltern.

Joshua Tenneson Fauquier County Subaltern.

these young men from Fauquier County will make as Elegant a set of officers as any in the Army, of their Grade.

John Hilton, Bath Berkeley County Subaltern has Good Education and Talents.” Morgan wrote GW again on 26 June and enclosed a second list of nominees for commissions.

2In his letter of 10 June to Morgan, which Morgan enclosed, Col. Thomas Parker has this to say of James Stephenson: “I saw majr Stephenson a few days ago on his way to Alexandria. he is willing to enter into the Service of his Country if the provisional army is Raised. I think he woud make a Verry Valuable officer & woud do honor to any Rank that may be given him. I think there are few men in this Country who woud Command a Regiment with greater propriety. . . . Majr Stephenson Intends to Call on you as soon as he Returns from Alexandria where he is Called on business of Importance” (DLC:GW). In his letter Parker also recommended Joseph Crain for a captaincy in the Provisional Army, as did Joseph Swearingen in a letter to Morgan of 30 May 1799. Swearingen identified Crane “as a Captain in the 55th Regiment of Virginia Militia” for some years, who wished a commission in the Provisional Army—“Or if any Vacancies Should Happen in the Regiments now Raising, which he could be ⟨calld⟩ upon with propriety to fill, Immediate Service will be most pleasing to him.”

On 26 June Morgan sent GW Andrew Waggener’s letter of 14 June recommending James Stephenson for colonel of a regiment, in which Waggener called Stephenson “a staunch friend to the Government” and pointed out that Stephenson had been “ever since he left the Western Army Inspector to the 16 Brigade of [Virginia] Militia.” Both of the enclosed letters are in DLC:GW.

3Morgan’s letter of 3 April recommending Archibald C. Randolph has not been found. For other references to Randolph, see GW to Morgan, 10 April, n.1; see also GW to McHenry, 7 April (second letter), and note 1 of that document, 23 April, and 5 May 1799.

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