Barracks Philadelphia August 8th 1780
Was I applying for favors of a lucrative nature, I should wait with patience your Excellencys determination; during the six years I serv’d in the British Army, I have the pleasing satisfaction to think I never solicited a favor, or advantage; even at this time nothing but the earnest desire I have of serving under your Excellency, and a full knowledge of your goodness; could enduce me to become a solicitor. The time of action now approaches, nothing could console me for the mortification of being obliged to be an idle spectator, instead of an active, individual in your Excellencys operations. Let me once more intreat your Exy to favor me with any Bevet rank you shall think proper, to secure me from insult should I unfortunately fall into their hands, and allow me as a vollentier, to serve the insuing campaign with Major Lee, or any other partizan. Your Excellency shall find this honor will not be bestow’d on the undeserving or forgitfull; but on one whose gratitude shall convince you how much he is your Excellencys Most obedient &c. &c.
B. Edgar Joel
DLC: Papers of George Washington.