George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Horatio Gates, 22 October 1780

Head Quarters, Prackness Octr 22d 1780


I inclose you a Resolution of Congress of the 5th instant directing me to order a Court of inquiry to be held on your conduct as Commander of the Southern Army, and to appoint an Officer to command that Army in your room untill such inquiry be made—In obedience to this order I have appointed Major General Greene to the command; and I have instructed him respecting the inquiry in the manner which the inclosed extract from his instructions will show. It appeard to me that the business could be no where so properly conducted as with the Army where the transactions which will enter into the inquiry took place, and where every kind of light can with most facility be obtained. I could not however order it immediately to commence; because it is possible the situation of the affairs might render it impracticable; but I have endeavoured to take every precaution to prevent delay, if it is not unavoidable. Should you have any objection to the mode proposed, I shall be obliged to you to communicate it to me, with your reasons, in the fullest assurance that it is my aim to execute the orders of Congress in the manner most consistent with justice to the public and to you. In this case General Greene will suspend proceeding ’till I receive your objections and send him further instructions. I am Sir Your most Obedt servt

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NHi: Gates Papers.

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