George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Samuel Huntington, 26 April 1781

Philadelphia April 26 1781


For your Excellency’s Information, I have herewith enclosed a State of the Debts due from the United States, with the necessary Estimates for the current Year as near as they can be ascertained at present; Copies whereof are transmitted to the several States.

Also a resolve of the 23d Instant, directing the Board of War to take effectual Measures for the Removal of all public Stores, Beef—Cattle, and also Provisions & Forage collected or stored on the Peninsula between the Delaware & Chesapeake Bays, and on the Jersey Shore adjacent to the Delaware; which may probably fall into the Hands of the Enemy in Case of an Invasion.

You will also receive enclosed a Letter from General Gates addressed to Congress, which they have thought proper to refer to the Commander in Chief. I have the Honor to be, with the greatest Respect Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant

Sam. Huntington President

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Philadelphia 24th April, 1781


Unconscious, & Unaccused of any Military Crime, I have undergone the Mortification of being recalled from my late Command with tacit Marks of Disesteem.

I shall not dwell on what has been done to the Southward, Thought I labourd under the most Wofull Wants. What is praise-worthy, must be sooner, or later, known to the Public; but the Silent blame of Superiors, is too Affecting to be endured with affected unconcern. Patience, in such Cases, implies Consciousness of Guilt.

The Approbation from which I was officially excluded by Congress, when they Thanked the Southern Army, and Distinguis’d several officers by Name, has been Generally construed, as The consequence of a positive charge against me. Since our Disaster near Camden, whenever they publish’d the successes to various Operations of hte Troops which I had the Honour to Command, they have Scarcely ever mention’d my Name. Whether such Omissions were accidental, or intended, my Character has been, and is still more injured by them, than by the Malevolent Whispers of the most artfull Calumniators.

Neither the Wisdom, nor the Generosity of Congress will I trust suffer me to remain a Useless Officer, Stain’d with Disgraceful Imputations unless they be supported by a legal Charge against me.

It being in their power to do me Justice by their own Inquiry into my Conduct, as they have done in Similar Cases; respecting Others, I entreat your Excellency will Urges them to protect me against Standing, though Vague Accusations.

To Support by my personal Efforts the Noblest Causes in which a Virtuous Man can be engaged is my most Ardent Desire in which I hope Shall be soon Indulged. With Sincere Respect I have the Honour to be Sir, your Excellencys most Humble, and most Obedient Servant

Horatio Gates

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