George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Horatio Gates, 9 February 1783

Ellisons 9th February 1783


I have just now received the inclosed letter from General Putnam,—as I am not directed to grant furloughs to Officers of his rank—I take the liberty to refer his request to Your Excellency; and as I think it would be presumption in me, I shall not offer my opinion of the merit of his petition—being fully satisfied with whatever your Excellency shall please to order thereupon—with very Great respect I am Sir Your most Obedient Humble Servant

Horatio Gates

Maj. Gen.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Massachusetts Huts, February 8th 1783

Dear General

I beg leave to request the favor that you will please to give your approbation for, and use your influence to procure me leave of absence till the 15th of April next; But in order that you may be able the better to judge of the propriety of my request, I think it necessary that you should be made acquainted with the following circumstances. By the late promotions and transferments of officers, Leiutenant Colonel Mellen, Majors Knapp & Pope are all the feild officers that will be left with the Brigade, after Colonel Tuppers departure, which will be this day; Lieutenant Colonel Mellen is also desirous of visiting his family in a few days, and supposes his claim compatable with the general regulations for granting furloughs, notwithstanding Lieutenant Colonel Hull was furlough’d from the same Regiment—Had your order, posting Lieutenant Colonel Hull to the 6th Regiment been promulged previous to Colonel Tupper’s application, I should not have recommended him in general terms, till I had inform’d myself, wither Lieutenant Colonel Hull’s absence was to be considered as from the 6th Regt, or from the Regiment to which he belonged, when he obtained it. But as I Know my own, and fully believe Colonel Mellen’s reasons for going home are in reality very urgent, after giving that information which is my duty, must request your influence as fully in behalf of Col: Mellen as for myself; resting assured that the commander in chief will grant each of us, all the indulgence in his power, and competant with the good of service—It may be objected that I came from home very lately; to which I answer, that thirty six hours before I took my departure for camp, I considered myself as not belonging to the Army, and was obliged to come away without making the necessary provisions for my family through the winter; much less any arrangements for the ensuing year—Besides I have a Cause pending in Law of very great consequence, to be heard the last week in March, and it will be impossible, without my being present to give the proper instructions to my Attorney; by reason that those Instructions must depend on such circumstances as may then exist. I have the Honor to be Dear General with esteem Yours Respectfully

R. Putnam B. Genl.

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