George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Brigadier General John Sullivan, 20 January 1776

To Brigadier General John Sullivan

Cambridge 20th Jan: 1776

Dr Sir,

I agree to Adjutant Peabody’s discharge; & Colo. Otis’s Son taking his place1—I do not know of any objection to the last arrangement given in by you, & shall, when my present hurry of business is a little over Issue the Commissions—My Order extended to all persons whatsoever, but from the Nature of the Office of Clerk of the Market, as you describe it, he must come in under⟨r⟩ the Quarter-Masters department let him apply therefore to him—to Colo. Mifflin I mean—and if [he] finds him useful I have no objection to the Appointment2—I am Dr Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

ALS (photocopy), DLC:GW; ALS, sold by Goodspeed’s, catalog 125, item 2760, 1918. A note written and signed by Lafayette many years later appears on the addressed cover: “Be pleased to Accept my Aknowledgments and Cordial Good

1Stephen Peabody (1742–1780) of Amherst, who had been adjutant of Col. James Reed’s 3d New Hampshire Regiment since 23 April 1775, resigned that office because he wanted to become adjutant of the New Hampshire regiment that Col. Timothy Bedel was raising for the defense of Canada. He was not so appointed (Sullivan to the New Hampshire General Court, 20 Jan. 1776, in Bouton, N.H. State Papers description begins Nathaniel Bouton, ed. State Papers. Documents and Records Relating to the State of New-Hampshire during the Period of the American Revolution, from 1776 to 1783 . . .. In New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, vol. 8. 1874. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 8:42). Peabody became a major in the New Hampshire militia in July 1776 and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in December 1777. James Otis (1755–c.1790), the eldest son of Col. Joseph Otis (1726–1809) of Barnstable, Mass., served as adjutant of Reed’s regiment, now designated the 2d Continental Regiment, until the end of 1776. Otis became an ensign in Col. Henry Jackson’s Additional Continental Regiment in May 1777 and resigned his commission in April 1779.

2GW apparently is referring to his order in the General Orders for 1 Jan. requiring all officers to be “appointed by proper authority.” For the earlier difficulty in the appointment of officers for Sullivan’s brigade, see GW to Sullivan, 10 Jan. 1776.

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