George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Lewis Nicola, 6 December 1777

From Colonel Lewis Nicola

Trenton Decr 6th 1777.


I yesterday received an order from the Board of War to apply to your Excellency for some officers for the Regiment of Invalid, where they are much wanted as I cannot keep the men under proper discipline for want of officers which they well know. I have the honour to inclose Mr Nourses letter.1 Permit me to assure you that I am with respect Your Excellencies Most humle & obedt Servt

Lewis Nicola

Lieut. Robert Campbell of Col. Hazens Regt who is here & lost an arm [on]2 Staten island seems desirous of entering into the regiment, he says he can be well recommended & is promised to be recommended for a company now vacant in his regiment.3


1Joseph Nourse (1754–1841), a native of England who settled near Charles Town (now Berkeley County, W.Va.) in 1769, was an aide-de-camp to Maj. Gen. Charles Lee in 1776. From 1777 to 1781 Nourse served the Continental Congress in a variety of capacities at various times, including clerk of the Board of War, secretary of ordnance, paymaster to the Board of War and Ordnance, and assistant auditor general, and from 1781 to 1789 he was register of the Continental Board of Treasury. GW kept Nourse in office in 1789 as register of the newly established Treasury Department (see Nourse to GW, 16 June 1789, and GW to the United States Senate, 11 Sept. 1789). Nourse held that office until 1829 when he was removed by President Andrew Jackson. Nourse’s letter, which has not been identified, is probably the order to which Nicola refers. For GW’s response to Nicola’s request that additional officers be forwarded to the Invalid Corps, see General Orders, 9 December.

2Nicola inadvertently wrote “is” on the manuscript.

3Robert Campble (Campbell) had been commissioned a second lieutenant in Col. Samuel Miles’s Pennsylvania rifle regiment in March 1776. In November 1776, he joined Col. Moses Hazen’s 2d Canadian Regiment as a lieutenant. He was seriously wounded and taken prisoner during Maj. Gen. John Sullivan’s raid on Staten Island, N.Y., on 22 Aug. 1777. Campble escaped from captivity and after rejoining his regiment he was promoted to captain in February 1778. Campble transferred to the Invalid Regiment in September 1778. He died in Philadephia on 5 Oct. 1779.

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