George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major Henry Lee, Jr., 16 October 1778

To Major Henry Lee, Jr.

Head Quarters [Fredericksburg] 16th Otbr 1778

Dr Sir

I have been duly favoured with your letter of the 14th Inst. respecting Capt. Lindsays resignation.1

Altho’ I give up with regret an officer of Captn Lindsays approved military worth, yet I cannot but acquiesce in his desire to resign; being persuaded, that without his private concerns were of the most pressing nature and demanded his personal attention he would not think of retiring—You will be pleased to signify to the Captn my approbation and that his commission will be received when he pleases to send it. I am &c.

Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Lee had written to GW from the light infantry camp in Westchester County, N.Y., on 14 Oct.: “I am under the disagreeable necessity in compliance with the repeated solicitations of Capt. Lindsay to ask from your Excellency permission for him to retire from the army.

“Capt. Lindsay has from time to time pos[t]poned making this application, and is exceedingly distressed, that recent advices from Virginia compels him to do it at this time. It is the wish of his soul, to continue in the army to the conclusion of the war, but a due regard to his private affairs obliges him to retire.

“I receive some consolation on this event, in being able to acquaint your Excellency, that the loss of this meritorious officer will be much alleviated by the approved zeal courage & ability of Lt Rudulph who will succeed to the command of a Troop” (ALS, DLC:GW).

William Lindsay (1743–1797), who had been commissioned in June 1776 as a cornet in one of the Virginia light-horse troops that subsequently were formed into the 1st Continental Light Dragoon Regiment, had been promoted to lieutenant in that regiment on 31 Mar. 1777 (see General Orders, that date), and on 7 April 1778 he had become a captain in Lee’s Corps of Partisan Light Dragoons (see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 10:315). For the slight wound that Lindsay received in an engagement near Valley Forge on 20 Jan. 1778, see General Orders, that date, and both of Lee’s letters to GW of that date (letters 1 & 2). Lindsay returned to Virginia after resigning his commission, and in March 1781 he was appointed major of the 1st Virginia State Legion.

John Rudulph (Rudolph; d. 1782) of Maryland had assisted Lee in reconnoitering the British army in the vicinity of Head of Elk, Md., in September 1777 (see Levi Hollingsworth to Nathanael Greene, 2 Sept. 1777, in Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 2: 151–52), and in April 1778 Rudulph became a lieutenant in Lee’s partisan corps. Rudulph’s assumption from Lindsay of the command of one of the two troops of horse that currently composed Lee’s corps was accompanied by promotion to the rank of captain. Reputed to be one of Lee’s “pets,” Rudulph continued serving in his corps after it became a combined cavalry/infantry legion in February 1780 (see Nathanael Greene to Anthony Wayne, 27 June 1781, in Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 8:467–68). During the southern campaign of 1781, Rudulph commanded the cavalry portion of the legion, consisting of three troops of horse, and in August or September of that year, he was promoted to major (see Greene to Thomas Sumter, 17 June 1781, Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 8:404–5, and Henry Lee to Greene, 28 Sept. 1781, in Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 9:406–7). Following Lee’s departure from the army during the winter of 1782, Rudulph took command of the whole legion. He became ill in September 1782 and died the following December.

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