George Washington Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Board of War" AND Recipient="Washington, George" AND Correspondent="Washington, George"
sorted by: editorial placement
Permanent link for this document:

To George Washington from the Board of War, 24 May 1780

From the Board of War

War office [Philadelphia] May 24. 1780


We have recieved a letter from Mr Pausch, Surgeon Major of the Hessian regimt of Knyphausen, informing that Major de Stein on his return from New York—brought a letter from Genl Knyphausen to Genl St Clair, intreating that Mr Pausch might be permitted to go into New York.1 Genl St Clair informs us that he communicated Genl Knyphausen’s letter to your Excellency, and that you consented to his request in favor of Mr Pausch.2 But as he has not actually recieved a passport, we imagine it may have slipped your Excellency’s memory, or the Comy has not attended to your directions. We therefore beg leave to remind your Excellency of General Knyphausen’s request, that such order may be taken thereon as your Excellency may think proper.

We are also induced, from the recommendations of divers persons in his favor, to inclose to your Excellency a letter from Ensign Hamilton of the 17th British regt requesting permission to go into New York for a few days to settle some accounts; submitting to your Excellency the propriety of granting or refusing his requests.3 We have the honour to be with great respect your Excellency’s most obedt servants.

By order of the board
Tim. Pickering

LS, DLC:GW. GW replied to the Board of War on 5 June.

1Neither Hessian surgeon Wilhelm Pausch’s letter to the Board of War nor Lt. Gen. Wilhelm von Knyphausen’s letter to Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair has been identified. Knyphausen’s letter to St. Clair was evidently carried by Hessian prisoner Johann Fredrich von Stein, a major of the Regiment von Knyphausen, who was exchanged in October 1780 (see GW to the Board of War, 8 Oct. 1779, and n.1).

Serving as a regimental surgeon in 1777, Wilhelm Pausch (born c.1730) announced the death of Col. Carl Emil Kurt von Donop after the German attack on Fort Mercer in New Jersey that October. Pausch became a prisoner in late September 1779 after privateers captured his transport, which had been damaged in a storm (see GW to d’Estaing, 4 Oct. 1779, and n.6; see also Burgoyne, Defeat, Disaster, and Dedication description begins Bruce E. Burgoyne, trans. Defeat, Disaster, and Dedication: The Diaries of the Hessian Officers Jakob Piel and Andreas Wiederhold. Bowie, Md., 1997. description ends , 114–29, and Burgoyne, Enemy Views description begins Bruce E. Burgoyne, ed. Enemy Views: The American Revolutionary War as Recorded by the Hessian Participants. Bowie, Md., 1996. description ends , 229). Except during his captivity in 1779 and 1780, Pausch served as surgeon of the Regiment von Knyphausen from 1778 to 1782.

2St. Clair’s letter to the Board of War has not been identified. In a letter to British major general William Phillips dated 15 April, St. Clair related GW’s consent for Pausch’s parole and a problematic exchange proposal that may have contributed to GW overlooking Pausch’s parole notice (see GW to St. Clair, 2 April, n.7, where the Hessian prisoner mistakenly is identified editorially as George Pausch). Phillips had asked St. Clair to speak to GW about Pausch’s parole because the latter was “of use, personally, to his Excellency [Knyphausen]” (Phillips to St. Clair, 8 April, in Nolan, George Washington and the Town of Reading description begins J. Bennett Nolan. George Washington and the Town of Reading in Pennsylvania. Reading, Pa., 1931. description ends , 29). For Pausch’s parole and eventual exchange, see GW to Abraham Skinner, 4 June; to the Board of War, 5 June; and to Skinner, 30 Aug. (DLC:GW).

3The board enclosed Ensign Henry Hamilton’s letter to them dated 16 May at Lancaster, Pa. (DLC:GW). That letter was nearly identical to one of the same date that Hamilton wrote GW, who later granted his request to go to New York on parole (see Hamilton to GW, 4 July, found at Hamilton to GW, 16 May, n.2).

Index Entries