George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 24 September 1779

To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Head Quarters [West Point] Sepr 24th 1779

My Dear Sir,

I am very sorry that the painfulness of your leg prevented my having the pleasure of seeing you this morning; and I hope it will soon be so far abated as to put it in your power to favour me with the visit you intended.

I should not think myself justified in countermanding the trial of Major McCormick, as in the execution of orders ever so proper, there could be no necessity for violence to a child, and if it really happened, otherwise than by pure accident, I am indispensibly bound to let justice take its course. A simple narrative of facts will be the best criterion of his conduct, and a candid rather than an ingenious defence will best answer his purpose if innocent.1 I am with the greatest regard Dr Sir Your most Obed. serv.

Go: Washington

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, PHi: Wayne Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The LS is addressed to Wayne at “Sandy Beach.”

1Henry McCormick, brigade major and inspector of Wayne’s Light Infantry Corps, was under arrest for allegedly wounding a child of “the Widow Garrison” (see GW to Wayne, 21 Sept; see also Wayne to GW, 23 Sept.). For his court-martial and acquittal, see General Orders, 11 October.

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