James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Parker, 20 April 1813

From Thomas Parker

Winchester 20th April 1813


In the national Intelligencer of the 16th Instant I observe the names of Zebulon M Pike George Izard Duncan McArthur Lewis Cass Wm H Winder & Benjamin Howard mentioned as Brigadier Generals in the army of the United States.

When I accepted the appointment you did me the Honor to Confer on me (without Solicitation on my part) I did it with a Solemn determination never to withdraw my Services whilst my Country Required them; Unless Compelled to do so by a Sacred Regard to my own Honor.1

Having Fought & Bled in the Service of my Country from the year Seventy Six to the End of our Revolutionary war, with the approbation of my Superiors; Having Subsequently aided (as an Aid de Camp to majr Genl Morgan,) in Suppressing a dangerous Insurrection in ninety four, Having also been Honoured with the Command of a Regiment in the year ninety nine & Eighteen hundred when our Country was threatned with a french war, & Lastly having been actively Employed for more than Twelve months without one days Respite; Either in the field or in Recruiting my Regiment; I Cannot but feel myself Injured by Having Junior officers placed over my head; Especially as I feel Confident (without detracting from the merit of others) that I am Still Capable of Commanding with as much Credit to myself and Benefit to my Country as the Gentlemen who have been placed over me.

Notwithstanding the Repugnance I feel at leaving the Service at this Eventfull period and at the Commencement of a Campaign nothing is left me but a determination to Retire as soon as an officer is Designated to Relieve me.

I have thought it not Improper to assign to you my Reasons for Retireing. I have the Honor to be with Great Respect Sir your Obd Servt

Thomas Parker Colo
12th Regt US Infy

RC (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, P-132:7). Readdressed by JM to the secretary of war. Docketed as received in the War Department in April 1813.

1Parker was appointed a colonel in the Twelfth Regiment of Infantry on 12 Mar. 1812 (Heitman, Historical Register description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, from Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903 (2 vols.; Washington, 1903). description ends , 1:770).

Index Entries