George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel James Babcock, 22 August 1775

From Lieutenant Colonel James Babcock

Rhode Island Camp on Prospect Hill [Mass.] 22 August 1775

Requests “a discharge from the Service, by reason of the indisposition that attends his bodily health.”

L, in unidentified writing, DLC:GW. The person who wrote and signed this letter also wrote and signed the letters of this date that GW received from John Parke and John Randall. All three men served in Col. James Varnum’s Rhode Island regiment, and one of them may have written the letters for the other two, or some fourth person may have acted as their clerk.

James Babcock of Westerly, R.I., became lieutenant colonel of Varnum’s regiment on 3 May 1775. He was apparently allowed to retire from the army soon after this letter was sent to GW. In April 1777 the Rhode Island general assembly appointed Babcock to advance bounties to soldiers at Westerly, and in July 1780 he was appointed to receive recruits there. Babcock represented Westerly in the assembly during the spring of 1777.

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