George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Gideon Foster, 11 September 1775

From Captain Gideon Foster

11 September 1775.

“Begs Leave to Resign his Commandper” of a company in Colonel John Mansfield’s regiment, “being at this time in an ill State of Health & finds his disorder increasing on him, & . . . his intrest being in a different Situation from what he Expected when he Engaged in the Service whereby he is like to be a great sufferer in his Estate.” He recommends Captain John Baker1 as his successor.


Gideon Foster (1749–1845) of Danvers, Mass., led a company of minutemen on 19 April 1775 from Danvers to West Cambridge, where they attacked the British troops retreating from Concord. Foster left the army about the date of this letter and did not again serve with the Continental forces.

1This Capt. John Baker was perhaps the one in Col. Samuel Gerrish’s Massachusetts regiment who sent GW his resignation on 14 September. Another John Baker served as a captain in Col. Moses Little’s Massachusetts regiment from May 1775 to the end of 1776, and there was a Capt. John Baker from Massachusetts in the 27th Continental Regiment throughout 1776.

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