George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major William Raymond Lee, 11 September 1775

From Major William Raymond Lee

Camp at Cambg. Sepr 11 1775

Return of the Officer of the Day.

Parole Lancaster Countersign Middleton.

Went the Rounds, Visited Guards & Centries and found all Vigilent & Alert.

William Lee Officer of the Day

ALS, CtY: Miscellaneous Collections—Obadiah Johnson. Although no other returns from officers of the day directed to GW have been found for the siege of Boston, GW may have received such reports daily.

William Raymond Lee (1744–1824), a merchant from Marblehead, joined Col. John Glover’s Massachusetts regiment as a captain on 19 May 1775 and a few weeks later became major of the regiment. Lee held that rank under Glover until January 1777, when Lee was promoted to colonel and was authorized to raise one of the additional Continental regiments. At the urging of Congress, GW offered Lee the position of Continental adjutant general in the spring of 1777, but Lee was obliged to decline in favor of GW’s first choice for the job, Timothy Pickering, who, having earlier refused the office, changed his mind and accepted it. Lee recruited his regiment in Massachusetts, and in November 1777 it joined GW’s army in Pennsylvania. Lee remained in Massachusetts, however, and on 24 Jan. 1778 he submitted his resignation, which Congress accepted five months later. For GW’s favorable opinion of Lee’s abilities as an officer, see GW to Richard Henry Lee, 18 Nov. 1777.

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