George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Richard Campbell, 24 July 1777

From Major Richard Campbell

Woodstock in Virga Dunmore County
July 24th 1777

May it please your Excellency

On the 23d June, I was ordered by General Scott, to return from Camp Middle Brook, to the commonwealth of Virginia, & there to Superintend, & Inspect into the Conduct & proceedings of the Officers of the 8th Regimt & to Transmit an account of their Conduct & success in recruiting to Head Quarters, once a Month, Agreeable to those orders, I have proceeded, & on my arrival to Virginia, I have examined into their Success, & find that the Recruiting Service goes on very slowly. There is a great number of Officers of our Regimt from Camp in this State, & no probability of raising Men by that Means—Capt. Higgins & the Officers of his Company (who was appointed in the Room of Capt. John Stinson of the 8th Regimt) have not raised more than 20 Men in the course of five months.1 Tho’ the greatest Industry has been used by them. The other Officers ordered from Camp has met with less success, Our Assembly have fallen on ways to fill up our Battalions, which I hope will render it unnecessary to keep so many Officers on the Recruiting Service, as are now absent from the 8th Regimt—Things thus circumstanced make me wish to return to my post, will thank your Excellency for orders to do so. the draughts will take place the 10th of next Month, which I hope will answer the purpose intended—’Till I receive your Orders, shall continue to use my endeavours to forward the recruiting Business, tho’ have no prospect of being successfull—The bearer Lieut. Clark is to return immediately,2 by him expect your Excellencys order which shall Govern the Actions of Your Excellencys most Obt & very Hble Servt

Richd Campbell Majr 8th Regimt3


GW’s aide-de-camp John Fitzgerald wrote a reply to Campbell on 4 Aug.: “Your Letter of 24th of July was handed to his Excelly yesterday, in Answer to which I am direct’d to Inform you that you are immediately to return to Camp with the other Officers of your Corps & Join your Regiment. a Resolve of Congress being pass⟨ed,⟩ that each state is in future to recruit & fill their respective Regiments⟨.⟩ the Men already inlisted you will put under proper officers & send on to the Army as soon as possible” (DLC:GW).

1Robert Higgins (1746–1825), who was commissioned a first lieutenant in the 8th Virginia Regiment in March 1776, apparently replaced Capt. John Stevenson in March 1777. Higgins was captured at the Battle of Germantown in October 1777, and he later served as a captain in the 2d Virginia Regiment. Higgins was breveted major when he retired from the army in September 1783.

2John Clark was appointed a first lieutenant in the 8th Virginia Regiment in March 1777. Captured at the Battle of Germantown in October of this year, Clark apparently was promoted to captain of the 4th Virginia Regiment in 1781.

3Campbell’s rank as major of the 8th Virginia Regiment was contested by the other captains in his regiment (see GW to Hancock, 16 May 1777, and note 1).

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