George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Benjamin Lincoln, 1 November 1777

From Major General Benjamin Lincoln

Albany Novr 1st 1777

Dear Genl

Mr Claiborne, who has acted as my Aid de Camp, and whom I have permitted to return to Virginia, will have the honor of delivering this to your Excellency.1

The great distance from Virginia to New-England, and the uncertainty of my state of health, and in what part of the Continent I may serve, should I ever be able to take the field, may render it uncertain whether he can again join my family—Your Excellency will give me leave to mention him as a faithful, good officer, and to wish he might be noticed.

I am happy to inform you that my wound is in a good way, and my Surgeons doubt not but will do well—I have been very ill for a few days past, but I hope soon to be relieved.2 Wishing you success and safety, I am, Dear Genl, with the greatest regard & esteem Your most Obedient Hble Sert

B. Lincoln

LS, DLC:GW. Lincoln also signed the cover.

1Buller Claiborne (1755–1804) was appointed a first lieutenant in the 2d Continental Regiment in October 1775, and he was promoted to captain the following January. In November 1776 he declined an offer to serve as a captain in the Virginia Artillery Regiment. Claiborne apparently again served as aide-de-camp to Lincoln later in the war. After the war Claiborne settled in Dinwiddie County, Va., where he served as a county justice and as sheriff.

2On 8 Oct. Lincoln had been shot in the right ankle while reconnoitering British positions near Bemis Heights, New York. He spent the next four months in a military hospital in Albany before going home to Hingham, Massachusetts. Lincoln did not return to active service until August 1778 (Mattern, Benjamin Lincoln description begins David B. Mattern. Benjamin Lincoln and the American Revolution. Columbia, S.C., 1995. description ends , 49–51, 54).

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