George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Parke Custis, 17 February 1778

From John Parke Custis

Mt Vernon Feby 17th 1778

Hon’d Sir

The bad Weather has detain’d Me at this Place untill this Day. I shall now begin my Journey as the Weather appears more favourable. I did Myself the Pleasure to write you on the 12th inst. and inclosed you our Draught, Law, and every Article of News worth communicateing. I should not have troubled you so soon again, if the Post had carried my Letter, but through some Accident neither Post has rode this Week—I am just informed of an Opportunity to Camp by Capt. Brooks, a Son of Benn Brooks of Malborough, who was shot through the Head at the Battle of Germantown. He is a Lad of good Character, and wishs much to distinguish Himself in the military Line.1

I am much disappointed by the Post this Week, as I have never heard from Mamma since She left Baltimore.2 I hope She arrived long ago at Camp, with out any Accident, and enjoys her Health. I should have wrote to Her, by this Opportunity, but as my time is short and I have nothing meterial to communicate, She will excuse my takeing this Method to inform Her that We continue well, and that her Grand Children continue to improve every day—Nelly joins Me in Love to Her and Self and believe Me Hond Sir yr most affecte

J. P. Custis

ALS, ViHi. Custis wrote and signed the following note on the cover: “Mr Walker will please to convey this and my other Letter to Capt. Brooks.”

1Benjamin Brookes, Jr. (1752–1800), of Prince Georges County, Md., was appointed a third lieutenant in Capt. John Gunby’s Independent Maryland Company in January 1776 and became a first lieutenant in the 3d Maryland Battalion of the flying camp in July of that year. Brookes became a captain in the 3d Maryland Regiment in December 1776, and while serving at the Battle of Germantown on 4 Oct. 1777, he “received a Ball through his Mouth which split his Tongue & went out at the back of his Jaw-Bone” (“Md. Council of State” description begins William Hand Browne, ed. Journal and Correspondence of the Council of the State of Maryland. March 20-November 8. 1777. In Archives of Maryland, vol. 16 (Baltimore, 1897): 185-560. description ends , 396). He continued in service after recovering from his injury and was promoted to major of the 5th Maryland Regiment in March 1781. His father, Benjamin Brookes, Sr. (d. 1787), served in 1778 as an assistant purchaser in Prince Georges County.

2Martha Washington arrived at Valley Forge on 5 Feb.; see GW to Custis, 1 Feb., n.1.

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