George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel David Grier, 19 March 1778

From Lieutenant Colonel David Grier

19 Mar. 1778. Since a previous letter of 24 Jan. mentioning “the Injustice done me as to Rank,”1 he understands that “a reduction and new Arangment of the Army is immediately to take Place.”2 The effects of his late wound3 have made him “unfit for the fatigues of another Campain. . . . And as a number of worthy Officers must now be left out think it my duty now to leave the Army in Order that my Place may be Supplied with some Officer more Capable of Enduring the hardships of War.”

ALS, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 31436.

1Grier’s letter to GW of 24 Jan. has not been found. For his complaint concerning the 19 Aug. 1777 report of a board of general officers on the ranks of the Pennsylvania line, see Grier to William Irvine, 8 Dec. 1777, Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 5th ser., 3:204–5. For the report, see General Orders, 17 Aug. 1777, and note 4.

2The Continental Congress camp committee that had been meeting with GW since late January was created in part “to form and execute a plan for reducing the number of batallions in the continental service” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 10:40). Other resignations around this time also cited the impending reduction. Capt. Philip Graybell of the German Battalion noted when he wrote GW on 12 Mar. that “as there will be a Reduction, of Officers, I can be the Better spard” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 20156). Capt. Ezekiel Sanford of the 5th Connecticut Regiment wrote to GW on 17 March that he was “induced” to ask for a discharge “as the present plan or New Model of the Army will make many Supernumerary Officers” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 696). Brig. Gen. John Paterson wrote GW, c.23 March, to support discharge for Lt. John Whorter of the 10th Massachusetts Regiment, who “declined being arranged again, was accordingly left out,” and Lt. Barnabas Ashley of the same regiment, who was “left out of the New Arrangement” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file nos. 2341 and 2323).

3Grier had been wounded during the engagement at Paoli, Pa., on 20 Sept. 1777.

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