George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Ensign John Y. Noel, 1 April 1778

From Ensign John Y. Noel

1 April 1778. Explains that he is resigning his commission as ensign of the 4th Virginia Regiment because, being from New Jersey, he has “found my Situation very inconvenient and disagreeable. I am sorry to say that; that party Spirit, which prevailes between Members of different States, is the principle cause of it. This has soo far effected me, that I cannot posibly, consistent with Honour continue longer in the Regt. I have borne with these Inconveniencies as long as a person of the least sensibility could possibly bear with them; and having been very lately, personally insulted by the Commanding Officer of the Regt,1 an Insult too glareing to be put with; and being also convinced that my longer stay in the Regt would be disagreable to most of the Officers in it, I can by no means think of continuing longer in it.”

ALS, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 31343.

John Y. Noel (d. 1782) became a cadet in the 4th Virginia Regiment on 1 Feb. 1777 and was promoted to ensign on 14 April 1777. His Continental military service ceased with this resignation. At least two other officers offered resignations to GW on this date. Lt. Joseph Holt of the 4th Virginia Regiment cited “a low declining State of health” and the “late death of my Father” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 31344), while Capt. John Russell of the 14th Massachusetts Regiment cited “much Impaird” health and “not being Recommended to be Recommissioned” (ALS, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 2290).

1Maj. Isaac Beall was apparently the ranking officer of the 4th Virginia Regiment at this time.

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