George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Horatio Gates, 26 April 1778

From Major General Horatio Gates

York [Pa.] 26th April 1778


I had the Honor to receive Your Excellency’s Letter of the 24th Inst. by the Bearer as I expect Genl Lee is now upon his return hither, I shall wait his Arrival & proceed immediately with him to Head Quarters. By a Letter I have just received from Lieut: Col. Troup, dated Fish Kill the 18th Instant, I am inform’d, that Col: Hughes D. Q. M. General in that Department either has, or is about to resign his Commission;1 as Your Excellency knows this resignation cannot at present take place, without greatly retarding the public Service, I entreat Your Excellency will be pleased to prevail on General Greene, to endeavour to Influence Colonel Hughes to continue in Service;2 my sole Motive in this request, is to prevent the injury The Public Interest must receive, by The untimely removal of Colonel Hughes—with great respect I am Sir Your Excellencys most Obedient Humble Servant

Horatio Gates

ADfS, NHi: Gates Papers. GW replied to this letter on 2 May.

1Gates’s aide Lt. Col. Robert Troup had written him: “In all Probability this Army will suffer, the ensuing Campaign, by the late Change in Q. Master’s Department. Col. Hughes has resigned, & waits only the Arrival of a Deputy from General Green. His Resignation is much lamented, becau[se] he has ever been looked upon to be a Man of Honesty, Activity, & Abilities” (NHi: Gates Papers).

2GW forwarded this letter to Q.M. Gen. Nathanael Greene, who, having previously received Hugh Hughes’s letter of 8 April announcing his intention to resign, had already written on 16 April to urge Hughes to reconsider. Hughes reaffirmed his resignation in letters to Greene of 23 April and 3 May (Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 2:334, 342–43, 352–53, 373–75).

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