George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Steuben, 24 July 1778

From Major General Steuben

Camp Wrights Mills [N.Y.] July 24 1778.


Your Excellency having been pleased to order me in the General Orders of 22d Instant to resume my Office of Inspector General & make my Arrangements accordingly, I beg leave to refer you to my letter of 17th June on the subject of the Inspection & to your kind Answer of 18th in which you granted me permission to go to York Town & desired me to lay before Congress such a Plan as would be most likely to obviate all the difficulties I was acquainted with & comprehend all the essential duties of my Office. The final determination of Congress which appeared to me at that time highly necessary seems at present indispensable before I can resume with satisfaction to myself & benefit to the Army the functions of my Office I foresee some difficulties in the way particularly with regard to the Inspector appointed by Congress to General Gates Army; that Gentleman declared to me long since, that he was by no means subject to my Orders or controul in the exercise of his Office;1 In short as I am willing to avoid every difficulty & to labour unmolested for the good of the Service; I beg your Excellency to postpone my entering into the Office of Inspector General untill Congress have after your Opinion & directions about the matter finally pronounced. In the mean time with your Excellen⟨cys⟩ permission I will take this Opportunity of making a tour to Philadelphia to see my Friends—I shall have the honour of waiting on you tomorrow morning to receive your Commands & remain with the greatest respect Your Excellencys most Obedient humble servant



1Steuben was referring to Louis-Pierre Penot Lombart, chevalier de La Neuville. For the resolution of 14 May appointing him “inspector of the army under the command of Major General Gates,” see 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 , 11:498–99.

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