George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Laurens, 30 July 1778

From Henry Laurens

Philadelphia 30th July 1778.


I have had the honor since my last under the [ ] Inst.1 of presenting Your Excellency’s Letter of 22d to Congress, whence it was committed to the Board of War & I received no order except to Issue a Commission for Capt. Caleb Gibbes to rank Major in the service of the United States. I shall transmit the Act of Congress upon that occasion to Major Gibbs & under the present Cover Your Excellency will receive the Commission.2

the 15th Inst. I signed by order a Brevet to the Marquis de Vienne Certifying his Rank, Colonel in the Army. Another Brevet is ordered for Monsr Noirmont Lanuville to Rank Major from the date of his appointment as Aid de Camp to Gen. Conway 28th Jany 1778—and another the 29th Inst. to Monsr Francis Joseph Smith to rank Ensign.3 I have the honor to be with the highest Esteem & Regard Sir Your Excellency’s Most Obedient & humble servant

Henry Laurens.
President of Congress.

ALS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 13. A note on the letter-book copy indicates that this letter was carried “by [Richard] Ross.”

1Laurens’s most recent letter to GW was dated 18 July.

2For the resolution of 29 July, promoting Gibbs to major, 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 , 11:730. The enclosed commission has not been identified.

3For discussion of the brevet given to Louis-Pierre, marquis de Vienne, see Board of War to GW, 17 July, and note 1 to that document. The Board of War had agreed on 18 May to recommend to Congress that René-Hippolyte Penot Lombart de Noirmont de La Neuville be appointed a brevet major, but action was postponed at that time. The resolution giving him that rank was passed on 29 July (ibid., 11:508, 729). Smith had “requested a commission to be made use of in case of his being made prisoner while serving as a volunteer in the American army,” and on 29 July, Congress resolved to give him the brevet commission (ibid., 11:730). He settled in Pennsylvania after the war.

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