George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 14 August 1778

To Major General William Heath

Head Quarters White plains Augt 14th 1778

Dear sir.

Within a few days past I have been favoured with your several letters of the 15. 17 & 25 Ulto and of the 6th Inst.

Mr Attendorff shall never act as a Major or in any capacity as an officer in the army with my consent; and I am much surprised that he should entertain the most distant idea that he would be received. His conduct deserves a very different notice.

With respect to the salt provisions which you mention, Col. Wadsworth, the Commissary general had given directions about them before your letter came to hand, and matters of this nature are principally left to his management.

I have no objection to your receiving Major Lithgows resignation, as he appears unfit for service and to be very desirous of a discharge. you will use the proper and accustomary precautions in like cases respecting a settlement of his accounts.

I thank you much for your kind wishes. It is natural for you to desire to be in a more active scene; but the important objects of your present command, requiring an intelligent and attentive officer I do not see how your services can be dispensed with.

I have transmitted a copy of General Phillips’s letter to Congress on the subject of an officers going to Canada.1 This I have never thought regular, or given direction in any matter respecting the Convention troops of my own accord.2 Indeed I wish that when there are any points in which they are concerned, and which you cannot determine yourself you would make your application immediately to them.

The zeal of the gentlemen volunteers deserves great commendation. I hope their exertions will be crowned with success and with all the honor they desire. I am dr Sir with great regard & Esteem Your most obt servt

Go: Washington

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, MHi: Heath Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW was referring to Maj. Gen. William Phillips’s letter to Heath of 29 July, which Heath had sent in the letter of 6 Aug. for GW’s “Opinion & Direction.” GW enclosed a copy of Phillips’s letter in his to Henry Laurens of 16 August.

2On Robert Hanson Harrison’s draft the preceding sentence reads: “This I thought regular, as I have never given direction in any matter, respecting the Convention Troops of my own accord.”

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