To Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen
Head Quarters White plains 23d August 1778
I had the honor to receive your letter of the 16th Instant.1
Altho’ it is not my business to inquire into those private motives which may induce officers to leave your service, yet I cannot but be sensible of the consideration that could give me notice of their characters.
The officers I can assure you brought no horses to this army, or any of its posts that I know of. I am Sir, with great personal respect your most obedient and very humble servant.
Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. This letter has not been found, but Knyphausen described it in his report to the Prussian Landgrave of 23 Aug. 1778: “Under a flag of truce I informed General Washington of the character of these two men, that they had deserted because they had contracted so many debts and had rendered themselves liable to be cashiered from their conduct, and at the same time requested that he should be so good as to have the two horses returned which they had taken away with them, as they belonged to residents here” (NjMoHP: William Van Vleek Lidgerwood Collection of Hessian Transcripts, Correspondence of General von Knyphausen). Knyphausen was probably referring to ensigns Carl F. Führer and Carl W. Kleinschmit (GW to Henry Laurens, 9 Aug. [second letter], and n.2).