George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General John Stark, 31 August 1778

From Brigadier General John Stark

Albany 31st August 1778

Dear General

I Embrace this opportunity to Inform you of our Situation, the Inhabitants are daily bringing in petitions for the Losses they have Received by the Army, one Petition I send you for your Approbation, would be glad of your opinion on the Matter, I believe the House was Moved & is Still Occupyed by the Troops.1

Lt Colo. Butler and some of his party, has been into the Enemies Country, and Brougth in, a number of Cattle, Horses, &c., which he Thinks (& I agree with him in opinion) that they are Lawfull Prises to the Captors, but the Committee of this place, Claims them, as belonging to this State, altho in the Possession of the Enemy, before Butler took them, your opinion on this Subject, may prevent a good deal of Uneasiness, between the Troops, and the Committee.2

I send you the Judgment of a Court Martial sent to me from Colo. Butler for your Approbation, according to the mans Behaviour I think that he ought to die, for after he had shot the Searjeant he said he would be willing to be Hanged if he could have an opportunity to kill one of the Officers.3

I Likewise send you one of Burgoynes men which were Included in the Convention which was Taken with the Enemy as will appear by his Crime & four Sailors taken at Crownpoint that Belonged to the Enemies Ships on the Lakes. I am sir yours with Great Respect

John Stark

LS, DLC:GW. Tench Tilghman docketed the letter in part, “Ansd”; see GW to Stark, 8 October.

1The enclosure, which has not been identified, was probably the petition of Mrs. McNeil discussed by GW in his letter to Stark of 8 October.

2On the dispute, see William Butler to GW, this date, and note 5 to that document.

3Although GW replied to Stark that the court-martial proceedings “never came to hand,” they are now in DLC:GW. Stark was referring to the court-martial at Schoharie, N.Y., on 21 Aug., of Richard Roach of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment. Roach was charged with “Mutiny & Wilfully Shooting George Knox Serjeant Major to said Regiment thro’ the Body, & threatning some Commissioned Officers in the Regiment with like treatment.” He pled guilty and was sentenced to death, even though Knox survived the shooting.

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