George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Bartholomew von Heer, 24 September 1778

From Captain Bartholomew von Heer

Friedrisburg [Fredericksburg] Septembr 24the 1778.

I have the honour to represent to his Excellence this smal Memorandum of the most necessary Suppli to myn Troop of Mareshose and likewiise to by [be] granded by his Excellence the Commander and Chief the Commission according to the Rang each Officeers halts [holds]. and that the Corps who I nouw have Established me [may] be cald the Mareshose wisch Name is justed by all powers in Europe, and shall begg the favour that ordres me [may] by [be] given trou the whole Army that no Reflection me [may] be med [made] upon the Corps weder [whether] by Officers or Men and that myn Soldiers me [may] due [do] theres Duty with Pleasure.1

No. 1. Commission for the Officers wanting of the Mareschose Light Dragoons.

To Bartholomaw von Heer Captain Juni 1the 1778.

—Bagge Christian Mancke Capt: Lieut: June 1th 1778.2

To Baron John Wolfen–First Lieutenant Sept: 1th 17783

—Jacob Meitinger—Second Lieut: August 1th 17784

—Mathias Schneider thirt Lieut.—August 1th 1778

No. 2. A Order to drafft the Men outher [out of] the different Regiments of the Army.

No. 3. A Order to the Clothier General to receive Schirts, Boots, and Blanquets for the Men, to complet them with their Uniform.

No. 4. A Order to the Pay Master General to receive the Pay due to the Officers.

No. 5 Memorandum of Captain Weiss. I have the honour to acquent his Excellence that Capt: Weiss who acted as Provood Martial woud by corrtissay to be granded to the Station of Kipen the Prowood to take caer [care] of the Prisoners but offred not to duty with William Hanch on informs my [me] that he is a unkairfull and drunken Men and wichs to a suchs Men the Provood kan not by [be] trusted wisch I know to myn selv that his behaviour is affect to Capt. Weiss information.5

I Begg hereby his Excellence consideration me [may] take Plass that I me [may] be granded with a Answer so sun [soon] as convenience and I am his Excellence most humble and most Obidient Servant

Barth: von Heer Capt.
of Mareshose Light Dragoons

ALS, DLC:GW.

1For GW’s orders regarding the Maréchaussée Corps, see General Orders, 11 Oct.; see also GW to Heer, that date.

2Christian Mancke, a European officer who had come to America before 1777, had been appointed in February 1777 as first lieutenant of Capt. John Paul Schott’s company in Ottendorf’s independent corps of foreigners. When that corps was reduced and reorganized in the spring of 1778, Mancke transferred to Heer’s Maréchaussée Corps and served as its captain-lieutenant until he resigned his commission in November 1779, giving as his reason the inadequacy of his pay. The following February Congress granted Mancke $1,000 to cover his expenses in returning to Europe (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 , 16:157).

3Johann Heinrich Wulffen (Wolfen), a native of Magdeburg, Germany, who called himself a baron and said that he had been an infantry lieutenant in the Prussian army, had arrived in America sometime earlier this year without “satisfactory credentials,” and the Board of War had sent him to camp to be evaluated by Steuben. “Finding him unqualified for the inspectorate,” Steuben had referred Wulffen to Heer, “who nominated him as a Lieutenant” in the Maréchaussée Corps (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 , 18:1179–81; see also Richard Peters to James Duane, 9 Dec. 1780, DNA:PCC, item 26). On 5 Nov. Wulffen was convicted by a court-martial of striking and confining a sergeant without provocation, and he was sentenced to be reprimanded in the general orders (see General Orders, 11 Nov. 1778). Wulffen remained on active duty with the Maréchaussée Corps until the spring of 1779, when he was discharged because the Board of War, having been informed that Wulffen’s “behavior and Caracter are not sufficient,” refused to grant him a commission (Heer to GW, 7 May 1779, DLC:GW; see also GW to the Board of War, 22 May 1779 [first letter], DLC:GW; and Richard Kidder Meade to Heer, 1 June 1779, DLC:GW). Steuben gave Wulffen about $200 to return to Europe, where he arrived by June 1780, claiming to be a captain of an American light dragoons corps and an aide-de-camp to GW. Wulffen obtained twenty guineas from Benjamin Franklin in Paris by telling him that he had been wounded and captured at Amboy, N.J., in October 1779 and then imprisoned in England until he was exchanged the following April (see Wulffen to Franklin, before 1 June 1780, in Franklin Papers description begins William B. Willcox et al., eds. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. 40 vols. to date. New Haven, 1959–. description ends , 32:457; Franklin to Wulffen, 11 June 1780, Franklin Papers description begins William B. Willcox et al., eds. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. 40 vols. to date. New Haven, 1959–. description ends , 32:504; and Franklin to Sonnemaens, 16 June 1780, Franklin Papers description begins William B. Willcox et al., eds. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin. 40 vols. to date. New Haven, 1959–. description ends , 32:538). In December 1780 Congress reluctantly agreed to pay two large unauthorized bills of exchange that Wulffen had drawn on Congress in Europe, in order to avoid embarrassing the Dutch firm that had honored them (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 , 18:1179–81).

4John Jacob Mytinger (Mettinger; 1750–1793), who had been born in the Margraviate of Baden in Germany and had emigrated to Philadelphia with his parents at the age of 4, apparently served in the Maryland artillery before joining the Maréchaussée Corps in the summer of 1778. He remained a lieutenant in the corps until the end of the war. In 1784 Mytinger opened a tavern in Philadelphia at the sign of General Washington on Vine Street between Second and Third Streets. He died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1793.

5John Weiss had enlisted as drum major of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment in the spring of 1777, and the following October Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam had appointed him provost marshal for the part of the army that he then commanded on the Hudson River. In July 1778 Weiss became provost marshal for the main army, and he served in that capacity until he resigned in March 1780 (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 , 26: 253, 271–72).

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