To Colonel Charles Mynn Thruston
Head Quarters Fredericksburgh, October 22 1778
I am sorry to find by your favour of the 20th, that we have not perfectly understood each other, with respect to your continuance in the army. I cannot now recur to your letter written in the fall of 77 which has been by some accident mislaid1—but I well recollect it was conceived in such terms as led me to believe you had lost all prospect of raising your regiment, and would be obliged, however reluctantly, to relinquish your station in the army—I took up an idea at that time, that it nearly amounted to a resignation; and I was confirmed in this idea by your subsequent ill-success. When the Committee of Arrangement arrived in camp, about the close of last Winter, in the state I laid before them, of the additional batalions, I omitted yours2—considering it as having intirely failed; and I had no doubt that you looked upon yourself as out of the service, though you had not made a formal resignation.3
I am happy to learn from Col. Harrison that notwithstanding you viewed the matter in a different li<ght, yet> in consideration of the difficulties occurring in your case—you expressed to him a willingness to limit your claims to this period; and it is intirely agreeable to me, that you should make up your accounts to the last of January, about which time my reports were made to the Committee.
I assure you Sir, I sincerely regret, the failure of your regiment, both on your own and on a public account—On the most favourable opinion of your merit,4 my appointment to your late command was founded—and the same opinion makes me lament you could not have had an opportunity of serving your country at the <head of your Regi>ment. With great <personal regard, I am Sir Your most Obedt Servt
Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The mutilated text on the draft manuscript is supplied within angle brackets from the Varick transcript.
Col. William Grayson, who commanded another one of the Additional Regiments, wrote GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison on 26 Oct.: “I beg leave to request you to apply to his Excy [GW] for his leave to go to Philada to Settle my accounts, they being connected with those of Col. Powell, & it will be necessary that both should be present to have them adjusted: I wish therefore to avail my self of this oppertunity which may not soon happen again.
“You will also be pleased to inform the Genl that after settling my accounts at Philada, I mean (with his permission) to resign unless my regiment should be added to the Virga line; an event of which I have not the most distant expectation.
“I shall be glad Col. Tilghman would furnish me with an account of what I owe on account of lottery tickets” (DLC:GW).
Harrison replied to Grayson on 28 Oct.: “I received your Letter by Colonel powell and communicated it’s contents to His Excellency. The General cannot object to your going to philadelphia to settle your accounts; but hopes before you set out you will put the affairs of the Regiment in the best order you can & charge your next Officer with the direction of it.
“With respect to your leaving the service—His Excellency says—that though he shall much regret your resignation if you make it—and that of every other good Officer; yet circumstanced as your Regiment is, he cannot urge you to continue. If you determine to resign—you must apply to Congress and transact the business with them” (DLC:GW).
1. At the beginning of this sentence on the draft manuscript, Hamilton first wrote and then struck out the following phrase: “Being separated from my papers of that period.” The letter from Thruston to which GW is referring has not been found.
3. At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton initially wrote the following two sentences: “From this representation of the matter, you will be sensible, that I cannot with propriety, view you as an officer in the army after that time. If you will have your accounts made up till then—that is to the latter end of January last—I will give a warrant for their payment.” He then struck out those sentences and wrote the second paragraph of this letter in the left margin of the manuscript.
4. At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton first wrote and then struck out the words: “as an officer.”