George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant Colonel Henry Miller, 18 December 1778

To Lieutenant Colonel Henry Miller

Head Quarters Middlebrook [N.J.] 18th Decr 1778.


I have your letter of the 21st Ultimo, now before me.1

A good officer cannot feel more real concern, to find that his domestic affairs, and the circumstances of his family, make it necessary for him to leave the army, than I do myself in loosing his services.

I always part reluctantly with the officer, who like you, has been early in the cause, and borne his share of military danger and fatigue; and I cannot help wishing that a continuance in the army, could in anywise be made compatible with your domestic duties. But should you fi<nd> this impossible—I suppose I need not tell you that it is customary, in all cases of resignation, to have a certificate that there is no public or regimental account unsettled. You will be pleased to communicate such a certificate, in case you take a conclusive determination to resign. I am Sir Your very hble servt.

Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Miller’s letter to GW of 21 Nov. from Philadelphia reads: “It is with much concern I find myself under the Necessity of Offering the resignation of my Commission as Lieut. Colol in the 2nd Pennsyla Regimt. My Private Affairs are in such a situation that, I cannot without material Injury to my Family continue any longer in the service—I possessed but a small Estate, from the extravagant prices of every thing, have expended almost every Shilling for the support of my Family, my pay afforded but a scanty subsistance for myself.

“I engaged in the Army as early as the 20th of June 1775—and have never been from it in any Action since, and have taken a part in almost all of them—I trust therefore my quitting the service will not be attributed to any other cause but the reasons mentioned—I shall return to York Town and there wait your Excellencys Answer, which I hope will be an acceptance of my Resignation” (PHi: Gratz Collection).

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