George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General John Glover, 28 January 1779

From Brigadier General John Glover

Providence 28th January 1779.


Urged by a sense of Duty & Regard for my much injured Country, I enter’d her service at the Commencemt of Hostilities, & have Continued to exert my Small abilities in her Defence to this day, & was fully determin’d to persevere therein (Notwithstanding the great sacrifices I have made, & must consequently Continue to make) so Long as I could any ways be serviceable, or my Country wanted me. But as it has been the Will of Heaven, I should feel the pang of a seperation, & part with a Companion who was most dear to me, (& in my Absence) the only support & stay of a Family of Eight small Children, the Eldest of which is seventeen Years; the Cares of which now altogether devolves on me & calls for my particular Attention.1

These being my present Circumstances, which are truly distressing I am, from a sense of Paternal duty & regard I owe to my Little Flock, Compel’d tho’ with great Reluctance & Regrett, to ask a dismission from the service. At the same time, beg it may not be Conceived as proceeding from any other Motive, & that your Excellency would be pleased (if inconsistent to grant it yourself) to forward my Request to the Honble Congress.2

I feel myself happy in being one of those who have stood forth in defence of the Liberties of America; & be assured Sir, that whenever her Honble Representatives or your Excellency shall call for my Exertions I shall Endeavour with Cheerfulness to Comply therewith.

I hope Sir, I shall always have a grateful Sense of the many Civilities shewn me by your Excellency, for which I beg Leave to return my Unfeigned thanks. I have the Honor to be, Your Excellencys, most Obedt hume sert

John Glover

P.S. I beg Leave to remind yr Excellency I have not recd my Brigadiers Commission. I was appointed in the beginning of 1777 & should I be Honor’d with a Line from your Excellency, beg it as a favour it may be Inclosed therein.

ALS, enclosed in GW to John Jay, 24 Feb. 1779, DNA:PCC, item 152; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169. GW replied to this letter on 25 February.

1Glover’s wife, Hannah Gale Glover (1733–1778), whom he had married in 1754, died on 13 Nov. 1778.

2GW forwarded this letter to Congress on 24 Feb. (see GW to John Jay, that date), and three days later Congress granted Glover a furlough to settle his personal affairs (see Jay to GW, 2 March [second letter], and GW to Glover, 11 March; see also 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 , 13:259). Glover subsequently accepted that furlough in lieu of resigning (see Glover to GW, 2 and 26 April, DLC:GW). He did not retire from the army until July 1782.

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