George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General William Maxwell, 24 February 1779

To Brigadier General William Maxwell

Head Quarters Middle Brook 24th Feby 1779


I recd your favr of yesterday with several News papers inclosed.1 The Regulations of Congress for the settlement of Rank take in every claim that the Feild Officers of your Brigade can possibly make and therefore there will be no need of referring the matter to the State. If they find they can not settle the dispute among themselves I will appoint a Board to hear their pretensions and come to a final decision. The sooner this is done the better2—Tuesday next is appointed for a Court Martial to sit at this place for the trial of Colo. Ogden on the charges exhibited by Capt. Morrison. I have given the Colo. notice and I must desire you to summon Capt. Morrison and Colo. Dehart, Capt. Polhemus, Capt. Van Angel, Major Conway, Ensign Levy, Mr Mathias Williamson and Robt Kelso, who were returned as evidences to support the charges.3

Capt. Fitzrandolphs treatment in New York is referred to Mr Boudinot the State Commy of prisoners who no doubt will make a proper representation.4 I am [&]c.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Maxwell’s letter to GW of 23 Feb. has not been found, nor have the enclosed newspapers been identified.

2See GW to Maxwell, 20 Feb., and notes 3 and 5 to that document.

3For Capt. Isaac Morrison’s charges against Col. Matthias Ogden and for Ogden’s court-martial, see GW to Maxwell, 20 Feb.; GW to Ogden, 22 Feb.; and General Orders, 1 March and 2 April. The other summoned officers were Lt. Col. William De Hart of the 2d New Jersey Regiment; Capt. John Polhemus, Capt. John Van Anglen, and Ensign Asher Levy of the 1st New Jersey Regiment; and Maj. John Conway of the 3d New Jersey Regiment. Matthias Williamson was either one of two men, a father or his son, both of whom held positions as high-ranking quartermasters in New Jersey. Robert Kelso served as assistant quartermaster in the 1st New Jersey Regiment. The following Tuesday was 2 March.

4For an account of Capt. Nathaniel FitzRandolph’s capture at Woodbridge, N.J., by a Loyalist party on 9 Feb., see GW to John Conway, 10 Feb., n.1. The New-Jersey Gazette [Trenton] for 24 Feb. reported that FitzRandolph remained in enemy hands even after the Continental troops taken with him were exchanged. For subsequent efforts to obtain FitzRandolph’s exchange, see Richard Peters to GW, 17–18 Aug., and the enclosed copy of Abraham Clark’s letter to the New Jersey delegates, 9 Aug., both DLC:GW; GW to the Board of War, 26 Aug., DLC:GW; the Board of War to GW, 3 Sept. (first letter), DLC:GW; FitzRandolph to William Livingston, 26 Sept., in Prince, Livingston Papers description begins Carl E. Prince et al., eds. The Papers of William Livingston. 5 vols. Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J., 1979–88. description ends , 3:170–71; Livingston to GW, 8 March and 25 April 1780, both DLC:GW; GW to Livingston, 16 March and 27 April 1780, both NN: William Livingston Papers; and GW to Abraham Skinner, 27 April 1780, DLC:GW.

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