George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Weissenfels, 9 March 1779

From Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Weissenfels

Rochester [Ulster County, N.Y.] March 9th 1779.


at a Request of Lt Colonel Regnier made to your Exellency at Valley Forge, to have a Board of General officers to Setle his Rank, Which Resolution your Exellency wass Pleased to Confirm—May 29th 1778; Whereby it appears that the Rank in the Line wass Setled in his favour, but the Rank of the Line in this State, against him.1

I Presume from the above Circumstances and the Resolution of Congress May 28th 1778 (That Since a Lt Colonel Comanding a Regiment, is to all intents a Promotion from the Priviledges anexed to it, with the Next Promotion to a Brigadier)2 that I am Superceeded, by the appointment of Lt Colonel Regnier, to that Comand—and all the Gentelmen of the Same Rank with me in this State, byCause he is The Youngest.

I humble implore from your Exellency Known inclination to Strikt Justice Suc⟨h⟩ Redress, as my injured Cause may requi⟨re⟩.

The Delicate Sense of Militairy honor induces me to lay this Complai⟨nt⟩ before your Exellency, not Doubting but I Schall be Encouraged to Continue in the most Respectable and honorable Service of my Country.3 I am with the greatest Respect Your Exellencys Most obiedent most humble Servant—

Fred: Weissenfels


1For the resolution of Lt. Col. Pierre Regnier de Roussi’s rank dispute, see General Orders, 28 May 1778, and n.2 to that document, and GW to a Board of General Officers, 29 May 1778.

2Weissenfels is referring to a resolution that Congress passed on 27 May 1778 as part of a general overhaul in the “Establishment of the American Army” (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 , 11:543).

3GW replied to Weissenfels in a letter of 31 March. For background on this controversy over rank among New York lieutenant colonels in the Continental army, see Weissenfels to George Clinton, 17 Jan.; Regnier de Roussi to Clinton, 31 Jan.; and Marinus Willett to Clinton, 22 March, in Hastings and Holden, Clinton Papers description begins Hugh Hastings and J. A. Holden, eds. Public Papers of George Clinton, First Governor of New York, 1777–1795, 1801–1804. 10 vols. 1899–1914. Reprint. New York, 1973. description ends , 4:513–14, 530, 656–57.

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