George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 19 March 1779

To Major General John Sullivan

Head Quarters Middle Brook 19th March 1779.


I have your favs. of the 3d and 9th instants. It gives me pleasure to hear that the mutiny of which General Varnum informed me some time ago was not so serious a matter as he seemed to apprehend and represented.1

I cannot see any reason for applying to me to order a Court of Enquiry into the Conduct of Colo. Jackson2 at Monmouth, when the power of appointing General Courts Martial is (by a Resolve of Congress of the 14th April 1777 making some additions to and Alterations in the Articles of War) vested in the Continental General commanding in either of the American States for the time being.3

Inclosed you have the arrangement of Colo. Jacksons Regt agreeable to which the Officers are to take their posts. A few dates are wanting, and the name of the 8th Lieutenant.4 Be pleased to have them filled up and the list returned, that Commissions may issue. I am Dear Sir Your most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NN: Washington Collection; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For other correspondence concerning this report of a mutinous spirit within Sullivan’s division, see GW to Sullivan, 14 Feb.; GW to James Mitchell Varnum, 14 Feb. and this date; and Varnum to GW, 9 March.

2At this place on the draft, Tilghman wrote “Colo. Jacksons behaviour” rather than “Conduct of Colo. Jackson.”

3This amendment to the articles of war that Congress adopted on 14 April 1777 reads: “If any officer shall think himself to be wronged by his colonel, or the commanding officer of the regiment, and shall, upon due application made to him, be refused to be redressed, he may complain to the continental general commanding in the State where such regiment shall be stationed, in order to obtain justice; who is hereby required to examine into the said complaint, and take proper measures for redressing the wrong complained of, and transmit, as soon as possible, to Congress, a true state of such complaint, with the proceedings had thereon” (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 , 7:264–66). For the court of inquiry into Col. Henry Jackson’s conduct at the Battle of Monmouth, held by order of Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates at Providence, R.I., 17–19 April and 5 July, which found insufficient evidence to court-martial Jackson, see Lee Papers description begins [Charles Lee]. The Lee Papers. 4 vols. New York, 1872-75. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 4–7. description ends , 6:210–28.

4This enclosure has not been identified.

Index Entries