George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Captain James Peale, 2 June 1779

To Captain James Peale

Head Quarters Middlebrook 2d June 1779.


I have received your letter of the 1st instant.1

In a settlement of relative rank, in a line so perplexed as yours, no plan could be adopted, capable of giving satisfaction to the officer in all cases. You will be sensible of this on considering the circumstances with which the Maryland line was embarrassed; and the necessity of persuing certain fixed principles in its establishment.

I have not therefore confirmed your resignation, that you might reconsider the matter, and the propriety of leaving the service at a juncture, when perhaps we shall want the abilities of every good and brave officer.2 I am sir your most obedient and hble servt.

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

1This letter has not been found.

2Peale replied to GW in a letter of 3 June from Bound Brook, N.J., that reads: “I had the honor of your Excellency’s Letter of the 2d inst., and am Strongly impressed with a Sense of your Condescension and kindness Shewn therein—and wish it was Possible, for me to Continue in the Service with that Satisfaction which an officer ought to be Possessed of—my Baggage (Except one Spare Shirt, and a Pair of Stockings) was Sent off to Philadelphia ten days ago—and my determination of resigning was fully made Some days before that—I waited Purely to muster my Company—not haveing an officer till—two days Past to take Charge of it” (ALS, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 1574).

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