George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Arthur St. Clair, 25 July 1779

To Major General Arthur St. Clair

Head Quarters [West Point] July 25th 1779

Dr Sir,

I wrote you a line yesterday on the subject of Lieutenant Broadheads claim,1 since which I received the inclosed letter and arrangement of the 11th Pennsylvania regiment from the Board of war.2 You will perceive that Captain Keene is not included in it & probably for the reason suggested by the Board—His original appointment as Captain according to the memorial he preferred and the answer I received from you on the occasion was the 13th of Jany 1777—the same date of Captain Bush’s—I wish you to refer the arrangement to a Board of your Field Officers—who will consider Captain Keenes and Lieutenant Broadheads3 cases. It has been already determined that the former should be attached to the 11th Regt.4 there must be several alterations in the arrangemen⟨t,⟩ which you will be pleased to have adjusted. As the Officers are very importunate for their Commissions, the business cannot be too soon finished.5 I am Dr Sir With great regard Yr Most Obet, servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, PWacD: Sol Feinstone Collection, on deposit at PPAmP; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Mutilated matter on the LS is supplied in angle brackets from the draft manuscript.

1The letter from GW to St. Clair written on 24 July reads: “Inclosed you will find a letter from Capt. Henderson respecting his rank as also some papers relative to Lieutenant Broadhead on the same subject—As the only proper mode of settleing these matters, I request you to appoint a Board of field Officers to take the same into consideration—You will be pleased to give the parties concerned timely notice” (Df, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). For the enclosed letter and resolution of that officer’s claim to rank, see John Henderson to GW, 22 July, and the source note to that document. The enclosed papers related to Lt. Daniel Brodhead, Jr., have not been identified.

2The enclosed letter from the Board of War to GW, dated either 15 or 16 Aug., has not been found, and the enclosed arrangement has not been identified. GW acknowledged the unfound letter in his letter to the Board of War, this date.

3Brodhead, Jr., explained his contention for rank and dissatisfaction with the conclusion of the board of field officers in a letter to John Jay, written at Philadelphia on 25 Sept., that sketched his military service and reported meeting GW in June 1779 when “His Exellency General Washington, who with his usual ready attention to the Rights of individuals [(]where not incompattible with the general good) directed a board of Field-Officers of the Pennsylvania line to sit on the occasion. These Gentlemen seemed desirous of doing me justice & giving me the rank I was entitled to in the line, but a Resolve of Congress of the 22d of May appeared which they concieved precluded Officers in my Situation from every rank whatever in the Army. Your own breast Sir, will, better than I can, describe, what my feellings were on finding myself thus (contrary to my wish and will) discharged the service of my Country and in a manner too so far from reflecting any honor on myself, that it is liable to a different interpretation” (DNA:PCC, item 78). Congress read Brodhead’s letter on 27 Sept. and referred it to the Board of War (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 15:1111; 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 12:1154–58 and 14:630).

4At this place on the draft manuscript, there is an additional phrase, which reads: “If one or both are appointed to join the Regiment.” For the earlier consideration of Capt. Lawrence Keene, see GW to the Board of War, 21 June. For Keene’s appointment as St. Clair’s aide-de-camp pro tempore, see GW to the Board of War, 3 Aug. (DLC:GW), and General Orders, 5 August.

5St. Clair evidently appointed a board of field officers that finished an arrangement of the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment in time for GW to enclose it in his letter to the Board of War of 3 Aug. (DLC:GW).

Index Entries