George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Blackden, 1 August 1779

From Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Blackden

Salisbury [Conn.] August 1st 1779


your Excellencys letter of 21st ulto came to hand last evening and I embrace the earliest opportunity of giving my answer according to your directions.

I candidly confess to your Excellency, that I feel a Reluctance in quiting the Army after the length of time I have been ⟨in⟩ it, being from the Expedition against Ticonderoga in May 1775, but when the question is, to Retire, or Serve under the immediate command of Col. Sheldon, I cannot hesitate a moment in deciding on the point, and therefore beg you will be pleased to grant me a dismission.1

All the public Accounts that were in my hands, were adjusted by the Auditors of the Army at Fredricksbourg, since which I have not had any. I have the honor to be with the highest Respect your Excellencys most obedt hble servt

Saml Blackden

ALS, DNA: RG 93, Manuscript file no. 18398.

GW replied from headquarters on 20 Aug.: “I have received your favor of the 1st Instant—and transmit you a Certificate of discharge from the Army as you request. The Certificate bears the date of your Letter” (Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW).

1For the dispute between Blackden and Col. Elisha Sheldon of the 2d Continental Dragoons over Sheldon’s handling of complaints by the captains and subalterns against the regiment’s leadership—and also concerning Blackden’s belief that Sheldon had failed to support him in a case involving his honor—see Blackden to GW, 4 June and 18 July. After Blackden had declined GW’s request to bring specific charges against Sheldon for an inquiry into the affair, GW had asked Blackden if he still intended to resign (see GW to Blackden, 23 June and 21 July).

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