George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier Generals William Woodford and Peter Muhlenberg, 28 September 1779

To Brigadier Generals William Woodford and Peter Muhlenberg

West point Sepr 28. 1779


I request that you will inform me by the first opportunity—upon what terms the Officers went, who took charge of the Re-inlisted Men to Virginia in the Winter.1 There have been several Accounts presented in consequence for three Dollars a day for the whole time the Officers were absent. My idea was that only such Officers as were desirous of going to see their Friends—were appointed; that the measure was rather considered in the light of an indulgence—than a command—and that the public at any rate would not pay for more than the days they were going & returning. Lts Crittenden & Fox from the Light Infantry were here yesterday—with their Accounts for the whole time they were absent2—and I have understood there are several Others with similar claims. I am Gentlemen with great regard Yr Most Obedt servant

G. Washington

P.S. I have just received the Arrangement of the Virginia line on the 23d Instant—which I shall transmit to the Board of War—and request Commissions where they are wanted.3 From the Representation of the Board it was only an act of justice to derange Captn Israel of the 4th Regiment. I have done it accordingly and Capn Lieut. Curry will be appointed to his Company to rank from the 23d Inst.—& Lieut. Lovely will be promoted in his place as Capn Lieut.4 I wish you to call upon the absent Officers—not employed with Genl Scott,5 in the most pointed & peremptory terms to rejoin their Corps immediately—their conduct is insufferable.

Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW had granted these soldiers leave in Virginia; for his orders regarding these men and the escorting officers, see Circular to the Virginia Brigadier Generals, 14 Dec. 1778.

2Thomas Fox (c.1753–c.1818) joined the 10th Virginia Regiment as a second lieutenant in December 1776 and became a first lieutenant in October 1777. Fox continued to serve in the regiment after its redesignation as the 6th Virginia Regiment in September 1778, and he later marched with the regiment to Charleston, S.C. He was taken prisoner when that city’s garrison surrendered to the British in May 1780. After his exchange, Fox remained with the army in South Carolina and was wounded in the fighting at Quinby Bridge, S.C., in July 1781. Fox continued to serve until the close of the war.

3For GW’s orders for the revisal of this arrangement by a board of Virginia field officers, see GW to Woodford and Muhlenberg, 18 September. A copy of the revised arrangement, dated 23 Sept. and showing the revisions GW discusses in his postcript, is in DNA: RG93, Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775–1783. GW transmitted the arrangement to the Board of War on 1 Oct., with extensive comments.

4Isaac Israel joined the 8th Virginia Regiment as a lieutenant in September 1776 and became a captain in the regiment in August 1777. The following month, he was captured at the Battle of Brandywine. After his exchange, he transferred to the 4th Virginia Regiment in September 1778; however, as GW indicates here, he was dropped from the rolls this month as never having joined his regiment.

James Curry (1752–1834) joined the 8th Virginia Regiment as a second lieutenant in December 1776 and received promotion to first lieutenant in June 1777. He transferred to the 4th Virginia Regiment in September 1778, and, as GW indicates here, became a captain in September 1779. Taken prisoner with his regiment when the British captured Charleston, S.C., in May 1780, Curry remained a prisoner on parole to the close of the war. In 1828 he lived in Union County, Ohio.

William Lewis Loveley joined the 8th Virginia Regiment as an ensign in May 1776. He received promotion to second lieutenant in January 1777 and to first lieutenant in March 1778. He transferred to the 4th Virginia Regiment in September 1778 and became a captain in February 1781. Loveley served to the close of the war.

5GW had assigned Brig. Gen. Charles Scott to raise a brigade of new Continental levies in Virginia to reinforce the southern army (see GW to Scott, 5 and 25 May; GW to Richard Henry Lee, 30 April, n.1; and GW to Lee, Henry Laurens, and Thomas Burke, 5 May).

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