George Washington Papers

VI. From Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs, 10 May 1780

From Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs

Westfield [N.J.] 10th May 1780.


By the desire of Capts. Joseph Mansfield & Eleazer Claghorn of the Regiment under my command, I apply to your Exellency for their dissmission from Service. Capt. Mansfield has been incapable of performing any Service in the Regiment on Account of ill health for a year past—Capt. Claghorn pleads the necessity of attending to his private affairs.1 I think it my duty to mention that neither of these Gentlemen request their dismission on account of any disgust to the Service. Their Accouts are Settled and closed with the Regimental Pay Master & the Auditors.2 Both the Gentlemen are absent from the Regiment Settling their Accots with the Committee of the Paytable of Connecticut, & do not Return to Camp again. I wish their dismission may be Effected this day (the time agree’d on with them)3 that the Officers who Succeed them may be doing duty & the Size of the Regiment requiring its complement of Officers. I am with the Greatest respect Your Excellencys most Obedt servant.

R. J. Meigs Colo. 6th Connt Regt

ALS, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 34.

1After he resigned his commission as captain, Joseph Mansfield lived until 1821. Eleazer Claghorn (1744–1813) served as lieutenant in Col. Charles Burrall’s Continental regiment during 1776 and became captain lieutenant in the 6th Connecticut Regiment in January 1777. Promoted to captain in April 1779, he resigned from the army in May 1780. Claghorn later moved to Vermont, interested himself in local and state government, and died in Middlebury.

2An undated letter from Meigs to GW reads: “This may certify that Captains Joseph Mansfield & Eleazer Claghorn of the 6th Connecticut Regiment have no accots unsettled in the Office of the Auditors or with the Regimental Pay Master & that the State of the Regiment is such that their resignation at this time will not be improper” (DNA: RG 93, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War, 6th Connecticut Regiment, Eleazer Claghorn).

3An undated document titled “Resignations of Officers received & entered at Head Qrs since the 1st of January 1780,” in the writing of GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison, dated the resignations of Mansfield and Claghorn as 10 May under the heading “Resignations in the 8 Connectt Regmts in 1780” (DNA:PCC, item 152).

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