George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko, 30 July 1780

From Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko

West Point [N.Y.] 30. July [1780]


To this day I have not received your Excellencys order respecting my destination,1 having nothing to do at present as all the artifficers are directed to receive Leut. Colo: Gouvions orders,2 I beg your Excellency to give me permision to leave the Engeneer Department and direct me a Command in the Light Infantry in the Army under your immediate Command or the Army at the Southward agreable to my ranck I now hold. Your Excellency may be certain that I am acquiented with the Tactic & discipline and my Conduct joind with a small share of ambition to distinguish my self, I hope will prove not the Contrary.3 I am with perfect respect your Excellency very Humble Servant

Thad: Kosciuszko Col.

ALS, PHi: Gratz Collection.

1GW had recently sent Lieutenant Colonel Gouvion, commander of the corps of engineers in Brigadier General Duportail’s absence, to West Point, thereby displacing Kosciuszko as chief engineer at that post (see GW to Gouvion, 26 June; see also GW to Robert Howe, 28 April and 5 May). For a request for Kosciuszko’s services in the southern department, see Horatio Gates to GW, 21 June.

2This order has not been identified, but see General Orders, 31 July; see also Lauber, Orderly Books of the Fourth and Second New York Regiments description begins Almon W. Lauber, ed. Orderly Books of the Fourth New York Regiment, 1778-1780, the Second New York Regiment, 1780-1783, by Samuel Tallmadge and Others, with Diaries of Samuel Tallmadge, 1780-1782, and John Barr, 1779-1782. Albany, 1932. description ends , 386.

3GW replied to Kosciuszko on 3 Aug.; see also GW to Gates, 8 August.

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