George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Christopher Darrow, 23 August 1780

From Major Christopher Darrow

Orange Town [N.Y.] 23rd August 1780


After A service in the present war from the first commencement of hostilities to this time; am now constraind with the greatest reluctance to ask A discharge from A service which is most dear, is and always has been most agreeable to me under your excellency’s command: such A request at this Juncture will I am fearful be surprizing to your Excellency, but the bodily infirmities that I have for A long time and still labor under rendering me unfit for service & the absolute necessity there is that the station I fill be supply’d with A person able for service will I hope palliate my request by obtaining me A discharge from the service for which I shall continue your Excellency’s most obedt & most Hble servt1

Christr Darrow Majr

ALS, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 748.

1On this date, Col. Josiah Starr of the 1st Connecticut Regiment wrote GW: “Whereas Major Darrow has for many months Past been unwell and no Probability of his being any further Service in the Regiment, he is at his own request recommended to your exellency for a Discharge” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 666). The docket of Darrow’s letter indicates that he was granted a discharge from the army on 27 Aug. 1780. On the same day, Abner Prior replaced Darrow as major of the 1st Connecticut Regiment. Prior to Darrow’s resignation, Joseph Howell, Jr., an auditor of the Continental army, had signed the following statement, written from the “Auditors Office” at Orangetown on 21 Aug.: “By the Accounts lodged in this Office there does not appear any Charge against Major Christopher Darrow” (DNA: RG 93, War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, Miscellaneous Numbered Records [“Manuscript File”], 1775-1790).

Service record summaries show that in the first half of 1780, Darrow had been on furlough. He was listed as “Sick in Quarters” on a muster roll for July 1780. Darrow also had been granted a furlough in December 1778 (DNA: RG 93, Compiled Revolutionary War Military Service Records, 1775-1783). An obituary notice, printed in the Middlesex Gazette (Middletown, Conn.) for 25 Aug. 1814, described Darrow as a “truly good and brave officer of the American revolution.”

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