George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Nathanael Greene, 5 October 1780

From Major General Nathanael Greene

Camp [Tappan] October 5th 1780


A new dispisition of the Army going to be made,1 and an Officer appointed to the command of West Point and the district on the East side of the North River; I take the liberty just to intimate my inclinations for the appointment. Your Excellency will judge of the propriety and determin as the honor of the Army and the good of service may require.

I hope there is nothing indelicate or improper in the application, I am prompted to the measure from the feelings incident to the human heart, as well as encoraged in the hope that it would meet your approbation, from the flattering manner in which you have been pleased to speak of my conduct upon different occasions.

I shall make use of no arguments being perswaded my pretentions and inclinations will have their full operation; and that nothing short of the public good or Military propriety, will contravene my wishes.

My first object is the freedom and happiness of my Country. With these your Excellencys reputation and glory are inseperably connected; and as it has been my constant wish, so it shall be my future endeavor to promote the establishment of both.2 I am with great respect and regard Your Excellencys Most Obedient humble Sert

Nath. Greene

ALS, DLC:GW; ADfS, NjP: De Coppet Collection.

1For congressional reform of the Continental army, see Samuel Huntington to GW, 26 Oct., n.1.

2For the assignment of temporary commanders at West Point, see GW to Alexander McDougall, 27 September. Greene’s eventual appointment as West Point commander lasted only until his selection as the new commanding general for the southern department (see GW’s two letters to Greene on 6 Oct. [letter 1; letter 2]; see also GW to Greene, 14, 18, and 22 Oct., and Greene to GW, 16 and 19 Oct.). Maj. Gen. William Heath then became the commander at West Point (see GW to Heath, 14 Oct.).

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