George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 26 October 1780

From Major General William Heath

West point October 26th 1780

Dear General,

I was yesterday honored with yours of the 24th instant to which I shall attend.

The officers of Colonel Sheldon’s regiment having Solicited a pardon for Greene the Culprit, I granted it.1

The two prisoners under Sentence of death whom I mentioned in a former letter are William Burtis And Reuben Weeks taken at or near the lines; they have been a long time confined and Sentenced. besides those I have two others under Sentence of death Since I came here—One for deserting Several times, and the other intending to desert from the Garrison of Fort Schuyler and inducing others to desert &c. Some of them I think ought to suffer, but whether it will be adviseable to execute the whole, (as Multiplied punishments destroy the intention of them by becoming too familiar) I submit to Your Excellency—Probably the proceedings of the Court on Burtis may be at Head quarters.

The names of Loveberry & Ackerly are not among the Prisoners Confined here.2 I have the honor to be, With the greatest respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient Servant

W. Heath

LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1Heath pardoned “Calvin Greene A Private belonging to the 2nd Regt Light Dragoons” after his conviction “for Desertion” (MHi: Heath Papers; see also Heath to GW, 19 Oct., and GW to Heath, 24 Oct.).

Calvin Green (d. 1782), a farmer from Woodstock, Conn., enlisted as a private in the 2d Continental Dragoons in January 1780 and deserted in July 1780. His service record reported him killed on 4 April 1782.

2In his reply on 31 Oct., GW authorized Heath to decide the fate of prisoners at West Point (MHi: Heath Papers; see also Benedict Arnold to GW, 16 Aug., and GW to Arnold, 19 Aug.).

Index Entries