George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Thomas Hill, 29 October 1780

From Lieutenant Thomas Hill

Rutland [Mass.] Ocr 29—1780

With the greatest respect, I beg leave to lay my Situation before your Excellency hoping when you consider the particulars you will be pleased to grant my request, to go on parole in the first Cartel to Halifax, from whence I shall be able to proceed to Quebeck, Your Excellency will be better Able to Jud[g]e of my present Emberasment when you consider the inclos’d Memorial to Lord Amherst—I fancy your Excellency will on considering it, find that the like has never been known to happen since the memory of man, for an Officer’s Commission to be sold without his leave, as a Soldier labouring under a state of suspense and considering myself Ill us’d, wishing for the opportunity to convince not only my brother Officers & friends Of the propriety of my own conduct, but the Satisfaction it give my relations when Assur’d of the justness of my behavour is the only Appology I can make your Excellency for this presumtion:1 If I succeed in my request, am willing to sign any parole Your Excellency may think proper, to the satisfaction of all Concernd. I am with the greatest Respect Your Excellencys Most Obt Servt

Thos Hill Prisoner

I beg leave to Observe to Your Excellency that I have bills to the amount of my Commission, which I can make no use of till I arrive at Canda.

ALS, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman docketed the letter: “This Officer being exchanged no answer is necessary.”

1The enclosed undated document to British military advisor Jeffrey Amherst explained that Hill “in July 1772 purchas’d an Ensigncy, & in Novr 1774 Lieutenantcy in his Majestys 29 Regt of foot.” He went on leave from Montreal to London in summer 1778 to settle debts and left a resignation of his commission with his commanding officer at Quebec as surety. Hill successfully paid his debts with “the assistance of his friends,” but he returned to Quebec in spring 1779 to find that another officer had replaced him in the 29th Regiment of Foot. The discovery prompted Hill’s return to England to solicit Amherst’s “protection & direction,” noting that the other officer had declined “the Commission in the 29 Regt” for “a Lieutenantcy in the 31 Regt of foot” (DLC:GW; filed under October 1779).

The circumstances of Hill’s capture and exchange have not been ascertained.

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