George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Seth Warner, 23 December 1780

From Colonel Seth Warner

Bennington [Vt.] 23d Decmr 1780


Your Excellency’s favour of the 12th ulto informing me of the Reduction of my Regiment, with the liberal Provision made by Congress to the retiring Officers, came duly to hand by Captain Moulton—I must confess that furloughing my men was amiss, as it necessarily somewhat detains their joining Head Quarters; Although I then thought their naked and destitute Situation would justify it.1 I have given the necessary Orders for those in this Quarter to rendezvous at Stilwater, from which they will march the first of next Week, under the Commd of Captain David Baits and Lt Benoni Grant, whom I would recommend to your Excellency as Gentlemen of Merit in the Capacity of Officers, and would request that they might remain in the Service, in the Connecticut Line of the Army, in Case suitable vacancies may happen for them on the New Establishment.2 This I request for the Sake of the Men, who chiefly belong to that State.

Part of my Men are now in Connecticut, who are ordered to West Point under the Care of a faithful Non Commissioned Officer.

With respect to Mr Sherman’s Accounts, I have agreable to your Excellency’s Directions, appointed an Officer quallified in Accounts to examine them, And have accordingly laid such Papers, &c. before him as I have been able to collect for the purpose—Upon which, after Examination, he informs me that there being an essential Part of said Sherman’s Accounts, (as he concludes) entirely lost, (or otherwise designedly secreted by said Sherman) And that those which are found are in every sense so ridiculously deranged, that (in his opinion) it is utterly impossible to effect any Settlement from them—Which I also conclude (however unfortunate it is to my Regimt) is really the Case; And therefore a Settlement of the Regimental Accounts cannot be made.3

As to my recruiting Accounts, I shall settle them myself, as soon as my Health will admit of riding.

Inclosed I transmit your Excellency, Returns of my Regiment, as nearly as can be in their present Situation;4 And am With Sentiments of Respect & Esteem, Your Excellency’s very Obedient Humble Servant,

Seth Warner

LS, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman noted the enclosed returns on the docket and added: “Ret. of Officers transmittd to Board of War” (see also n.4 below and GW to the Board of War, 19 Feb. 1781, DLC:GW).

1See GW to Warner, 12 Nov. 1780, found at Warner to GW, 30 Oct., n.7.

2For the new establishment of the Continental army, see General Orders, 1 November.

David Bates (Baits) served as captain lieutenant in Warner’s Additional Continental Regiment beginning in February 1777 and became regimental quartermaster in November 1778. He apparently acted subsequently as captain and left the army in January 1781.

3For former regimental paymaster William Sherman’s arrest for embezzlement, see Warner to GW, 10 March 1780; see also Warner to GW, 28 Nov. 1779, n.2.

4Warner enclosed with his signature an undated “Return of the Non Commissioned Officers & Privates in Col. Seth Warner’s Regt specifying the States to which they belong” (DLC:GW).

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