George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Israel Shreve, 28 January 1781

From Colonel Israel Shreve

Camp [Pompton, N.J.] 28th Jany 1781.

Dear General

I Just Receavd a few lines from your Excellency, which hurts me Exceedingly, after the Destress Occationed by the Jersey line revolting. but I hope to Give Such Reasons for my conduct Yesterday, as to Satisfy your Excellency.1

when the revolters Got to Chatham Col. Dayton took the Command, and, in the course of their being at that place was Several times Sent by Col. Dayton to Appeas them, and finily to march them without Officers to Camp, though in a Riotes Situation, and to bring this about was Obliged to Ossociate with the Serjants more than I wished,2 when General How Surrounded the Camp I was within a few miles and thought it best to not go to Camp untill the matter was Over, or those who Suffered, might Look up to me for to Interceed for their Pardons, I Pointed out to Col. Barber and Major Cumming the Evening before, those who I thought most Guilty, those are the reasons why I was Not Present. After Serveing in the Army Six years under your Excellencys Command with Reputation, I hope your Excy will Look over Yesterdays Conduct, as to myself, the Distressed Situation this Mutiny has caused in my mind has been Such as to Stagger me much as to the part I had to Act, the Pardon was given by the Advice of all the Officers that were At Chatham together with the two Commissioners, Signed by Col. Dayton as Comdt and Some time after Signed by me at Col. Daytons Request.3

I assure your Excy I had no other motive in being absent but what I have mentioned and did it for the best.

one thing more I beg leave to mention to your Excy: Col. Dayton has been informed from Congress that his Promotion is not like to take place,4 Col. Ogden and himself being very Desirous to Remain in Service I have agreed with Col. Dayton to Retire, and wish to go with Reputation, I hope your Excy will be pleased to favour me with a few Lines the first Oppertunity.5

the letter to the Commanding Officer of the Jersy Line I opened, Shall Enclose it to Col. Dayton Immidiately, and Send off the other Letters.6 I am Dear General your Most Obedt Servt

I. Shreve Coll

P.S. every thing is very Still at Camp Since Yesterday, I Expect to Stay at Camp untill the Commissioners go through their business.

I. Shreve.


1See GW to Shreve, this date; see also Shreve to GW, 20 Jan., and the source note to that document.

3For the appointment of the commissioners, only two of whom appear to have been active during the mutiny, see Frederick Frelinghuysen to GW, 20 Jan., and n.2 to that document; see also Frelinghuysen to GW, 23 January. For the pardon, which was later nullified by the continued mutinous behavior of the soldiers, see Dayton to GW, 24 Jan., postscript, and n.8 to that document.

4See Abraham Clark to Dayton, 19 Dec. 1780, in Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 16:464–65.

5No reply from GW to Shreve has been found.

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