George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Burgess Ball, 30 January 1781

From Lieutenant Colonel Burgess Ball

Fredericksburg [Va.] Jany 30th 1781.


Having been indulg’d with a Parole, unsolicitted, and unexpected, thro the Interest of Genl Phillips (as I’m inform’d) for Virginia or elsewhere, and, ever desireous to conduct myself so as to avoid any reproach from Your Excellency, I have thought it expedient thus to write to you.

It being, in my present situation, improper and out of my power to take any active part in a military capacity, I think of taking an excursion to the Waters of the Missicippi, there to make some provision for a future day, having greatly impair’d my heriditary possessions. This I think it necessary to inform Your Excellency of, least I shd be wanting when an Exchange shd take place, it being my uniform intention to continue my services to my Country as long as they may be wanting—If an Exchange is likely to happen in any short time, it is far from my desire to evade any dangers or hardship which my attendance might present.1 I am, Your Excellencys most Obedient & very Hbe Servt

B: Ball


1Ball left the army in February and married GW’s niece Frances Thornton Washington in April.

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