George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Adam Hubley, Jr., 3 February 1781

From Lieutenant Colonel Adam Hubley, Jr.

Philadelpa February 3d 1781


My feelings only, can appologize, for my troubling your Excellency at this time, I flatter myself, you will not think me guilty of presumption, when I take this oppertunity of acquainting your Excellency of the cause of it.

After a service of more than five Years which your Excellency, I flatter myself is acquainted with, and during which time, I have every reason to believe my conduct has met with your Excellencys approbation. It has fallen to my lot, in consequence of the late new arrangement (much against my inclination) to retire from the Army.1

To attempt a discription of my feelings on this occassion, for me—is impossible, I must therefore pass it in silence, and consider it a misfortune.

I am concious, so far as my abilities serv’d me, I have acted whilst an Officer in the Army (from a Lieutenant, to that of a Comman[dan]t of a regiment) with sincerity, and faithfulness, Nor can I tax myself with diviating in the least from the principals, upon which I first set out, that of serving my Country, and to gain Honor & reputation—in the former I am determin’d to persevere, the latter—as I am remoov’d from the field, I shall not have in my power to obtain.

If there is no possibility of being again introduc’d in the Army, of which I beg your Excellency to advise me—I have then only one more favour to ask, and that is, if my conduct whilst in the Army has met your Excellencys approbation, I beg some testimony thereof, which I shall not only consider as the highest honor confer’d on me, but the greatest reward for my services. I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect, Your Excellencys most Obt & very hume servt

Adm Hubley Jr

I have taken the liberty of inclosing a copy of a Certificate from Genl Wayne to which beg to refer you (excepting the Campaigns, 76. & 79 in Canada & western frontiers of Penna in both of which I serv’d) I have chiefly serv’d under his immidiate command.2

Should your Excellency think proper to give me an answer, by directing to Governor Reed’s care in Philada, I shall be sure of receiving your favour.3

ALS, DLC:GW. A note on the cover reads: “favd ⅌ Genl Hand.”

1For the new organization of the Continental army, see General Orders, 1 November 1780.

2The enclosed certificate has not been identified.

3GW replied to Hubley on 24 March 1781 from headquarters at New Windsor: “I received your favor of the 3d Ulto by Genl Hand who arrived here about the middle of this month.

“It is a painfull consideration that the late reform of the Army has deprived the service of many excellent Officers: but as matters of this kind must be regulated upon general principles, the lot, as in your instance, will somtimes fall hard upon individuals who would have wished to have remained.

“There are some measures under the consideration of Congress, which, if carried into execution, may tend to introduce a part of the half pay Officers again into service, in the line of the Military Staff—should the measures I allude to be adopted, you may perhaps have an opportunity of attaining your wishes—In the mean time, I will not withhold from you the Certificte which ⟨I thin⟩k justly due to your m⟨er⟩it.” GW added the following postscript: “(Duplicate.) It is feared the original miscarried, as the last Weeks Mail is supposed to have been carried into New York. in that was Genl Waynes Certifi[cat]e” (LS, in William Colfax’s and Tench Tilghman’s writing, ICHi; Df, DLC:GW, Varick transcript, DLC:GW). Mutilated portions of the LS are supplied in angle brackets from the draft, which Tilghman penned. On the LS, GW signed the cover and wrote the final six words of the postscript. The LS is addressed: “to the care of His Excellency Governor [Joseph] Reed” at Philadelphia. GW also enclosed the following certificate: “Adam Hubley Junr Esquire, late Lieutenant Colo. Commandant of the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment, entered the service as a Lieutenant in the year 1775 from which rank he rose to that of the command of a Regiment, and continued untill the late reform of the Army, when he was under the necessity of retiring upon half pay.

“For the last three years Colonel Hubley acted principally under my immediate command, during which time, he distinguished himself as an attentive, brave and intelligent Officer: and from the testimony of the Gentlemen under whom he served at other periods, his conduct has been uniformly deserving of applause. Given at Head Quarters at New Windsor the 24th day of March 1781” (DS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, in private hands; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW).

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