George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Cadwallader Jones, 15 February 1781

From Captain Cadwallader Jones

Chesterfield Court House [Va.] Feby 15th 1781


In consequence of my being the eldest Captain belonging to the state Cavalry, of the first & Third Regiments of Dragoons—The Honbl. Majr General Baron Steuben has appointed me Majr and given me orders to receive the men and Horses furnish’d by the state to complete the two Legions—As your Excellency must conceive it to be disagreable to be acting without a Commission, I flatter myself you’ll write to the Board [of] War, and order them to forward my Commission to Petersburg the place of rendezvous ordered by Baron Steuben.1 I have the Honour to be Sir Yr Mo, Obt Humble Servant

Cadr Jones Majr


1GW replied to Jones on 23 March from headquarters at New Windsor: “Your favr of the 15th Feby never reached me ’till a few days past. I must inform you that you have been mistaken in the principles of promotion at present existing—Your right to the Majority of the 1st Regt does not depend upon your being eldest Captain in the 1st and 3d, but upon being the oldest in the four Regiments—I have written to the Board of War for the date of your Commission and that of Capt. Hopkins of Moylans who also claims the Majority of the 1st—The succession will depend upon the date of Commission.

“I shall inform the Baron Steuben that his appointment of you was upon mistaken principles” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). GW wrote the Board of War on 23 March and Major General Steuben on 4 April (both DLC:GW).

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