George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Scudder, 23 May 1790

From William Scudder

Goshen in the State of N. york May 23d 1790


I am informed that a Body of Troops are to be Raised for the defence of the Frontiers—I would beg the liberty to mention, that during the late War, I took an active Part in the cause of the Country as early as Seventeen Hundred & Seventy five, & in the Service in July 1779 I was taken a Prisoner by the Indians at Fort Schuyler, and from a long Captivity in Canada, with a number of Misfortunes & losses having happened to Me since that Period even to this Day, Several Debts I contracted in My own name on account of Recruiting which I have had to pay from my private Interest, there being no regular system provided at the early commencement of the War, which has reduced My Circumstances—But I ever had & still retain a strong impression to Serve My Country; Should be exceeding happy (If it should meet with Your Excellencys Pleasure) to be Honoured with a Commission to raise a Company of Infantry in the Service above mentioned: as I flatter myself I could very soon complete a Company of Stout able Bodyed Men—I had a Lieutn. Commission Dated in November Seventeen Hundred & Seventy Six in the first N. York Regt Commanded by Colo. Van Schaick—but On ac[coun]t of being a Prisoner And not exchanged was absolved with the Army Occasioned My non appointment to a Company.

I Would further beg leave to mention, that I was in the light Infantry in the Regt Commanded by Colonel Richard Butler at the Monmouth Battle Major Benjamin Ledyard of the York line being in the same Regt; who can inform the President respecting my abilities; or as a soldier.

As to my Private Character as a Citizen, & my Family, General Dayton Colo. Ogden or Capt. Dayton at Elizabeth Town, I trust can give ample Satisfaction.

I have so great a Veneration for My Beloved President, as to rest assured he will forgive the freedom I have taken, & will not neglect me consistant with his Dignity—Could I not obtain a Company I should be happy, to the appointment of a Military Post that would not be below my former Rank, or an Embassy into any part of the Continent of America, as I am in the Prime of Life & Blessed be Providence of a Sound Constitution. I am Sir with every mark of Respect your Devoted Servant

William Scudder


William Scudder was appointed ensign of the 4th New York Regiment in June 1776 and was commissioned a lieutenant of the 1st New York in November of that year. He was taken prisoner by Mohawks led by Joseph Brant at Minnisink, near Goshen, on 22 July 1779. He received no appointment from GW.

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