George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Richardson Davie, 30 December 1798

From William Richardson Davie

Halifax [N.C.] Decr 30, [17]98


Inclosed you will receive a reccommendation for several company officers taken from different parts of the state agreeably to the principle of distribution mentioned in your letter of the 24th of October.1 This list is not complete, but as it was of importance, that the unremitting business should be going on during the winter, or as early as possible, I thought it my duty to forward the names of those Gentleman of whose character, I was fully satisfied: & whose willingness to serve has been ascertained.2 The remainder from the other Districts shall be sent on as soon as the necessary information can be procured, which will be in the course of a post or two.3 As to the field officers, I have not yet procured satisfactory information as to proper characters for the appointment of Majors, but would recommend James Reid of Wilmington as a Lieutenant Colonel. He served through the revolutionary war with considerable reputation & was an old Captain at the close of the war.4 He is the same gentleman mentioned in the list from the War Office under the number 5.5 I have the honor to be with great respect Sir your most obt servant

W. R. Davie

Brig. General

ALS, DLC:GW; copy, DLC:GW; Df, Nc-Ar: William R. Davie Papers. The copy is dated 3 December.

1See Enclosure.

2GW wrote Davie on 10 Jan. 1799: “Sir, By the last Mail I had the pleasure to receive your favor of the 30th ultimo, with the list of such Company Officers as you have been able to select from the State of North Carolina.

“Before this gets to your hands I presume you will have seen Major General Pinckney, to whose care I committed a letter for you, under date of the 28th of December; which will shew you how far I have been able to proceed, with the aid of Major Generals Hamilton and Pinckney, in the selection of Officers for the twelve additional Regiments. The latter Gentleman will have communicated to you the arrangement which has been formed for selecting suitable Characters from the three Southern States. It is therefore unnecessary for me to enlarge on this subject at present. With great consideration & respect I have the honor to be Sir, Your most obedient servant Go: Washington” (LS, NcU: William L. Saunders Collection).

3The copy of the letter in DLC:GW includes this additional sentence: “With this you will also receive the list of applicants forwarded with your letter of the 24th of October with the necessary remarks.”

4James Read served as a captain in the Continental line and lieutenant colonel of the North Carolina militia during the Revolutionary War. In February 1790 GW appointed him collector of customs for Wilmington, N.C., and in March 1791 gave him the inspectorship of North Carolina survey no. 1. John Adams removed him from the collectorship in the fall of 1797.

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