George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Daniel Brodhead, 5 May 1781

Head Quarters New Windsor 5th May 1781

Dr Sir

Mr Fowler having in a later letter to the president of Pennsylvania made several charges against you for mal conduct in your command—The president of the state communicated it to Congress, who have been pleased there upon, to direct me to investigate the matter and bring you to trial upon the matters alledged against you—Mr Fowlers charges having been rather general, I have desired him to specify them, and to furnish you with a Copy of them—You must be sensible that no Court can be constituted at Fort Pitt for the trial of an Officer of your Rank—It must therefore be held at the Army; but as it will be impossible to bring down all the necessary Witnesses, the Judge Advocate General sends by this Conveyance a deputation to the Gentleman usually officiating in that capacity at the post, authorising him to take depositions in the presence of the parties. These, by a Resolve of Congress, are made admissible evidence in Court. When the necessary depositions are finished, you will repair to the army and take your trial.

You will see the propriety of giving up the command to the Officer next in Rank while this business is transacting—It will take off every objection that can be made against the validity of the depositions, as having been taken under your influence as Commandant. I am &c.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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