George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Bartholomew von Heer, 25 May 1781

Reading May 25th 1781.


Confident of Your Excellency’s Patience and Inclination to redress Grievances, I submit the inclosed to your particular Attention.

By Copies of the papers here inclosed, your Excellency will see by number one, The Resolve of the Honourable Congress, appointing That all The Troops, I should inlist, were to be deemed, as the Quota of the state, in what they were inlisted. And when I had inlisted a Number of Men in Pensilvania, I immediately made Application to his Excellency the President and Executive Council of the state for the Bounty, which was to be granted by the state, according to said Resolve; But received none; Although at the same Time I gave into the Council a Return of the Number of Men, inlisted in the state & particularized, in what County they were inlisted. The Answer, I received, was, That They could do nothing in the Case, & That Congress must be answerable for, what they had done, on which I proceeded with the Troop to Camp, to do the Duty incumbant on me.

By Number Two, a Resolve will be seen of the Supreme Executive Council of Pensilvania in Answer to a Memorial of mine in Behalf of myself & Troops, which was rejected. By Number Three, a Memorial, which I referred to the Honorable Congress & their Reference of it to the Board of War will appear & I inform your Excellency, That The Honourable Board verbally told me, That nothing could be done in the Case for want of money, & That they would inform your Excellency, and Communicate the Answer to me; But Since I cannot hear what was done concerning the same.

Number four, is a Letter of mine To the Honourable Board of War for Clothing, respecting Breeches due to the men as the inclosed Return demonstrates. Number Five, an Answer to mine of Number four. Number six is an Answer to me from the Dep. Q.Mr Grl, when I applied & hurried on for Horses & Accoutrements.

I beg further Leave to inform Your Excellency, That the second of April 1779 I went to Philada by your Excellency’s permission & represented the affair contained in Number Two To the Board of War & I was desired to draw a Memorial to the Supreme Executive Council of Pensilvania therein representing the Resolve of Congress as in Number one, & after the Rejectment from that Board I was verbally advised by them to petition to the House of Assembly, which was accordingly done & also rejected, on Account as it’s said That no Return had been sent to their House, & they did not know my Troop. And was verbally ordered by the House to give in the Return of my Troop at Head Quarters These to be approved & from thence sent to the Board of War, there to be certified, from which it was to go to Council there to be examined, & then to the House of Assembly, All, which was done, & no Answer received.

Now I beg Leave to inform Your Excellency also, That agreable to Order I presented my Return of Want of Horses at the War Office on the Ninth of January last & received Orders from them to deliver all unfit Horses to the assistant Q. Mr at Reading; With which I immediately complied; But no fresh Horses have been procured for the Troop to mount & Thirty are wanting, which disables me to mount the Dragoons, & to take the field. As also many of the Dragoons who would willingly remain in the Service, must shortly be discharged, their Time of Inlistment being expired & no Encouragment given them to reinlist.

The Melancholy Situation That I am therefore brought in, especially if Considered as a friendly stranger who fought & was allways willing to bleed for American Liberty, I leave to your Excellency to judge & beg an Advise how to do in my present Case, & in particular would recommend to your Excellency’s Consideration my Case as represented in the Memorial to the honourable Congress and also that neither Pay nor the Depreciation of pay has been settled with me, my Officers, nor Troop, which makes the men very uneasy-- I hope, Your Excellency will look on my Case to be difficult & distressing as neither myself nor my Officers have received any Cloathing nor money, so as to enable us to proceed on the Campaign.

I beg the aid & Assistance, That your Excellency shall be pleased to deem the necessary. I remain with the greatest Respect Sir your most obediant most humble servant

Bartholomew von Heer Capt. L. Dn

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

Index Entries