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Camp Long Island, July 6, 1776.

SIR: Upon a recommendation from General Ward to your Excellency in my favour, you were pleased to say I deserved a regiment; but as so many regiments were ordered to be reduced at the end of last campaign, I could not have one then without doing injustice to some others who were deserving; which I did not then, nor do now, desire. Your Excellency will please to note I commanded a regiment in the country where I dwell when at home, before this unnatural war broke out, and marched with it to Cambridge at the battle of Lexington, and continued in the service five or six weeks; my business at home being in such a situation at that time as required my presence, I requested a discharge from the Army, which was granted; soon after was desired to engage in the service again as Adjutant-General, which I did, and continued therein until superseded by General Gates. In the present campaign I was appointed a Lieutenant-Colonel under Colonel Little, which reduced the rank I formerly held in the service, and exposes me to be commanded by many who have been on command under me; which your Excellency is sensible must be disagreeable to every person who has any feelings, and which nothing but the noble cause we are engaged in could have induced me to submit to. I have no doubts in my mind, sir, but that you will take my case into consideration, and grant me the rank I have heretofore held, when you can without injuring the service or doing injustice to others. Happy shall I esteem myself when I can retire from the service without injuring the cause or dishonouring myself.

I am, with the greatest respect, your Excellency' s most obedient and very humble servant,
WILLIAM HENSHAW.

To His Excellency General Washington.

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