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Letter from Colonel Waterbury to General Washington: Cannot consent to take rank under those that were, last year his inferiors in rank; but will turn out as a volunteer on the shortest notice



Hartford, April 20, 1776.

DEAR SIR: After my best wishes to your Excellency? praying God may preserve you through the many dangers and difficulties that attend the calling you are now engaged in; hoping your Excellency, and the Army under your command, may be the means, under God, to the saving of our land from ruin: I received your Excellency' s favour of the 13th instant, and can answer the request: that is, I should take it as an honour done to me to be an officer under your command; but as I am well assured that your Excellency delights to see justice done to every officer and soldier in your Army, your Excellency must know that I have not had justice done me. I never had a Continental commission offered me, although it is said, since I returned home, that I refused one while in Canada. I never had the offer, although I took such an active part in the Northern expedition last fall. There were but four small companies that went down with the Generals, besides me and my regiment. When we first took the ground at St˙ John' s, never man


laboured through an expedition with more fatigue and hardship than I did; and now, to take rank under those that were but Lieutenant-Colonels at that time, and others that were Colonels, that ranked under me, I should think it would look as though I had done something that was not to my honour, in being set back. If your Excellency sees cause to lay the case. before the honourable Congress, and they see cause to give me my proper rank, I shall cheerfully accept your Excellency' s offer, and ever make it the height of my ambition to render my services acceptable to your Excellency and my bleeding country; and if not, and your Excellency is attacked, I shall come to your assistance as a volunteer, upon the shortest notice.

And am, with every sentiment of respect and regard, your Excellency' s most obedient, humble servant,


To General Washington.

P˙ S. My being at Hartford instead of being at Stamford, is the reason of my not answering your Excellency' s favour sooner.