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TO MAJOR-GENERAL WARD. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. IV (1776).
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TO MAJOR-GENERAL WARD.
New York, 16 June, 1776.
I am now to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of the 27th Ulto. & of the 3d & 6th Instt. and in answer to the 1st think you was right in your direction to Mr. Barttoll about Brigantine Hannah as Mr. Morris had wrote for one.
The two schooners, considering their force and number of men, certainly behaved extremely well in repelling the attack, made by such a number of boats; and it is only to be lamented that the affair was attended with the death of Captain Mugford. He seemed to deserve a better fate.1
The determination of the Court of Inquiry upon Colo. Varnum’s complaint transmitted in that of the 3d, is very different from what he expected or I imagined it would be from his state of the case.—Whether it is right or wrong, it is not in my power to so determine, as the Evidence which was before them is not Inserted in the proceedings, which ought to have been, as I at this distance can have no other means to warrant me, either in confirming or rejecting the Sentence. I cannot but add that it seems extraordinary to me and exceedingly strange, that Capn. Lane should have been at so much trouble and expence to get the men without having a right to ’em—For which reason, to discountenance a practice extremly pernicious in its nature, of one officer trying to take away and seduce the men of another, and on account of the imperfection in the proceedings in not stating the matter fully & the whole evidence; the Complaint should be reheard and every thing appertaining to it, the manner of Inlistment &c. particularly specified for me to found my Judgement on.1
The arms &c. which you sent to Norwich as mentioned in the Invoice contained in that of the 6th are not Arrived—The number of Carbines is only half of what Genl. Putnam wrote for, as I have been Informed, and it is less by three hundred than I directed to be sent in my Letter from Philadelphia, of the 28 Ulto. This I suppose had not come to hand when you wrote, as you have not acknowledged the receipt of it.
I have inclosed two Letters for Majr. Small and Chs. Procter Esqr. supposed to be at Halifax, which being wrote with a design to procure the enlargement of Capt. Procter a prisoner on board the Mercury Man of War, or Induce them to intercede for a more humane Treatment to be shewn him, I request you to forward by the first opportunity by way of Nova Scotia.
I am this moment favored with yours of the 9 Inst. advising me of the capture, made by our armed vessels, of one of the transports with a company of Highlanders on board, and I flatter myself, if our vessels keep a good look out, as the whole fleet are bound for Boston, which sailed with her, that more of them will fall into our hands. This is a further proof that Governmt. expected Genl. Howe was still in Boston.
I am extremely sorry that your health is more and more impaired, and, having heard by a letter from Col. Hancock, that Mr. Whitcomb, Colonel Whitcomb’s brother, is appointed a brigadier-general, I shall order him to relieve you as soon as I am informed, that he accepts his commission; and if he does, you may immediately call him to your assistance, before I am certified of his acceptance. This will ease you of some trouble, till I can regulate a few matters of importance here, which I hope to do in a little time. I am, Sir, your most obedient servant.1
[1 ]“The poor captain has since lost his life in a desperate engagement with thirteen boats from the men-of-war, which attacked and attempted to board him; but by a most brave resistance they sunk four of the boats and fought so warmly with their spears and small arms as to oblige them to quit him, though he had but twenty-seven men, and they five times his number.”—Abigail Adams to John Adams, 27 May, 1776.
[1 ]On May 13th Washington had called General Ward’s attention to a complaint made by Colonel Varnum in which it was charged that Ward had refused to order fifteen or sixteen men enlisted for Varnum’s regiment to join that regiment, and had allowed them to be re-enlisted in Colonel Phinny’s regiment, giving as a reason that Varnum’s had gone to New York. “If the facts are as set forth therein,” Washington wrote, “he must be redressed: for if such practices as he complains of are given the least countenance to, it will have the worst of consequences, by encouraging soldiers to shift from one regiment to another, and throw the whole army into confusion.” The petition of Varnum has been lost, but it implicated a Lieutenant Merril, of Phinny’s regiment, for enlisting men who had before been enlisted in another regiment. A court of inquiry was held, and Merril was declared to be not guilty of the charge laid against him, nor in any way culpable in the matter.
[1 ]“You are to repair to Fort Montgomery, and take upon you the command of the posts in the Highlands. . . . Use every possible diligence in forwarding the works at Forts Montgomery and Constitution, agreeable to late directions given to Mr. Bedlow, who will furnish you with the same: as it is proposed by the Provincial Congress of New York to recall their Commissioners from those posts, and leave the care of them altogether to the commanding officer of the Continental forces, and his order.