Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VII (1778-1779).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
The Baron de Steuben will have the honor of delivering you this. I am extremely sorry, that this gentleman’s situation and views seem to have determined him to quit the service, in which he has been heretofore and is capable still of being extensively useful. Some discontents, which arose among the officers on account of the powers with which the office was at first vested, induced me to arrange the duties of it on a plan different from that in which it began. The moving state of the army has for some time past, in a great degree, suspended the exercise of the Inspectorate. When the Troops marched from Brunswic, the scarcity of General officers, most of them being engaged with the Court-martial, either as members or Witnesses, occasioned my giving the Baron a temporary command of a Division during the march. On our arrival near our present encampment, I intended he should relinquish this charge, and resume his former office, for which purpose a General Order was accordingly issued. But I find that he is entirely disinclined to the measure, and resolves not to continue in the Service unless he can hold an actual command in the line.
Justice concurring with inclination constrains me to testify, that the Baron has in every instance discharged the several trusts reposed in him with great Zeal and Ability, so as to give him the fullest title to my esteem, as a brave, indefatigable, judicious, and experienced officer. I regret there should be a necessity, that his Services should be lost to the army; at the same time I think it my duty explicitly to observe to Congress, that his desire of having an actual and permanent command in the line cannot be complied with, without wounding the feelings of a number of officers, whose rank and merit give them every claim to attention; and that the doing it would be productive of much dissatisfaction and extensive ill consequences. This does not proceed from any personal objections on the part of those officers against the Baron; on the contrary, most of them, whom I have heard speak of him, express a high sense of his military worth. It proceeds from motives of another nature, which are too obvious to need particular explanation, or may be summed up in this, that they conceive such a step would be injurious to their essential rights and just expectations. That this would be their way of thinking upon the subject, I am fully convinced, from the effect which the temporary command given him, even under circumstances so peculiar as those I have mentioned, produced. The strongest symptoms of discontent appeared upon the occasion.
I have the honor to be, &c.1
[1 ]Read August 1st. This letter was referred to a committee, who brought in a report, which Congress voted should be sent to General Washington for his opinion. In the meantime Congress requested Baron Steuben to repair to Rhode Island, and give his advice and assistance to General Sullivan, and the army under his command. With this request he complied.—Journals, August 28th, 29th.