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Washington: Commander and Friend (1758)

George Washington
Washington: Commander and Friend (1758)
By: James Still
August 2015

Suffering from bad health in 1758, Washington resigned as Commander of the Virginia Regiment. The letter Washington receives from his Officers provides an excellent glimpse into his character:

“SIR, We your most obedient and affectionate Officers, beg leave to express our great Concern, at the disagreeable News we have received of your Determination to resign the Command of that Corps, in which we have under you long served. The happiness we have enjoyed, and the Honor we have acquired, together with the mutual Regard that has always subsisted between you and your Officers, have implanted so sensible an Affection in the Minds of us all, that we cannot be silent on this critical Occasion…

Your steady adherence to impartial Justice, your quick Discernment and invariable Regard to Merit, wisely intended to inculcate those genuine Sentiments, of true Honor and Passion for Glory… heightened our natural Emulation, and our Desire to excel. How much we improved by those Regulations, and your own Example…   Judge then, how sensibly we must be Affected with the loss of such an excellent Commander, such a sincere Friend, and so affable a Companion. How rare is it to find those amiable Qualifications blended together in one Man? How great the Loss of such a Man?

… we beg Leave to assure you, that as you have hitherto been the actuating Soul of the whole Corps, we shall at all times pay the most invariable Regard to your Will and Pleasure, and will always be happy to demonstrate by our Actions, with how much Respect and Esteem we are, Sir.” Officers of the Virginia Regiment, Letter to George Washington, Dec 31, 1758

James Still (Aug 2015), RetraceOurSteps.com

“It gives us an additional Sorrow, when we reflect, to find, our unhappy Country will receive a loss, no less irreparable, than ourselves. Where will it meet a Man so experienced in military Affairs? One so renowned for Patriotism, Courage and Conduct?” Officers of the Virginia Regiment, Letter to George Washington, Dec 31, 1758

“Your Presence only will cause a steady Firmness and Vigor to actuate in every Breast, despising the greatest Dangers, and thinking light of Toils and Hardships, while led on by the Man we know and Love.”  Officers of the Virginia Regiment, Letter to George Washington, Dec 31, 1758

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