<br /> Lee Letter: n70

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Henry Lee

Dear Sir:

I recd. yours respecting Mr. Archer 1 a
few days ago, but I have been so exceedingly engaged that I have not
had leisure to answer it before this time. It would give me great
pleasure to make provision for a Gentleman of Mr. Archers merit in a
way that should be perfectly satisfactory to him, and could your
request in his behalf be granted with out infringing the establishmt.
of your Corps, I should not hesitate to comply with it instantly. I beg
to be understood. I do not mean that the Rank which he asks, is more
than he has a right to expect, it is perhaps trifling when compared
with the sacrifices he has made for his attachment to our Cause, but in
the mode which you propose, it would be an innovation, and I have so
repeatedly, in my representations respecting the causes of
dissatisfaction in the Army, pointed out that of irregular promotion as
the principal one that I cannot with any degree of consistency
recommend it in the present instance. Besides I do not see why the
Cornets of your Corps would not feel themselves as much hurt by Mr.
Archers being created an extra Lieutenant, as they would be by his
being promoted in preference to them, was a vacancy to happen.

I am
etc.2

Notes:

1 Cornet Henry Archer, of Lee’s Dragoons. He was made captain in 1781 and
served to close of the war.

2 The draft is in the writing of Tench Tilghman.