<br /> Lee Letter: n140

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Henry Lee

Sir:

Several days ago I received a Letter from the Honble Mr Brearly, Chief
Justice of Jersey in which he mentions that “Complaint has been made to
me by a Member of the Legislature of Somerset County, together with
other respectable Inhabitants, that a detachment of Major Lee’s light
Dragoons have quartered themselves upon the Inhabitants of the county
near Rockey Hill, without any order of Law, are impressing forage by
their own authority, and committing other great outrages on the
Inhabitants.1 The persons particularly
complained against, are Captain Rudolph,2
Doctor Irvin3 and One Stephen
Lewis,4 supposed to be a Commissioned
Officer.” I would willingly hope that this Complaint has been
exaggerated and profered in much stronger terms than facts would
warrant. There is nothing I wish for more than harmony and a good
understanding to prevail between the Country and the Army; it essential
to our success and whenever circumstances compel to any measures out of
the common line and which may bear hard against the Inhabitants, they
ought not to be carried farther than necessity may absolutely require.

I have not written to Mr. Brearly in Answer to his Letter; but I wish to do
it without further delay. I want previously however to hear from You
after communicating this letter to the Officers who are particularly
complained of.

I am etc.5

Notes:

1 Lee’s answer to the complaint is dated Sept. 5, 1780 and is in the
Washington Papers.

2 Capt. Michael Rudolph.

3 Surgeon Matthew Irvine (Irvin), of Lee’s Dragoons. He served to the close
of the war.

4 Lieut. Stephen Lewis. He was a quartermaster in Lee’s Dragoons and served
to the close of the war.

5 The draft is in the writing of Robert Hanson Harrison.