Apr 17, 2012 - Sale 2276

Sale 2276 - Lot 125

Price Realized: $ 40,800
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Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 20,000
URGING A RELUCTANT GENERAL TO "RETURN TO CAMP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE" WASHINGTON, GEORGE. Letter Signed, "G°:Washington," to Brigadier General George Weedon, requesting his speedy return to Valley Forge. With Washington's franking signature on address panel, body of letter in the hand of Tench Tilghman. 2 pages, 4to, with detached address leaf; separations at folds, brittle, small hole at intersection of folds just below signature, minor edge wear, address leaf quite worn and missing a 6 x 1-inch blank section. Valley Forge [PA], 15 March 1778

Additional Details

Brigadier General George Weedon had recently been passed over in rank in favor of his rival William Woodford. Weedon returned to his home in Fredericksburg, where he contemplated his resignation. General Washington here expresses some sympathy for Weedon's wounded pride, but urges him to return swiftly to Valley Forge: "The situation of the army in respect to general officers at this time--the anxiety of General Woodford to visit his family, and the fast approach of the period for opening the campaign, urge me to request that you will return to camp as soon as possible." Mentioning Woodford's personal anxieties was perhaps not the best tack for Washington to take.
The Commander in Chief then advised Weedon to place his country above a point of honor: "I am heartily sorry that there should have been grounds for a dispute of this nature, and should be happy if the parties interested would chearfully acquiesce in whatever determination it may receive. This I have and would still advise--and if it should be against you, I really think it would be more for your honor and reputation to do it, than to leave the service." He states that two similarly aggrieved generals, Muhlenberg and Scott, have agreed to stay in the service despite their complaints. Washington's appeal to reason and duty did not convince Weedon, who submitted his resignation soon afterward, and sat out the next two years of the war. Published in Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, 14:190-1.