Royal Fencible Americans
Halifax June 18th 1780
I obtained permission from Brigadier Genl. McLEAN to leave Fort Cumberland in December last, but the severe weather setting in could not march for some Weeks and after 14 days on Snow Shoes I arrived here the 20th of February last after being at that remote Outpost for near four Years, that part of the province being now reduced to an entire state of tranquility and the Inhabitants of all Ranks behaving with the utmost Circumspection & Industry, the Post is left with a Captain’s Command only.
Soon after my arrival I delivered in to Brigadier Genl. McLEAN the enclosed Copy of Crimes I had to exhibit against Major BATT of my regiment on which a Court Martial was ordered & sat for several days but thro’ the Interposition of the General and others, a plan of accomodation was formed and the whole at length submitted to the decision of a select number of the Members of that Court whose final Award has been publicly read & Concessions made accordingly,
As it appears there has been the most virulent unjust and groundless representation against me designing to prejudice my Character in the higher degree some of which perhaps may have reached Head Quarters, if they should, flatter myself no ill impression may take place with your Excellency against me.
I have now been from England about five Years the principal part of my time at an Out post where it has not been in my power to Recruit, Other Regiments who have had opportunities & indulgencies have been put on the Establishment, Younger Lieut. Colonels in the Army I see acting as Brigadier Generals-
When I first came out I was in expectation and could Wish to have served with the Commander in Chief where I presume from my particular knowledge of great part of the Continent I should been able to have rendered myself serviceable in general and in particular by raising a number of good Men.
Brig. Genl. McLEAN has some time since communicated a design of forming a Junction of young Regiments in this District, which if executed will compleat about Two Battalions, and thereby entitle the Officers to a certain Rank & half pay.
I look upon this plan an exceeding generous Offer from Government & very advantageous to most of the Officers, but the arrangement is still deferred.
I hope your Excellency will not imagine I mention these circumstances & grievances as Complaints.
I shall ever be ready to proceed on duty whenever my Superior Officers judge best for the Service: if matters have not hitherto turned out so favorable to my Expectations I consider it as a common Chance & fortune and have present only to request Leave for me to proceed to Head Quarters by the first Opportunity as well to settle all my public Accounts as to manage some other essential Affairs.
I have already Brig. Genl. McLEAN’s permission & hope to be favored with your Excellency’s approbation-
I have the honor to be with the greatest respect & defference,
His Excellency Sir Henry CLINTON
Great Britain, Public Record Office, Headquarters Papers of the British Army in America, PRO 30/55/2828.
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