Major General Charles Lee to George Washington, 30 June 1778

Maj. Gen. Charles Lee ordered the retreat of his troops from an engagement with British forces on 28 June 1778, thereby precipitating a much larger battle with the British than was originally intended by the orders under which he was acting. Lee was rebuked in person by Washington on the day of the battle, and again in a letter from Washington on 30 June 1778. Lee protested that his actions had been justified, and demanded in letters to Washington that he have the chance to justify his actions (see Lee’s letters of 28 June and 30 June). Soon after writing the latter note to Washington, Lee wrote again, updating his request by asking that a court martial be called as soon as possible in order that he be able to justify his actions right away.

Original manuscript images of Lee’s letter to Washington at the Library of Congress: Page 1 | Page 2

Also see the introduction to Washington’s correspondence with Lee.

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