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MY DEAR GENERAL,--Agreeable to your excellency's orders, I have taken the oath of the gentlemen officers in General Woodford's brigade, and their certificates have been sent to the adjutant-general's office. Give me leave, now, to present you with some observations delivered to me by many officers in that brigade, who desire me to submit them to your perusal. I know, sir, (besides I am not of their opinion in the fact itself) that I should not accept for you the objections those gentlemen could have had, as a body, to any order from congress; but I confess the desire of being agreeable to them, of giving them any mark of friendship and affection which is in my power and acknowledging the kind sentiments they honour me with, have been my first and dearest considerations. Besides that, be pleased to consider that they began by obeying orders, and want only to let their beloved general know which were the reasons of their being rather reluctant (as far as reluctance may comply with their duty and honour) to an oath, the meaning and spirit of which was, I believe, misunderstood by them. I may add, sir, with a perfect conviction, that there is not one among them but would be thrice happy were occasions offered to them of distinguishing yet, by new exertions, their love for their country, their zeal for their duty as officers, their consideration for the civil superior power, and their love for your excellency.
With the greatest respect and most tender affection, I have the honour to be, &c.
- General Lafayette