Parton, James, The life and times of Aaron Burr (v. 1)

(Boston :  J.R. Osgood,  1876.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 109  

HB   COMMANDS   A   EEGIMENT.                109

Washington to move about in the vicinity of New York, to
procure information respecting the motions and intentions of
the enemy; which latter it was of the first importance to as¬
certain. He was desired " to send one, two, or three trusty
persons over to the city to get the reports, the newspapers,
and the truth, if they can," and " to employ three, four or
more persons to go to Bergen Heights, Weehawk, Hoebuck,
or any other heights thereabout, convenient to observe the
motions of the enemy's shipping." This commission he exe¬
cuted to the satisfaction of General Washington, and, return-
mg after an absence of some weeks to the main body, was
ordered to march with his regiment to West Point, " with all
convenient dispatch, marching ten miles a day, as water and
ground will permit." The regiment, however, marched with¬
out its commanding officer, as he was selected by General
Washington to perform the delicate duty of conducting cer¬
tain influential Tories Avithin the British lines. That done, he
proceeded to West Point, his health being then completely

Finding himself in the autumn quite unfit for duty, he tOok
a short leave, and spent a few weeks at his old home in Eliza¬
bethtown, greatly to the improvement of his health. Assured
that nothing but some months of repose would place him be¬
yond the danger of relapse, he applied, to General Washing¬
ton for leave " to retire from pay and duty" till the next cam¬
paign. " My anxiety to be out of pay," said he, " arises in no
measure from intention or wish to avoid any requisite service.
But too great a regard to malicious surmises, and a delicacy
perhaps censurable, might otherwise hurry me unnecessarily
into service, to the prejudice of my health, and without any
advantage to the public." General Washington replied that
this was carrying delicacy a little too far; it was not custom¬
ary, and it would be unjust; and, therefore, while he had the
leave asked for, his pay would be continued. Upon the re¬
ceipt of' the general's reply. Colonel Burr repaired forthwith
to West Point, being unwilling to accept a furlough unless hia
pay was intermitted.

During part of the winter he was the officer in command o.i
  Page 109