WASHINGTON, George. Partly printed document signed ("G:o Washington") as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, countersigned by Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. (1740-1809), Regimental Adjutant Sam Cooper, Capt. Nathaniel Donnell, and Col. John Crane, commander of the Third Artillery Regiment. Headquarters, [New Windsor, N.Y.], 9 June 1783. 2 pages, folio (13 3/16 x 8 1/16 in.), edges of the sheet untrimmed, neatly accomplished in manuscript, minor soiling, weak at folds, several small holes at fold intersections, but generally a good copy of a document almost invariably found in poor condition.
WASHINGTON GRANTS AN HONORABLE DISCHARGE to Lewis Carey, a Matross (private, charged with the semi-skilled tasks in firing a cannon), in the Third Artillery Regiment. Carey, it certifies, has "faithfully served the United States Six Years and Upwards," and has been "honored with the Badge of Merit."
Hostilities had largely ended in the aftermath of Yorktown, and while Washington's army waited in camp for news of the signing of the final peace traty and the evacuation of the British Army, many Continental soldiers, particularly those who had served for six or seven years, were earmarked for discharge. This example is dated the day after Washington's famous letter to the states announcing his retirement, since the "great object," independence, had been realized at last, even though the final peace treaty had not yet been signed in Paris. The 3rd Continental Artillery (Crane's), formed in 1777, served in Northern New Jersey, at Saratoga, Philadelphia, Monmouth, Rhode Island, and New Jersey (in 1780).