The Honble Thos. Burke, Esqr.
I am surprised and concerned to hear by Colo. Williams that my Conduct when at your farm has been so Misrepresented that you consider it as an injury and an offence. I'm persuaded, Sir, that if you could know the particular circumstances under which I acted, your resentment cou'd not be directed against me.
Genl. Smallwood issued a Brigade Order for the Quarter Master to procure Straw and Corn Tops for Covering our Huts, and parties were appointed for bringing those Articles to Camp. I was ordered to take command of one of those parties, and went by direction of the Q. Master to get Corn Tops in a Field. I was forbid executing my command by a man calling himself your Overseer, who behaved with an Impertinence which nothing but the respect I have for the privileges of a Citizen sho'd have prevented me from punishing; but, Feeling the delicacy of my Situation, I tho't I acted with discretion in dismissing him with a rebuke, giving him my name and saying I wo'd be answerable to his master if called upon. I hope this representation of my Conduct, which I give upon my Veracity, will convince you that I co'd have no intention of injuring or insulting you, and that you will have a more favourable Opinion of my Character, as I assure you I am very Conscious of the Supremacy of the Civil power, and am convinced the most essential service I can render my Country is to aid with my last abilities the Establishment of that power on a permanent foundation.