From Matthew Griswold
Fairfield [Conn.] June 25th 1776
I have to acquaint your Excellency that the Delay of Dischardging the pay Roll of the Regiment under the Command of Colo. G: S: Silliman Sent from this Colony in the late Campaign to New York—Greatly obstructs the Raising the New Levies orderd by the late Act of our Assembly:1 many of the Men in this part of the Colony proper for the Service Decline to Inlist till they are paid their former Wages: Colo. Talcott was orderd by our Assembly to Receive the pay for this Regimt but Inadvertently omiting to take the proper Credentials was able to obtain none but for his own Regiment.2
Colo. Silliman has now Sent Mr Davenport a Young Gentleman of known Fidelity to make a New Application for the Money I Suppose he is Furnished with the proper Credentials for that purpose hope he will Succeed.3
Colo. Silliman is a Worthy officer has an appointment for the present Service his Attention to give all possible Dispatch to the Service prevents waiting on you Personally I hope my Zeal for the Cause & the great Distance from Govr Trumbull will Excuse this freedom—from your Excellencys Most Obedt humble Servt
ALS, DLC:GW. Although Samuel Blachley Webb endorsed this letter, “Answered 4th July,” no reply of that date to Griswold from GW or any of his aides or secretaries has been found. Griswold was deputy governor of Connecticut.
1. For the Connecticut general assembly’s recent act authorizing the raising of militia reinforcements for Canada and New York, see Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., to GW, 22 June. Gold Selleck Silliman (1732–1790), a lawyer in Fairfield, commanded one of the seven Connecticut militia regiments that went to New York in March 1776 to assist in holding the city until the Continental army arrived from Boston (Hinman, Historical Collections description begins Royal R. Hinman, comp. A Historical Collection, from Official Records, Files &c., of the Part Sustained by Connecticut, during the War of the Revolution. Hartford, 1842. description ends , 350). Although those regiments had been dismissed by 15 April, Silliman was still trying to settle the pay accounts for his men. In the meantime, the Connecticut general assembly in this month’s session named Silliman colonel of one of the six regiments of militia levies that were to reinforce GW’s army at New York as well as colonel of a regiment of horse (Hinman, Historical Collections description begins Royal R. Hinman, comp. A Historical Collection, from Official Records, Files &c., of the Part Sustained by Connecticut, during the War of the Revolution. Hartford, 1842. description ends , 223, 225, 230). Silliman succeeded in forming his new militia regiment and served with the Continental army until the regiment’s enlistments expired in December of this year, when he returned to Connecticut to become a brigadier general of the state’s militia (ibid., 266). The British captured Silliman at his home in Fairfield on 1 May 1779, and he was exchanged in October 1780.
2. Matthew Talcott (c.1713–1802) of Middletown, Conn., commanded another of the seven militia regiments that temporarily reinforced New York in the spring of this year. The Connecticut general assembly had recently resolved that “as it became important that the troops, who had been at the camp at Cambridge and Roxbury, near Boston, as well as those that marched to New York, in the continental service, from this colony, and who had returned to the colony, should be immediately paid. It was ordered . . . that Col. James Wadsworth, Jr., Col. Matthew Talcott, and Col. Ichabod Lewis be empowered to receive all the pay rolls of the several companies who had marched as aforesaid, and apply to the general to settle the same, and obtain his order for the payment, for the benefit of the officers and soldiers to whom due” (ibid., 212, 350). Talcott also served on the committee that the general assembly appointed to operate the lead mines in Middletown and commanded one of the colony’s several additional militia regiments that joined the Continental army at New York in August 1776.
3. John Davenport (1752–1830) of Stamford, Conn., was appointed with his father, Abraham Davenport (1715–1789), in November 1776 to a committee to arrange the Connecticut officers serving with the Continental army (ibid., 240).