George Washington Papers

Orders to Captain William Scott, 14 January 1777

Orders to Captain William Scott

[Morristown, 14 January 1777]


Inclosed you have Instructions for recruiting a Company of Rangers; as also a Warrant for Eight hundred Dollars to enter upon this business—One half of the Bounty you will give at the time of Inlisting—the other half when the Men join the Regiment.1

Your Company is to consist of yourself, two Lieutts and an Ensign—four Sergeants, four Corporals, a Drum & fife, and Seventy Six privates. and as an incouragement to you to get good Officers & proper Men I leave the appointment of the formr to yourself under the reservation contained in the Inclosed Instructions.

Use every possible exertion to compleat, & March your Company to the Army under my immediate Command. Given at head Quarters at Morris Town this 14th day of Jan: 1777.

Go: Washington

ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. William Scott (1742–1796), who was one of several men by that name living at Peterborough, N.H., during the Revolutionary War, served as a volunteer in Col. Paul Dudley Sargent’s regiment at the Battle of Bunker Hill in April 1775. Critically wounded during the battle and captured by the British, Scott was taken as a prisoner of war to Halifax, Novia Scotia, and placed in the jail there, and in March 1776 he escaped captivity and made his way back to Boston, where he arrived in late July. Scott joined his regiment in September 1776 and was captured at the Battle of Fort Washington on 16 Nov. 1776. He subsequently escaped captivity a second time, and on 1 Jan. 1777 he was named a captain in Col. David Henley’s Additional Continental Regiment. After resigning from the army in the spring of 1781, Scott volunteered for naval service on the ship Duane and served until May 1782. After the war he bought a farm in Groton, Mass., but lost it and moved to Litchfield, N.Y., where in 1794 Secretary of War Henry Knox appointed Scott deputy storekeeper at West Point. Scott is often confused with his first cousin William Scott (1744–1815), an Irish immigrant who came to Peterborough in 1760. Both men were members of the same regiments during the French and Indian War and the Battle of Bunker Hill, and both moved to New York after the war. William Scott the immigrant later served as a major in 1st New Hampshire Regiment (Smith, “Two William Scotts of Peterborough, N.H.,” 495–502).

1The enclosures have not been identified, but a pay warrant for $800 was issued to Scott on this date (see GW’s warrant book no. 2, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 18).

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