George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Thomas Hartley, 18 January 1777

From Colonel Thomas Hartley

January the 18th 1777

May it please your Excellency

For the more expeditiously raising my Regiment and having a proper Corps of Gentlemen for officers—I have fixed on the Officers of four Companies in Pennsylvania; three Captains in Maryland, and one William Kelley for a Captain in Virginia—I have seen the most of the Captains and wrote to the others inclosing Recruiting Orders and Instructions1—I expect next week all my Captains will be beating up in the most likely Places to meet with Success—I have appointed a Paymaster and Quarter Master—for the present I have sent them to Wioming on the Recruiting Service.

I have spoke to Mr Mease concerning Cloathing—and agreed on the uniform I wish we may procure it—I have a Prospect of geting the Arms of the Regiment made by the Time my Men are inlisted—I have sent Major Bush to Mr Chambers—I presume he will accept of his Appointment.

The Colonels to the Southward, in the additional Regiments intend to have ten Companies in a Regiment, I hope your Excellency will grant me the same Privelege.2

Two Gentlemen of Character have lately offered themselves for Captains they can raise their Companies soon—If it is not disapproved of by you: I could raise the ten Companies—I would not pick the Regiment to form the Light Infantry and Granadiers but chuse the two best Companies.

I will leave nothing undone that is in my Power to raise form and discipline the Regiment as soon as possible. I flatter myself that my Regiment will be among the first raised.

In arranging the Rank and Seniority of Regiments I hope you will be pleased to pay some Regard to the Rank of the Gentlemen appointed Colonels.

I hold the Rank of Liet. Coll of Minute Men among the first in this Province.

I was appointed a Liut. Coll in the Continental Service the 10th of January 1776—and was second Senior Lieut. Coll in the Troops of this State.

One Jacob Holtzinger a Lieut. in the Flying-Camp and my Brother in Law, was taken Prisoner at Fort Washington I would wish to have him a Liut. in my Regiment—I must beg that he may be among the first Officers exchanged—as he could be very useful in Recruiting.3

To Morrow I set of to York Town—where I shall remain some Days—Should you have any further Commands before I return to this Place—please to direct to me at York Town. I am with the greatest Respect your Excellency’s most obedient & very humble Servant

Thos Hartley


1William Kelley (d. 1777) of Virginia, a 2d lieutenant in the 11th Virginia Regiment, was captured at Fort Washington on 16 Nov. 1776, but no record of his exchange has been identified. He was appointed a captain in Hartley’s regiment on 16 Jan. 1777 and was killed at the first Battle of Saratoga on 19 Sept. 1777. The other captains of Hartley’s regiment, whose commissions are dated 12 and 13 Jan., were Evan Edwards, Lewis Bush, William Nicholls, Barnet Eichelberger, and Robert Hopes of Pennsylvania, Archibald McAllister, James Kenny (Kenney), George Boss (Bush) of Delaware, and Benjamin Stoddert of Maryland. Adam Hubley, Jr., was major of the regiment, but Lewis Bush almost immediately began acting as the regiment’s major although he was not promoted until 12 Mar., when Hubley was promoted to lieutenant colonel and transferred to the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment. Bush’s company was commanded by Lt. Isaac Sweeny (d. 1780), who received his captain’s commission on 9 Sept. 1777. Lewis Bush (d. 1777), who had been appointed a first lieutenant in the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1776 and promoted to captain the following July, was killed at the Battle of Brandywine on 11 Sept. 1777.

2Hartley’s regiment was allowed ten captains, but only eight companies were raised (see note 1).

3Jacob Holtinger (1750–1825) of York County, Pa., who was married to Hartley’s sister Catherine, was serving as a lieutenant in Col. Michael Swope’s regiment of the Pennsylvania flying camp when he was captured at Fort Washington in November 1776. Holtinger apparently was not exchanged until later in the war and thus did not serve in Hartley’s regiment.

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