George Washington Papers

Instructions to Captain Strother Jones, 14 May 1777

Instructions to Captain Strother Jones

Headquarters Morris Town 14th May 1777.

I have appointed you to the Command of a Company, to be raised for the Continental Service, agreeable to the printed Instructions herewith delivered to you. As the Good of the Service depends in a very great Measure on a proper Choice of Officers, and the honour of a Superior as much upon the quality of his Subalterns, I have given you power to nominate yours—subject to my Disapprobation—From which that no Inconvenience may arise to them or yourself, I must inform you, that I expect your Choice will fall upon Men of Integrity & unexceptionable Character—The pressing necessity for Troops will prompt your utmost & unceasing Activity; As fast as they inlist, you should have them innoculated, & kept as much together as possible; thereby Desertion will be prevented—So soon as you raise a Sub.’s quota, you will forward them to Head quarters under a proper Officer. I am Yr most Obed. Sert

Go: Washington

DS, in George Johnston’s writing, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 31270; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Jones had been recommended to GW by Thomas Jefferson in a letter written about 18 April: “The bearer mr Strother Jones, son of mr Gabriel Jones of Augusta is now about to set out for the Continental army, where he wishes to be so placed as to gain military knolege. an offer of being Aid de camp to Brigadr Genl Stephens he thought himself in delicacy obliged to decline, on acct of some misunderstanding which had subsisted betw. that gent. & his father, tho otherwise he would much have wished for such an appointment. should his good fortune draw him within the sphere of your excellency’s notice, you will find him active, fearless, & of punctilious honour. perhaps some occasion may arise wherein your Excellency or some of your generals may make an essay of his properties” (DLC: Jefferson Papers; see also Gabriel Jones to GW, 6 June 1777).

Strother Jones, according to the docket on the DS, was commissioned a captain on “2 June with rank from his original appt.” He served in Col. William Grayson’s Additional Continental Regiment until April 1779 when he moved to Col. Nathaniel Gist’s Additional Continental Regiment in the merger of the two regiments. Most of Gist’s Regiment, probably including Jones, was captured at Charleston, S.C., in May 1780, and the regiment was disbanded effective 1 Jan. 1781. After the war Jones moved to Kentucky.

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