George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 24 November 1777

From Major General John Sullivan

Camp, Whitemarsh [Pa.]
Novemr 24th 1777

May it please your Excellencey

I do myself the Honor to Inclose you our Arrangment of the field officers of Light Horse which the Board Directed me to forward. upon a Supposition that your Excellencey would Call in their former Commissions & grant them De novo we Took the Liberty of Hinting At the Dates their Respective Commissions Should Bear—but if that is Disapprovd by your Excellencey, our opinion is that they Rank as Arranged in the Inclosed List.1

Should your Excellencey Require to know the principles upon which we went we will Lay them before your Excellencey when you please to Require it. In behalf of the Board I am your Excellenceys Most obedt Servt

Jno. Sullivan President


1GW’s general orders of 19 and 22 Nov. directed the general officers at camp to settle the ranks of the field officers of the Continental light horse. The enclosed list, in Lord Stirling’s writing and attested to by Sullivan, ranks the officers as follows: colonels, Stephen Moylan, George Baylor, Theodorick Bland, and Elisha Sheldon; lieutenant colonels, Anthony Walton White, Francis Otway Byrd, Benjamin Temple, and Samuel Blackden; majors, William Washington, John Jameson, Alexander Clough, and Benjamin Tallmadge. Sullivan also enclosed an undated pay and ration schedule for a regiment of cavalry similar to the one that Congress had approved and sent to GW in March 1777 (DLC:GW; see also John Hancock to GW, 23 Feb. 1777, and note 1). GW announced the ranking in General Orders, 7 Aug. 1778.

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