To Brigadier General Duportail
Head Quarters West Point July 27th 1779
You will be pleased to make an arrangement of the officers who have presented themselves for appointments in the companies of Sappers and Miners, which I will transmit to the Board of War to obtain their commissions1—The numerous drafts that have [been]2 made from the line for different purpose⟨s,⟩ would make it inconvenient at this time to take out others for the purpose of forming these companies, which must therefore be suspended, ’till men can be recruited, or ’till the situation of the army wil⟨l⟩ better admit a draft—A part of the officers may be employed in the mean time in gaining the necessary previous instruction and in aiding you in the operations of your department—the rest may be sent on the recruiting service. For this purpose, I inclose you a warrant for [ ] dollars3 which you will distribute to them in such proportions and with such instructions respecting the qualifications of the men to be engaged as you shall judge proper. A bounty of two hundred dollars is to be given to each man who shall inlist during the war and twenty dollars to the officer as a gratuity for every man so inlisted—The regulations of Congress for the recruiting service in general are to be observed in the present case.4 The Officers will be accountable for the money they receive. I am with very great esteem Sir Your most Obed. servant.
Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Mutilated material in the draft manuscript has been supplied in angle brackets from the Varick transcript.
1. For the officers seeking appointments in the companies of sappers and miners, which Duportail commanded, see General Orders, 13 March and 2 Aug., and GW to John Jay, 17 Aug. (DNA:PCC, item 152). The Board of War did not decide recommendations for commissions until 5 Feb. 1780 (see JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 16:133, and GW to Samuel Huntington, 26 Jan. 1780, DNA:PCC, item 152).
2. This word has been supplied from the Varick transcript.
3. GW’s warrant book indicates under 28 July that $10,000 was given to “Brigr Genl DuPortail for the purpose of recruiting a company of Sappers & Miners” (Revolutionary War Warrant Book 4, 1779–1780, DLC:GW, Ser. 5).