George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Nathanael Greene, 4 July 1780

Head Qrs July 4 1780


I have the honor to transmit you such papers and Resolutions in my possession as respect the appointments of Brigadier Generals Hand & Irvine and the dispute between them, which the Board will be pleased to return with their proceedings in the case. The appointment of Genl Hand will be found in the Journals of Congress in 1777—page 107: Genl Irvine’s in those of May 1779—page 7.

Besides the papers respecting Generals Irvine & Hand—I inclose the Board a State of Sundry Facts respecting Lt Col. Conway and other Officers of the Jersey line—and request that they will give me their opinion upon it. I have the Hono. to be with great respect and esteem GentnYr most Obedt St

G. Washington.

Papers sent, No: 1. Letter from Board of War 17 May 1779 inclosing one of the 15 to Congress from Genl Irvine.

No: 2. Letter from Genl Irvine to Congress 23January 1780.

N 3 Act of Congress of 29 Feby 1780.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


c.4 July 1780

To M. General Greene Presidt and the Board of Genl Officers on the Rank of Lt Colonel Conway and other Officers Jersey line.

The Commander in Chief submits the following State of Facts to the Board of General Officers now sitting.

That on the 4 or 5 day of July 1779 Lt Colo. David Brearly of the 1st Jersey Regiment went from the Army going to the Westward under General Sullivan, in consequence of an appointment of Chief Justice given him or in contemplation to be given him by the State.

That it appears by the Journals of Congress, that Lt Colo.Brearly on the 22d of July 1779 represented to them "That the State of New Jersey to which he belonged, had lately appointed him Chief Justice of the State, an Office important and honourable but not lucrative, and had requested him in the strongest manner to retire from the Army & enter upon the duties of the Office: That he was determined to comply with their request, but was very desirous of holding his rank in the Army without pay."

That Congress Resolved "that the desire of Lt Colo. Brearly to hold his Rank in the Army after he should accept the Office of Chief Justice of the State of New Jersey, could not be complied with”.

That it is not known precisely at what time Lt Colo. Brearly finally occopied & began to exercise the Office of Chief Justice of the State; but he never was with the Army after he went from it when it was going to the Westward.

That on the 23d of August 1779 Major John Conway & Captain Hollingshead, the first being the oldest major and the last the oldest Captain in the line, were appointed in Orders by Major General Sullivan, to the ranks of Lt Colo. and Major respectively, and to do duty accordingly.

That the State of New Jersey did not give their approbation for the promotion of Major John Conway as a Lieutt Colo. till the 17th day of March last and that his Commission gives him Rank as such only from that time.

That there are several promotions in the Jersey line, including Major Conway’s, which on principles of lineal and Regimental succession depend on the time Lt Colo. Brearly ceased to be an Officer. Upon this State of Facts, the Commander in Chief requests that the Board will inform him from what date in their opinion, which they will fix, Lt Colo. Conway & the officers entitled to rise in consequence of his promotion ought to take rank.

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