George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Samuel Huntington, 22 July 1780

Head Qrs near Passaick July 22 1780


I beg leave to acquaint Congress that I have been informed by a letter from Governor Jefferson to their Committee in Camp, lately received, that the Legislature of Virginia had a Bill before them, when His Excellency wrote, for raising Five Thousand Men for Eighteen months to supply their Battallions; and that by a Letter, with which he was pleased to honor me at the same time, he requested that I would prepare an arrangement of Officers for them, and suggesting that as I might possibly cast my eyes on the unemployed Officers in the State, he had written to Genl Muhlenberg to send me a Return of them.

By the post which brought me the Governor’s Letter I received the Return from Genl Muhlenberg, of which the Inclosure No. 1 is a Copy, and in consequence of the requisition I have made & transmitted the Arrangement contained in the Inclosure No. 2 to His Excellency—and A Copy to Genl Gates or in his absence to Genl Muhlenberg, which appeared to me—the best that could be adopted for the present, under a view of all circumstances, & to which I take the liberty to refer Congress. I would also observe that by a Letter since of the 11th from Genl Muhlenberg, which came by Yesterday’s post, I received a List of the Officers comprehended in the Inclosure No. 3 now in Virginia belonging to Colo. Gist’s Regiment, whose names were omitted to be forwarded before, & who in consequence, were not included in the Arrangement No. 2. I have requested Genl Gates or Genl Muhlenberg in his absence by a Letter of to day, of which I have informed the Governor, to incorporate those with the Other Officers for the present, tho they do not properly belong to the Virginia line, or to divide the Drafts into another Regiment, as may appear most eligible on a consideration of all matters and from the number of Men actually collected, and to place them in it. This measure will give the Drafts more Officers than they would otherwise have & will benefit the Service—employ those Gentlemen save the Continent at least the expence of engaging as Many as they amount to if they should be necessary—and will prevent complaints that would arise on any new appointments, except to the lowest ranks, and the difficulty there would be in disposing & providing for the Officers under them, whenever the release of those in captivity should make their services unnecessary.

I have thought it my duty to make those communications, that Congress might know the provision that is made for Officering those Levies, & I hope the plan will appear to them as it does to me, the most eligible, the situation of affairs will admit. It is unlucky that there are not more Officers—as the number of Men proposed to be raised will exceed their proper commands under the establishment, but this excess perhaps will be a less evil, especially if the Officers are active and assiduous in their duties, than to introduce any new ones; and besides it is possible, that those Levies like all Others, may fall something short of the number, in which case the inconvenience arising from the want of more Officers will not be so great. Congress will perceive that by the distribution made in the first arrangement, every Regiment will have Two Field Officers, and I suppoes it best to give them the same numbers as those of the Regiments to which the Colonels commanding them properly belong.

I was honoured Yesterday with Your Excellency’s Letter of the 14th—and with it’s inclosure, directing me to endeavour to obtain the exchange of Brigadier General du Portail. A proposition to this effect will be made by the earliest opportunity; in compliance with the direction, but I do not think there is any prospect of it’s being acceded to. I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect & esteem Sir Your Excellency’s Most Obedt & Most Hbl. servt

Go: Washington

DNA: Item 152, Letters from George Washington, PCC—Papers of the Continental Congress.


4 July 1780

A return of the Continental Officers now in Virginia, as nearly as at the present can be ascertained. July 4th 1780.

Names Rank Regt
Daniel Morgan Colonel 7th
James Wood Do 8th
Christian Febiger Do 2d
John Green Do 6th
William Davies Do 10th
Abraham Buford Do 11
Samuel Haws Lt Col. 6
John Cropper D. 7
John Webb D. 5
Richard Taylor Do [   ]
Thomas Gaskins D. 3d
Thomas Posey Major 7
Thomas Hill Do 5
Thomas Ridley D. 6
Archibald Denham Captain 1st
John Peyton Harrison Do 2d
Valentine Harrison D. 2
William Bentley D. 3d
John Hawkins D. 3
John Anderson D. 3
Philip Hoffman D. 4th
William L. Lovely Do 4
Abraham Kirkpatrick D. 4
John Steed D. 4
John Young Do 5.
James Williams D. 6
  Mountjoy D. 6
William Blackwell Do 6
Peter Bryan Bruin D. 7
Philip Slaughter D. 7
John Marshal D. 7
Robert Gamble Do 8
Thomas Bowyer Do 8
Andrew Wallace D. 8
William Baylis D. 8
John Overton Captain 10th
  Reed Do 10
John Winston D. 10
  Marks D. 10
Philip Lansum Lieut. 1st
Ballard Smith Do
Mathew Clay Do
John Steel Do
  Andrews Do 3
Benjamin Lawson D. 4
Philip Easton Do 4
John Jeffries D. 5
William White D 5
  Evans Do 6
  Moore D. 6
Thomas Ransdale D. 7
Reuben Long D. 7
David Williams D. 7
John Towns D. 7
Benjamin Ashley D. 7
Sigamund Stribling Do 8
Albert Russel Do & Adjutant 8
Abraham Murray Do & Do 10
  Ewing Lieut. 10
  Pointer D. 10
  Burfort D. 10
Albridgeton Jones Lt & Adjt 11
Samuel Jones Lieut. 11
John Crittindon D. 11
  Cortney Ensign 1st
Richard Coleman Do 20
James Braddus D. 2
Two Do 3
Three Do 4th
One or two Do 5th
  Morgan Ensign 7
Lee Do 7
Two or three Do 8
Mr King & two or three more D. 10
None of the [   ] 12

No. 1


c.22 July 1780

The following plan is to be adopted with respect to 5,000 Drafts raised, or intended to be raised, for 18 months by the State of Virginia, for recruiting her Battalions.

The whole of the Virginia line, except the 9th Regiment & the Officers mentioned below, being Prisoners at Charles Town, the Drafts are to be disposed of in equal proportions for the present, or so as to make the Corps equal counting upon the men they may respectively have not in captivity, in the following manner and under the following Officers & denominations of Corps. Viz. the 2d—6th—7th—8th—9th—10th—& 11th Regiments. The arrangement to be subject to future alterations from time to time both as to a transfer of part of the Drafts to the other Regiments or of the Officers, as the exchange of the Officers & Men who are Prisoners at the Southward or other circumstances may require.

Officers for 2d Regiment of Levies
Colo. Febiger
Lt Colo. Gaskins of the 3d
Captains John P. Harrison
Valentine Harrison
Wm Bently of the 3d
John Hawkins Do
Archid Denham of the 1st
Lieuts. Philip Sansum of the 1st
Ballard Smith Do
Mathey Clay Do
John Steel Do
Ensigns Richd Coleman
James Braden
George Augustine Washington
Officers for 6th Regt
Colo. Greene
Lt Colo. Hawes
Major Ridley
Captains James Williams
Wm Blackwell
John Young of the 5th
Lieut. John Jefferies of the 5th
Wm White Do
Ensigns Two belonging to the 3d, names not known.
7th Regt
Colo. Morgan
Major Posey
Captains Peter Bryan Bruin
Philip Slaughter
John Marshall
John Anderson of the 3d
Lieuts. Thomas Randal
Reuben Long
David Williams
John Towns
Benjamin Ashley
Ensigns Morgan
8th Regt
Colo. Wood
Lt Colo. Cropper of the 7th
Major Hill of the 5th
Captains Robert Gamble
Thomas Bowyer
Andrew Wallace
Wm Baliss
Lieuts. Sigismund Stribling
Albert Russell
Benjamin Lawson of the 4th
Philip Easton Do
Ensigns Two or three—belonging to the Regiment names unknown.
9th Regt—This has its own proper Officers and is only to receive a proportion of the Drafts.
10th Regt
Colo. Davies
Lt Colo. Webb of the 5th
Captains John Overton
John Winston
Lieuts. Abraham Murray
Ensigns—King & the remainder belonging to the Regiment names unknown.
11th Regt
Colo. Buford
Lt Colo. Taylor
Captains Philip Hoffman of the 4th
Wm L. Lovely Do
Abraham Kirkpatrick Do
John Steed Do
Lieuts. Aldbridgeton Jones
Samuel Jones
John Crittendon
Andrews of the 3d
Ensigns Those belonging to the 4th & 5th Regts.

If there should be found in the State any other officers belonging to the line, besides those already mentioned, they are to be distributed among the Corps giving those who properly belong to the Regiments bearing the foregoing numbers, to the Corps of the same number under the present arrangement.

If there are any men in the State, who belong to any of the Regiments in captivity, not of the foregoing numbers, these will be divided among the present Corps—or be thrown into one, as circumstances may best suit, making in the latter case an allowance for their number, in the distribution of the Drafts.

Colo. Wood is still to continue his command respecting the Convention Troops, notwithstanding he is engaged to the 8th Regt.

The Captains in the different Corps under this arrangement are to rank according to the number of their Commissions as is usual and it will be the case with respect to any others that may be found. It is possible they may not be put down in the Regts. in order of their precedence. This may also be the case with respect to the Lieuts & Ensigns. The arrangement is not meant to govern the Rank of the officers in the smallest degree, but only to designate those that are to compose each Corps.

Although it is expedient that the Drafts should be formed into seven Corps as mentioned above, yet it may not be for the benefit but on the contrary very injurious for the service for them to be distributed in the first instance among the whole. This might be attended much delay and might prevent any Corps being respectable or fit for service for a considerable time. It therefore is not to be done, but on the principle of such a number of the Drafts assembling at once will put the whole in this situation—and if circumstances will not admit of this, the Regts. are to be filled to 504 rank & file, in order of their numbers, beginning with No. 2 first. This number tho’, not a full proportion of the 5000 men [collected] will make them respectable and by filling them one after another, place them in a condition to act.

Return of Officers Belonging to Colonel Nathl Gist & Regiment
Major Nathl Mitchel
Captains John Gist
Samuel Lapsley
Strother Jones
Joseph Smith
Thomas Bell
Francis Muir
Capt. St William [Brownles]
Lieuts Robert [Thirsh]
William Triplett
Ensigns David Luchett
John Nelson

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