George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Peters, 28 July 1780

War Office July 28th 1780


In Consequence of your Excellency’s Letter on the subject of the Jersey Arrangements the Board (fully sensible from Experience of the Justice of your Observations on the Impropriety of the individual States interfering in such Cases) reported the Matter to Congress in Hopes of an Alteration in the System being produced. But we are this Day informed that Congress have been pleased to Negative our Report. Matters must therefore remain as they are until Congress shall alter their Sentiments on this Subject & restore Propriety to the Mode of arranging the Army. We cannot under present Circumstances issue the Commissions to the Jersey Officers from Considerations which must strike your Excellency on every View of the Subject. When the Government of the State transmitt in the Arrangement not a Moment shall be lost in sending your Excellency the Commissions. We have the Honour to be with the highest Respect & Esteem your very obed. Servants

Richard Peters

By order & in Behalf of the Board

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


At a Board of War July 11. 1780

Present Colo. Pickering

Mr Peters

Colo. Grayson

The Board having taken into consideration the inclosed extract of a letter from General Washington and entirely coinciding with His Excellency in opinion—beg leave to report.

Whereas great inconveniencies have arisen in consequence of the regulation of June 28th 1779—respecting promotions in the army of the United States; and there being too much reason to apprehend, that if the present mode is pursued, the whole business of arrangement will be involved in the utmost perplexity and confusion, to the great prejudice of the service.

It is therefore resolved—That the act of June the 28th 1779, giving the States the exclusive right of making promotions in their respective Lines, be repealed. That when vacancies happen in any regiment in the service of the United States, the Commanding Officer shall signify the same to the Commander in Chief, or the Commanding officer of the Department where such regiment shall be—who shall transmit information thereof to the Board of war, with the names of the Officers intitled to promotion, agreeably to the principles established by Congress to the end that commissions may issue provided nevertheless that nothing herein contained shall be construed to take from the States their right of nominating for all new appointments.

Extract from the Minutes

Ben. Stoddert Secy

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