George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Samuel Huntington, 11 March 1780

From Samuel Huntington

Philadelphia March 11. 1780

Sir,

Your Excellency will receive herewith enclosed two Acts of Congress of the 10th & 11th Instant.

The former containing Regulations for the Payment of Arrears due, or to become due to the Soldiery for cloathing pursuant to the Resolution of Congress of the 16th of August last.1

The latter impowering the Commander in Chief to make the most salutary Regulations possible for m[o]difying the Practice of taking Men from the Regiments to act as Servants to Officers with certain Regulations respecting Servants that may be hereafter enlisted or retained by Officers.2

Your Excellency will also herewith receive a Copy of the Sentence of the Court Martial on the Trial of Major General Arnold with an Act of Congress of the 12th of February confirming the same.3 I have the honour to be with the highest respect your Excy’s hble servant

Sam. Huntington President

LS, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 14. The copy is dated 12 March.

1The enclosed resolution that Congress adopted on 10 March reads: “For the better regulating the payment of arrears due or to become due to the soldiery for cloathing pursuant to the resolution of Congress of 16. Augt last.

“Resolved, That the several regimental paymasters at the end of each year make out returns of the cloathing drawn by each soldier in the regiment to which he belongs in the course thereof and of the articles still due and to be paid for at the value fixed by the clothier general.

“That each of the said returns certified by the sub or state clothier of the troops of the state to which the regiments may belong & accompanied by a certified copy of the last muster roll be delivered to the auditors of the army or detachment of the army in which the said regiment may be who shall compare the return with the muster roll, file them in their office and report a warrant in the usual form for the sum necessary to discharge the arrears to the soldiers, and when any part of the regiment happens to be detached at that time, the sum necessary to pay them shall when they return be granted on a certificate of the inspector, who musters the regiment and settled in the same manner as the arrears due to those present.

“That each regimental paymaster within two weeks after the receipt of the money pay off the several companies and take receipts from the soldiers respectively to be produced as his vouchers to the auditors at the next settlement of his regimental pay roll.

“That the said auditors examine and settle the said account, & that the ballance, if any, which may remain in the hands of the said paymaster by reason of casualties in the regiment after the Muster roll aforesaid be refunded as directed by the resolutions of Congress of the 6 day of Feby 1778.

“That arrears of cloathing due to prisoners or the legal representatives of such as from time to time may have died in the service be paid for in the manner directed in similar cases of arrears of pay by the said last recited resolutions” (DLC:GW; see also 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 , 16:245–47). For the congressional resolutions of 6 Feb. 1778 and 16 Aug. 1779, 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 , 10:132–37 and 14:970–71.

Probably in error, the enclosed copy of the clothing resolution included another resolution that Congress passed on the same date. It reads: “That no allowance of pay rations or subsistance ought to be made to any persons after he ceases to be in office.

“That if any issuer deliver out public stores to such persons without being authorised by resolution of Congress, the same ought to be charged to his account” (DLC:GW; see also 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 , 16:247).

2The enclosed resolution that Congress adopted on 11 March 1780 reads: “That the Commander in Chief be empowered and directed to make the most salutary regulations possible for Modifying the p[ra]ctice of taking Men from the regiments to act as servants to Officers, which has heretofore been attended with Many bad consequences.

“That every Officer who by such regulations shall be intitled to a servant and who shall inlist to serve during the War a Youth not under fifteen nor exceeding Eighteen Years of Age, And who from appearances is likely to prove an able bodied soldier, such Officer shall retain the Youth so enlisted as his servant until in the opinion of the Inspector Genl or one of the Sub inspectors he shall be fit to bear Arms and the Youth shall receive the bounty Money, Cloathing, pay & rations of a soldier; And the Officer to whom such servant shall be attached is not to be allowed a Man out of the ranks on any pretence whatsoever, while such servant remains with him In case of the death or resignation of such Officer, the servant to be turned over to some other Officer in the regiment intitled to a servant The like allowances of Cloathing, pay & rations shall be given to any Officer intitled as aforesaid to a servant who shall bring into the field with him a servant of his own, the Officer in such case not to be allowed a servant out of the Line” (DLC:GW; 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 , 16:250).

3The enclosed resolution that Congress adopted on 12 Feb. to confirm the court-martial sentence of Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold is in DLC:GW. For the twenty-three delegates who voted for and the three delegates who voted against Arnold’s reprimand, 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 , 16:161–62. GW promulgated Arnold’s sentence and added his own remarks in the general orders for 6 April (see also n.3 to that document).

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