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From George Washington to Board of War, 21 October 1780

Head Quarters Prackness Octr 21st 1780


Did the resolution of Congress of the 10th of April appear to me intirely without ambiguity or doubt, I should not hesitate to comply with the request of your letter of the 12th—But as in my opinion it admits different constructions, motives of delicacy refrain me from adopting one rather than another. What is meant by the line of the army has never been precisely defined or understood—the phrase has been used in different senses—sometimes it has been applied to the aggregate of the state-lines, sometimes to the whole army as composed of corps—the cavalry artillery and independent corps included, and sometimes it has been applied as comprehending not only all the corps, but every officer having military rank. If the Board will be pleased to specify their own construction of it, the returns shall be immediately forwarded.

I inclose a commission to Capt. Gillman of the New Hampshire line, which by the certificate from Colonel Scammel accompanying it appears to have been misdated; being the 12th of September 78 instead of the first of June preceding. The rectifying this mistake will affect no other officer in that line. I have the honor to be with perfect respect and esteem Gentlemen Your most Obedient & humble servant

G: W——n

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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