George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from John Hancock, 11 March 1776

From John Hancock

Philada 11 March 1776.

Sir,

Since my last I have had the honour of receiving your letter of the 9th of Feby. The congress have not yet come to any resolutions on your former Letters.1

The design of this is only to desire you to send Captain Morgan Connor of the riffle Batallion to Philada the Congress having occasion to employ him in the southern department.2

The Congress having promoted Edward Hand Esqr. to be colonel of the riffle batallion in the room of col. Thompson whom they advanced to the rank of Brigr genl and James Chambers Esqr. to be lieutenant colonel of the same, I have forwarded their commissions accordingly.3 I have the Honor to be with much Esteem Sir Your most Obedt Servt

John Hancock Presidt

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA:PCC, item 12A.

2Congress made this request in a resolution of 9 Mar. 1776 (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 , 4:192). Morgan Connor (d. 1780), who joined Col. William Thompson’s Pennsylvania rifle regiment as a first lieutenant in July 1775 and became a captain in Thompson’s 1st Continental Regiment on 5 Jan. 1776, was sent by Congress to the southern department where he served as Gen. John Armstrong’s brigade major at Charleston. In April 1777 Connor was made lieutenant colonel of Col. Thomas Hartley’s Additional Continental Regiment, but he acted from 9 April to 18 June 1777 as GW’s adjutant general pending the appointment of Timothy Pickering to that office. In May 1779 Connor became lieutenant colonel commandant of the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment and served until he became ill in the fall of 1779. Obtaining no relief from a visit to Warm Springs in Virginia, Connor requested and received a leave of absence from Congress on 2 Dec. 1779 to go to the West Indies for six months to recover his health (Connor to GW, 15 Nov. 1779; 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 , 15:1340). His ship was lost at sea in January 1780.

3Congress approved these promotions on 7 Mar. 1776 (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 , 4:188). James Chambers (1744–1805), who recruited a rifle company in Cumberland County, Pa., during June 1775, served as lieutenant colonel of the 1st Continental Regiment for the remainder of 1776. When the Pennsylvania forces were reorganized in March 1777, Chambers was made colonel of the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment, but in April he became colonel of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment in place of Edward Hand who was promoted to brigadier general. Chambers retired from the army in January 1781.

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