George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 2 August 1781

2 August 1781

At a board of general Officers of the american Army held at camp near Dobbs’ ferry August the 2. 1781 by order of his Excellency the Commander in chief to consider three plans for the succession of the Medical department and report thereon.


Major General Heath Brigadier General Knox
Major General Lord Stirling Brigadier General Glover
Major General Lincoln Brigadier General Paterson
Major General Howe Brigadier General Huntington
Major General Parsons

The Board having taken the three plans into consideration, beg leave to make the following report.

That all the present vacancies of hospital Physicians and Surgeons be filled up by the senior Surgeons of the hospital lately deranged, the eldest hospital Males, or regimental Surgeons, as shall be recommended by the Director and chief Physician & Surgeon to the army.

That all future vacancies of hospital Physicians and Surgeons be filled by the eldest regimental Surgeons and hospital Males (who shall be reckoned of equal grades) who shall upon examination be found qualified and obtain a certificate of recommendation from the Director and chief Physician & Surgeon of the army, or of the deputy Director & chief Physician in a separate Department.

That the persons requisite to fill the higher grades in the Hospital and medical Departments be appointed from time to time by Congress according to merit and abilities.

That the States shall nominate regimental Surgeons to the regiments of their respective lines who shall undergo the examination of the Director and chief Physician and Surgeon to the army and one of the chief Hospital Physicians, or of the Deputy Director and of the chief Physician, in a separate department, and upon their certificate of Approbation shall receive the appointment.

That all Surgeons to regiments or corps not belonging to the line of any particular State be nominated by the Director of the Hospitals and the chief Physician and Surgeon of the Army subject to the approbation of the Commander in chief—and shall be equally entitled to promotion to Hospital Physicians and Surgeons with the regimental Surgeons of state lines.

W. Heath M. Genl

Stirling M.G.

B: Lincoln Mr Genl

R. Howe M: Genl

Saml H. Parsons M. Genl

H. Knox B.G. Artillery

Jno. Glover B. General

John Paterson B. Genl

S. Huntington B.G.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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