George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Board of War, 9 July 1776

To the Board of War

New York July the 9. 1776


In answer to your request communicated by Mr Peters’s Letter of the 6th Instant1 I am to inform you that no provision has yet been made in the Continentl Army in the Instances of your Inquiry though I have been frequently applied to. In respect to the Serjeant Majors & Quarter Master Serjeants they have been exempted from Common duties, which has been complained of by the rest. As to Drum & Fife Majors in the British Army their pay is generally made up out of Stoppages from that of the Drummers & Fifers, but It cannot be well done in ours; all Stoppages being attended with difficulty & giving uneasiness. I would therefore propose that an additional allowance of a Dollar ⅌ Month should be made to their several pays as now established as a sufficient compensation and satisfaction for any extraordinary trouble attending their Offices.2 I have the Honor &c.


LB, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Richard Peters wrote GW on behalf of the Board of War on 6 July inquiring “whether any and what Provision has been made in the Continental Army for Sergeant Majors, Drum & Fife Majors & Quarter Master Serjeants & if none had here to fore been made whether any & what Pay or Allowance ought to be made them” (DLC:GW).

2Congress approved this allowance on 16 July (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 , 5:563–64; see also General Orders, 25 July).

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