George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Captains of the Second New Jersey Regiment, 20 December 1776

From the Captains of the Second New Jersey Regiment

December 20th 1776.

May it Please your Excellency

The Captains of the late Colo: Maxwells Regiment in Behalf of their men—have thought it necessary to lay before Your Excellency—The Charge brought against them of Cartouch Boxes, Cross Belts, Tomhawks, Haversacks, Priming Wires & Brushes, Canteens, Gunslings, Camp Kettles & Canada Caps—the men have been taught to belive that they would not have to Pay for those things enumerated—Genl Gates while at Ticonderoga gave them assurances that they would not—since which they think themselves exempted from the Payment, we hope your Excellency will Consider it. This Charge if Permited to stand will retard the present service, and Injure our Characters—Relying on the Justness of the Case & the Impartiality with which Justice is administered where you Precide, are in full assurances that our request will be Complyed with.

If the hardships these men have gone through would be any argument for the remiting these things mentioned, we would have no doubt of their being excluded, we will Freely submit it to your Excellency and General Gates. And are Your Excellencies most Obedient and Very hume Servts

Jos. Brarly Capt. in behalf of the whole1

L, DLC:GW. Although the signature is in the same writing as the main body of the letter, the misspelling of Capt. Joseph Brearley’s last name in the signature indicates that he neither wrote nor signed this letter.

William Maxwell, who commanded the 2d New Jersey Regiment until his promotion to brigadier general in October, at the end of this letter wrote and signed a note that reads: “I am fully of opinion that the above requests of the Capts. is very reasonable both from the promise of General Gates, and the extraordinary Campaign they have undergon.”

1Joseph Brearley (1742–1805), of Maidenhead (now Lawrenceville), N.J., served as a captain from 20 Nov. 1775 to 5 Feb. 1777, when he resigned his commission. Brearley was appointed a major of the Hunterdon County militia on 15 Mar. 1777.

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