George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Henry Jackson, 1 February 1777

From Colonel Henry Jackson

Boston Feby 1. 1777


I had the honor a few days sinse of receving by the hands of the Selectmen of this City, your Excellencys Letter of [ ] date, inclosing an appointment to the Command of one of the additional sixteen Regiments to be raised in the servise of the United States with my recruitg orders, accompanied with a warrant on the paymaster General for ten thousand dollars1—This is the first opportunity I have had to acknowledge my acceptance of this appointment which I esteem highly honorable and for which I very sincerely thank your Excell⟨ency⟩.

You may be assure’d sir my ⟨mutilated⟩ exertions shall be to deserve the confidence whic⟨h⟩ you have been pleased to place in me, and nothing on my part shall be wanting to complete the recruiting of my Regiment for the field with all possible promptness & dispatch.

General Knox will inform your Excelly of the difficulty of raising the Regiment, under the present regulations of this State respecting the recruiting service.2

In conformity to your Excellencys desire I propose for your approbation David Cobb Esqr. as Lt Colonel, and John Steel Tyler Esqr. Major, as the other two field Officers of the Regiment.3 they are both gentlemen whom General Knox and myself flatter ourselves will do honor to your Excellency and the service of their Country.

I shall take great care that all the other nominations are such as will be for the reputation of the Army.


ALS, PWacD. The material in angle brackets is mutilated.

3David Cobb (1748–1830), a Harvard graduate and a member of the first Massachusetts provincial congress, was a regimental surgeon in 1775 and 1776. He was commissioned lieutenant colonel of Jackson’s Additional Continental Regiment in January 1777 but apparently remained in Taunton, where he had practiced medicine since 1767, until October of this year in order to establish a smallpox hospital. Cobb transferred to the 9th Massachusetts Regiment in January 1781 and the following June was appointed an aide-de-camp to GW (see General Orders, 15 June 1781). While serving in that capacity, Cobb accompanied GW on his visit to Mount Vernon after the British surrender at Yorktown. On 7 Jan. 1783 Cobb became lieutenant colonel commandant of the 5th Massachusetts Regiment, and in September 1783 he was brevetted brigadier general. After the war Cobb became major general of the Massachusetts militia and held several judicial posts before being chosen speaker of the Massachusetts house of representatives in 1789. In September 1789 GW placed Cobb’s name on a list of persons to be considered for postmaster general of the United States (see GW to Alexander Hamilton, 25 Sept. 1789), and the following month GW dined with Cobb while in Boston on his tour of the northern states (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:477). Cobb did not receive the appointment, however. John Steel Tyler (1754–1813), who served as adjutant of the Boston Independent Company in 1776, resigned his commission as major of Jackson’s Additional Continental Regiment in March 1779. Tyler subsequently served as a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts militia and as quartermaster general on the disastrous Penobscot expedition in the summer of 1779.

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