George Washington Papers

Proceedings of a Board of General Officers, 9 July 1777

Proceedings of a Board of General Officers

[Head Quarters, Morris Town, 9th July 1777]

At a Board of General Officers held at Head Quarters at Morris Town the 9th day of July 1777.


His Excellency General Washington the Commander in Chief

Majors General Brigadrs General
Greene Maxwell
Ld Stirling Knox
Mifflin Wayne
Stephens Muhlenburg

A Question about precedency of rank between Colonels McClanninghan and Spotswood of the Virginia Regiments, being considered by the Board, with the pretensions of the parties—their Colonial appointments and the several Resolves of Congress upon the subject of Rank, they are of Opinion, that the right of precedency is in Colonel McClanninghan.1

Agreed, That the Virginia Officers taken into Continental service, should receive Continental Commissions of the same date of their Colonial Ones and rank accordingly.

Agreed, that Continental Officers promoted to vacancies, should receive Continental Commissions, dated when the Vacancies happened.

Rob: H: Harrison Secretary

Same Council. Agreed, that Natives, deserters from the Enemy may enlist in any Regiments in Continental service.

Rob: H: Harrison

ADS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; copy (extract), enclosed in GW to Alexander Spotswood, 13 Aug. 1777, DNA:PCC, item 41.

1Alexander Spotswood was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 2d Virginia Regiment in May 1776 and promoted to colonel on 21 Feb. 1777. Alexander McClanachan was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 7th Virginia Regiment in February 1776 and promoted to colonel in March 1777, to rank from 7 Oct. 1776. GW enclosed a copy of the proceedings of the board of general officers in his letter to Spotswood of 13 August.

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