George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Board of War, 26 February 1779

To the Board of War

Head Quarters Middle Brook 26th Feby 1779


I am honored with yours of the 19th 22d and 23d instants with their several enclosures1—General Duportails plan for the formation of the Corps of Miners and sappers shall be immediately revised and returned by himself with the amendments which may be, in my opinion, proper2—I will have the dispute of Rank between Majors Mentges, Murray and Nichols carefully examined and will transmit to the Board such determination as shall seem, upon a full investigation, conformable to justice and the Rules established by Congress for the regulation of Rank throughout the Army.3

I will write to Major Burchardt commanding the German Battalion and make him account for the total deficiency of Ammunition.4 I have the Honor &c.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW apparently is referring to Peter Scull’s letters to him of 19 and 22 Feb. and Richard Peters’s letter to him of 22 Feb., all of which were written on behalf of the Board of War. No letter of 23 Feb. to GW from the Board of War or anyone writing on its behalf has been found.

2Brigadier General Duportail’s plan for the corps of sappers and miners has not been identified. For GW’s largely favorable views on this subject, see his first letter to the Board of War of 4 April. For Duportail’s approval of the proposed regulations for the corps, see the Board of War’s first letter to GW of 9 April (DLC:GW). On 11 May, Congress appointed Duportail commandant of the corps of engineers and of the companies of sappers and miners (see John Jay to GW, 12 May, first letter, DLC:GW; see also 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 , 14:570–71). For the regulations for the corps of sappers and miners, see the general orders for 2–4 August.

3For a discussion of this dispute, see Peter Scull to GW, 22 Feb., n.1.

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