George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Board of War, 4 March 1779

To the Board of War

Head Quarters Middle Brook 4th March 1779


I have been honoured with yours of the 25 ulto inclosing papers relative to the opposition of the officers of the 1st Penna Regt to Capt. McKissacks introduction into that Corps—and of the 27th with papers respecting the dispute of Rank between Majors Murray, Mentges and Nichols.1 I will use my endeavours to have the first adjusted to the satisfaction of the parties, and will direct proper enquiry to [be] made into the latter.2

Inclosed I return you the arrangement of the 1st and 2d North Carolina Battalions with such alterations as have occured.3 Be pleased to have the Commissions made out and sent up to me as speedily as possible. As the arrangements are returned in to me with the proper amendments, I shall transmit them to the Board, and I can assure you nothing will contribute more to the satisfaction of the Officers than to have their Commissions granted—which will establish their Rank upon a sure foundation.

I likewise inclose you the Jersey and Connecticut arrangement compleated, the Commissions of which be also pleased to forward to me as quick as possible4—The relative Rank of Lt Colo. Johnston and Lt Colo. Grosvenor of Connect. not being fully settled, be pleased to leave the dates of their Comms. blank. By the time the Comms. arrive the dispute will be adjusted and I will inform the Board of the dates5—I recd yours of the 26 inclosing papers relating to the arrangement of the Army.6 I have the honor &c.

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

1The letters of 25 and 27 Feb. from the Board of War to GW have not been found.

2For the rank dispute involving majors Francis Mentges, John Murray, and Francis Nichols, see Peter Scull to GW, 22 Feb., and n.1 to that document.

William McKissack (1754–1831) was a captain in the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment when taken prisoner at Fort Washington, N.Y., on 16 Nov. 1776. Writing to John Jay while in Philadelphia on 20 April 1779, McKissack explained that he had been exchanged on 25 Aug. 1778, since “which time he has kept out of buisiness, with a Daily Expectation of being call’d into the Army. In the late Arrangement of the Pennsylva Line, Your Memorialist was appointed the second Captain in the first Regt of the State... but, in the present Arrangement he is entirely left out” (DNA:PCC, item 41). McKissack apparently failed in his efforts to rejoin the Continental army, but he petitioned successfully in June 1780 to become a Mason in Pennsylvania. He then moved to Somerset County, N.J., where he practiced medicine and led New Jersey Masons.

3The enclosed copy of this document has not been identified. For modifications to the arrangement of these regiments, see GW to Thomas Clark, 14 March, and to Peter Scull, 20 March (see also GW to Clark, 22 Feb., and Clark to GW, 1 March).

4The enclosed copies of the arrangements for the New Jersey and Connecticut lines have not been identified. GW received commissions for the New Jersey officers in an unfound letter of 18 March from Peter Scull, and he forwarded the commissions with his letter of 25 March to William Maxwell. For efforts to arrange the Connecticut line, see Titus Watson to GW, 13 Feb.; GW to Israel Putnam, 22 Feb., 9 and 13 March, and 1 April; and Putnam to GW, this date.

5For the settlement of the rank dispute between lieutenant colonels Thomas Grosvenor and Jonathan Johnson, see Jedediah Huntington to GW, 7 April.

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