From John Jay
Philadelphia 12th March 1779
I have the pleasure of acknowledging the Receipt of your Excellency’s Favor enclosing an Extract of a Letter from Major General Putnam.1
Herewith enclosed is a copy of an Act of Congress of the 5th Inst. for the Payment of certificates given to Inhabitants from whom Supplies have been irregularly obtained2—Another of the 9th for recruiting the Army, & a third of the 10th Inst. for accepting Coll Wigglesworth’s Resignation together with a Letter which arrived this morning from South Carolina.3 I have the Honor to be With the greatest Respect And Esteem Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Servant.
LB, DNA:PCC, item 14.
2. The enclosed copy of this act has not been identified, but see 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 , 13:277–79. The act consists of two resolutions. The first resolution is a slightly revised version of one proposed by the Board of War, a copy of which Richard Peters had enclosed in his letter to GW of 11 Feb. for GW’s review and comment. The other resolution incorporates the additional regulations that Nathanael Greene had suggested in his letter to GW of 15 Feb., and which GW had incorporated in his first letter to Peters of 17 February. The second resolution was published in the general orders for 20 March.
3. The enclosed copies of these documents also have not been identified. For Congress’s acceptance of Col. Edward Wigglesworth’s resignation on 10 March, see 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 , 13:302; see also GW to Wigglesworth, 19 March. The recruiting act of 9 March revised part of Congress’s recruiting act of 23 Jan. by repealing the clause that made GW principally responsible for recruiting new men and for setting the exact amount of the Continental recruiting bounty, and by substituting the following two clauses, which put more of the recruiting burden on the states and firmly fixed the amount of the Continental recruiting bounty: “that it be earnestly recommended to the several states to make up and compleat their respective battalions to their full complement by draughts, or in any other manner they shall think proper; and that they have their quotas of deficiencies ready to take the field, and to march to such place as the Commander in Chief shall direct, without delay.
“That a bounty of 200 dollars, out of the continental treasury, shall be granted to each recruit, who, after the 23 day of January last, hath inlisted, or shall in-list during the war; or in case the State shall have granted as great, or greater bounty, the said 200 dollars, for every such recruit, shall be passed to the credit of the State respectively for whose quota he shall be raised” (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 , 13:298–99; see also George Clinton to GW, 18 March, n.3).
On 12 March, Congress read Benjamin Lincoln’s letters to John Jay of 23 Jan. and 6 and 12 Feb. from Purrysburg, S.C., and their several enclosures, including Brig. Gen. William Moultrie’s letter to Lincoln of 4 Feb. describing the engagement of the previous day at Beaufort, South Carolina. Moultrie’s letter was referred to the committee of intelligence, and Lincoln’s letters with the other enclosures were referred to a committee consisting of Thomas Burke, Henry Laurens, and Meriwether Smith (see 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 , 13:307). Jay probably enclosed in his letter to GW of this date a copy of Moultrie’s letter, a copy of which Lincoln apparently had enclosed also in his letter to GW of 7 Feb. (see n.7 to that document; see also Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 12:189, n.2). Lincoln’s letters were sent to GW on 15 March by the committee to which they were referred (see Burke and Laurens to GW, that date).