From John Jay
Philadelphia 17th March 1779
I have the Honor of transmitting to your Excellency herewith enclosed a copy of an Act of Congress of the 16th Inst., for enlisting a Corps of Waggoners1—And am With the greatest Respect & Esteem—Your Excellency’s Most Obedt & Hble Servt.
LB, DNA:PCC, item 14. GW replied to this letter on 24 March.
1. Congress passed this act, the enclosed copy of which has not been identified, after considering a report from the committee of conference. The act reads: “Whereas discontent, loss of discipline, and the diminution of the strength of the line, have arisen by employing the continental troops as waggoners; and it will be of public advantage to inlist proper persons for that service during the war:
“Resolved, therefore, That the Commander in Chief be authorized and directed to take proper measures for causing to be enlisted such a number of waggoners as he shall judge necessary for the service, to continue therein to the end of the war; that each waggoner voluntarily engaging for that period, shall be entitled, in addition to the present monthly pay, cloathing and subsistence, allowed to waggoners, to the same bounties, in all respects, as are granted to volunteers who shall inlist in the continental battalions for the term of the war: that the quarter master [general] shall establish such regulations for the conduct of the said corps of waggoners as shall be judged expedient, and approved of by the Commander in Chief; in which care shall be taken that regular returns be made to the Board of War of the number of waggoners ordered to be raised, as well as of those who shall actually engage in the service: that the same form, as near as may be, shall be pursued in mustering and paying the said corps of waggoners as is practised with respect to the troops of the line: that the quarter master general be authorized to appoint a pay master and muster master for the said corps of waggoners, and transmit their names, and the regulations hereby authorized to be made to the Board of War, to be respectively registered” (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 , 13:320–21).