From the Maryland Council
In Council Annapolis 26th March 1779.
We have the Honor to inclose you two Resolutions of the General Assembly passed yesterday, before their Adjournment, and hope that our Parts of the Rifle and German Battalions may be incorporated without Inconvenience or Difficulty. The Merits and Services of many of the Officers, we have no Doubt, will make any Instances of ours, to place them in the same advantagious Situation as others, unnecessary.1
The Resolution of Congress, on the Subject of Recruiting the Army, did not reach us, ‘til Tuesday Evening;2 the Assembly are desirous of strengthening the Army all they can, and our Opinion coincides with theirs, that the most probable Measure for Success will be the distributing recruiting Parties, under proper Officers, through different Parts of the State; a good many Deserters may, by that Method, be certainly got and secured, and new Men may be expected to inlist. If the Public Stock of Cloathing is such as that the Recruiting Parties might have sufficient to dress the Recruits, immediately on their inlisting, we doubt not, it would have the wished Effect.
We hope Sir! that the Situation of the Army may permit you to spare Recruiting Parties, agreeable to the Desire of the Assembly; we shall, with great Chearfulness, promote the Business all in our Power and, we flatter ourselves, not without Success. We are with the highest Regard and Esteem Your Excellency’s most obedient humble Servants
LS, DLC:GW; LB, MdAA.
1. The enclosed resolutions of 25 March are both in DLC:GW. One resolution reads “that the Governor and the Council be authorized, empowered and requested to write to his Excellency General Washington to cause the one half of the German Battalion and also the one half of the Rifle Battalion heretofore raised by this State to be inco[r]perated into one Battalion under the Command of proper Officers to be appointed out of those now in Service and that all the Officers of said Battalions properly belonging to this State be entitled to the one hundred and fifty Pounds heretofore given to the Regimental and Staff Officers of this State and be paid by the Governor and Council accordingly And that the Officers and Soldiers so inco[r]perated be considered to all Intents and Purposes as belonging to the Maryland Line.” The other resolution reads “that the Governor and the Council be impowered and requested to draw on the Treasurers of the Eastern and Western Shores for such sums of Money as may be necessary to forward the recruiting Service and that they apply from time to time to Congress for such sums as may be advanced on the Account of the Continental bounty. And that the Governor and Council be requested to write to his Excellency General Washington to send some active Officers of the Maryland line to assist in the Recruiting Service and that they also be impowered and requested if need be to issue Warrants to recruiting Serjeants to enlist all able bodied freemen that may be willing to serve during the War or for three Years until the Battalions heretofore raised by this State be compleated.” For the passage of these resolutions, see Md. Senate Proc., March 1779, 51–53.
For GW’s reply, see his letter to Thomas Johnson of 8 April, in which he noted that as many officers as could be spared had been sent to recruit in Maryland and indicated that incorporating “parts of the German Battalion and Rifle Corps into a Regiment” would produce difficulties that “are more than can be conceived” (MdAA).
2. Johnson is referring to Tuesday, 23 March, and to Congress’s recruiting act of 9 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 , 13:298–99; see also John Jay to GW, 12 March, n.3, and George Clinton to GW, 18 March, n.3).