To a Board of General Officers
Head qrs [Middlebrook] April 1st 1779
I transmit you herewith three Papers—indorsed No. 1. 2 & 3, which I apprehend will be necessary for your consideration in the cases of rank, that will be before you to day, agreable to the Orders of yesterday.1
The paper No. 1, and the paragraphs 1 & 7 in that indorsed No. 3—are proceedings of Congress. No. 2 is the opinion of a Board in a case that happened between the two periods when the Resolutions of Congress ⟨w⟩ere adopted;2 and besides this—there have ⟨been⟩ other corresponding Opinions & proceedings on similar points—or such as did not differ substantially from it. These matters I mention, as Boards appointed in disputes about rank & precedence, owing to peculiar circumstances, have not always been composed of all the General Officers. The Board will be pleased to return the papers again—when they are done with them. I have the Honor to be with great respect & esteem Gentlemen Yr Most Obed. sert
LS (mutilated), in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Df, DLC:GW; two Varick transcripts, DLC:GW. The mutilated text on the LS manuscript is supplied within angle brackets from the draft. One of the two Varick transcripts is dated incorrectly 1 April 1778; the other one is dated correctly.
2. On the reverse of the draft manuscript, which is in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, Harrison wrote: “N.B. Resolutions alluded to—were of the 16 sept. 1776—& 24 Novr 1778.” Although the enclosures to this letter have not been identified, the resolution of 16 Sept. 1776 must have been the one of that date in which Congress authorized the raising of eighty-eight Continental regiments and empowered the states to appoint all but the general officers (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 , 5:762–73), and the resolution of 24 Nov. 1778 undoubtedly was the one of that date in which Congress established rules for settling disputes of rank (see General Orders, 18 Dec. 1778; 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 , 12:1154–59).