George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Board of War, 27 May 1779

From the Board of War

War Office [Philadelphia] May 27. 1779


By a private Letter from your Excellency shewn to one of the Board by General Wayne1 it appears your Opinion is different from ours on the Subject of the Quota’s the States are to raize. We were directed by Congress to give Information to the Legislature of New Jersey on an Application from the Government of that State on a Question put to Congress2 & sent them the Letter of which the enclosed is a Copy.3 We always took a Distinction between a State Quota & a Battallion Complement. On consulting many Members of Congress we find our Sentiments confirmed. But we wish that previous to giving our final Opinion we had consulted your Excellency who has no Doubt attended more than we have to the Subject. We shall yet be happy to hear from you upon this Matter when your Leisure will permitt as perhaps your Excellency’s Reasons might induce us to agree in Opinion with you in Case of any future Application.4 We have the Honour to be with the greatest Respect your very obedt Servants

Richard Peters
By order


2On 19 May, the New Jersey Legislative Council and General Assembly had petitioned Congress for information on the nature of the troop quotas required from each state; Congress read the petition on 21 May and referred it to the Board of War (N.J. Legislative Council Proc., Oct. 1778–Oct. 1779 sess., 53–54; 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 , 14:623).

3The enclosed copy of a letter from the Board of War to William Livingston and Caleb Camp, dated 22 May at the War Office in Philadelphia, provides a detailed return of the New Jersey troops in the Continental service, sets forth the Board’s view on which troops did and did not apply to the state quota, and suggests how many men New Jersey would have to raise to complete its quota (DLC:GW).

4GW wrote to the Board of War on 9 June setting forth in detail his views on the nature of the quotas being required from each state (DLC:GW).

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