George Washington Papers

From George Washington to a Board of General Officers, 28 May 1779

To a Board of General Officers

Head Qrs Middle Brook May the 28: 1779


When you have adjusted the Arrangements and points of rank in the cases more particularly mentioned in the Orders of Yesterday1—You will be pleased to take into consideration the relative rank of the Colonels of Artillery, except in the instance between Colonels Lamb & Harrison, which has been already determined.2

You will also settle the rank of the Four Artillery Regiments. This last was reported by a Board of Officers at the White plains;3 but the Arrangement having been generally remonstrated against from a belief—that it was founded on an entire misconception or mistake of facts,4 it is necessary to have the matter taken up again and the order of their Arrangement fixed. You will find the Claims of the Colonels inclosed and their Observations respecting the precedence of their Regiments.5 I have also transmitted the Journals of Congress for 1776, the only Volume I have, which may possibly be material in the course of your deliberations. Genl Knox having expressed a disinclination to sit on this Board from the particular nature of the Business he is execused. You will be pleased to return me the papers with the Report.6 I have the Honor to be with great esteem Gent. Yr Most Obed. servt

Go: Washington

DfS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

2GW initially had sought opinions on the relative rank of the artillery colonels in his Circular to the Continental Artillery Colonels, 4 March.

3For the report of a board of general officers at White Plains, N.Y., concerning the arrangement of the Continental artillery officers, see General Orders, 15 Sept. 1778.

5GW apparently enclosed copies of the following letters, which had been sent in response to his Circular to the Continental Artillery Colonels, 4 March: Thomas Proctor to GW, 14 March; John Crane to GW, 16 March; John Lamb to GW, 28 March; and Charles Harrison to GW, 28 May. See also Lamb to GW, 29 May.

6After repeated deferments, the board finally met on 8 Aug., and its determinations were published in general orders two days later; see also General Orders, 8 July; GW to a Board of General Officers, 6 Aug.; and a Board of General Officers to GW, 8 Aug., all DLC:GW.

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