George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Board of War, 6 June 1779

To the Board of War

Ringwood [N.J.] June 6th 1779


I am this moment honored with your favour of the 2d instant.1 The arrangemen⟨t⟩ of Proctors corps cannot be confirmed as it now stands.2 The principles held up in my former letters on this subject are such as must be adhered to, and upon this plan only can I request the Board to issue Commissions.3 If Congress think proper on account of incapacity in Major Holmer to promote Major Forrest it will be agreeable to me and I hope no disadvantage to the service. But Capt. Craig cannot in my opinion succeed him in the Majority of the regiment.4 The vacancy must be filled by the oldest captain in the corps of Artillery not in the particular regiment. On these conditions I shall be glad the Board will issue Commissions to the regiment; but it must be understood, that the relative rank of the Captains in the line of the Artillery is liable to a future discussion, agreeable to the rules that have hitherto governed—in the regiment it will5 be final. As it will be a loss of time and very inconvenient in the present state of things to make a further reference to me, I shall be obliged to the Board to have the arrangement fixed under the limitations here suggested.6 I have the honor to be With great respect & esteem Gentlemen Your Most Obedt servt.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW is referring to a letter of 2 June from Peter Scull to him that reads: “Inclosed your Excellency will receive a return of the Officers in Proctor’s Artillery. They are affixed in the order in which they conceive themselves entituled to take rank, in consequence of a number of promotions in the Regiment; and are extremely anxious to be commissioned as speedily as possible” (ALS, DLC:GW). The enclosed return has not been identified.

2At this place in the draft manuscript, Hamilton wrote and then struck out: “The Majority must remain vacant.”

4For Capt. Isaac Craig’s contrary view, see his letter to GW of 18 March. See also Craig and other Pennsylvania artillery officers to the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council, 20 March 1780; Craig to GW, 23 Feb. 1782; Andrew Porter to GW, 2 March 1782; and GW to Craig, 16 March 1782 (all DLC:GW). For Craig’s promotion to major in the 4th Continental Artillery Regiment in March 1782 with a commission backdated to 7 Oct. 1781, see Pa. Col. Records, description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends 13:223, 233.

5At this place in the draft manuscript, Hamilton first wrote “may.” He then struck out that word and wrote “will” above the line.

6A final arrangement for artillery officers required another board of general officers (see General Orders, 8 July and 5 and 10 Aug.; GW to a Board of General Officers, 6 Aug., and a Board of General Officers to GW, 8 Aug. [both DLC:GW]; and John Lamb to GW, 6 Aug. [NHi: Lamb Lettersbooks, 1778–1782]).

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