From the Board of War
War-Office [Philadelphia] June 11. 1779.
Early in the Spring Mr Garanger shewed to the board a letter from Colo. Hamilton signifying your Excellency’s wish that he would proceed to camp to exhibit the requisite proofs of skill in his profession as an officer of Bombardiers to intitle him to employment in the United States. On that occasion we advanced him five hundred dollars. In May he returned hither, without having made any experiment. Another letter from Colo. Hamilton at this time repeated the desire that Mr Garanger might return to camp as soon as he had finished his private business at this place.1 Upon considering his case we reported to Congress that a further advance of 1500 dollars should be made him. This is now done, to enable him to prosecute the intentions of his first going to camp. We have to request your Excellency that as soon as may be opportunity may be given him to make the necessary experiments for determining whether or not it is expedient to engage him in the service of the states, that if it is not no farther expences may arise concerning him.2 A copy of the resolution of Congress in the case is inclosed.3 We are, very respectfully, your most obedt servants
Tim. Pickering pr Order
LS, in Timothy Pickering’s writing, DLC:GW; copy, MHi: Pickering Papers.
1. Neither letter from GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton has been identified.
A letter of 2 June from Lewis Garanger to Congress reads: “[I] was at Camp since last march by order of his Excellency General washington, and am returned to Philadelphia, some few days ago, with his permission and the approbation of the General Knox for my private affairs
“During my stay in camp, I was occupied in composing some memorials upon matters intrusted to me, to follow the exercises and to acquire the confidence of the officers in the continental artillery with whom I am destined to operate during the next campaign.
“having been obliged to send back my younger brother from boston to france in last November, after our exchange, because of his ill state of health intirely impaired by our detention during one year in the British prisons, I am the only remaining one of the officers who were chosen and engaged with Monsieur du Coudray, whom it is yet possible to fulfill his appointment.
“I hoped not to be necessitated to fram[e] a demand of the honorable Congress, before having been employed usefully for the service of the united states, but the Board of war having obligingly advanced me five hundred dollars in last march, which were insufficient to furnish the necessary expences for my substistance, and to replace one indispensable part of all Things of which I was dispossessed, and having given me lately their decision that they had it not in their power to deliver me any more money, I am obliged to pray the honorable Congress to grant me on account two thousand dollars upon the indemnity that I hope, with my brother, from his justice for the time we have since been engaged in the service of the united states, and for the misfortunes and loss we have indured on that occasion.
“I pray the honorable Congress to add to this favour an injunction to the board of war to grant me all indispensable easiness to go to camp and to stay in it, without w[h]ich an officer r[e]ally employed, not comissioned and appointed, should be very much cumbered.
“I was and I will be in this case in the park of artillery, in which after the very sudden return, I will continue to execute the orders of the Generals and expect patiently the time where his Excellency General washington will propose to the honorable congress, under what title, and to what Functions he will think the most useful to appoint me in the service of the united states” (DNA:PCC, item 78). Congress read Garanger’s letter on 4 June and referred it to the Board of War (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 14:683).