George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Israel Angell, 1 January 1781

From Colonel Israel Angell

Johnston State Rhode Island 1st Jany 1781


On the arrival of the New Arrangement of the army Sent me by Major Thayer, I Appli’d to Colo. Greene and informed him that I thought it Necessary to Send on a list of the Officers who tarried in Service, togeather with the names of those who Retired, to Your Excellencey as Soon as possible, (as he Inclin’d to take the Regt) but he Said he thought there was no necessity of being in a hurry about the matter, and as the time is now Come when by a Resolution of Congress the troops Should have ben in the field, and knowing that there has ben no Arrangement as yet Sent to ⟨y⟩our Excellencey, has Induced me to write in order to Exculpat my Self from blame, as I think it ought to have ben done a month before this, but being a Supernumery did not Conceiv⟨e⟩ it to be my duty to interfear in the matter further than I did.1

I Expect to Come to the Army in a few days and bring Some money for the Rhode Island Line from the State, Settle my public Accts and retire,2 though I Should have ben happy in Serving my Country to the Eand of the war. had I liv’d to Seen that day, if my Services had ben necessary, as I Entered it in the earlist period, However I Shall Ever Stand ready to assist in the defence of my Country to the best of my Capacity And risk of my life. I am with Sentiments of Esteem Your Excellenceys most Obedient, and most Humble Servt

Israel Angell

LS, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp David Humphreys wrote “Not Ansd” and “No Ansr Necessary” in separate dockets.

1The new arrangement, or reorganization, of the Continental army reduced the number of infantry regiments and officers (see GW to Samuel Huntington, 11 Oct. 1780, and Huntington to GW, 26 Oct., and n.1; 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 , 18:893–97, 958–62, and General Orders, 1 Nov.). The new plan trimmed the number of Rhode Island regiments from two to one, and Col. Christopher Greene commanded the new consolidated regiment. Congress directed that the troops of the new regiments be in camp by 1 Jan. 1781.

2Angell left his home on 14 Feb. to complete his service in the army (see the entry for that date in Field, Angell Diary description begins Edward Field, ed. Diary of Colonel Israel Angell, Commanding the Second Rhode Island Continental Regiment during the American Revolution, 1778–1781. Providence, 1899. description ends , 127).

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