George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major Benjamin Whitcomb, 1 January 1781

To Major Benjamin Whitcomb

Head Quarters New Windsor 1st Jany 1781


The Honble the Congress having by their Resolves of the 3d and 21st of October ordered the reduction of the several independent Corps of the Army among which yours is included—and directed that the Officers belonging to them should retire upon half pay for life and the Non Commd & privates be delivered over to the State Lines to which they respectively belong1—you will, in obedience thereto, upon your return immediately cause the non Commd Officers and privates to be marched to the Cantonment of the troops of New Hampshire near Peekskill under the care of an Officer and there deliver such as belong to that Line to the Officer commanding it, taking his Receipt for the number delivered—There being but one Man belonging to Massachusetts—you will order him to be delivered to the Officer commanding that line at West point—You will make an exact return of the names and Ranks of the Officers of the Corps at present in service, and commissiond by Congress that it may be transmitted to the Board of War.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

After receiving a petition from Whitcomb’s men requesting to remain at Coos, Vt., GW wrote Whitcomb on 12 March demanding that he comply with these orders (DLC:GW). For the petition, see New Hampshire Rangers to GW, c.25 February.

1The new organization of the Continental army cut the number of independent corps to just two partisan corps (see Israel Angell to GW, this date, n.1, and GW to Timothy Pickering, this date, n.2).

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