George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Horatio Gates, 18 July 1780

Head qrs July 18th 1780.


I have been informed by a Letter, with which his Excellency Governor Jefferson has just honoured me, that the Legislature of Virginia had a Bill depending before them, for raising Five Thousand Men to serve Eighteen months, for supplying their Battalions, and I have been requested by him to make some provision for Officering them. No mode has occurred to me more proper for the present, than the one inclosed—and it is my desire, if this reaches You before You leave Fredricksburg or Richmond, that you will direct it to be carried into execution. It is possible there may be more Officers in the State than those contained in the Arrangement; if so it will be so much the better—and they will be distributed among the Corps, except the 9th under the restrictions I have mentioned. You will feel the necessity of the strictest attention being paid to disciplining the Drafts—and will impress it and the practice on the Officers. I shall be happy to hear how the Levies collect and the progress made informing them: And as frequent communications of events happening in different quarters may materially influence and facilitate our measures in every part—I will also add, that I shall be happy to hear from You very often, and to receive advices both with respect to the movements and situation of the Enemy, and those on your own part. It is frequently of as much importance to know what is not doing—as to receive the most precise information of active operations. Yr Most Obed. Sert

Go: Washington.

P.S. I have the pleasure to inform You that the Fleet from France arrived at Rhode Island the afternoon of the 10th. Adml Greaves has since arrived, on the 13th, with Six Ships of the line off Sandy Hook.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


c.18 July 1780

The following plan is to be adopted with respect to 5000 Drafts raised, or intended to be raised, for 18 Months by the State of Virginia, for recruiting her Battalions.

The Whole of the Virginia line, except the 9th Regiment & the Officers mentioned below, being Prisoners at Charles Town, the Drafts are to be disposed of in equal proportions for the present, or so as to make the Corps equal, counting upon the Men they may respectively have not in captivity, in the following manner and under the following Officers & Denominations of Corps—Viz: the 2d 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th & 11th Regiments. The arrangement to be subject to future alterations from time to time, both as to a transfer of part of the Drafts to the other Regiments or of the Officers, as the Exchange of the Officers & Men who are prisoners at the Southward or Other circumstances may require.

Officers Colo. Febiger
for 2 Regt Lt Colo. Gaskins of the 3
of Levies Captains John P. Harrison
Valentine Harrison
Wm Bentley of the 3
John Hawkins Do
Archibald Denham of the 1st
Lieut. Philip Sampson of the 1st
Ballard Smith ditto
Mathew Clay ditto
John Steel ditto
Ensigns Richard Coleman
James Braden
George Augustice Washington.
Officers for the 6 Regnt
Colo. Greene Captns
Lt Colo. Hawes James Williams
Major Ridley Mountjoy
William Blackwell
Lieuts John Jefferies of the 5th John Young of the 5th
Wm White of the 5th
Ensigns Two belonging to the 3rd, names not known
7 Regmt
Colo. Morgan Capns
Major Posey Peter Brian Bruin
Phillip Slaughter
Lts Thomas Randal John Marshall
Reuben Long John Anderson of the 3rd
David Williams
John Towns
Benjamin Ashley
8 Regmt
Colo. Wood Capn Robert Gamble
Lt Colo. Cropper of the 7th Thomas Bowyer
Major Hill...of the 5 Andrew Wallace
William Baliss
Lts Sigismund Stribling
Albert Russel
Bejamin Lawson of the 4th
Phillip Easton of the 4th
Ensigns two or three belonging to the Regiment names unknown.
9 Regimt
This has it’s own proper Officers, and is only to receive a proportion of the Drafts
Officers for 10 Regmt
Colo. Davies Captns John Overton
Lt Colo. Webb of the 5th Reed
John Winston
Lts Abraham Murray Marks
Ensigns King & the remainder belonging to the Regiment names unknown.
Officers for 11 Regt
Colo. Buford Captns Phillip Hoffman of the 4th
Lt Colo. Taylor Wm L. Lovely of the 4th
Abraham Kirkpatrick of the 4th
Lts Abridgiton Jones John Steed of the 4th
Samuel Jones
John Gillendon
Andrews of the 3d
Ensigns those belonging to the 4th and 5 Regiments.

If there should be found in the State any Other Officers belonging to the line, besides those already mentioned, they are to be distributed among the Corps, giving those who properly belong to the Regiments, bearing the foregoing numbers, to the Corps of the same number under the present arrangement.

If there are any Men in the State, who belong to any of the Regiments in captivity, not of the foregoing numbers, these will be divided among the present Corps—or be thrown into one, as circumstances may best suit; making in the latter case an allowance for their number in the distribution of the Drafts.

Colo. Wood is still to continue his command respecting the Convention Troops, notwithstanding he is arranged to the 8th Regiment.

The Captains in the different Corps under this arrangement are to rank according to the number of their Commissions as is usual, and it will be the case with respect to any others that may be found. It is possible they may not be set down in the Regiments in order of their precedence. This may also be the case with respect to the Lieutenants & Ensigns. The arrangement is not meant to govern the rank of the Officers in the smallest degree, but only to designate those that are to compose each Corps.

Although [I thought] it is expedient that the Drafts should be formed into seven Corps as mentioned above, yet it may not be for the benefit but on the contrary very injurious to the service for them to be distributed in the first instance among the whole. This might be attended with much delay and might prevent any one Corps being respectable or fit for service for a considerable time. It is therefore not to be done but on the principle of such a number of the Drafts assembling at once as will put the whole in this situation. and if circumstances will not admit of this, the Regiments are to be filled to 504 rank and file in order of their numbers, beginning with No. 2 first. This number, tho not a full proportion of the 5000 Men voted will make them respectable[, and,] by filling them one after another, place them in a condition to act.

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