George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin, Baron [von] Steuben, 20 July 1780

Fish Kill July 20th 1780


I am favor’d with your Excellencys Letter of the 18th Inst.

With regard to the Light Infantry I think with you that it will be best to form them into Regiments of Eight companies, but I submit to your Excellency whether it would not also be best that the Companies should be all of the same Strength—this will not be the case if they are to be increased only in proportion to the Strength of their Regts which doubtless will differ widely—Except in Hands & Starks Brigades there are I believe no Regiments but will be able to furnish 42 Rank & file and, as each Company will form a Platoon, they cannot consistent with the regulations consist of a greater number.

Under this Idea I have Sketchd out a Plan for their formation which I submit to your Excellencys consideration. I have the Honor to be with great respect Sir Your Excellencys most Obed. hum. Servt


DLC: Papers of George Washington.



c.20 July 1780

The Light Infantry to be formed into Six Regiments Each Regiment into Eight companies & each Company to form one Platoon.

Each Regiment to consist of a Colo. or Lt Colo., Major 8 Captains 8 Lieuts 24 Serjts 16 Drums & fifes & 336 Rank & file.

Each Company to consist of a Capt.; Lieut. 3 Serjts 2 Drums & fifes & 42 Rank & file.

Exclusive of the above each Regt to have a Capt. or Subaltern for Pay & Quarter Master; a subaltern for Adjutant a surgeon, a Mate, a serjt Major and a Quarter Master Serjeant.

Each Company to be kept compleat during the Campaign by the Regt which furnished it. to this the Brigade Inspector is to pay particular attention and as soon as an Officer or soldier is wanting he is to acquaint the Regiment to whom such Officer or soldier belonged with the cause of the Vacancy & request them to fill it immediately. The Light Companies to be supplied with every thing, but Provision & Ammunition, by their respective Regiments and the Quarter Masters of the Light Infantry are to keep Accounts with the several Regiments accordingly.

The several Regiments to be formed in the following manner

1st Regiment
1st Pensa Brigade 4 Companies
2nd Do 4 Do
2nd Regt
1st Connecticut Brigade 4 Comp.
2 Do 4 Do
3 Regt
1 Massachusets 4 Comp.
2 Do 4 Do
4th Regiment
3 Massachusets Brigade 4 Companies
4 Do 4 Do
5 Regt
Jersey Brigade 4 Comp.
Starks 2 Do
Hands 2 Do
6 Reg.
Clintons Brigade 2
York, State Troops 3
Poors Brigade 3

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