Head Qrs near Passaick July 22 1780
I beg leave to acquaint Congress that I have been informed by a letter from Governor Jefferson to their Committee in Camp, lately received, that the Legislature of Virginia had a Bill before them, when His Excellency wrote, for raising Five Thousand Men for Eighteen months to supply their Battallions; and that by a Letter, with which he was pleased to honor me at the same time, he requested that I would prepare an arrangement of Officers for them, and suggesting that as I might possibly cast my eyes on the unemployed Officers in the State, he had written to Genl Muhlenberg to send me a Return of them.
By the post which brought me the Governor’s Letter I received the Return from Genl Muhlenberg, of which the Inclosure No. 1 is a Copy, and in consequence of the requisition I have made & transmitted the Arrangement contained in the Inclosure No. 2 to His Excellency—and A Copy to Genl Gates or in his absence to Genl Muhlenberg, which appeared to me—the best that could be adopted for the present, under a view of all circumstances, & to which I take the liberty to refer Congress. I would also observe that by a Letter since of the 11th from Genl Muhlenberg, which came by Yesterday’s post, I received a List of the Officers comprehended in the Inclosure No. 3 now in Virginia belonging to Colo. Gist’s Regiment, whose names were omitted to be forwarded before, & who in consequence, were not included in the Arrangement No. 2. I have requested Genl Gates or Genl Muhlenberg in his absence by a Letter of to day, of which I have informed the Governor, to incorporate those with the Other Officers for the present, tho they do not properly belong to the Virginia line, or to divide the Drafts into another Regiment, as may appear most eligible on a consideration of all matters and from the number of Men actually collected, and to place them in it. This measure will give the Drafts more Officers than they would otherwise have & will benefit the Service—employ those Gentlemen save the Continent at least the expence of engaging as Many as they amount to if they should be necessary—and will prevent complaints that would arise on any new appointments, except to the lowest ranks, and the difficulty there would be in disposing & providing for the Officers under them, whenever the release of those in captivity should make their services unnecessary.
I have thought it my duty to make those communications, that Congress might know the provision that is made for Officering those Levies, & I hope the plan will appear to them as it does to me, the most eligible, the situation of affairs will admit. It is unlucky that there are not more Officers—as the number of Men proposed to be raised will exceed their proper commands under the establishment, but this excess perhaps will be a less evil, especially if the Officers are active and assiduous in their duties, than to introduce any new ones; and besides it is possible, that those Levies like all Others, may fall something short of the number, in which case the inconvenience arising from the want of more Officers will not be so great. Congress will perceive that by the distribution made in the first arrangement, every Regiment will have Two Field Officers, and I suppoes it best to give them the same numbers as those of the Regiments to which the Colonels commanding them properly belong.
I was honoured Yesterday with Your Excellency’s Letter of the 14th—and with it’s inclosure, directing me to endeavour to obtain the exchange of Brigadier General du Portail. A proposition to this effect will be made by the earliest opportunity; in compliance with the direction, but I do not think there is any prospect of it’s being acceded to. I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect & esteem Sir Your Excellency’s Most Obedt & Most Hbl. servt
DNA: Item 152, Letters from George Washington, PCC—Papers of the Continental Congress.
4 July 1780
A return of the Continental Officers now in Virginia, as nearly as at the present can be ascertained. July 4th 1780.
|Samuel Haws||Lt Col.||6|
|Richard Taylor||Do||[ ]|
|John Peyton Harrison||Do||2d|
|William L. Lovely||Do||4|
|Peter Bryan Bruin||D.||7|
|Albert Russel||Do & Adjutant||8|
|Abraham Murray||Do & Do||10|
|Albridgeton Jones||Lt & Adjt||11|
|One or two||Do||5th|
|Two or three||Do||8|
|Mr King & two or three more||D.||10|
|None of the [ ]||12|
c.22 July 1780
The following plan is to be adopted with respect to 5,000 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 for 2d Regiment of Levies|
|Lt Colo.||Gaskins||of the 3d|
|Captains||John P. Harrison|
|Wm Bently||of the 3d|
|Archid Denham||of the 1st|
|Lieuts.||Philip Sansum||of the 1st|
|George Augustine Washington|
|Officers for 6th Regt|
|John Young||of the 5th|
|Lieut.||John Jefferies||of the 5th|
|Ensigns||Two belonging to the 3d, names not known.|
|Captains||Peter Bryan Bruin|
|John Anderson||of the 3d|
|Lt Colo.||Cropper||of the 7th|
|Major||Hill||of the 5th|
|Benjamin Lawson||of the 4th|
|Ensigns||Two or three—belonging to the Regiment names unknown.|
|9th Regt—This has its own proper Officers and is only to receive a proportion of the Drafts.|
|Lt Colo.||Webb||of the 5th|
|Ensigns—King & the remainder belonging to the Regiment names unknown.|
|Captains||Philip Hoffman||of the 4th|
|Wm L. Lovely||Do|
|Andrews||of the 3d|
|Ensigns||Those belonging to the 4th & 5th Regts.|
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 engaged to the 8th Regt.
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 put down in the Regts. in order of their precedence. This may also be the case with respect to the Lieuts & 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 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 for the service for them to be distributed in the first instance among the whole. This might be attended much delay and might prevent any Corps being respectable or fit for service for a considerable time. It therefore is not to be done, but on the principle of such a number of the Drafts assembling at once will put the whole in this situation—and if circumstances will not admit of this, the Regts. are to be filled to 504 rank & file, in order of their numbers, beginning with No. 2 first. This number tho’, not a full proportion of the 5000 men [collected] will make them respectable and by filling them one after another, place them in a condition to act.
|Return of Officers Belonging to Colonel Nathl Gist & Regiment|
|Capt. St||William [Brownles]|