George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Paterson, 2 January 1783

Cantonment near New Windsor January 2d 1783.


Some time since Colonel Crane desired the officer who has the distribution of the accounts from Massachusetts, to send him all the men that might arrive, in order to compleat his regiment to the same number as those of the infantry, on the [reform], which I conceived unreasonable, and directed that Colonel Crane should only receive his proportion of recruits, allowing for nine regiments; which direction has been obeyed strictly, and was what I considered both just and reasonable, for the following reasons: I conceived that we had as great a proportion of artillery men as was necessary for the army, and could be employed: that therefore augmenting them to the same number as the infantry regiments was unnecessary, and would throw an additional burden on the public, as the men of that corps are entitled to more pay than the infantry: that on supposition the Massachusetts line was reduced to four regiments, then Colonel Crane’s would consist of one fifth part of the army, which I viewed as improper. These were the considerations that induced me to order that Colonel Crane should receive only a ninth part of the recruits that might arrive from Massachusetts, and which I submit to your Excellency for your approbation and instructions therein; and whether I shall continue to pursue that mode of distribution, or comply with Colonel Crane’s desire, "that all the recruits that have been received since the junction of the two reduced regiments took place, and all that may arrive hereafter, from the state, be ordered to join his regiment, until it is equal in number with the other regiments of the line."

I enclose your Excellency a return of the regiment commanded by Colonel Crane, which I received in a letter from him the 21st ultimo, accompanied by the foregoing acquisition. I am with esteem and respect your obedient.

John Paterson

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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