George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Horatio Gates, 15 March 1783

Cantonment 15th March 1783

Agreeable to the Orders of the 11th instant, the Officers of the American Army being convened, His Excellency the Commander in Chief was pleased to open the meeting with the following address to them on the subject of their being called together which with some other papers were left for the consideration of the Assembly. The Honorable Major General Gates being President.

(Here follows the Address.)

for address, see GW to the Officers of the Army, 15 March 1783.

His Excellency having withdrawn, on a motion, made by General Knox and seconded by General Putnam


That the unanimous thanks of the Officers of the Army be presented to His Excellency the Commander in Chief, for his excellent address, and the communications he has been pleased to make to them, and to assure him that the Officers reciprocate his affectionate expressions with the greatest Sincerity of which the human heart is capable.

The address from the Army to Congress, the Report of the Committee from the Army, and the Resolutions of Congress of the 25th January being read.

On a motion by General Putnam, seconded by Genl Hand


That a Committee be appointed immediately to draw up some Resolutions, expressive of the business before us, and to report in half an hour, that this Committee consist of one General, one Field Officer, and one Captain. That General Knox, Colonel Brooks and Captain Howard compose the said Committee.

The Report of the Committee having been brought in and fully considered Resolved Unanimously That at the commencement of the present War, the Officers of the American Army engaged in the service of their Country from the purest love and attachment to the rights and liberties of human nature, which motives still exist in the highest degree: and that no circumstances of distress or danger shall induce a conduct that may tend to sully the reputation and Glory of which they have acquired at the price of their blood, and eight years faithful services.

Resolved Unanimously That the Army continue to have an unshaken confidence in the [justice] of Congress and their Country, and are fully convinced that the [representatives] of America will not disband or disperse the Army, untill their Accounts are liquidated. Balances accurately ascertained and adequate funds established for Payment And in this arrangement the Officers expect that the half Pay or a commutation of it, should be efficaciously comprehended.

Resolved Unanimously That His Excellency the Commander in Chief be requested to write to His Excellency the President of Congress earnestly entreating the most speedy decision of that Honorable body upon the subjects of our late address, that was forwarded by a Committee of the Army, some of whom are waiting upon Congress for the result. In the alternative of Peace or War, this event would be highly satisfactory, and would produce immediate tranquility in the minds of the Army: and prevent any further machinations of designing men to sow discord between the civil and Military powers of the United States.

Resolved Unanimously That the Officers of the American Army view with abhorrence, and reject with disdain the infamous propositions contained in a late anonymous address to the Officers of the Army, and resent with indignation the secret attempts of some unknown persons to collect the Officers together in a manner totally subversive of all discipline and good order.

Resolved Unanimously That the thanks of the Officers of the Army be given to the Committee who presented to Congress the late address of the Army, for the wisdom and prudence with which they have conducted that business and that a Copy of the proceedings of this day be transmitted by the President to Major General McDougall, and that he be requested to continue his Solicitations at Congress untill the objects of his mission are accomplished.

The Meeting was then desolved.

Horatio Gates

Major Genl Presdt


DLC: Papers of George Washington.

Index Entries