How the Continental Army was Maintained

About the author

Edward St. Germain.
Edward St. Germain

Edward A. St. Germain created in 1996. He was an avid historian with a keen interest in the Revolutionary War and American culture and society in the 18th century. On this website, he created and collated a huge collection of articles, images, and other media pertaining to the American Revolution. Edward was also a Vietnam veteran, and his investigative skills led to a career as a private detective in later life.

Editor’s note

The following is a chapter from the book “The Private Soldier Under Washington” written by Charles Knowles Bolton in 1902. The book helps to explain the conditions that Continental soldiers experienced during the American Revolution.

The book contains fascinating letters and notes written by soldiers during the war, which you may find contain some outdated spellings of certain words compared to modern English.


With the opening of spring in the year 1776 (March 17th) the British evacuated Boston, and Washington was free to turn his attention to New York. The new field of action was far from the farms of many of the volunteers and they were anxious to be relieved from service; the people in the central colonies were by no means united in support of the patriot cause and army life among them was not found to be as pleasant as it had been in New England. The situation from a military point of view was more difficult than in Massachusetts, and Washington, learning his lessons as a commander in the school of experience, made life harder for the rank and file. Recruits were few, and there was need of some method to increase the army for the new enterprises.

Early in June Congress drew up a plan to enlist militia, 6,000 for the campaign in Canada, 13,800 for New York, and 10,000 for a flying camp in the middle colonies; but the bounty of $10 which was offered had little effect upon men who could get a larger sum for shorter emergency service in the local organizations.1 Two other inducements were held out, a gift of land as suggested by Washington,2 and a provision for soldiers who should be so injured that they could no longer serve in the army nor get their livelihood by their labor.3

A serious obstacle which confronted the eastern States at this time in their attempts to fill their quotas was an excessive rage for privateering which drew from New England alone some 10,000 hardy, brave men. Clever advertisements in the newspapers4 and alluring posters were handed about; these, with marvellous stories of spoils from the West Indies, repeated from mouth to mouth, fostered discontent in camp and checked enlistments at home.5 Vast numbers, said Mrs. Adams, were employed in privateering, and officers were not too particular in the methods used to get recruits away from the militia.6 Self-interest, said John Paul Jones, and this only, influenced owners and sailors who preferred privateers to the navy service.7 Looking at the matter in another way, privateers were a blessing; they offered protection to helpless seaport towns, and discouraged petty marauding expeditions of the British against fishing villages. This work of the privateers freed the militia from service in the coastguard, and permitted a concentration of forces for larger undertakings.8

A very rare broadside, inviting enlistment under Paul Jones, 1777.
A very rare broadside, inviting enlistment under Paul Jones, 1777.

The prevalence of smallpox about Boston in the summer of 1776 added to the trials of Massachusetts recruiting officers, and made help from that section of the country less welcome to the army at New York;9 but the need of reenforcements was so urgent that any risk seemed justifiable.

The effect of enlistments and drafts upon the population of a small town are described by Mrs. John Adams in September, 1776: “Forty men,” she writes, “are now drafted from this town. More than one half, from sixteen to fifty, are now in the service… I hardly think you can be sensible how much we are thinned in this Province… If it is necessary to make any more drafts upon us, the women must reap the harvests. I am willing to do my part. I believe I could gather corn and husk it, but I should make a poor figure at digging potatoes.”10

The absence of militiamen during harvest time was a serious loss to a town in the destruction of unharvested crops; the knowledge of this preyed upon the minds of the farmer-soldiers themselves and led to desertion.11 “In some parishes,” wrote Colonel Fitch, of Connecticut, “but one or two [men] are left; some have got ten or twelve loads of hay cut, and not a man left to take it up; some five or six, under the same circumstances; some have got a great quantity of grass to cut; some have not finished hoeing corn; some, if not all, have got all their ploughing to do, for sowing their winter grain; some have all their families sick, and not a person left to take care of them…It is enough to make a man’s heart ache to hear the complaints of some of them.”12

In the southern colonies the minds of the recruits from the frontier or “back country” were frequently harassed by rumors of Indian raids upon their homes. Officers at such times asked for furloughs or resigned, and privates deserted in their desperation.13

Under these circumstances the most pressing calls for more troops met with little response from the people. They felt that they had done enough, and the legislatures were either unwilling or unable to urge them to further sacrifice. If Congress itself was slow to see the need of a greater army, the disaster at Long Island in August produced an immediate change. Upon September 16th Congress voted that eighty-eight battalions be enlisted to serve during the war.14 Each noncommissioned officer and private was promised a bounty of $20, and a hundred acres of land were to be given to him, or to his representative if he was “slain by the enemy” before the close of the war. The expense necessary to procure the land was to be borne by the States in the same proportion as the other expenses of the war. The States were to provide arms, clothing, and every necessity, the cost of the clothing to be deducted from the pay of the men.15 A little later, however, Congress voted a suit of clothes (or $20 if the soldier owned the clothes) to be given annually as a further inducement.16 Washington in general orders November 10, 1776, announced that those who enlisted into the new army would have the usual pay and rations, but no boys or old men and no deserters would be received. At the same time the army regulations were repealed and a more rigorous code was put in force to bring the service to a higher standard of discipline.17

The plan to raise eighty-eight battalions, so simple on paper, developed endless complications. The States, as might be expected, found it difficult to fill their quotas, and they resorted to additional bounties; Connecticut and Massachusetts voted 20s. a month to privates above that allowed by Congress, and $33 1/3 additional bounty; New Jersey offered $53 1/3; Maryland objected to giving money in any case and wished to substitute land.18 At a meeting of New England delegates to regulate prices the plea was made that Congress would not increase the pay of soldiers to meet high prices and a larger bounty was the last resort. Massachusetts then offered $86 2/3, and New Hampshire did the same. In this confusion the bewildered recruits stood irresolute, hoping that bounties had but just begun their upward course. Meanwhile the eighty-eight battalions had to be filled by drafts of one man in four or five, excluding, however, those already in service, those in seaboard or frontier towns, school-masters, students, and a portion of those employed in powder-mills.19 The men who served in the artillery – known as bombardiers and matrosses – held back so persistently that Washington was forced to offer an advance in pay of twenty-five per cent to obtain the necessary numbers.20

The Continental army had its first time of serious privation in the winter that was just setting in; the soldiers in the northern camps especially deserve to share the fame that came to those who suffered and survived at Valley Forge a year later. A gentleman, writing from Ticonderoga December 4, 1776, concluded his letter with the words: “For all this Army at this place, which did consist of twelve or thirteen thousand men, sick and well, no more than nine hundred pair of shoes have been sent. One third at least of the poor wretches is now barefoot, and in this condition obliged to do duty. This is shocking to humanity. It cannot be viewed in any milder light than black murder. The poor creatures is now (what’s left alive) laying on the cold ground, in poor thin tents, and some none at all, and many down with the pleurisy. No barracks, no hospitals to go in. The barracks is at Saratoga. If you was here, your heart would melt. I paid a visit to the sick yesterday in a small house called a hospital. The first object presented [to] my eyes, one man laying dead at the door; the[n] inside two more laying dead, two living lying between them; the living with the dead had so laid for four-and-twenty hours. I went no further; this was too much to see and to much to feel, for a heart with the least tincture of humanity.”21

To Ticonderoga the men had marched cheerfully, a great part of them barefooted and bare-legged. In this condition they were forced to look forward to sentinel duty in the snow of a northern winter.22 A British officer, in a letter dated at York Island, October 30, 1776, states that “the Rebel army are in so wretched a condition as to clothing and accoutrements, that I believe no nation ever saw such a set of tatterdemalions. There are few coats among them but what are out at elbows and in a whole regiment there is scarce a pair of breeches. Judge then how they must be pinched by a winter campaign.”23

Such were the hardships endured by the army; disease and cold thinned the ranks that had borne the attack of British infantry. So great was the demand for men that not a few deserted to reenlist, and the temptation increased with the duration of the war.24 A punishment of a hundred lashes had little effect, and in 1778 a man was shot who had deserted and reenlisted for the bounties seven times.25 For him there was no semblance of excuse, but for some who went home without leave a word in extenuation might be said. They received few of the blessings, usually, that the recruiting officer held before trusting eyes; they lived for months without proper or even decent food and clothing, fighting (in some cases) for a country that had known them but a few years and against friends and neighbors of their youth.26 If they had been drafted or had been induced to sign enlistment papers when dazed by liquor, their consciences did not hold them to service in the army.

Later on, an officer, after complaining that the troops had been for two years without clothes and pay, affirmed that there must have been virtue in the army when under such circumstances there was any army left. A sentence in his diary which refers to a practice not uncommon in the early years of the war is good enough to bear repeating: “This day one of our soldiers which deserted some time ago deserted back again with a new suit of cloaths.”27

Weak as the Continental army was in the autumn of 1776, it undertook two important duties; part of the forces held the Hudson above New York to check any advance of the British toward Canada or New England; another wing of the army kept to the banks of the Delaware to guard the highways to Pennsylvania and the south. On December 22d (just before the battle of Trenton was fought) the return of the army then encamped on the banks of the Delaware gives a total of 10,106 men; of these 3,357 were sick, absent on duty or on furlough, making thirty-three per cent ineffective.28 It was the current belief that affairs had come to a critical pass, requiring a successful battle to awaken enthusiasm and quicken enlistments for the next campaign.29 Washington’s capture of nearly the whole British outpost at Trenton on Christmas night accomplished what was needed, but in order to follow up the success he was driven to a fresh bounty of $10 to keep the discontented men together for another month.

The year 1777, with its defeats at the Brandywine and at Germantown, brought little cheer to the main army until the news of Burgoyne’s surrender came in October. Throughout the summer Washington never had above 11,000 Continentals and 2,000 militia in the field at one time. At the close of July Congress abandoned the expensive and unsatisfactory system of appointing army officers as recruiting agents; the States were to be divided into districts, with a local officer in each district, who was to receive $8 for every man enlisted and $5 for each deserter secured.30 Washington expressed approval of an annual draft of men to fill the regiments that became reduced by death, disease, or the withdrawal of those who could not be induced by a bounty of $25 to remain in the service beyond the term of enlistment.31

At the beginning of autumn the army, numbering some ten or eleven thousand men, marched through Front Street, Philadelphia, on the way to check the advance of General Howe. Alexander Graydon stood at the coffee-house corner and watched them pass, the Commander-in-chief and his men. They were, he says, indifferently dressed, but carried their well-burnished arms like good soldiers who might reasonably expect success in a contest with equal numbers. They were obliged to fall back a few days later before Knyphausen’s advance over Brandywine Creek at Chadd’s Ford and Cornwallis’s flank attack by way of Birmingham church, greatly outnumbered but not put to rout.32 General Howe occupied Philadelphia and thus achieved one object in the British plan of campaign. While the moral effect of this move was considerable at the time, Philadelphia being the great port of trade of the middle colonies, and a centre for army supplies of all kinds, he had, however, done little harm to Washington, and he now found that he must divide his army in order to protect both Philadelphia and New York. To put down the rebellion of an agricultural people, scattered over a wide territory, by a garrison in each town would have required more soldiers than England possessed. The other movement of the year, Burgoyne’s attempt to isolate New England by seizing Lake Champlain and the Hudson, which taken together formed a natural western barrier, ended in his capitulation.

Washington looked forward to winter quarters where the men could be near enough to the scene of action to furnish comfort to supporters of the patriot cause, where they could be drilled by Baron Steuben, and could be so fed and protected from the weather that sickness and desertion would not destroy the army. It seemed necessary to be at least a day’s march from the enemy to afford time for defensive measures or for retreat in case the British made a hostile move. He therefore withdrew up the eastern bank of the Schuylkill some miles to the northwest of Philadelphia, crossed the river on December 13th by two bridges, one old and insecure and another improvised from boats and fence- rails, and on the 19th went into camp at Valley Forge. By January 1st most of the troops were settled in huts, and they soon began to improve in discipline under the instruction of Baron Steuben, who toiled with the zeal of “a lieutenant anxious for promotion.”33

The sufferings of the Continentals at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78, without sufficient clothing, blankets, or shoes, and much of the time destitute of proper food, are described in a succeeding chapter.

An army of about 17,000 men had melted away, until now, in 1778, 5,000 ragged soldiers remained. A Tory writer reported in March that 1,134 deserters had come into Philadelphia and taken the oath of allegiance. It is worthy of notice, in support of Washington’s frequent request for recruits of American birth, that just three-fourths of these deserters were foreign born.34 The effective force was further decreased by the pernicious habit of employing privates as officers’ servants. Steuben has mentioned as an illustration of the system a certain company which had “twelve men present; absent, one man as valet to the commissary, two hundred miles distant from the army, for eighteen months; one man valet to a quartermaster attached to the army of the north, for twelve months; four in the different hospitals for so many months; two as drivers of carriages; and so many more as bakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, even as coal-porters, for years together.” These men, once on the rolls, were reported regularly as part of the effective force.35

With the opening of the spring campaign Congress called upon the States to maintain their quotas,36 and in May resolved to grant $80 at the end of the war to every non-commissioned officer and private who had enlisted or would enlist for or during the contest.37 In August it was reported that “a great spirit of inlisting” had taken place among the militia drafts.38 A proposition to pay part of the usual bounty of $20 in specie instead of bills would have helped the movement along, but on a vote it was lost, and an appropriation of $120,000 in Continental money was made.39 The much-desired consummation of treaties with France was hailed with celebrations in the army, and the virtual victory at Monmouth following Clinton’s evacuation of Philadelphia served in a sense to offset the loss of Savannah, which was not known in camp until the new year came in.

The opening weeks Of 1779 disclosed conditions that might well have discouraged Washington himself. Congress authorized him to offer a bounty not to exceed $200 (in addition to the usual bounties of clothing, and, at the expiration of the war, of land and money) to be given to each man engaged for the war.40 Later, where the bounty offered by a State exceeded $200, this sum was ordered to be put to the State’s credit for each recruit furnished, to prevent the jealousies that might otherwise arise from too great inequality in the amount of bounty to be had when the national and local bounties were combined.41 Washington already began to fear that the enlistments would prove a failure unless the State rivalry in offering large bounties was brought to an end. New Jersey offered $250 over and above the bounty voted by Congress; Georgia offered $300, and Virginia promised clothes, land, and $750 to recruits.42 Naturally these sums, in spite of the depreciation in paper bills, made the soldiers who had enlisted earlier to serve for the whole war uneasy and vexed that they had accepted a paltry $20. Congress perceived this and allowed $100 to each man who had enlisted for the war previous to January 23, 1779.43

“You may,” wrote the Commander-in-chief in July, “form a pretty good judgment of my prospect of a brilliant campaign, and of the figure I shall cut in it, when I inform you, that, excepting about 400 recruits from the State of Massachusetts (a portion of which I am told are children, hired at about 1500 dollars each for 9 months’ service), I have had no reenforcements to this army since last campaign.”44 Some months earlier the Baron de Kalb had said that so long as the substitutes hired by rich citizens for the militia could get enormous bounties for a “two months’ walk” – as the short enlistment was called – there was no hope for the regular regiments.45

In October Washington’s force engaged for the war amounted to 14,998 men; to these must be added 12,101 men engaged for short periods, making in all 27,099, of whom 410 were invalids.46 In the meantime the towns throughout the country were approaching the end of their resources in their ability to furnish recruits. Town meeting followed town meeting to fill quotas of men and provide beef, clothing, and fire-arms. Training-bands and alarm-lists were scrutinized for recruits, and at meetings attendance was secured by a threat to draft first from those who remained away from these deliberations.47 In Massachusetts, which still furnished nearly a fifth of the infantry battalions, the towns finally were divided into as many classes as there were men to be raised, each class to furnish and pay for a man, or pay the average price paid for Continental soldiers, with twenty-five per cent added.48 Somewhat earlier, in Connecticut, any two men were exempted from draft so long as they could keep a recruit in the field – a practice that led to the employment of negroes and lowered the grade of recruits.49

The success of the recruiting service varied according to local conditions, and particularly where the people were influenced by frequent reports from the army. Rivington’s Gazette, April 17, 1779, stated that the rebels, who were fed with putrid salt beef and wretched whiskey, were ready to desert from a service which they despised and detested; while the New Hampshire Gazette ten days later reported that there was a great eagerness to enlist, that nine-tenths of the southern forces, being pleased with their food and their superior clothing, had reenlisted. Nearly all newspaper statements of the time were more or less inaccurate and intemperate; and the information made public by British and American editors, and particularly the loyalist editors, was colored beyond recognition.

For several years Indians and Tories from the lake region in central New York had harried the frontier settlements in Washington’s rear. The Indians kept under cultivation some 20,000 acres of corn and thousands of fruit-trees, inhabiting the rich lands from Lake Ontario at the north to Tioga Point, the meeting-place of the Chemung River with the Susquehanna, just within the bounds of Pennsylvania, on the south. In the summer of 1779 General James Clinton started from Schenectady by way of Otsego Lake and its outlet the upper Susquehanna to meet General John Sullivan, who marched northward from Easton along the Lehigh River and the lower Susquehanna. They joined forces at Tioga Point, and late in August drove the British and their savage allies from their stronghold on the Chemung, near the present city of Elmira. The devastation which followed put an end to the great Indian highway between Canada and the Chesapeake, dispersed the enemy that menaced Washington in the rear, and left him free to face Sir Henry Clinton’s army.50 A careful French resume of the situation concludes with the opinion that affairs were alarming but not desperate in the autumn of 1779: that the country, like a convalescent, needed nourishment rather than medicine, and a careful nurse rather than a physician.51

The year 1780, with the loss of Charleston, the defeat at Camden, and the treason of Arnold, seemed to portend surrender at last. But forces were at work that were to outweigh them all in the fortunes of war; in France the colonies grew in favor, and the French fleet appeared upon the American coast; in England, now at war with France and Spain, the King’s policy was about to add Holland to the circle of her enemies; while in the colonies the Continentals, under the eye of that indefatigable disciplinarian, the Baron Steuben, grew into an army of hardy, patient, and obedient soldiers.52 There were 10,400 rank and file that spring on the North River to oppose a British force of 11,000.

Washington asked for fifty regiments or 35,850 men.53 Congress had already lost much of the prestige which made its wish effective in 1775, and as it had ceased to exercise the right to issue paper money, it could “neither enlist, pay, nor feed a single soldier;” the Commander was obliged to rely largely upon his own efforts to rouse the country.54 Had Congress supported with courage despotic laws similar to those enacted eighty-four years later by the Confederate Congress it is possible that the people would have held that the occasion justified the action. To enlarge its force in the field the Confederacy employed free negroes and slaves in every position at home and in camp where a white man could thereby be released for army duty. By an act of February 17, 1864, every white resident between the ages of seventeen and fifty became at its passage a part of the military service of the Confederate States until the end of the war.

A newspaper advertisement encouraging men to enlist.
Enlistment broadside.

The condition of Washington’s army in the autumn of 1780 was so disheartening that a hostile observer could hardly over-color the picture of ragged, half-fed battalions, thinned by desertion, disease, and expirations of terms of service. Benedict Arnold, the traitor of less than two weeks’ standing under His Majesty’s protection, has described the army of 11,400 men, half of whom, the militia, would return to their homes on January 1st. These men, “illy clad, badly fed, and worse paid, having in general two or three years’ pay due to them,” were the result of an appeal for 35,000 soldiers who were to drive Sir Henry Clinton out of New York and end the war. The public debt, he added, amounted to 400,000,000 paper dollars; and Congress, jealous of the army and powerless over the States, could do little. Provisions were of necessity taken from the people and this swelled the tide of discontent. Arnold’s picture of the army was drawn from a knowledge of the facts scarcely inferior to Washington’s own.55 The mutiny of the Pennsylvania line at the beginning of the new year resulted naturally from these conditions.

A plan for the reduction of the regular army after January 1, 1781, to four regiments of dragoons or cavalry, four of artillery, forty-nine of infantry (with 612 men in each), exclusive of Colonel Hazen’s regiment, Colonel Armand’s partisan corps, Major Lee’s corps, and one regiment of artificers,56 was approved by Congress in October, 1780; little was accomplished in this direction until near the end of the war.

Morgan’s victory over Tarleton at the Cowpens in January, 1781, was followed by the defeat of Greene at Guilford, Hobkirk’s Hill, and Eutaw Springs. But these seemingly unfortunate incidents in Greene’s masterly Southern Campaign were soon to be overshadowed by the siege of Lord Cornwallis’s army at Yorktown, and the surrender which came in October. The cessation of active hostilities was very welcome to America, although defensive measures were by no means exhausted. Washington and Greene had come to know the strategic possibilities of the country which lies between the mountains and the Atlantic coast. The broad rivers that everywhere flow southerly and easterly to the sea formed barriers, and the long stretches of sparsely inhabited country seriously hindered the operations of an invading commander who struck inland for any distance from his ships. While the struggle was waged now in the eastern, now in the central, now in the southern colonies, great tracts of land could be cultivated in comparative peace, regardless of a depreciating currency, an anxious Congress, or a ragged army. The recruiting officer was the only reminder of strife that came into many a quiet cabin in the forest clearing.57 With the seed planted or the grain gathered men were ready to shoulder their muskets for a short campaign, just as the Scotch Highlanders waited for the autumn harvests before raiding the lowlands.

In the spring of 1782 the British House of Commons declared that all who should advise the further prosecution of offensive war in America would be considered as enemies to his Majesty and the country. The Continental military establishment at this time was in the neighborhood of 35,000 men, with an effective French force of 4,000 troops. The British establishment, including detachments at Charleston, Savannah, Halifax, on the Penobscot and in Canada, with the militia at New York, was supposed to be about 26,000 men.58 The resignation of Lord North in March and the signing of preliminary articles between Great Britain and the United States in November prepared the way for a cessation of hostilities early in 1783. On April 19th peace was announced to the soldiers by Washington.

The days of trial were over for the army which, in the Commander’s words, was of nearly eight years’ standing. Six years they had spent in the field without any other shelter from the inclemency of the seasons than tents, or such houses as they could build for themselves without expense to the public. They had encountered hunger, cold, and nakedness. They had fought many battles and bled freely. They had lived without pay, and in consequence of it, officers as well as men had subsisted upon their rations. They had often, very often, been reduced to the necessity of eating salt pork, or beef, not for a day or a week only, but for months together, without vegetables or money to buy them.59

During these eight dark years the officers and men who served under Washington grew more and more to know that a great man led them. In correspondence, in journals, and in the conversation of visitors who had come from Europe, the Commander of the Continental Army was mentioned with a regard rarely if ever before bestowed during life upon the central figure of a bitter war for independence. His letters were preserved by the families of British officers;60 and the British historian, John Richard Green, with rare comprehension of his character, has said of him: “No nobler figure ever stood in the forefront of a nation’s life. Washington was grave and courteous in address; his manners were simple and unpretending; his silence and the serene calmness of his temper spoke of a perfect self-mastery… It was only as the weary fight went on that the colonists discovered, however slowly and imperfectly, the greatness of their leader, his clear judgment, his heroic endurance, his silence under difficulties, his calmness in the hour of danger or defeat, the patience with which he waited, the quickness and hardness with which he struck, the lofty and serene sense of duty that never swerved from its task through resentment or jealousy, that never through war or peace felt the touch of a meaner ambition, that knew no aim save that of guarding the freedom of his fellow-countrymen, and no personal longing save that of returning to his own fireside when their freedom was secured. It was almost unconsciously that men learned to cling to Washington with a trust and faith such as few other men have won, and to regard him with a reverence which still hushes us in presence of his memory.”61


  1. Journals of Congress, June 26, 1776.
  2. Washington’s Writings (Ford), vol. 4, p. 380.
  3. Journals of Congress, August 26, 1776.
  4. Miss Caulkins’s New London, p. 541.
  5. B. Rust to R. H. Lee; in American Archives V., vol. 3, col. 1513 ; also ibid., vol. 2, col. 337.
  6. Ibid.,.vol. 2, col. 599; col. 622.
  7. American Archives V., vol. 2, col. 1105. See also Rhode Island Historical Society Collections, vol. 6, p. 207.
  8. James Lyon, in American Archives V., vol. I, col. 1282.
  9. Serle to Lord Dartmouth, August 12th. Stevens’s Facsimiles, No. 2041.
  10. American Archives V., vol. 2, col. 599 (September 29th).
  11. Ibid., vol. I, col. 172.
  12. Jonathan Fitch to Governor Trumbull, August 13, 1776; in American Archives V., vol. I, col. 938.
  13. Salley’s Orangeburg County, S. C., p. 439.
  14. The apportionment was:New Hampshire – 3 battalions
    Delaware – 1 battalion
    Massachusetts Bay – 15 battalions
    Maryland – 8 battalions
    Rhode Island 2 battalions
    Virginia -15 battalions
    Connecticut – 8 battalions North Carolina – 9 battalions
    New York – 4 battalions
    South Carolina – 6 battalions
    New Jersey – 4 battalions
    Georgia-1 battalion
    Pennsylvania – 12 battalionsSixteen additional battalions were authorized later. (Heath’s Memoirs, p. 116, and Journals of Congress, December 27th.)
  15. Journals of Congress, September 16, 1776.
  16. Ibid., October 8, 1776.
  17. American Archives V., vol. 2, col. 561. In November Gates’s force numbered 11,526 men; Lee had 10,768 men. (Ibid., vol. 3, cols. 702, 710.) See also W. Eddis’s Letters from America (1792), PP. 342, 343
  18. Washington’s Writings (Ford), vol. 5, pp. 18, 20, 2131 notes.
  19. American Archives V., Vol. 2, col. 763. Many who paid a fine rather than go when drafted received a receipt similar to the following: “Recd of Mr. Caleb Craft the Sum of Ten Pounds Lawfull Money in full for his fine he Refuseing to go a Solder when Draughted by the Town.” – MS. in Brookline Public Library.
  20. Washington’s Writings (Ford), vol. 5, p. 113.
  21. Jos. Wood to Thomas Wharton, Jr.; in American Archives V., vol. 3, col. 1358.
  22. Richard Stockton, in ibid., vol. 2, cols. 1274, 1275
  23. American Archives V., vol. 2, col. 1293.
  24. E. Wild’s Diary ; in Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, October, 1890, p. 93.
  25. Orderly book of the Northern Army at Ticonderoga, p. 9.
  26. Colonel Richardson in September, 1775, spoke of the need of arms to equip ” the new Irish settlers” in South Carolina – Salley’s Orangeburg County, S.C. p. 432.
  27. W. McDowell’s Journal; in Pennsylvania Archives, second series, vol. 15, P. 321. See also Army Correspondence of Colonel John Laurens, p. 139.
  28. American Archives V., vol. 3, col. 1401.
  29. American Archives, V., vol. 3, col. 1514.
  30. Washington’s Writings (Ford), vol. 6, P. 7.
  31. Ibid., vol. 6, p. 305.
  32. Graydon’s Memoirs, p. 291.
  33. Army Correspondence of Colonel John Laurens (1867), pp. 90-97, 100, 152, 160, 169.
  34. Joseph Galloway. Stevens’s Facsimiles, No. 2094.
  35. Kapp’s Steuben, p. 116. Also Baron de Kalb’s views; Stevens’s Facsimiles, No. 761.
  36. See fn. 14, supra. Rhode Island was to furnish 1 battalion, New York 5, and Pennsylvania 10; South Carolina and Georgia were omitted. – Journals of Congress, February 26,1778.
  37. Ibid., May 15, 1778.
  38. No soldier in the infantry battalions could – by a resolve of August 31, 1778 – enlist outside the battalions credited to the State for which he had enlisted as a militiaman.
  39. The establishment of 1778 allowed to each battalion of infantry 477 privates with pay at $6 2/3 per month; artillery, 336 matrosses at $8 1/3 per month; cavalry, 374 dragoons, $8 1/3 per month; provost, 43 provosts or privates, $8 1/3 per month ; three companies in the engineering department, each to have sixty privates at $8 1/3 per month (Journals of Congress May 27, 1778). A regiment of infantry had 1 colonel (who was also a captain), 1 lieutenant-colonel (also captain), 1 major (also captain), 6, captains, paymaster, adjutant, quartermaster, 1 surgeon, 1 surgeon’s mate, 8 lieutenants, 9 ensigns, 1 sergeant-major, 1 quartermaster-sergeant, 27 sergeants, 1 captain-lieutenant (over the colonel’s company), 1 drum-major, 1 fife-major, 18 drums and fifes, 27 corporals, 477 privates; in all 585.
  40. Journals of Congress, January 23, 1779
  41. Journals of Congress, March 9, 1779. There were to be eighty battalions of infantry.
  42. Washington’s Writings (Ford), vol. 7, pp. 364 – 366.
  43. Journals of Congress, June 22, 1779.
  44. Washington’s Writings (Ford), vol. 7, P. 505.
  45. De Kalb to De Broglie, December, 1777; Stevens’s Facsimiles, No. 761.
  46. Washington’s Writings (Ford), vol. 8, p. 111.
  47. Parmenter’s Pelham, pp. 142-148.
  48. Resolves General Court of Massachusetts, February 26, 1781 ; Town Records Pelham, Brookline, etc.
  49. Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, August, 1862, p. 198.
  50. See Chapter IX.; also W. E. Griffis in New England Magazine, December, 1900.
  51. Stevens’s Facsimiles, No. 1616.
  52. Ibid., Nos. 1627, 1632.
  53. Washington’s Writings (Ford), vol. 8, p. 235; ibid., vol. 8, P. 487; Journals of Congress, October 3, 21, 1780 (change in regiments).
  54. Madison to Jefferson, May 6, 1780; in his Writings (Hunt), vol. I, p. 63.
  55. Benedict Arnold’s Present State of the American Rebel Army (Winnowings in American History; Revolutionary narratives, No. 5).
  56. Journals of Congress, October 3, 21, 1780. The quotas were:New Hampshire: two regiments of infantry.
    Massachusetts: ten of infantry, one of artillery.
    Rhode Island: one of infantry.
    Connecticut: five of infantry, one of cavalry.
    New York: two of infantry, one of artillery.
    New Jersey: two of infantry.
    Pennsylvania: six of infantry, one of artillery, one of cavalry, one of artificers.
    Delaware: one of infantry.
    Maryland: five of infantry.
    Virginia: eight of infantry, one of artillery, two of cavalry.
    North Carolina: four of infantry.
    South Carolina: two of infantry.
    Georgia: one of infantry.Every recruit enlisted for the war was to receive a sum not exceeding $50. All the foreigners in the service of the United States were brought together in Colonel Hazen’s regiment. August 7, 1782, the Secretary of War was instructed by Congress to see that each regiment was completed to not less than 500 rank and file, and that the reduction in the number of regiments ordered in 1780 was carried out. Such of the sixteen additional regiments as were not annexed to the line of their particular states and all separate light corps and the German battalion were to be struck from the establishment.
  57. Channing’s United States (New York, 1896), pp. 77-79.
  58. Washington’s Writings (Ford), vol. 9, p. 468.
  59. From Washington’s words, in his Writings (Ford), vol. 10, p. 204.
  60. De Fonblanque’s Burgoyne (1876), p. 329, note.
  61. Green’s History of the English People (New York, 1880), Vol. 4, pp. 254, 255 (Book IX., chapter ii.).

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