Washington, George, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources: Volume 4
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To THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS Camp at Cambridge, October 30, 1775.

    Sir: The Information, which the Gentlemen, who have lately gone from hence, can give the Congress of the State and Situation of the Army, would have made a Letter unnecessary, If I did not suppose, there would be some Anxiety to know the Intentions of the Army, on the Subject of their Reenlistment.

    Agreeable to the Advice of those Gentlemen, and my own Opinion, I immediately began by directing all such Officers, as proposed to continue to signify their Intentions, as soon as possible: a great number of the returns are come in, from which I find, that a very great Proportion of Officers of the Rank of Captains and under, will retire from present appearances I may say half, but at least one third. It is with some concern also, that I observe that many of the Officers, who retire, discourage the continuance of the Men, and I fear will communicate the Infection to them. Some have advised, that those Officers, who decline the Service, should be immediately dismissed: but this would be very dangerous and inconvenient. I confess, I have great Anxieties upon the Subject, tho' I still hope the Pay and Terms are so advantageous, that Interest, and I hope also, a regard to their country, will retain a greater Proportion of the Privates, than their Officers. In so important a matter, I


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shall esteem it my indispensable Duty, not only to act with all possible Prudence, but to give the most early and constant Advice of my Progress. 65

[Note:"I am happy to inform you that Congress has agreed to every recommendation of the Committee, and have gone beyond it, in allowing the additional pay to the officers. I rejoice at this, but cannot think with patience that pitiful wretches, who stood cavilling with you when entreated to serve the next campaign, should reap the benefit of this addition. They will now be ready enough, but hope you will be able to refuse them with the contempt they deserve, and to find better in their room. Could not some of the gentlemen at camp enlist the New England men who have been persuaded to leave you? Frazier told me he could. It would be a capital point to convince the world that it is not necessary to have bad officers of that country, in order to raise men there. I can scarce bear their tyranny." -- Lynch to Washington, Nov. 13, 1775. This letter is in the Washington Papers. ]

    A Supply of Clothing, equal to our necessities, would greatly contribute to the Encouragment and Satisfaction of the Men: In every Point of View it is so important, that I beg leave, to call the Attention of the Congress to it, in a particular manner.

    A Serjeant has just come in from Bunker's Hill, but brings no important News. I have the Honor to be etc.