New Jersey Militia  -  Heard's Brigade

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Washington, Georde, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources: Volume 7
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library


    Sir: Inclosed I transmit you a Copy of a late resolve of Congress, by which you will perceive, that in bringing the Militia into the field, strict regard is to be had to the number of men; and only a due proportion of Officers, both with respect to rank and number, is to be called out to command them.62 More than these will not be paid, as it would impose an unreasonable burthen on the public. There have been horrid abuses in this way; it has been heretofore customary, to see almost as many Officers as men, in the pay abstracts that have been brought before me. And what is, if possible, a still greater enormity I have reason to believe it is too often a practice for Officers who command parties, to assume the rank of their superior officers who happen to be absent, and to draw pay equivalent to it, under the absurd idea of their acting in their stead and capacity, I desire your careful attention to the remedying these things in future, as the tenor of the before mentioned resolve will be rigidly adhered to, and Supernumerary officers may expect to receive no pay for their unnecessary Services; and those who are guilty of such an assumption of rank will make themselves liable to punishment.

    I find, that the Brigadiers of this State have each a particular power, only to call out the Militia of a particular district. On this account, unless the Governor should have regulated the matter himself, it will be necessary that the Brigadiers should agree among themselves, on one of their number to take the actual command of the Troops in the field; more than one will not be wanted for the purpose.

    I shall deem it indespensibly incumbent on the acting Brigadier, to inforce upon all the Officers under him, the necessary practice of making exact returns to him of their several parties; and to impress it upon them, in explicit terms, that no abstracts they shall present, will be paid, unless they are first certified under his hand, in doing which, his duty and reputation demand he should accurately compare the abstracts with the returns that have been previously made. Any neglect or want of care, in this particular, will manifest an unpardonable disregard, to the public good. I am &ca.


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