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Letter from Elbridge Gerry to General Gates: Requests a list of such of his officers as he can recommend to appointments in the new Army



King' s Bridge, September 27, 1776.

MY DEAR SIR: Being here with a Committee of Congress, for inquiring into the state of the army, I take the opportunity of informing you, by Mr˙ Trumbull, that we are endeavouring to new-model the army in every respect, where necessary. Congress have resolved to establish eighty-eight full battalions for the war, and the Assemblies are to appoint the regimental officers; in doing which, if some extra measures are not adopted, we shall have such a corps of officers as the army have been hitherto encumbered with. I have desired General Washington to furnish the Committee with a list of such officers in the army here as he is desirous of having again engaged in the service, with the States to which they belong; and the General thinks it will be necessary to obtain the same from the Northern army. The use we intend to make of this is, to send it with a member of Congress to the Assembly of each respective State, who is to be ordered to impress the necessity of appointing gentlemen of education to military offices, as a measure absolutely necessary for saving the country, and to urge the Assemblies to apportion the men on the towns, and raise them by recruiting or drafting, in readiness for reinforcing or forming the camps by the 1st December next. We have obtained Colonel Moylan' s resignation, and General Mifflin comes again into the office of Quartermaster-General. Many other measures will be reported, which I think will put things on a good footing. I suppose you will hear of the retreat from New-York ere this is at hand, and the fire which has consumed about one quarter of the city; and remain, sir, in great haste, your assured friend, and very humble servant,


To Major-General Gates.

P˙ S˙ Pray direct the list to me at Philadelphia, without delay. The men are to have a bounty of twenty dollars, and one hundred acres land each, at the end of the war — the officers land in proportion.