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Arrangement of the Militia of the Colony


Mr˙ Hobart, from the Committee to form an arrangement of the Militia of this Colony, delivered in a Report, and asked leave to sit again. The said Report was read; and being again read, paragraph by paragraph, and amended, was filed, and is in the words following, to wit:

Your Committee do report that it be recommended —

1. That every County, City, Manor, Town, Precinct,


and District, within this Colony, where the same is not already done, be divided into Districts or Beats, by the respective Committees, in such manner that out of each may be formed one Military Company, ordinarily to consist of about eighty-three able-bodied and effective men, Officers included, between sixteen and fifty years of age; the Battalion commanded by Colonel Lasher, the Companies of Artillery, Light-Horse, and Hussars, in the City and County of New-York, and the Troops of Horse Companies, of Grenadiers, and the associated Companies already formed in the several Cities and Counties within this Colony, excepted.

2. That in each Company so to be formed there be chosen, in the manner hereinafter mentioned, one Captain, two Lieutenants, one Ensign, four Sergeants, four Corporals, one Clerk, one Drummer, and one Fifer.

3. That two Committee-Men, at the least, attend in each District or Beat, on a day to be by them appointed, for the purpose of choosing the abovementioned Officers, who shall be persons within such Beat or District who have signed the General Association recommended by this Congress; that such choice or election be made in the manner following, to wit: After the Company is drawn up, the Committee-Men who preside at the election may repair to a station at some convenient distance from the Company, then let the men pass in a single file between them, each man giving in the name of the person he chooses to fill the office in question; the majority of such votes to determine the election. But in case the votes shall be so divided that no one has the majority, then the presiding Committee-Men to acquaint the Company therewith, and call them to a new election; the same to be repeated till such majority be obtained, or the Company agree upon some other mode of choosing the Officers. The names of the Captains, Lieutenants, and Ensigns, so chosen, to be returned, with all convenient speed, to this or some future Provincial Congress of this Colony, or, during their recess, to the Committee of Safety, to be commissioned by them.

4. That whenever a vacancy shall happen in any Company, by the promotion, death, or resignation of an Officer, such vacancy to be filled up in the beforementioned manner.

5. That those Companies in the above excepted Battalion, commanded by Col˙ Lasher, which are now under the direction of Field-Officers, shall for the future be commanded by Captains, who are to be chosen in the manner above directed.

6. That for the purpose of completely carrying into execution the recommendation of the Continental Congress, after the whole Militia is formed as above, that every fourth man of each Company be selected for Minute-Men, of such persons as are willing to enter into this necessary service; that the Officers of the Militia make, with all convenient speed, a return of the names of those persons to the Committee of their respective Counties, who shall thereupon arrange those men into Companies, and who are to recommend to such new arranged Companies the choice of their Officers, in the manner abovementioned. Provided, that where whole Companies offer their service as Minute-Men, they shall be commanded by the Officers already chosen, and the remaining number of the Minute-Men shall be completed out of the other Companies, as above.

7. That the several Committees do return to the Secretary of the Provincial Congress of this Colony, the names of such persons as do refuse to conform to the above Resolve.

All which is humbly submitted.

Ordered, That Congress do agree with the said Committee in their Report; and Ordered, That it be published, as Resolutions of this Congress, in all the Newspapers.