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Resolve for raising one-fifth part of the Militia of the State to reinforce the Army at New-York


Resolve for raising one-fifth-part of the Militia of this State, to reinforce the Army at NEW-YORK; passed SEPTEMBER 10, 1776.

Whereas it has been represented to the General Court of this State, by the honourable the Governour of the State of Connecticut, that it is of the utmost importance to the United States of America to have a large body of troops stationed above the Island of New-York, to prevent the British Army' s cutting off the communication between the American Army at the City and Island of New-York, and the country. And whereas the honourable Congress, in consequence of an application made to them by his Excellency General Washington, in the present critical state of our affairs, have since called upon the Government, in the most pressing terms, immediately to send all the aid in our power to the Army at New-York; this Court, being sensible that the safety, freedom, and future happiness of America depend upon, and pressingly demand, a vigourous and manly management of this campaign, and well considering that, while all that is dear to this people is at stake, they should be chargeable with great remissness if they did not exercise the powers with which they are vested by this State for its salvation, at this critical moment, by sending such reinforcement to the Army at New-York as the exigency of the case requires. And whereas the Militia of this State within the Counties of York, Cumberland, and Lincoln, are too remote to march to the timely aid of the Army; and whereas the situation of the Counties of Nantucket and Dukes County, the towns of Boston, Dartmouth, Plymouth, Salem, Marblehead, Gloucester, Manchester, Beverly, and Newburyport, render it unfit for any part of the Militia to be drafted from them at present, it is

Resolved, That one-fifth part of the Militia of this State, not now in actual service by sea or land, excepting those of the towns and counties above named, be ordered, by the major part of the Council, to march immediately, under the command of such General officer as shall be appointed by the General Court, and commissioned by the Council, to command them, to remain and continue in the service within the four New-England Governments, the Slate of New-York, or the Jerseys, until they are recalled by the General Court of this State, the House of Representatives, or the major part of the Council, under such regulations, and upon such establishment, as is hereinafter provided.

And that the said fifth part of said Militia may march without delay, it is

Resolved, That the major part of the Council make out their order in writing to Major-General Warren, commanding him that he immediately order the Brigadiers of the several Counties of Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, Worcester, Hampshire, Plimouth, Barnstable, Bristol, and Berkshire


to cause the Militia, as well of the Alarm List, as Training Band of their respective Brigades, to be mustered without delay, excepting those in the towns above excepted; and that they cause to be drafted therefrom, when so mustered, every fifth able-bodied man of the non-commissioned officers and private soldiers, under fifty years of age, except the officers and students of Harvard College, grammar-school masters, and persons necessarily employed in the manufacture of gunpowder, not exceeding four to each powder-mill, and armed with a good firelock, bullet-pouch, and powder-born, or cartridge-box, a bayonet, cutlass, or hatchet, and twenty bullets fitted to their gun, with a knapsack and blanket, to march to the reinforcement of the Army as aforesaid; and that they form those so drafted into Companies of sixty-four men each, including non-commissioned officers, or as nigh thereto as they conveniently can; and that the said Brigades, from the officers of their respective Brigades, order one Captain and two Lieutenants to take the command of each of said Companies; and that said Brigadiers shall form such Companies as are raised and drafted from their respective Brigades, not amounting to sixteen, into one Regiment; and where they do amount to that number of Companies or upwards, into two; and, to each Regiment so formed, assign or order from the field-officers of such Brigade, one Colonel, one Lieutenant-Colonel, and one Major, to command said Regiments; and the officers of said detachment of the Militia drafted as aforesaid, shall have, while in said service, the same relative rank with each other as they now have.

And it is further Resolved, That if any person of the Alarm List or Train Band, non-commissioned officer or soldier, shall, after being duly warned thereto, neglect to appear upon such muster designed for drafting as aforesaid, he shall forfeit and pay the sum of ten pounds, one half thereof to the use of this State, and the other half to the person who shall sue for the same, by action of debt, in any court proper to try the same. And if any person so drafted shall refuse to march upon being ordered thereto, not having a sufficient excuse therefor, and shall not procure some able-bodied and effective man to go in his stead, or shall absent or conceal himself, so that his officer cannot find him to give him marching orders, he shall, for either of the said offences, pay a fine not exceeding ten pounds, or be committed to prison not exceeding two months, upon his being convicted thereof, on indictment or presentment therefor by the Grand Jury for the Couuty where the offence shall be committed, before any Court proper to try the same, whose duty it shall be to make a presentment thereof.

And it is likewise Resolved, That the said detachment of Militia shall, while out of this Government, be under the general command of the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and shall be under the laws and regulations provided by the Congress for said Army.

And it is further Resolved, That the pay and allowance of provision for said detachment shall be every way the same as that allowed the Continental Army.

And it is likewise Resolved, That the Selectmen of each town from whence any part of said detachment shall be drafted, shall be, and hereby are directed and empowered to procure as many teams or other conveyances within their respective towns, as shall be sufficient to carry the baggage of the said fifth part of the Militia, to Fairfield, in Connecticut, in the most expeditious manner. And the said Selectmen are also directed to furnish said men with kettles and canteens, and also to pay each man one penny for each mile from the place they march from to the place of their destination, to support themselves, and to render an account of those expenditures to the General Court for allowance and payment.

And it is also Resolved, That the Brigadier of each County shall appoint one Chaplain, one Surgeon and Mate, one Adjutant, and one Quartermaster, to each Regiment that shall be so drafted from his Brigade; and the General officer appointed to command the detachment shall appoint a Brigade-Major to each Brigade.

And it is also Resolved, That each Brigadier-General, as soon as the men are drafted and formed into Companies, be, and hereby is directed to order them to march to Horseneck, subject, however, to such further orders as they may receive from the General Court of this State, the House of Representatives, or the major part of the Council, or the


orders of the General and Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.

And it is Resolved, That in the absence of any Brigadier of any County, the next officer in command in said Brigade shall be held to do the duty assigned, to the Brigadier, and shall be obeyed accordingly.

And it is also Resolved, That the Commissary-General of this State be, and hereby is directed to send forward immediately to New-Haven, such quantities of ammunition as this Court shall order.