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Letter from Colonel Swartwout to New-York Congress



New-York, March 4,1776.

GENTLEMEN: I was just now informed that Lieutenant Lee, of Captain Rosekran' s company of the Provincials, had sent in a letter to your honourable Board, setting forth that he made claim to part of Captain Clark' s company of Minute-men, in my regiment. The true state is this, that is to say: Captain Clark raised the greatest part of a company of Minute-men, agreeable to the rules and regulations of the Congress; after which time, Lieutenant Lee tried to inlist some of the company, without being lawfully authorized, as will appear by your minutes; for Captain Clark had come here with his company before Lieutenant Lee had received his warrant for recruiting; so, consequently, what he had done before was void. And when Minute-men and Militia are called into active service, as we are at present, they are to be under the same rules and regulations equal to the Continental Troops, and, consequently, no more liable to have their men inlisted out of their regiment than any other. All I ask is an equal right with the rest of the regiments, agreeable to the rules of Congress.

A recruiting Lieutenant of Captain Barnum' s company is returned, with seventeen men, to join the company. I expect daily the others to return, with their recruits, to join their companies. And if my men should thus be liable to be taken away, it will discourage the recruiting officers in the Minute service; but, however, when my regiment is discharged, am very willing they should enter into the Provincial service; but not till then, as they are at present of utility in carrying on the fortifications.

I am, gentlemen, with respect, your most obedient, humble servant,


To the Honourable Provincial Congress of New-York.