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Rules for establishing rank or precedence amongst the Pennsylvania Associators

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The Articles of Recommendation to the Associators being taken several times into consideration, were, after some amendments, this day transcribed, approved of, and are as follows:

Rules for establishing Rank or Precedence amongst the PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATORS.

The Committee of Safety appointed by the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania, being desirous of performing the important duties of their station in the most satisfactory manner to the publick, beg leave to lay before them certain Resolves of the honourable Continental Congress, dated the 18th July, which have already been published, but, it is apprehended, have not come to the knowledge of many able-bodied effective men, aged from sixteen to fifty years, that may be very desirous of serving their Country in the present glorious struggle for liberty, in the mode pointed out by said Resolves, which are in the following words:

"In Congress, July 18, 1775.

"Resolved, That it be recommended to the inhabitants of the United English Colonies in North-America, that all able-bodied effective men, between sixteen and fifty years of age, in each Colony, immediately form themselves into regular Companies of Militia, to consist of one Captain, two Lieutenants, one Ensign, four Sergeants, four Corporals, one Clerk, one Drummer, one Fifer, and about sixty-eight Privates.

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"That the Officers of each Company be chosen by the respective Companies.

"That each Soldier be furnished with a good Musket, that will parry an ounce ball, with a Bayonet, Steel Ramrod, Worm, Priming Wire, and Brush, fitted thereto, a cutting Sword or Tomahawk, a Cartridge-Box that will contain twenty-three rounds of Cartridges, twelve Flints, and a Knapsack.

"That the Companies be formed into Regiments or Battalions, officered with a Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, two Majors, an Adjutant or Quartermaster.

"That all Officers above the rank of a Captain be appointed by their respective Provincial Assemblies or Conventions, or, in their recess, by the Committees of Safety appointed by said Assemblies or Conventions.

"That all Officers be commissioned by the Provincial Assemblies or Conventions, or, in their recess, by the Committees of Safety appointed by said Assemblies or Conventions.

"That all the Militia take proper care to acquire military skill, and be well prepared for defence, by being each man provided with one pound of good Gunpowder, and four pounds of Ball, fitted to his Gun.

"That one-fourth part of the Militia in every Colony be selected for Minute-Men, of such persons as are willing to enter into this necessary service, formed into Companies and Battalions, and their Officers chosen and commissioned as aforesaid, to be ready at the shortest notice to march to any place where their assistance may be required for the defence of their own or a neighbouring Colony; and as these Minute-Men may eventually be called to action before the whole body of the Militia are sufficiently trained, it is recommended, that a more particular and diligent attention be paid to their instruction in military discipline.

"That such of the Minute-Men as desire it be relieved by new draughts, as aforesaid, from the whole body of the Militia, once in four months.

"As there are some people who, from religious principles, cannot bear arms in any case, this Congress intend no violences to their consciences, but earnestly recommend it to them to contribute liberally to the relief of their distressed brethren in the several Colonies, and to do all other services to their oppressed Country which they can consistently with their religious principles.

"That it be recommended to the Assemblies or Conventions of the respective Colonies to provide, as soon as possible, sufficient stores of Ammunition for their Colonies. Also, that they devise proper means for furnishing with Arms such effective men as are poor and unable to furnish themselves.

"That it be recommended to each Colony to appoint a Committee of Safety to superintend and direct all matters necessary for the security and defence of their respective Colonies, in the recess of their Assemblies and Conventions.

"That each Colony, at their own expense, make such provision, by Armed Vessels or otherwise, as their respective Assemblies, Conventions, or Committees of Safety, shall judge expedient and suitable to their circumstances and situations, for the protection of their Harbours and Navigation on their Sea-Coasts against all unlawful invasions, attacks, and depredations, from Cutters and Ships of War.

"That it be recommended to the makers of Arms for the use of the Militia, that they make good substantial Muskets, with barrels three feet and a half in length, that will carry an ounce ball, and fitted with a good Bayonet and Steel Ramrod; and that the making such Arms be encouraged in these United Colonies.

"Where any Colony Militia is already formed, under regulations approved of by the Convention of such Colony, or by such Assemblies as are annually elective, we refer to the direction of such Convention or Assembly, either to adopt the foregoing Regulations, in whole or in part, or to continue their former, as they, on consideration of all circumstances, shall think best.

"CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary."

And in order that all persons, in every rank, degree, and station, may be truly informed of the premises, and none hereafter plead ignorance, this Board do earnestly recommend to all Committees of Inspection and Observation in

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this Province, to cause this publication to be dispersed, read, and explained, within their respective Districts, in such manner that every person, capable of associating for mutual defence, may be made sensible it is the duty they owe to themselves and Country to do it without further loss of time.

And as it is necessary that this Board be speedily informed of the number of Associators in the several Counties or Districts, the said Committees are requested to make Returns, as soon as possible — first, of the several Battalions already formed; secondly, of the several new Associators not yet formed into Battalions; thirdly, of all such persons, from sixteen to fifty, their names and places of abode, as may refuse to associate, not having any conscientious objections, if any such there be; and lastly, of the number of men, in their respective Districts, who conscientiously decline bearing arms, with their names and places of abode.

The several Committees of Inspection and Observation having been desired to make Returns to this Board, as soon as conveniently could be, of the several Battalions of Associators already formed in their Districts, are now informed, that it will be necessary to mention in said Returns the rank of every Battalion of a County in regard to others in the same County. And to prevent uncertainty among the Officers of the General Association, respecting rank or command, and to ascertain the same with precision, this Committee, in forming the following Plan, (which they purpose to observe strictly in granting Commissions, and which they recommend to the general acquiescence of all the Associators,) have had a regard to the seniority or priority of establishment of the several Counties, viz:

1. All Officers already chosen or appointed in the City and District of Philadelphia to take rank or precedence of all other Officers of equal dignity chosen or appointed in any other part of the Province.

2. All Officers chosen or appointed in Philadelphia County to take rank of all Officers of equal dignity chosen or appointed in any other County.

3. All Officers already chosen and appointed in Bucks County to take rank of all Officers of equal dignity chosen or appointed in any other than the City and District and County of Philadelphia.

4. All Officers already chosen and appointed in Chester County to take rank of all Officers of equal dignity chosen or appointed in any other than Bucks, Philadelphia County, and Philadelphia City and Districts.

5. All Officers already chosen and appointed in Lancaster to take rank of all Officers of equal dignity chosen or appointed in any other than Chester, Bucks, and Philadelphia County, and Philadelphia City and Districts.

6. All Officers already chosen and appointed in York County to take rank before Officers of equal dignity in any other than Lancaster, Chester, Bucks, and Philadelphia Counties, and Philadelphia City and Districts.

7. All Officers already chosen and appointed in Cumberland County to rank before Officers of equal dignity in the junior Counties of Berks, Northampton, Bedford, Northumberland, and Westmoreland.

8. All Officers already chosen or appointed in Berks County to rank before Officers of equal dignity in the Counties of Northampton, Bedford, Northumberland, and Westmoreland.

9. All Officers already chosen or appointed in Northampton County to rank Before Officers of equal dignity in Bedford, Northumberland, and Westmoreland Counties.

10. All Officers already chosen or appointed in Bedford County to rank before Officers of equal dignity in Northumberland and Westmoreland Counties.

11. All Officers already chosen or appointed in Northumberland County to rank before Officers of equal dignity in Westmoreland County.

12. All Officers already chosen or appointed in Westmoreland, the youngest or last made County in this Province, yield up rank or precedence to all Officers of equal dignity already chosen or appointed in every other County in this Province.

13. Where Commissions of equal dignity in different Counties bear the same date, precedency to be determined by seniority of Counties; but where they are in the same County, by the rank of the Battalion.

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14. The Colonels already chosen or appointed in the City and Districts having determined their ranks with respect to each other by lot, their and the other Field-Officers' Commissions will be dated according to the lot so drawn.

15. The Colonels already chosen or appointed in every County are to determine their rank with respect to each other by lot, and Commissions for them and their respective Field-Officers will be dated accordingly.

16. The Captains in every Battalion to determine their rank in Battalion by lot, and their Commissions, with those of their Lieutenants and Ensigns, will be dated accordingly.

17. All Officers hereafter chosen or appointed to have their Commissions dated at the time of such choice or appointment, and to take rank according to said dates.

18. All Battalions now raised to be completed as soon as possible, and to consist of eight Companies, of about sixty-eight Privates each; and one Company of Light-Infantry; and to have for Officers, a Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, two Majors, a Standard-Bearer, Adjutant, Sergeant-Major, Drum and Fife-Major; and the Officers of each Company to consist of a Captain, two Lieutenants, one or two Ensigns, four Sergeants, four Corporals, a Drummer and Fifer, except the Light-Infantry Companies, which, instead of two Lieutenants and two Ensigns, are to have four Lieutenants, the two youngest of which are to rank as Ensigns.

19. The Standard-Bearer of each Battalion to rank as eldest Lieutenant of the Battalion.

20. All national distinctions in names or dress to be avoided, it being proper that we should now be united in this General Association, for defending our liberties and properties, under the sole denomination of Americans.

21. Companies to take post in their Battalions according to the date of their Captains' Commissions, if the Captains be present; but if absent, such Companies to take post as youngest in the Battalion.

22. No Field-Officers to have Companies.

23. For the better order and government of Companies which may be raised after the completion of the several Battalions already formed in the City and Counties, such Companies are not to be admitted as independent, but are to be annexed to the most convenient Battalion, until nine Companies are raised to form a new Battalion, and no number of Associators are to be considered as a Company, unless they consist of at least forty men; but it is recommended, till that number be completed, the Associators join the most convenient Battalion, and exercise and do duty with such Battalion.

24. All Battalions now formed, as well as those hereafter to be formed, are desired to make the necessary returns of their numbers and Officers, with their respective ranks, to the Committee of their County; and the Committees are desired to certify such returns, with the respective rank of each Battalion in their County, to this Board, that commissions may be issued immediately for their Officers, in conformity with these rules.

25. And as there may happen occasions wherein it may be necessary to call out a part of the Associators to actual though temporary service, and not the whole body, and it would be extremely inconvenient and burdensome if upon every alarm, where the assistance of part only may be wanted, the whole should come together, or any much greater number than the occasion required, and it would be therefore necessary to have such divisions made of the Associators as that parts, smaller or greater, may be distinctly called for, and the service as equally and fairly allotted and divided as the nature thereof will admit, it is recommended not only the Battalions of each County, but also that the Companies of each Battalion, be by lot numbered one, two, three, four, &c˙, so that orders my issue from the Commander-in-Chief to the Colonels, either to march their whole Battalions, or to send to an appointed rendezvous the first or second, or any number of Companies that shall be wanted; each Company serving on such calls in its turn, and for such proportion of time as shall make the burden nearly equal; and if the Associators who are called forth are not all yet provided with good arms, it is recommended that those who have such, and are riot called out, lend the same for that occasion, at the risk of the publick.

Lastly. This Board having drawn up thirty-two Articles of Agreement, for the due regulation and government of all

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the Associators in the Province, which are published herewith, they do recommend the same to be adopted, signed, and agreed to by all the said Associators, in order that one general system may prevail in Pennsylvania.

Resolved, That the Rules and Regulations for, and the Recommendations to the Associators, be published by William Bradford; and that he print two thousand of each, on good paper, for the use of the Association; and Mr˙ Andrew Allen is desired to give orders for the same being done; and Colonel Roberdeau is desired to get five hundred of each printed in the German language, for the use as aforesaid.

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