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Resolutions of the Continental Congress


Resolved, That the Resolves of the Continental Congress, of the 18th of July instant, be entered on the Minutes of this Board; which are the following:

"In Congress, July 18, 1775.

"Resolved, That it be recommended to the inhabitants of all the United English Colonies in North America, that all able-bodied effective men, between sixteen and sixty 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.

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

"That each Soldier be furnished with a good Musket that will carry 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, and 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 who are willing to enter into this necessary service, formed into Companies or Battalions, and their Officers chosen and commissioned as aforesaid, to be ready on 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 violence to their consciences, but earnestly recommend it to them to contribute liberally, in this time of universal calamity, 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 religions principles.

"That it be recommended to the Assemblies or Conventions in 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 or 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 bayonet and steel ramrod; and that the making such Arms be encouraged in these United Colonies.

"Where in any Colony a 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 discretion of such Assembly or Convention either to adopt the foregoing Regulations, in the whole or in part, or to continue their former, as they, on consideration of all circumstances, shall think best.

"A true copy from the Minutes: