I return to the Journal of Congress.
Two Letters of the 7th. and 11. from
, one of the Eighth
from General Green, and a resolution of the Committee of Safety
of the 13th were
read, and referred to the Board of War.
Two Letters of the 8th, from General Schuyler, with sundry
Papers enclosed; one of the 7th. from Walter Livingston, and
one of the 12th. from Brigadier General Armstrong were read --
referred to the Board of War.
A Committee of the whole to take into Consideration, a report of the Board
of War. Mr. Nelson reported no resolution.
Saturday September 14.
A Letter from R. H. Harrison, Secretary to General Washington, was read. Four French Officers, who
arrived in the Reprisal Captain Weeks, being recommended to Congress, Resolved
that they be referred to the Board of War.
The Board of War brought in a Report, which was taken into Consideration,
whereupon Several Nine Resolutions were adopted. See the
A Letter of the 9th. from General Lee to the Board
of War, was laid before Congress and read.
Monday September 16. 1776.
A Letter of the 14th. from General Washington, One
of the 9th. from General Schuyler, inclosing a copy of one from General
Gates, dated the 6th., and one of the 2d,
from General Gates with sundry Papers
inclosed, were read, and referred to the Board of
A Committee of the whole, on a report of the Board of War. Mr.
Nelson reported sundry Amendments and Congress adopted the Resolutions
with the Amendments. The Resolutions, which may be seen in the Journal, contain
the whole Plan of an Army of Eighty Eight Battalions, to be
inlisted as soon as possible, to serve during the
Resolved that tomorrow be assigned for taking into Consideration the
Articles of War.
Tuesday September 17.
Sundry Resolutions being moved and seconded, in Addition to those passed
Yesterday, relative to the New Army. After debate, Resolved that they be
referred to the Board of War.
A Letter of the 10th. from Brigadier General Lewis, was
read: Also a Letter from James Forrest was read, and
referred to the Board of War.
Congress took into Consideration the Plan of treaties to be proposed to
foreign nations, with the Amendments agreed to by the Committee of the whole,
and the same was agreed to.
This is all that I can find in the public Journal relative to this one of
the most important Transactions, that ever came before Congress. A Secret
Journal was prepared, in which all the Proceedings on this Business, were
entered, which has never been published. If that Journal was honestly and
faithfully kept, the progress of the Plan of Treaties and the Persons chiefly
concerned with it, will there appear.
Wednesday September 18.
The Board of War, brought in a report, which was taken into Consideration
and six resolutions adopted, from it, which appear on the Journal. The
Remainder of the Report postponed.
Resolved that the Board of War be directed to prepare a resolution for enforceing and perfecting Discipline in the Army.
Congress took into Consideration the Instructions to the Commissioners
These I suppose, were the Ministers to
France, and other
Courts in Europe.
Thursday September 19.
The Board of War brought in a report, which was taken into Consideration,
and five Resolutions adopted from it, which see in the Journal. The last of
these, is in these Words.
That the Commander in Chief of the forces of these States in the several
departments, be directed to give possitive
to the Brigadier Generals and Colonels, and all other Officers in their several
Armies, that the Troops under their command may every day be called together,
and trained in Arms, in order that Officers and Men may be perfected in the
manual Exercises and Manoeuvres
, and inured to the most exemplary discipline,
and that all Officers be assured, that the Congress will consider Activity and
Success, in introducing discipline into the Army, among the best
recommendations for promotion.
This Resolution was the Effect of my late journey, through
the Jersies to Staten Island. I had observed such
dissipation and Idleness, such Confusion and distraction, among Officers and
Soldiers, in various parts of the Country as astonished, grieved and
allarmed me. Discipline, Discipline had become my
constant topick of discourse and even declamation in
and out of Congress and especially in the Board of War. I saw very clearly that
the Ruin of our Cause and Country must be the Consequence if a
thoughrough Reformation and strict Discipline could
not be introduced. My Zeal on this Occasion was no doubt represented, by
my faithfull Ennemies, in
great Secrecy however, to their friends in the Army, and although it might
recommend me to the Esteem of a very few, yet, it will be easily believed that
it contributed nothing to my Popularity, among the many.
A Memorial from the Chevalier Dorre was read. Ordered that it be referred to
the Board of War.
Congress resumed the Consideration of the Articles of War, and, after some
time, the farther Consideration thereof was postponed.
This was another Measure, that I constantly urged on with all the Zeal and
Industry possible: convinced that nothing short of the Roman and British
Discipline could possible save Us. Yet the Upright Hamilton
ch with his usual Veracity, charges me, with being an
Ennemy to a regular Army.
Fryday September 20th. 1776.
Congress resumed the Consideration of the Articles of War, which being
debated in Paragraphs, were agreed to as follows.
Resolved that from and after the publication of the following Articles, in
the respective Armies of the
United States, the Rules and Articles, by which the said Armies
have heretofore been governed, shall be, and they are hereby repealed. The
Articles are inserted in the Journal of this day, and need not be transcribed,
are the System which I persuaded Jefferson
to agree with me in reporting to Congress. They
fill about sixteen Pages of the Journal. -- In Congress Jefferson
never spoke, and all the labour
of the debate on these Articles, Paragraph by
Paragraph, was thrown upon me, and such was the Opposition, and so indigested
were the notions of Liberty prevalent among the Majority of the Members most
zealously attached to the public Cause, that to this day I scarcely know how it
was possible, that these Articles could be carried. They were Adopted however,
and have governed our Armies, with little variation to this day, the 7th. of
Ordered that the foregoing Articles of War be immediately published.
Ordered that the Resolutions for raising the new Army be published, and
copies thereof sent to the Commanding Officers in the several departments, and
to the Assemblies and Conventions of the several States.
These were for raising Eighty Eight Battalions, with a Bounty for inlisting the Men during the War, granting Lands &c.
which may be seen page 357 and 358 of the Journal of 1776.
Here again the Honesty of Hamilton appears. The Articles of
War and theInstitution of the Army during the War, were all my Work,
and yet he represents me as an Ennemy to a regular
Army. Although I have long since forgiven this Arch Ennemy, yet Vice, Folly and Villany are not to be forgotten, because the guilty
Wretch repented, in his dying Moments. Although David repented, We are no where
commanded to forget the Affair of Uriah: though the Magdalene reformed, We are
not obliged to forget her former Vocation frailty:
though the Thief on the cross was converted, his Felony is still upon Record.
The Prodigal Son repented and was forgiven, yet his Harlots and riotous
living, and even the Swine and the husks that brought him to consideration,
cannot be forgotten. Nor am I obliged by any Principles of Morality or