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This note contained in document ADMS-06-03-02-0037
1. The issue was, at first, the competency of Artemas Ward as compared with John Thomas, but it soon resolved itself into what position Thomas should have among the brigadier generals appointed on 22 June. At that time the aged Seth Pomeroy had been placed first and Thomas, whom many in Massachusetts believed to be their most able general, sixth, below William Heath, his subordinate in the Massachusetts army (James Warren to JA, 20, 27 June; Gerry to Massachusetts Delegates, 20 June; JA to Joseph Warren, 21 June, all above). By 6 July, JA was aware that a mistake had been made and began efforts to rectify it. He was aided by the action of Washington, who, on reaching Cambridge and being informed of the dissatisfaction, held back the commissions until the congress could act (Freeman, Washington, 3:488–489). On 19 July, on Washington's recommendation, JA moved to put Thomas first among the brigadiers in the place of Pomeroy, who had not taken up his commission (JCC, 2:191; Adams Family Correspondence, 1:237–238). The action by the congress brought the controversy to a successful conclusion as far as Massachusetts was concerned, but problems remained in the ranking of brigadiers. See JA to James Warren, 23 July (below).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.