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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. III (1775-1776).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Cambridge, 31 August, 1775.
The enclosed letter came under such a direction and circumstances as led me to suppose it contained some interesting advices, either respecting a supply of powder, or the clothing lately taking at Philadelphia. I therefore took the liberty of breaking the seal, for which I hope the service and my motives will apologize.
As the filling up the place of vacant brigadier-general will probably be of the first business of the honorable Congress, I flatter myself it will not be deemed assuming, to mention the names of two gentlemen, whose former services, rank, and age, may be thought worthy of attention on this occasion. Of the one I can speak from my own knowledge, of the other only from character. The former is Colonel John Armstrong, of Pennsylvania; he served during the last war, in most of the campaigns to the southward, was honored with the command of the Pennsylvania forces, and his general military conduct and spirit much approved by all who served with him; besides which, his character was distinguished by an enterprise against the Indians, which he planned with great judgment, and executed with equal courage and success.1 It was not till lately that I had reason to believe he would enter again on public service; and it is now wholly unsolicited and unknown on his part. The other gentleman is Colonel Frye of Massachusetts Bay. He entered into the service as early as 1745, and rose through the different military ranks in succeeding wars, to that of colonel, until last June, when he was appointed a major-general by the Congress of this province.2 From these circumstances, together with the favorable report made to me of him, I presume he sustained the character of a good officer, though I do not find it distinguished by any peculiar service.
Either of these gentlemen, or any other whom the honorable Congress shall please to favor with this appointment, will be received by me with the utmost deference and respect.3
The late adjournment having made it impracticable to know the pleasure of the Congress as to the appointment of brigade majors beyond the number of three, which they were pleased to leave to me, and the service not admitting of further delay, I have continued the other three, which I hope their honors will not disapprove. These latter were recommended by the respective corps to which they belong, as the properest persons for these offices until further direction, and have discharged the duty ever since. They are the majors Box, Scammell, and Samuel Brewer.
Last Saturday night we took possession of a hill considerably advanced beyond our former lines;1 which brought on a very heavy cannonade from Bunker’s Hill, and afterwards a bombardment, which has been since kept up with little spirit on their part, or damage on ours. The work, having been continued ever since, is now so advanced, and the men so well covered as [to] leave us under no apprehenions of much farther loss. In this affair we had killed one adjutant, one volunteer,2 and two privates. The scarcity of ammunition does not admit of our availing ourselves of the situation, as we otherwise might do; but this evil, I hope, will soon be remedied, as I have been informed of the arrival of a large quantity at New York, some at New London, and more hourly expected at different places. I need not add to what I have already said on this subject. Our late supply was very seasonable, but far short of our necessities. * * * The treatment of our officers, prisoners in Boston, induced me to write to General Gage on that subject. His answer and my reply I have the honor to lay before the Congress; since which I have heard nothing from him. I remain, with the greatest respect and regard, &c.1
[1 ]An attack on the Indian town of Kittaning, in Pennsylvania, September 8, 1756. A silver medal and piece of plate were presented to Colonel Armstrong, by the Corporation of Philadelphia, for his bravery and good conduct on this occasion. An intimacy of many years’ standing subsisted between him and Washington.
[2 ]He had been at the siege of Louisburg, and was taken prisoner at Fort William Henry.
[3 ]Sept. 21, 1775.—The Congress proceeded to the election of a brigadier-general, and the ballots being determined, it was found that Colonel Armstrong and Colonel Fry had an equal number of votes.—MS. Journal of Congress. Col. Fry did not receive his appointment till January, 1776.
[1 ]Plowed Hill, now known as Mount Benedict.
[2 ]Simpson, of Pennsylvania. “This young man was visited and consoled during his illness, by General Washington in person, and by most of the officers of rank belonging to the army.”—Wilkinson, Memoirs, i., 17.
[1 ]On Tuesday last [i.e. from Aug. 31st] a letter from General Wooster to the New York Provincial Congress, written from Oyster Ponds on August 27th, was published and circulated as a hand bill through the city [N. Y.] In it is found the following sentence taken from a letter from Washington to Wooster, August 23d: “Yesterday I received advice from Boston, that a number of transports have sailed on a second expedition, for fresh provisions. As they may pursue the same course, only advancing farther, we think Montaug Point, or Long Island, a very probable place of their landing; I have therefore thought best to give you the earliest intelligence; but I do not mean to confine your attention or vigilance to that place; you will please to extend your views as far as the mischief may probably extend.”