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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.
Camp atCambridge, 30 October, 1775.
The information, which the gentlemen who have lately gone from hence can give the Congress, of the state and situation of the army, would have made a letter unnecessary, if I did not suppose there would be some anxiety to know the intentions of the army on the subject of the reënlistment.
Agreeably to the advice of those gentlemen, and my own opinion, I immediately began by directing all such officers, as proposed to continue, to signify their intentions as soon as possible.1 A great number of the returns are come in, from which I find, that a very great proportion of the officers of the rank of captain, and under, will retire; from present appearances I may say half; but at least one third. It is with some concern also that I observe, that many of the officers, who retire, discourage the continuance of the men, and, I fear, will communicate the infection to them. Some have advised, that those officers, who decline the service, should be immediately dismissed; but this would be very dangerous and inconvenient. I confess I have great anxieties upon the subject, though I still hope the pay and terms are so advantageous, that interest, and I hope also a regard to their country, will retain a greater portion of the privates than their officers. In so important a matter, I shall esteem it my indispensable duty, not only to act with all possible prudence, but to give the most early and constant advice of my progress.1 A supply of clothing equal to our necessities would greatly contribute to the encouragement and satisfaction of the men: in every point of view it is so important that I beg leave to call the attention of the Congress to it in a particular manner.2 I have the honor to be, &c.
[1 ]“The deputies from the Honorable Continental Congress having arrived in this camp, in order to confer with the General, the several Governors of Rhode Island and Connecticut, the Council of Massachusetts Bay and the President and [of] the Convention of New Hampshire, on the continuing an army for the defence and support of America and its liberties; all officers who decline the further service of their country, and intend to retire from the army at the expiration of their present term of service, are to signify their intentions in writing to their colonel, which he is to deliver with his own, to the Brigadier General, the commanding officer of his brigade. Those brave men and true patriots, who are resolved to continue to serve and defend their brethren, privileges and property, are to consider themselves engaged to the last day of December, 1776, unless sooner discharged by the Hon: the Continental Congress, and will in like manner signify their intentions.”—Orderly Book, 22 October. “The times and the importance of the great cause we are engaged in, allow no room for hesitation or delay [in declaring intention to serve]. When life, liberty and property are at stake, when our country is in danger of being a melancholy scene of bloodshed and desolation, when our towns are laid in ashes, and innocent women and children driven from their peaceful habitations, exposed to the rigor of an inclement season, and to the hands of charity perhaps for their support: when calamities like these are staring us in the face, and a brutal, savage enemy (more so than was every yet found in a civilized nation), are threatening us, and every thing we hold dear, with destruction from foreign troops, it little becomes the character of a soldier to shrink from danger, and condition for new terms. It is the General’s intention to indulge both officers and soldiers who compose the new army with furloughs, to be absent a reasonable time, but it must be done in such a manner as not to injure the service, or weaken the army too much at once. The General also thinks that he can take upon him to assure the officers and soldiers of the new army, that they will receive their pay once a month regularly, after the terms of their present inlistment are expired.”—Orderly Book, 26 October.
[1 ]“I am happy to inform you that Congress has agreed to every recommendation of the Committee, and have gone beyond it, in allowing the additional pay to the officers. I rejoice at this, but cannot think with patience that pitiful wretches, who stood cavilling with you when entreated to serve the next campaign, should reap the benefit of this addition. They will now be ready enough, but hope you will be able to refuse them with the contempt they deserve, and to find better in their room. Could not some of the gentlemen at camp enlist the New England men who have been persuaded to leave you? Frazier told me he could. It would be a capital point to convince the world that it is not necessary to have bad officers of that country, in order to raise men there. I can scarce bear their tyranny.”—Lynch to Washington, 13 November, 1775.
[2 ]Read in Congress November 7.