Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE COUNCIL OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776)
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TO THE COUNCIL OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY. - 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 COUNCIL OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY.
Cambridge, 10 January, 1776.
In the confused and disordered state of this army, occasioned by such capital changes as have taken place of late, I have found it almost impossible to come at exact returns of the strength of our lines. Not till last night was I able to get in the whole, since the dissolution of the old army. By these I find myself weaker than I had any idea of, and under the necessity of requesting an exertion of your influence and interest to prevail upon the militia of this government, now in the pay of the Continent, to continue till the last of the month and longer, if requisite. I am assured that those of New Hampshire will not stay any longer than they engaged for, notwithstanding our weak state and the slow progress we make in recruiting, which by the last week’s report, amounts to but little more than half of our usual complement, owing it is said to the number of men going or expecting to go into the provincial service at or near their own homes.
I am more and more convinced that we shall never raise the army to the new establishment by voluntary enlistments. It is, therefore, necessary that the neighboring governments should consider in time and adopt some other expedient for effecting it.
The hurry I was in the other day, when your committee did me the honor to present a petition from a person, (whose name I have forgot,) wanting to be employed in the Continental army, prevented me from being so full on the subject as I wished.
I shall beg leave, therefore, at this time to add, that I hope your honorable Board will do me the justice to believe, that it will give me pleasure at all times to pay a proper respect to any recommendation coming from them, and that the reason why I do not now encourage such kind of applications, as was then made, is, that the new army was arranged, as near the plan and agreeable to the orders of Congress, (although some unavoidable departures and changes have taken place,) as it was in my power to comply with; and the officers thus constituted ordered to recruit. Every attempt, therefore, of others not of this appointment must counteract, and has been of infinite prejudice to the service. They infuse ideas into the minds of men they have any influence over, that, by engaging with them, or, which is tantamount, not engaging with others, they shall be able to force themselves into the service. Of this we have numberless instances. I am, therefore, anxious to discourage every attempt of the kind, by convincing such persons, that their engaging a company will not bring them in. If such persons could once be convinced of this, the business of this army would go on more smoothly, and with much more regularity and order. In short, gentlemen, it is scarce possible for me to convey to you a perfect idea of the trouble and vexation I have met with, in getting this matter fixed upon some settled footing. One day an officer would serve; another, he would not, and so on, till I have hardly known what steps to pursue for preserving of consistency, and advancing the good of the service, which are the only objects I have in view. I have no friend whom I want to bring in, nor any person with whom I am in the least connected, that I wish to promote. I am, gentlemen, with much esteem, &c.