Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MAJOR-GENERAL WARD. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO MAJOR-GENERAL WARD. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. IV (1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. IV (1776).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO MAJOR-GENERAL WARD.
New York, 9 July, 1776.
The enclosed Declaration will show you, that Congress at length, impelled by necessity, have dissolved the connexion between the American Colonies and Great Britain, and declared them Free and Independent States; and in compliance with their order I am to request, you will cause this Declaration to be immediately proclaimed at the head of the Continental regiments in the Massachusetts Bay. It being evident, from a variety of concurring circumstances, that the British armies mean to direct their most vigorous operations this campaign against the State of New York, to penetrate into it by way of the lakes and the North River, and to unite their attacks, the importance of it has induced Congress to take further measures, for baffling their designs, and rendering it more secure.
You will see by the resolves now transmitted, that the northern army is to be augmented by part of the troops under your command; and I do desire, that you will immediately detach for that purpose three of the fullest regiments forthwith to march to Ticonderoga, or such other place as the said army may be at, and put themselves under the order and directions of the general officer commanding the same.
You will also perceive, that Congress have resolved, that the arms taken in the Scotch transports should be sent here. The President informs me, he has wrote to the agents respecting ’em; but as I presume they are in your possession, or in some of the stores by your order, you will have the whole of them forwarded with all possible despatch, in the usual route and with necessary directions. Congress have made some alteration in the establishment of chaplains, and advanced their pay, as they have that of the regimental surgeons; as you will see by their proceedings, copies of which in their instances are also transmitted.1
You will be particularly attentive to hastening the march of the three regiments, and give proper orders for their route, and to the commissary and quartermasters, that every thing necessary for the same may be immediately provided. Their aid is much wanted, and may be of the utmost importance. When they have marched, you will be pleased to put the remaining regiments under the command of the oldest colonel, with such instructions as you may judge necessary, and then retire, if it shall be agreeable to you, for the recovery of your health, as I cannot possibly request you longer to continue; and, wishing you a speedy restoration of it, I am, Sir, &c.2
P. S. I would have you consult with proper persons and some of the members of the General Court, respecting the route of the three regiments to be detached to the northern army.
And if they shall be of opinion that they may probably arrive from thence for Albany, I should think that would be more preferable for Two reasons—First it will ease the Troops of much fatigue and 2, they might if there was a necessity for it, afford succor how they passed. I do not mean to give any direction in the matter, nor do I wish this mode to be adopted, unless there appears a probability of their arriving where they are Intended to be sent by Congress as early as if they pursued their march by Land and across the Country.1
[1 ]“The Honr Continental Congress having been pleased to allow a Chaplain to each Regiment, with the pay of Thirty-three Dollars and one third per month—The Colonels or Commanding Officers of each regiment are directed to procure Chaplains accordingly; persons of good Character and exemplary lives—To see that all inferior officers and soldiers pay them a suitable respect and attend carefully upon religious exercises. The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in time of public distress and danger—The General hopes and trusts, that every Officer, and Man, will endeavour so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.”—Orderly Book, 9 July, 1776.
[2 ]By General Ward’s return, dated the 1st of July, the troops under his command at Boston amounted to 2,526 effective men, being five regiments commanded by Colonels Whitcomb, Glover, Sargent, Phinny, and Hutchinson. There was also a company of artillery.
[1 ]“To prevent the enemy from obtaining fresh provisions is a matter highly necessary to be attended to. I am informed, that there are great quantities in the neighborhood of New London, namely, at Fisher’s, Block, Plumb, and Elizabeth Islands, and Martha’s Vineyard. These are accessible to ships of force, and no doubt they will soon be on a plundering voyage. I could wish your attention to this matter, that the stock may all be removed quite out of reach of the enemy. The east end of Long Island, I am told, is not less exposed than the others. I think effectual steps will be taken in regard to that, as I have had a conference with the Convention of this province, and an order has gone out for driving all the stock from the sea-coasts. In the conference of a full board of general officers yesterday, it was recommended, that I should apply to you for the three row-galleys, being now at New London, or in the river, together with as many heavy cannon as you can possibly spare. They will be much wanted here; and, if you find it consistent, I would beg you to forward them on as soon as possible.”—Washington to Governor Trumbull, 9 July, 1776.