Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO BRIGADIER-GENERAL KNOX. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. V (1776-1777)
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TO BRIGADIER-GENERAL KNOX. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. V (1776-1777) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. V (1776-1777).
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TO BRIGADIER-GENERAL KNOX.
Morristown, 11 February, 1777.
I have yours of the 1st instant, enclosing a copy of a memorial, which you had presented to the Council and House of Representatives of the State of Massachusetts.1 I most sincerely wish that your representation may be attended with the success it deserves, and that I could with propriety press the subject of it upon them in the manner you desire. To advise them to give the bounty of Twenty Pounds to the additional battalions, as well as to their quota of the eighty-eight, would be giving my sanction to and approbation of a Measure, which I have ever reprobated, as an indirect breach of the Union, and of the Agreement entered into by their delegates in Congress to give a Continental bounty of Twenty Dollars per man and no more. But thus much I have done. I have wrote to the Council and Assembly, and have given it as my opinion, that they ought to furnish the three additional regiments of infantry and one of artillery; because, when the Congress voted an addition of sixteen battalions of foot, four battalions of artillery, and three thousand light-horse, and gave the appointment of them to me, they certainly expected, though it was not expressed, that I should observe some rule of proportion in allotting them to the different States; and a better I thought I could not follow, than the proportion settled by Congress themselves in fixing the quotas of the eighty-eight battalions. Upon this scale three battalions of infantry and one of artillery was but a moderate demand upon the State of Massachusetts; for there has been raised and are now raising in the other Colonies, exclusive of the eighty-eight battalions, the German battalion, a battalion of riflemen lately under the command of Colonel Stephenson, and the regiment called Hazen’s, or the Congress’s Own, which is to consist, when compleat, of two thousand men. Each State is bound by every principle of justice and equity to furnish their proportion of the additional battalions, as much as they are of the eighty-eight; and I dare to say, if I had not distributed the commissions among the officers of the different States, those who had been neglected would have charged me with partiality.
If the State of Massachusetts will not consent to give their assistance towards raising the three additional regiments of infantry, I have urged to them the necessity of raising the battalion of artillery at least in that State, because most of the artillery-men, who served in your regiment last campaign, came from thence, and will be immediately useful. * * *
Congress had resolved to adhere to Carlisle in Pennsylvania, and Brookfield in Massachusetts, for the places of erecting the laboratories, &c. I do not think the odds between Carlisle and York anywise material, and therefore the works will be built at the former; but, upon your representation of the delay that will be occasioned if Brookfield is preferred to Springfield, I desire you may proceed with the works at the latter, and I will inform Congress of the necessity of this variation from their resolve. * * * I am, dear Sir, yours, &c.1
[1 ]General Knox was now in Boston to expedite the raising of a battalion of artillery in Massachusetts. The different bounties given to recruits by the different States, particularly in New England, caused a good deal of embarrassment in raising the new army. Congress had resolved to allow a bounty of twenty dollars to every soldier enlisting into the new establishment for three years, or during the war. A committee of delegates from the several New England States had recently assembled at Providence, for the purpose of consulting on affairs common to them all, and particularly to take into consideration some method of regulating the prices of the necessary articles of life, which had become so disproportioned to the wages of soldiers and the laboring classes, that much distress was likely to ensue. This committee recommended to each of the States, which its members represented, to add a bounty of thirty-three dollars and one third to the Continental bounty of twenty dollars, in raising their quotas of the eighty-eight battalions. But, instead of the bounties proposed by the committee, the legislature of Massachusetts offered double that amount, or sixty-six dollars and two thirds, which, added to the Continental bounty, made the extraordinary sum of eighty-six dollars and two thirds as a gift in advance to every soldier at the time of enlisting. It was urged in explanation, that the monthly pay of the Continental soldiers was so low as to afford no reasonable inducement for men to leave their farms, and the legislature chose this mode of giving them a proper compensation in preference to an enlargement of their monthly pay, which had been objected to by Congress as tending to produce dissatisfaction in the army. New Hampshire gave the same bounties as Massachusetts. In Connecticut and Rhode Island additional bounties were likewise given. Governor Trumbull advanced strong arguments, in a letter to Washington, in support of the justice and policy of these bounties, the basis of which was the greatly increased expenses of living since the war began, and the impossibility that the soldiers in the New England States, many of whom were married, could supply proper relief to their families from their ordinary pay. Special bounties were in some cases given by the towns.
[1 ]“The exceeding difficulty there is in procuring Spirituous Liquor with the exorbitant prices now asked for that Article, renders it absolutely necessary to stop serving it out to the troops, in a general way, till supplies can be laid in upon more easy and better terms: The Commissary General is therefore directed to issue none, except it be to fatigue parties, scouting parties, or to such troops as are necessarily employed in any extraordinary piece of duty, ’till further orders.”—Orderly Book, 11 February, 1777.