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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - 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 THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Head-Quarters,Morris Town, 12 April, 1777.
I am honored with yours of the 10th accompanied with one from the Committee of Congress, to whom I have wrote very fully upon the subject of the Resolve for forming an Army upon the West Side of Delaware and to which I refer you. I wish I could see any prospect of an Army, fit to make proper opposition, formed any where. You will perhaps be surprized at this, after the public Reports of the great Success of recruiting in all the States, but to convince you that these have been but bare Reports, I will give you the best information I have been able to collect from actual Returns and other accounts.
New Hampshire. No returns, but a letter from Genl. Heath says they are tolerably forward all their Regiments go to the Northward.
Massachusetts.—About 400 Men raised to a Regt. many of those yet to undergo innoculation. Seven of their Regiments go to the Northward, and Eight are to come to Peekskill for the present.
Rhode Island.—Only 360 men inlisted in both Regiments the 1st April—200 of those are yet to be innoculated. Genl. Varnum writes me that he despairs of filling up the Regiments.
Connecticut.—By a Return from Genl. Parsons of the 4th April—about 1800 men were recruited thro the whole State, they much dispersed, many to have the small pox and recruiting at a stand.
New York.—About 200 Men to a Regiment and from the peculiar Situation of that province, it will be almost impossible for them to fill up their Regiments, tho’ they exert themselves very much.
New Jersey. Between 200 and 300 to a Regt.—they also lay under many difficulties on account of the disaffection of their State, but their Officers are active and diligent.
Pennsylvania. Most of the Regiments are very backward, those most so, who have been longest recruiting.
Delaware State. No Return of their Regiment.
Maryland. I have only the Return of one Regiment which consists of 200 Men, but I do not believe the others are in more forwardness. The disputes about the Rank of officers has prevailed so much, that the recruiting Service has been in a manner neglected.1
Virginia. The nine old Regiments will not exceed 1800 effective Men, and Govr. Henry, in a letter which I received yesterday, informs me, that he did not think, that more than four of the six new ones would be filled. He proposes the expediency of raising Volunteer Companies, to serve seven, or eight Months, to make up the deficiency. But this I shall object to on many accounts, particularly, that it would be introducing a Body of Men, who would look upon themselves, at liberty to do what they pleased, and the moment their time expired, would leave us, tho’ at the most critical Juncture.
If the Men that are raised, few as they are, could be got into the Field, it would be a matter of some Consolation, that every Method that I have been able to devise has proved ineffectual. If I send an Officer to collect the sick or scattered of his Regiment, it is ten to one that he neglects his duty—goes home on pleasure or Business, and the next that I hear of him, is, that he has resigned. Furloughs are no more attended to than if there was no limitation of time, and, in short, Sir, there is such a total depression of that military ardor, which I hoped would have inspired every Officer when he found his pay genteely augmented, and the Army put upon a respectable footing, that it seems to me as if all public Spirit was sunk into the means of making money by the Service, or quarrelling upon the most trivial points of Rank.1
I shall as soon as possible, transmit to the Board of War, a list of the appointments I have made in consequence of the powers vested in me.
If the appointments in the Hospitals are filled up before the Receipt of this I would take the liberty of mentioning a Gentleman, who I think highly deserving of Notice, not only on account of his Abilities, but for the very great Assistance which he has afforded in the course of this winter, merely in the nature of a Volunteer. The Gentleman is Doctr. John Cochran, well known to all the Faculty and particularly to Doctor Shippen, who I suppose has mentioned him among the Candidates. The place for which the Doctor is well fitted, and which would be most agreeable to him, is Surgeon General to the Middle Department. In this line he served all the last War, in the British Service, and has distinguished himself this Winter particularly in his attention to the small pox patients and the wounded which but for him and Doctr. Bond must have suffered much, if not been totally neglected, as there were no other Medical Gentlemen to be found.
If the appointment of Surgeon General is filled up, that of deputy Director of the middle department would be acceptable; I have been thus full in my recommendation, because Doctr. Cochran in a manner had my promise of one of the Capital appointments in the Hospital, upon a presumption that I should have had some hand in the nomination, by the Resolution of Congress empowering me to fill all Commissions under the Rank of Brigadiers General.
13th.—I have this moment received a line from Genl. Lincoln informing me that the Enemy attempted to surprize him, early this morning, at his post at Bound Brook, but he made good his Retreat to the pass of the Mountains just in his Rear with trifling Loss. I have, &c.
[1 ]“I have the disagreeable Information that disputes still prevail in your State about the rank of your officers, and that the recruiting service is exceedingly injured by them. Shall the general cause be injured by such illtimed and ineffectual Jarrings among them? I have inclosed two Resolves of Congress warmly hoping that the knowledge of them may tend to an honorable and necessary accomodation—No Settlement which they can make and submit to, among themselves will affect the Army at large—I have long since determined to refer the adjusting of Rank to a Board of General officers, which will proceed upon the business so soon as the army collect and Circumstances will admit.”—Washington to Governor Johnson, 11 April, 1777.
[1 ]“For some days past there has been a pretty considerable movement among the Enemy in their shipping, &c., whilst it seems next to impossible to make our officers in any of the States exert themselves in bringing in their men to the field, as if it were a matter of moonshine whether they come to-day, to-morrow, a week, or a month hence. The campaign will I expect be opened without men on our side, unless they come in much faster than I have reason to expect them.