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by order of general Washington, on a secret expedition down the river Delaware 491 75-90 dollars:
To Robert Lunn, late a serjeant in captain Vernon's company of colonel Wayne's battalion, 10 months and 26 days half-pay, being from the time he was regularly discharged to the time of his inlisting in colonel Nicola's corps of invalids, amounting, in the whole, to 43 42-90 dollars, of which he received, from Mease & Caldwell, 4 dollars; the remainder 39 42-90 dollars. Ordered, That the said accounts be paid.
The board of war brought in a report, which was taken into consideration; Whereupon,
Congress taking into consideration the letter from governor Henry, of Virginia, to the delegates of that state, in Cougress:
Resolved, That any officer now in colonel Harrison's regiment of artillery, shall have liberty to leave the said regiment on being appointed to any office or command in the corps of artillery raising, or to be raised in Virginia, by the said state, and that the said col. Harrison's regiment be under the direction of his excelleny gov. Henry, during the time of its stay in that state. Resolved, That this Congress will, on all occasions, dicountenance and punish any indecent behaviour of any officer or officers in the continental service, towards the civil authority of the several states.
Resolved, That a copy of gen. Lincoln's letter be forthwith transmitted to the council of New-Hampshire, and that they be informed that the instructions which general Stark says he has received from them, are destructive of military subordination, and highly prejudicial to the common cause at this crisis; and therefore that they be desired to instruct general Stark to conform himself to the same rules which other general officers of the militia are subject to, whenever they are called out at the expense of the United States.
Ordered, That the remainder of the report lie for farther consideration.
WEDNESDAY, August 20, 1777.
A letter, of the 2d, from Benjamin Harrison, esq. deputy pay-master general in the southern department, was read.
Resolved, That the pay of the pay-master general be increased to 150 dollars a month:
That the pay of the deputy pay-master general be increased to 75 dollars
The marine committee, to whom certain motions were referred, brought in a report, which was read:
Ordered, To lie for consideration.
A letter, from the president and council of Pennsylvania, to the delegates of that state in Congress, was laid before Congress and read:
Ordered, That the consideration thereof be postponed till to-morrow, and that the deputy muster-master general immediately muster the militia of Pennsylvania, that are now in the field, beginning with those at Chester. Congress took into consideration the report of the committee on the mode of conducting the enquiry into the reasons of the evacuation of Ticonderoga and Fort-Independence, and into the conduct of the general officers who were in the northern department at the time of the evacuation; and, after debate thereon,
Resolved, That it be re-committed.
The committee on the state of the western frontiers and the northern department, brought in a farther report, which was taken into consideration; Whereupon,
Resolved, That general Washington be directed to call on the governor of New Jersey for 1000 men, to relieve a like number of the militia of the state of New-York, at present employed in garrisoning the forts on Hudson's river, in order that the said militia may be employed in repelling the invasion of the enemy on the frontiers of that state :
That an extract of col. George Morgan's letter, which relates to a farther supply of money, be referred to the board of treasury.
The several matters to this day referred, being postponed,
THURSDAY, August 21, 1777.
A letter, of the 20th, from gen. Washington, enclosing an extract of a letter, of the 15th, from general Schuyler, was read; also a letter, of the 15th, from gen. Schuyler, with an address to him from six general officers, requesting him that, on his being relieved, previous to his leaving the country, he will use his influence with the militia, that, without loss of time, they join the army, a measure necessary for their own, as well as for the safety of the public, relying on it, should he be detained on this important business, his doing it will be approved by Congress.
Ordered, That the extract of the letter from gen. Schuyler to gen. Washington, be referred to the committee of intelligence; and that the letter from gen. Schuyler be referred to the board of war:
Congress being informed that there is a large quantity of tar collected at Wilmington, in North-Carolina, and that the enemy's fleet is now upon the
Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to the executive power of North-Carolina, to cause all the military and naval stores in the said state, to be removed to places of security, with all possible expedition, it being of great consequence to the United States, that the same should not fall into the enemy's hands; that the said stores be destroyed rather than possessed by the enemy.
Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed to consider the state of South-Carolina and Georgia:
The members chosen, Mr. Laurens, Mr. R. H. Lee, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Harnett, and Mr. Chase:
Ordered, That the committee sit this afternoon, and report as soon as possible.
Congress took into consideration a report of the board of war of the 23d July; Whereupon,
Resolved, That Allan M'Donald, of Kingsborough, North-Carolina, a captain in the British regular service, be permitted to go into New-York to negotiate an exchange for himself and his son, a lieutenant in the same service; he to give his parole not to convey to the enemy or bring back any intelligence whatever of a political nature, and to return in a certain time to be fixed by his parole or when called for, on behalf of the United States. Congress took into consideration the report of the marine committee: Resolved, That if, upon due consideration, jointly had by the navy-board for the e stern department, and the governor and council of war for the state of Rhode-Island, and for which purpose the said navy-board are directed to attend upon the said governor and council of war, the preparing fire-ships be judged practicable, expedient, and advisable, the said navy-board immediately purchase, upon as reasonable terms as possible, six ships, or squarerigged vessels, at Providence, in the state of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, the best calculated for fire-ships; that they employ proper persons to fit and prepare the said fire-ships with all possible expedition; that the said navy-board provide proper materials for the same, and employ a VOL. II.
proper captain or commander, one lieutenant, and a suitable number of men for each of the said ships or vessels, of approved courage and prudence; and that notice be given to all the commanders of the continental ships and vessels in the port of Providence, to be in readiness to sail at a moment's warning: That, as soon as the said fire-ships are well prepared, the first favorable wind be embraced to attack the British ships and navy in the rivers and bays of the state of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations: that the officers of the continental navy there favor, as much as possible, this design. and use their utmost efforts to get out to sea, and proceed upon such cruize, or to such ports as the said navy-board, or the marine committee, shall appoint or order.
Resolved, That the governor of the state of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations and the council of war of that state, be acquainted with the foregoing resolve; and that they be requested to afford every assistance in their power in effecting the above purposes.
Resolved, That general Spencer be informed of the foregoing resolves, and that he be instructed to favor, as far as possible, the said designs, by such attacks or feints as he may judge proper with the troops and boats under his command.
Resolved, That secrecy, as much as possible, be recommended in carrying into execution the foregoing resolutions.
Resolved, That 4000 dollars be paid to the officers and men on board every fire-ship or vessel which shall actually set on fire and destroy any one of the enemy's ships of war, in any of the bays, rivers or harbors, in the state of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, of 20 guns or upwards; and 3000 dollars for every ship or vessel of war under 20 guns; and 1500 dollars for every transport; the proof of the execution done to be certified by the commander or commanding officer, or by the oath of such person or persons as may be witness to the fact.
Resolved, That the rewards aforesaid, shall be divided in the following proportion one-fourth to the captain or commander of such fire ship or vessel, one-seventh to the lieutenant, and the remainder to the crew, to be equally divided amongst them.
Ordered, That the marine committee collect the best intelligence and instructions they can, respecting the best method of constructing fire-ships, and send the same to the navy-board of the eastern department.
Ordered, That the board of war direct Messrs. Hughes, of Maryland, to deliver to the order of the governor of that state, 4 twelve pounders, to be paid for, or returned by that state.
The committee on foreign applications, brought in a report, which was taken into consideration: Whereupon,
Resolved, That a commission of lieutenant-colonel be immediately given to the chevalier de Failly, and that he be paid in that rank from the 1st of December last, and ordered to repair forthwith to the northern army:
Resolved, That Mons. Epiniers receive a commission of captain. Resolved, That the remainder of the report lie for farther consideration. Congress took into consideration the memorial of colonel Hazen, the report thereon of the board of treasury, and the commissioners for auditing claims; and, after debate,
Ordered, That the consideration thereof be postponed.
A letter, of this day, from general Washington, was read: Whereupon, Congress adjourned for two hours.
FIVE O'CLOCK, P. M.
Congress took into consideration the letter from general Washington, and the proceedings of a council of war enclosed therein: Whereupon,
Resolved, That Congress approve the plan of marching the army towards
Hudson's river, and then that general Washington act as circumstances
A letter, of the 18th, from general Schuyler, was read:
FRIDAY, August 22, 1777.
Two letters, of the 21st, from General Washington, one of them enclosing a letter, of the 20th, from general Newcomb, were read:
Ordered, That they be referred to the board of war.
Ordered, That the board of war send to Virginia, with all possible despatch, four brass field-pieces, if the public service will admit.
The committee on the treasury brought in a report, which was taken into consideration; Whereupon,
Resolved, That there be advanced to Thomas Butler, continental armorer, 1600 dollars, for the use of his department, he to be accountable:
That there be advanced to Everhart Michael, esq. pay-master of the German battalion, 2000 dollars, for the use of the said battalion, for which he is to be accountable.
In consequence of an adjustment by the commissioners of claims, the auditor-general reports,
That there is due to Jacob Hincle, for 136 meals supplied the militia of Cumberland county, on their march to camp, 13 54-90 dollars:
To lieutenant Nicholas Garret, late of col. Magaw's regiment, a balance of his account for his pay and for bounty money advanced to ten men he recruited, as also their subsistence and inlisting money, &c. amounting to £178 7 9, of which he received from major Benezet, £135, the balance being 115 63-90 dollars, to be paid to him, and charged to the said regiment: Ordered, That the said accounts be paid.
Advice being received that the enemy's fleet are in Chesapeake-Bay between Rock-Hall and the mouth of Patapsco river,
Ordered, That the board of war give immediate orders for removing the prisoners and public stores from Lancaster and Yorktown, to places of greater security:
That the board of treasury take immediate and effectual measures for the security of the treasury at Baltimore:
That the president write to captain Nicholson, and inform him, it is the desire of Congress, in case his vessel cannot be saved from falling into the bands of the enemy, otherwise than by destroying her, that in that case he destroy her, saving as much of her tackle, furniture and stores as he can.
Resolved, That general Washington be informed, by express, of the intelligence Congress hath this day received, of the British fleet being advanced high up the bay of Chesapeake, and, therefore, that it is probable that the enemy have the city of Philadelphia in contemplation; that as the distance from the head of the said bay to this city is so small, Congress wish the general, in consequence of this information, to proceed in such manner, as shall appear to him most conducive to the general interest, notwithstanding the resolution of yesterday, concerning his progress to the North-River.
Resolved, That Mr. Jones, Mr. Chase, and Mr. Roberdeau, be a committee to prepare a resolution for calling forth the militia of Pennsylvania, and the neighboring states.
Congress adjourned to five o'clock.
FIVE O'CLOCK, P. M.
Resolved, That Lodowig Sprogle be empowered and directed to muster the militia of Pennsylvania instead of the deputy-muster master general, whose indisposition prevents his performing that service.
The committee appointed to prepare a resolution for calling forth the militia, brought in a report, which was taken into consideration; Whereupon, Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to the state of Maryland, immediately to call out not less than 2000 select militia, to repel the expected invasion of the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland; that 1250 of the militia on the Western-shore of Maryland, repair, as soon as possible, to Baltimore and Hartford towns; that 750 of the militia on the Eastern-shore, repair as soon as possible to Georgetown, on Sassafras, there to wait the directions of general Washington:
That the state of Pennsylvania be requested to keep up 4000 of their militia to assist in repelling the threatened invasion of the enemy by the way of Chesapeake and Delaware bays; that these rendezvous at Lancaster, Downing-town and Chester, as the council of the said state shall direct, and that they be subject to the orders of general Washington:
That the state of Delaware be requested to call out 1000 of their militia to rendezvous at New-Port and Christiana-Bridge, there to wait the orders of general Washington:
That the state of Virginia be requested to draw out one-third of the militia of each of the counties of Prince-William, Fairfax, Loudon, Berkely, Frederick, Dunmore, Fauquier and Culpepper, and march them to Fredericktown, in the state of Maryland, there to wait the orders of gen. Washington : That the militia requested from the states aforesaid, be in the pay of the continent to the 30th November next, unless sooner discharged by Congress, or the commander in chief:
That it be recommended to each of the above states, to remove all boats and other craft, provisions, grain, naval and military stores, provender, cattle and live stock, wagons, carts and horses, in the way of the enemy's march, to places of safety, and to destroy what cannot be removed.
That general Washington be directed to order brigadier-general Smallwood and colonel Gist, to repair immediately to the state of Maryland, to arrange, march and command the militia required of that state.
The several matters to this day referred, being postponed,
SATURDAY, August 23, 1777.
A letter, of the 22d, from general Washington, was read:
Also, a letter of the 21st, from colonel J. E. Howard, at Baltimore; two, from governor Johnson; and sundry other letters from divers persons in Baltimore, respecting the enemy's fleet in Chesapeake-Bay; were read.
A letter, from lieutenant Edward Cowan, of captain Weaver's company, was read, praying for leave to resign his commission:
Ordered, That he have leave to resign.
Resolved, That the president inform general Washington, that Congress never intended by any commission hitherto granted by them, or by the esta blishment of any department whatever, to supersede or circumscribe the power of general Washington as the commander in chief of all the continental land forces within the United States.
A letter, of this day, from general Washington, was read:
The committee, to whom was re-committed the report on the mode of conducting the enquiry into the causes of the evacuation of Ticonderoga and Fort-Independence, and into the conduct of the general officers in the northern department, at the time of the evacuation, brought in a report, which was taken into consideration; Whereupon,
It was moved instead of "three members of Congress," to insert the "judge advocate with the assistance of "should conduct
the enquiry: Passed in the negative.