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The earliest legislation relating to the Quartermaster's Department dates from June 16, 1775, when Congress "resolved that there be one Quartermaster-General for the grand Army and one deputy under him for the separate army," and May 14, 1777, Congress adopted regulations for the guidance of the Quartermaster-General and his assistants. The resignation of General Mifflin (the first Quartermaster-General), November 7, 1777, made the condition of that Department, without an ostensible head and with an organization to a certain extent defective and incomplete, a subject of much solicitude to General Washington. February 5, 1778, Congress adopted the following plan for carrying into execution the business of the Quartermaster's Department:

First. The military line to be styled the Quartermaster-General's, which is to include the regulating of marches, encampments, order of battle, etc., as described in the books of the profession. This officer not to have the disposal of public money, except small occasional sums for defraying petty expenses in the Army.

Second. The commissary of forage, who is to be confined to that article in his purchases.

Third. The commissary for horses and wagons.

Fourth. The agents for the purchase of tents, entrenching tools, building of barracks, and for all the smaller supplies of the Depart


The three last to be governed in their purchases by the estimates and orders of the Quartermaster-General or the Board of War. April 17, 1779, the Quartermaster-General was directed to establish regulations for the conduct, mustering, and paying of a corps of


July 15, 1780, Congress resolved that there be one QuartermasterGeneral and one assistant quartermaster-general, to be appointed by Congress, and one deputy quartermaster for each army, to be appointed by the Quartermaster-General, and promulgated a code of regulations for the government of the Quartermaster's Department.

July 25, 1785, the "Department of Quartermaster-General" ceased to exist.

The Quartermaster's Department, eo nomine, was first organized under the act of March 28, 1812. Under its provisions the office of "purveyor of public supplies" was abolished and its duties divided between the Quartermaster's and the Purchasing Departments.

The Army Register of May 1, 1813, under authority of the act of March 3, same year, defined the respective duties of the Quartermaster's and the Purchasing Departments in reference to purchases so as to commit to the former the purchase of forage, fuel, soldiers' bedding,

stationery, dragoon and artillery horses, means of transportation, and material for the construction and repair of barracks, hospitals, and bridges.

The act of May 18, 1826, made it the duty of the Quartermaster's Department to receive from the Purchasing Department and distribute to the Army all clothing and camp and garrison equipage. The abolishment, by the act of August 23, 1842, of the office of CommissaryGeneral of Purchases devolved the purchase of clothing upon the Quartermaster's Department.

Aug. 14, 1775.-Col. Thomas Mifflin (Pennsylvania).
June 5, 1776.-Col. Stephen Moylan (Pennsylvania).
Oct. 1, 1776.-Brig. Gen. Thomas Mifflin (Pennsylvania).
Mar. 2, 1778.-Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Greene (Rhode Island).
Aug. 5, 1780.-Col. Thomas Pickering (Massachusetts).
Mar. 4, 1791.-Lieut. Col. Samuel Hodgdon (Pennsylvania).
Apr. 19, 1792.-Lieut. Col. James O'Hara (Pennsylvania).
June 1, 1796.-Lieut. Col. John Wilkins, jr. (Pennsylvania).
June 1, 1799.-Maj. Gen. John Wilkins, jr, (Pennsylvania).
Apr. 4, 1812.-Brig. Gen. Morgan Lewis (New York).
Mar. 21, 1813.-Brig. Gen. Robert Swartwout (New York).
Apr. 29, 1816.-Col. James R. Mullany (New York), Northern Division.
Col. George Gibson (Pennsylvania), Southern Division.
Apr. 18, 1818.-Brig. Gen. William Cumming (Georgia).
May 8, 1818.-Brig. Gen. Thomas S. Jesup (Ohio).

June 20, 1860.-Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston (Virginia).

May 15, 1861.-Brig. Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs (Pennsylvania).

Feb. 13, 1882.-Brig. Gen. Daniel H. Rucker (Michigan).

Feb. 23, 1882.-Brig. Gen. Rufus Ingalls (Maine).

July 1, 1883.-Brig. Gen. Samuel B. Holabird (Connecticut).

June 26, 1890.-Brig. Gen. Richard N. Batchelder (New Hampshire).

Aug. 19, 1896.-Brig. Gen. Charles G. Sawtelle (Maine).

Feb. 16, 1897.-Brig. Gen. George H. Weeks (Maine).

Feb. 3, 1898.-Brig. Gen. Marshall I. Ludington (Pennsylvania).




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June 16, 1775.

That there be one Quartermaster-General for the grand army and one deputy under him for the separate army. That the pay of the Quartermaster-General be eighty dollars per month and that of the deputy forty dollars per month.

July 17, 1775.

Resolved, That a deputy quartermaster-general be appointed for the said [New York] department.

Donald Campbell, esq., elected to that office.

Ordered, That Mr. D. Campbell have the rank of colonel in the Army.

July 19, 1775.

Resolved, That the appointment of a Quartermaster-General be left to General Washington.


July 29, 1775.

That the appointment of

wagon master and master carpenter be left to the Commander in Chief of the Army, who is to fix their pay, having regard to the pay they receive in the ministerial army and the proportion that the pay of the officers in said army bears to the pay of our officers.


Resolved, That the

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Quartermaster-General and every of their [his] deputies shall take an oath truly and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective stations.

August 9, 1775.-"Mr. John Goddard is appointed by the Commander in Chief wagon master general to the Army of the twelve United Colonies.' (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.) ·

August 14, 1775.-"Major Thomas Mifflin is appointed Quartermaster-General to the Army of the United Colonies." (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.) [May 26, 1776, he was appointed brigadier-general, and October 1, 1776, was requested to resume the duties of Quartermaster-General.] .

August 16, 1775.—John Parke, esq., was appointed an assistant to the QuartermasterGeneral. (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.)

September 22, 1775.-John Gizzage Frazer was appointed assistant to the Quartermaster-General for the district of Prospect and Winter Hill. (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.)

September 23, 1775.

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to purchase a quantity of woolen goods for the use of the Army, to the amount of five thousand pounds sterling.

That the said goods, when bought, be placed in the hands of the quartermasters-general of the Continental armies, and that the same be by them sold out to the private soldiers of said armies at prime cost and charges, including a commission of five per centum to the said quartermasters-general for their trouble.

That the committee consist of five.

The ballot being taken and examined, the following members were chosen:

Mr. Lewis, Mr. Alsop, Mr. Willing, Mr. Deane, and Mr. Langdon.

October 5, 1775.

Resolved, That Timothy Mattack, of this city, be employed as a storekeeper, and that the implements provided for the hussars, and the tents, and linen, etc., purchased for the Army, be put under his care.

November 2, 1775.

Resolved, That 3,000 felt hats, 3,000 worsted caps, 3,000 pair of buckskin breeches, 3,000 pairs of shoes, 3,000 pairs of yarn stockings, and 3,000 waistcoats, suitable for the season, be immediately purchased and sent to the Army, under the command of General Schuyler, to be sold to the soldiers at prime cost, including charges of carriage and five per cent to the deputy quartermaster-general, by whom the said goods are to be sold.

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Resolved, That as much duffels or kersey as will make three hundred watch coats be purchased and sent to General Schuyler, with needles and thread, to be made into watch coats, and that these be charged to the Continent and kept for the use of the out centries.

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to purchase the foregoing articles.

The members chosen: Mr. Alsop, Mr. Lewis, and Mr. Sherman.

November 4, 1775.

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several legislatures of New England to empower the General to impress carriages, vessels, horses, and other things necessary, at a reasonable rate, for the transportation or march of the Army, or any part of it, or on any other emergency, and that this power be deputed in writing, under the hand of the General to the Quartermaster-General, or to any inferior officer, who are to be accountable for any abuse thereof.

November 16, 1775.-"Col. Brewer will be appointed barrack master until something better worth his acceptance can be provided.” (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.) [On the rearrangement of the Army Colonel Brewer was assigned to the command of a regiment heretofore under Colonel Whitcomb, but waived his right in favor of the latter.]

November 18, 1775.-The Commissary-General to order all the horns of the bullocks that are killed for the use of the Army to be saved and sent to the QuartermasterGeneral, who is also to provide as many as he can get, and have the whole made into good powderhorns, for the use of the troops." (Orders, General Headquarters, Cumbridge.)

November 27, 1775.

Resolved, That the troops in the service of the Continent be supplied with fuel and bedding at the expense of the Continent.

December 22, 1775.

Resolved, That the Quartermaster-General have the rank of a colonel in the Army of the United Colonies.

February 5, 1776.

Resolved, That the appointments by General Schuyler of Gysbert Marselis, esq., to be barrack master, and Mr. Philip Van Rennselaer, to be storekeeper at Albany, be confirmed; and that General Schuyler be desired to inform Congress of the proper salaries to be annexed to those offices.

February 20, 1776.-"As it is necessary that every regiment should be furnished with colours, and that those colours should, if it can be done, bear some kind of similitude to the uniform of the regiment to which they belong, the colonels, with their respective brigadiers and the Q. M. Genl., may fix upon such as are proper and can be procured. There must be to each regiment the standard (or regimental colours) and colours for each grand division, the whole to be small and light. The number of the regiment is to be marked on the colours, and such a motto as the colonel may choose, in fixing upon which the General advises a consultation amongst them. The colonels are to delay no time in getting this matter fixed, that the Q. M. General may provide the colours as soon as possible.' (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.)

March 3, 1776.-"The Q. M. General may draw the carbines out of the commissary's stores, and put them into the hands of the carpenters, or such others, as he shall think will use them to the best advantage, taking care to return them when called for. All arms in store, fit for use, may be delivered out to the Adjutant-General's order." (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.)

March 28, 1776.

Resolved, That Mr. William Finney be appointed a deputy quartermaster in the Southern Department.


May 7, 1776.

That a deputy quartermaster-general be appointed for the Southern Department, to be employed in North Carolina.

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Congress proceeded to the election of a deputy quartermaster-general for the Southern Department, and the ballots being taken,

Nicholas Long, esq., was elected.

Resolved, That Nicholas Long, esq., have the rank of a colonel in the Continental Army.

May 11, 1776.-"His Excellency has been pleased to appoint Hugh Hughes, esq., assistant quartermaster-general." (Orders, General Headquarters, New York.

Resolved. That the

June 5, 1776.

deputy quartermaster-general,

make regular returns and report to Congress, and to the respective officers to whom they are deputies, at least once a month, and that the principals also make returns at the same periods.

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