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Feb. 1,1777.–Mr. St. George Peale, for Maryland.
Inspector-General of Ordnance and Military Manufactorios.
Aug. 11, 1777.—Mons. du Coudray (France).
Commissary-General of Military Stores.
July 16, 1776.— Benjamin Flower, esq. (Pennsylvania).
Commissary-General of Ordnance.
July 2, 1812.-Col. Decius Wadsworth (Connecticut).
Chief of Ordnance.
Feb. 9, 1815.-Lieut. Col. (Col. May 30, 1832) George Bomford (New York).
necticut). Sept. 15, 1863.—Brig. Gen. (Bvt. Maj. Gen. Mar. 13, 1865) George D. Ramsey (District
of Columbia). Sept. 12, 1864.-Brig. Gen. (Bvt. Maj. Gen. Mar. 13, 1865) Alexander B. Dyer (Mis
THE ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT.
JOURNALS OF THE AMERICAN (CONTINENTAL) CONGRESS.
May 27, 1775.
Upon motion, agreed, that Mr. Washington, Mr. Schuyler, Mr. Mifflin, Mr. Deane, Mr. Morris, and Mr. S. Adams be a committee to consider on ways and means to supply these colonies with ammunition and military stores.
June 10, 1775.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several towns and districts in the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, and the eastern division of New Jersey, to collect all the saltpetre and brimstone of their several towns and districts, and transmit the same, with all possible dispatch, to the provincial convention at New York.
That it be recommended to the provincial convention of the colony of New York to have the powder mills in that colony put into such a condition as immediately to manufacture into gunpowder, for the use of the continent, whatever materials may be procured in the manner above directed.
That it be recommended to the committees of the western division of New Jersey, the colonies of Pennsylvania, lower counties on Delaware and Maryland, that they without delay collect the saltpetre and sulphur in their respective colonies, and transmit the same for the committee of the city and liberties of Philadelphia, to the end that those articles may be immediately manufactured into gunpowder for the use of the continent. · That it be recommended to the conventions and committees of the colonies of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina that they without delay collect the saltpetre and sulphur in their respective colonies, and procure these articles to be manufactured, as soon as possible, into gunpowder for the use of the continent.
That it be recommended to the several inhabitants of the United Colonies who are possessed of saltpetre and sulphur for their own use to dispose of them for the purpose of manufacturing gunpowder.
That the saltpetre and sulphur collected in consequence of the above resolves of Congress be paid for out of the continental fund.
That Mr. Paine, Mr. Lee, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Schuyler, and Mr. Johnson be a committee to devise ways and means to introduce the manufacture of saltpetre in these colonies.
July 15, 1775. Whereas the Government of Great Britain hath prohibited the exportation of arms and ammunition to any of the plantations, and endeavored to prevent other nations from supplying us:
Resolved, That for the better furnishing these colonies with the necessary means of defending their rights, every vessel importing gunpowder, saltpetre, sulphur, provided they bring with the sulphur four times as much saltpetre, brass field pieces, or good muskets fixed with bayonets, within nine months from the date of this resolution, shall be permitted to load and export the produce of these colonies to the value of such powder and stores aforesaid, the nonexportation agreement notwithstanding; and it is recommended to the committees of the several provinces to inspect the military stores so imported, and to estimate a generous price for the same, according to their goodness, and permit the importer of such powder or other military stores aforesaid to export the value thereof, and no more, in produce of any kind.
July 19, 1775.
Resolved, That the appointment of lery be left to General Washington.
a commissary of artil
July 29, 1775.
Resolved, That the pay of the
be Commissary of artillery, thirty dollars per do. [month].
July 31, 1775. On motion made, resolved, that Mr. Langdon, Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Deane, Mr. Clinton, Mr. Crane, Doctor Franklin, Mr. Rodney, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Henry, Mr. Hewes, Mr. Gadsden, and Mr. Hall be a committee, in the recess of Congress, to make enquiry in all the colonies after virgin lead and leaden ores, and the best methods of collecting, smelting, and refining it.
August 17, 1775.-“Mr. Ezekiel Cheever is appointed commissary of artillery stores.' (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.)
September 14, 1775. Ordered, That the delegates for Pennsylvania prepare and lay before the Congress to-morrow an account of the powder belonging to the United Colonies received, and how it is disposed of; also an account of all the powder now in this city.
September 18, 1975. Resolved, That a secret committee be appointed to contract for the importation and delivery of any quantity of gunpowder, not exceeding five hundred tons.
That in case such a quantity of gunpowder can not be procured, to contract for the importation of so much saltpetre, with a proportionate quantity of sulphur, as with the powder procured will make five hundred tons.
That the said committee be empowered to contract for the importation of forty brass field pieces (six-pounders), for 10,000 stands of arms, and 20,000 good plain double bridle musket locks.
That the said committee consist of nine members, any five of whom to be a quorum.
The members chosen: Mr. Willing, Mr. Franklin, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Alsop, Mr. Deane, Mr. Dickinson, Mr. Langdon, Mr. McKean, and Mr. Ward.
October 5, 1775.
Resolved, That a letter be sent to General Washington to inform him that Congress, having received certain intelligence of the sailing of two north-country-built brigs, of no force, from England on the 11th of August last, loaded with arms, powder, and other stores, for Quebec, without convoy, which it being of importance to intercept, desire that he apply to the council of Massachusetts Bay for the two armed vessels in their service, and despatch the same, with a sufficient number of people, stores, etc., particularly a number of oars, in order, if possible, to intercept the said two brigs and their cargoes and secure the same for the use of the continent; also any other transports laden with ammunition
for the use of the ministerial army or navy in America, and secure them in the most convenient places for the purpose above mentioned.
November 4, 1775.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several assemblies or conventions of the colonies, respectively, to set and keep their gunsmiths at work to manufacture good firelocks, with bayonets; each firelock to be made with a good bridle lock, three-quarters of an inch bore, and of good substance at the breech, the barrel to be three feet eight inches in length, the bayonet to be eighteen inches in the blade, with a steel ramrod, the upper loop thereof to be trumpet mouthed; that the price to be given be fixed by the assembly or convention or committee of safety of each colony. and that until a sufficient quantity of good arms can be manufactured they import as many as are wanted by all the means in their power.
Resolved, That the good arms of such soldiers as leave the service be retained for the use of the new Army, on a valuation made of them.
Vovember 8, 1775.
Resolved, That the secret committee appointed to contract for the importation of arms, ammunition, etc., be empowered to export to the foreign West Indies, on account and risque of the continent, as much provision or any other produce (except horned cattle, sheep, hogs, and poultry) as they may deem necessary for the importation of arms, ammunition, sulphur, and saltpetre.
Norember 8, 1775.-The committee appointed to confer with General Schuyler was instructed to advise the general to purchase the arms of sick officers and soldiers for the use of those who had none or bad ones.
November 10, 1775.—The assemblies, conventions, and committees of safety of the thirteen united colonies requested to appoint persons in each colony to employ and set to work as many persons as they may think proper, to work up such earth as is fit for making saltpetre and collect all such earth and composition of materials as are suitable to produce saltpetre.
November 11, 1775.-Congress recommended to such proprietors of tobacco warehouses and tobacco houses in Virginia and Maryland as can not speedily have the earth of the floors of their houses worked for saltpetre to cause those floors to be dug up and left fine, loose, and light, at least six inches deep, suffering the tobacco stalks and trashy leaves to be spread thereon.
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 powder horns for the use of the troops." (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.)
November 20, 1775.
Resolved, That the secret committee be empowered to contract for the importation of an hundred tons of lead.
January 3, 1776. Resolved, That the following goods and stores ought to be imported as soon as possible for the use of the United Colonies, viz:
20,000 stand of arms.
300 tons of lead. 1,000,000 of flints.
1,500 boxes of tin, and wire properly sorted for it.
500 sheets of copper of different sorts. Resolved, That the secret committee be empowered and directed to pursue the most effectual measures for importing the foregoing articles.
January 8, 1776.
Information being given to Congress that about fifty-seven tons of saltpetre were arrived at Philadelphia, and about 15 tons of powder at New York, for sale:
Resolved, That the secret committee be directed to treat for the purchase of the saltpetre, and enquire how it may be most speedily manufactured into powder, and report to Congress.
January 15, 1776.
Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed to make an estimate of the number of cannon that may be wanted for the defense of the United Colonies and to devise ways and means for procuring them, and that it be an instruction to said committee to enquire what size cannon can be cast in these Colonies.
The members chosen: Mr. Wisner, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Allen, and Mr. Paine.
January 21, 1776.—“The colonel or commanding officer of each regiment is forthwith to send out one or two prudent and sensible officers to buy up such arms as are wanted for his regiment. These officers to be also good judges of arms, and they are directed to purchase none but such as are proper and in the best repair, and, if possible to get them with bayonets, but not to refuse a good firelock without.” (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.)