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PROVISIONS AFFECTING THE
AFFECTING THE SEVERAL CORPS AND DEPARTMENTS OF THE GENERAL STATE.
JOURNALS OF THE AMERICAN (CONTINENTAL) CONGRESS.
September 21, 1775.-“Whereas frequent applications are making to the General, Commander in Chief, by officers of all ranks and denominations for an allowance of rations of provisions, which are not only absolutely necessary, but usual and customarily allowed to them, the General has thought proper to order and direct that from the first day of July last there be issued by the Commissary-General the following proportion of rations, viz: To each major-general, 15 rations; to each brigadier-general, 12 rations; to each colonel, 6 rations; to each lieutenant-colonel, 5 rations; to each major, 4 rations; to each captain, 3 rations; to each subaltern, 2 rations, and to each staff officer, 2 rations.” (Orders, General Headquarters, Cambridge.)
March 15, 1776.-Expenses of the horses of general officers, when traveling on official business, were to be defrayed by the Continent.
May 10, 1776.-— Resolved, That this Congress has hitherto exercised, and ought to retain, the power of promoting the officers in the Continental service according to their merit; and that no promotion or succession shall take place upon any vacancy without the authority of a Continental commission.
September 9, 1776.-In all commissions the words “United Colonies" to be altered to “United States."
September 16, 1776.
That Congress make provision for granting lands in the following proportion: To the officers
who shall so engage in the service and continue therein to the close of the war, or until discharged by Congress, and to the representatives of such officers and soldiers as shall be slain by the enemy.
Such lands to be provided by the United States, and whatever expense shall be necessary to procure such land the said expense shall be paid and borne by the States in the same proportion as the other expenses of the war, viz:
To a colonel, 500 acres; to a lieutenant-colonel, 450; to a major, 400; to a captain, 300; to a lieutenant, 200; to an ensign, 150; each noncommissioned officer and soldier, 100.
September 18, 1776. Resolved, That if rations be received by the officers the Continental Army, in money, they be paid at the rate of , dollar.
September 20, 1776.
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In order to prevent the officers and soldiers who shall be entitled to the lands hereafter to be granted by the resolution of Congress of the 16th from disposing of the same during the war,
Resolved, That Congress will not grant lands to any person or persons claiming under the assignment of an officer or soldier.
The Congress having maturely considered the present crisis do hereby
Resolve, That General Washington be, and he is hereby, vested with full and complete power
to displace and appoint all officers under the rank of brigadier-general, and to fill up all vacancies
department in the American Army.
That the foregoing power be vested in General Washington for and during the term of six months from the date hereof, unless sooner determined by Congress.
April 10, 1777.-General Washington was asked to transmit to the board of war a list of his appointments made under powers vested in him.
August 14, 1777.-Congress authorized the commanding officer in the Northern Department, for four months from date of resolution, to suspend any officer under his command, for mal-conduct, and to appoint others in their room till such time as the pleasure of Congress can be known concerning the person or persons so suspended; and that he report the names of such as he may suspend, with the cause of their suspension.
August 23, 1777.—General Washington to be informed that Congress never intended by any commission hitherto granted by them, or by the establishment of any department whatever, to supersede or circumscribe his powers as the Commander in Chief of all the Continental forces within the United States.
September 17, 1777.—General Washington was authorized to suspend all officers misbehaving and to fill up all vacancies under the rank of brigadier-general until the pleasure of Congress can be communicated; powers to continue for 60 days and within a radius of 70 miles of headquarters. November 14, 1777, this power was continued to March 1, 1778, unless sooner revoked.
January 6, 1778.-Every officer and man entering an hospital for treatment of secret disease to pay, respectively, $10 and $4; such moneys to be paid to the directorgeneral or his order, to be appropriated to the purchase vi blankets and shirts for the use of the sick soldiers in the hospital.
February 3, 1778.
Resolved, That every officer who holds or shall hereafter hold a commission or office from Congress shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: “I,
do acknowledge the United States of America to be free, independent, and sovereign States, and declare that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience to George the Third, King of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse, and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do swear (or affirm) that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain, and defend the said'United States against the said King George the Third and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants, and adherents, and will serve the said United States in the office of which I now hold, with fidelity, according to the best of my skill and understanding. me God.”
Resolved, That all officers in the Army shall take and subscribe the foregoing oath or affirmation before the Commander in Chief, or any major-general or brigadier-general.
That every officer, having the disposal of public money, or who is or shall be intrusted with the charge or distribution of public stores, "I,
shall, at the time of taking and subscribing the foregoing oath or affirmation, also take an oath or affirmation of office, in the following words, viz:
do swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully, truly, and impartially execute the office of S, to which I am appointed, and render a true account, when thereunto required, of all public monies by me received or expended, and of all stores or other effects to me entrusted, which belong to the United States; and will, in all respects, discharge the trust reposed in me with justice and integrity, to the best of my skill and understanding.'
That every officer taking the foregoing oaths or affirmations, or either of them, shall obtain from the person administering the same duplicate certificates specifying the time of his taking it, or them, and also his name and rank, or employment.
That every military officer shall deliver or transmit one of the certificates so obtained to the commander in chief, or the commander of a department, or to such person as by general orders shall be appointed to receive the same; and the said commanding officers shall cause the certificates so received to be sent to the secretary of Congress, and shall keep an exact list of the names of all officers whose certificates shall be received and forwarded, together with their several ranks and the times of their being qualified.
That each deponent or affirmant shall retain and keep the other certificate by him obtained as a voucher of his having complied with what is hereby enjoined him:
Resolved, That every officer, civil or military, now in office, shall take and subscribe the qualification above directed, within twenty days after notice hereof; and every person hereafter appointed to any office by or under the authority of the Congress of the United States of America shall take and subscribe the same previous to his acting in such office; and every officer who shall continue or presume to exercise any commission, civil or military, under the authority of the Congress of the United States of America, without taking the qualification in time and manner above directed shall be cashiered, and forfeit two months' pay to the use of the United States of America, and be rendered incapable of serving in the Army of the said States, and of executing thereafter any office under Congress.
February 9, 1778.-Governors of States authorized to suspend, for cause, any officer of the staff not immediately appointed by Congress, and to make temporary appointments in the place of the officers suspended, reporting their action to Congress.
May 15, 1778.
Resolved, Unanimously, that all military officers commissioned by Congress who now are, or hereafter may be in the service of the United States, and shall continue therein during the war, and not hold any office of profit under these States, or any of them, shall, after the conclusion of the war, be entitled to receive annually, for the term of seven years, if they live so long, one-half of the present pay of such officers:
And provided, That this resolution shall not extend to any officer in the service of the United States, unless he shall have taken an oath of allegiance to, and shall actually reside within some one of the United States.