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U.S. Continental Congress. Resolution appointing Congressional "Board of War and Ordinance"

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03295 Author/Creator: U.S. Continental Congress. Place Written: Philadelphia Type: Letter signed Date: 12 June 1776 - 21 June 1776 Pagination: 2, 1 p. + addr. 33.5 x 21 cm

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03295 Author/Creator: U.S. Continental Congress. Place Written: Philadelphia Type: Letter signed Date: 12 June 1776 - 21 June 1776 Pagination: 2, 1 p. + addr. 33.5 x 21 cm

Summary of Content: Signed by Charles Thomson as secretary. Includes attached circular letter addressed to Artemas Ward re: founding of War Office and instructions for monthly reporting; signed by John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Harrison, James Wilson, and Edward Rutledge. Written in the hand of Richard Peters; docketed by Artemas Ward on address leaf. (Formerly cataloged as GLC 3295.01 (p. 3) and .02 (p. 1-2).)

Full Transcript:
War Office, Philad. 21st June 1776.

The Congress having thought proper to appoint us to the Board of War and Ordinance, we do ourselves the Honour to transmit you the ...foregoing Extracts from their Proceedings establishing a War Office for the more speedy & effectual dispatch of military Business.
You will perceive, on perusal of the Extracts, that it will be necessary for you forthwith to furnish the Board with an exact State of the Army under your Command and every thing relative thereto.
You will therefore be pleased as speedily as possible, to give the necessary directions for true & accurate Returns to be made to you so as to enable you to give the Board the proper Information.
As much depends on reducing into Method the Business recommended to our Notice, we beg you will forward all Measures conducive to this desirable purpose by every Means in your power. It is expected that in future Monthly Returns be regularly transmitted to the War Office that Congress may frequently have a full & general knowledge of the true Situation of their Military Affairs without which it will be impossible to conduct them with Propriety & Success. We must further request that you will keep up a constant & regular Correspondence with us that we may co-operate with you in such Measures as may tend to advance the Interest of America in general and the particular department committed to your Care.
You will be pleased in the Returns of the several Regiments to mention the Colonies in which they were raised, the Times when and the Periods for which the Men were enlisted, as it will be necessary for us to have sufficient Notice of these Matters that Congress may keep up the Army to its full Compliment.
We are Sir Your most obed. & most humble Servts
John Adams
Roger Sherman
Benj Harrison
James Wilson
Edward Rutledge

In Congress June 12th: 1776.
Resolved, That a Committee of Congress be appointed by the Name of "A Board of War and Ordinance"- to consist of five Members-
That a Secretary and one or more Clerks be appointed by Congress with competent Salaries to assist the said Board in executing the Business of their department.
That it shall be the duty of the said Board to obtain and keep an alphabetical and accurate Register for the Names of all officers of the land forces in the Service of the united Colonies with their Ranks and the date of their respective Commissions; and also regular Accounts of the State and disposition of the Troops in the respective Colonies; for which purpose the Generals and Officers commanding in the different departments & posts are to cause regular Returns to be made into the said War Office-
That they shall obtain and keep exact Accounts of the Artillery, Arms, Ammunition and Warlike Stores belonging to the United Colonies and of the manner in which and the places where the same shall from time to time be lodged and employed and that they shall have the immediate Care of all such Artillery, Arms, Ammunition and Warlike Stores as shall not be employed in actual Service, for preserving whereof they shall have power to hire proper Magazines at the public Expence-
That they shall have the Care of forwarding all dispatches from Congress to the Colonies and Armies and all Monies to be transmitted for the public Service by order of Congress; and of providing suitable Escorts and Guards for the safe Conveyance of such dispatches & Monies when it shall appear to them to be necessary-
That they shall superintend the raising fitting out and dispatching all such Land Stores as may be ordered for the Service of the United Colonies-
That they shall have the Care and direction of all [2] Prisoners of War agreeable to the Orders & Regulations of Congress.
That they shall keep and preserve in the said Office in regular Order, all original Letters & Papers which shall come into the said Office by Order of Congress or otherwise and shall also cause all Draughts of Letters and dispatches to be made or transcribed in Books to be set apart for that purpose and shall cause fair Entries in like manner to be made and Registers preserved of all other Business which shall be transacted in the said Office.
The Members chose, MR. J. Adams, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Wilson and Mr. E. Rutledge-
The Ballots being taken
Richard Peters Esquire was elected Secretary of the Board of War and Ordinance-
Extracts from the Minutes
Cha Thomson Secy.

Honble Genl Ward
War office June 21. 1776

June 12th. 1776
Extracts from Journals of Congress
War Office
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People: Adams, John, 1735-1826
Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824
Ward, Artemas, 1727-1800
Sherman, Roger, 1721-1793
Harrison, Benjamin, V, 1726-1791
Wilson, James, 1742-1798
Peters, Richard, 1744-1828

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Continental CongressCongressGovernment and CivicsMilitary HistoryRevolutionary WarRevolutionary War General

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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