Letter signed ("Go: Washington"), text in the hand of Robert Hanson Harrison, 1 1/2 pages (11 7/8 x 7 3/8 in.; 302 x 187 mm) on a single leaf (watermarked tmw), "Head Quarters" [Middlebrook, New Jersey], 29 May 1779, to Brigadier General John Glover "or Officer Commandg his Brigade" (at Providence), reception docket at foot of second page; silked verso, fold separations mended.
The Writings of George Washington, ed. Fitzpatrick, 15: 177 (text from the draft, with several variations in incidentals)
Maintaining precedence of rank. The officer corps of the Continental Army was plagued by jealousies and disputes regarding promotion and precedence of rank. Benedict Arnold's fury at having five men less experienced than him (and less able, as well, in his opinion) promoted above him to the rank of Major General, 19 February 1777, is merely the best known of these quarrels. When John Glover, who had gained fame in 1776 as the leader of the "Marblehead Mariners," submitted his Rhode Island brigade roster to Washington, the Commander refused to accept it until appropriate dates of rank had been determined.
"I received a few days ago the inclosed Arrangement of the four Regiments in your Brigade in a Letter from General McDougal. I was sorry to find upon examination that few or none of the Officers has the dates affixed against their Names, which their Commissions should bear. This circumstance makes the Arrangement defective and I transmit it by Colo Bigelow that the dates which every Commission should bear, may be inserted. When this is done and the Arrangement returned, I shall be happy in taking the earliest Opportunity to obtain the Commissions from the Board of War. To prevent any disputes in future, I think it will be adviseable for the Arrangement of the 4 Regiments to be attached together, one after another and all their Feild Officers to certify their approbation of the same, under their several & respective hands."
Glover was readying his troops for a joint Franco-American attack on Newport later in the summer. That operation, however, was aborted when Admiral d'Estaing determined not to land the French troops aboard his ships.
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