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General "George Washington's headquarters staff during the "American Revolutionary War consisted of a military secretary and a small number of aides-de-camp. A total of 32 men were appointed to these positions, and served between July 4, 1775 and December 23, 1783.[1]:15 Other individuals worked as volunteer aides or assistants, and helped with office duties when needed.[2]

Contents

Headquarters staff[edit]

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The American Soldier – 1775.
An aide-de-camp, General George Washington, and General Artemus Ward at the "Siege of Boston.

The "Second Continental Congress unanimously elected George Washington to the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army on June 15, 1775. He traveled to "Cambridge, Massachusetts, and took command of the "Siege of Boston on July 3. His headquarters staff initially consisted of his military secretary – "Joseph Reed; and one aide-de-camp – "Thomas Mifflin.[3] The headquarters staff's responsibilities included managing Washington's military correspondence, making copies of each day's General Orders (to be distributed to the commanding officer at each military post), and making copies of individual orders.[4] The 19-year-old artist "John Trumbull, who was skilled at drawing maps, was appointed an aide-de-camp on July 27,[5] and served three weeks before being transferred.[6]

Congress had authorized one military secretary and three aides-de-camp for the commander-in-chief,[7] but this number soon proved inadequate. Washington's pleas for Congress to authorize two additional aides were ignored, so he augmented his staff with volunteers.[3] Six aides-de-camp – "George Baylor, "Edmund Randolph, "Robert Hanson Harrison, George Lewis, "Stephen Moylan, "William Palfrey – were appointed between August 1775 and March 1776, some replacing predecessors who had been transferred. Finally, in January 1778, Congress granted the commander-in-chief the power to appoint headquarters staff as he saw fit.[8]

The military secretary held the rank of "colonel in the "Continental Army, with a monthly pay of $66 in 1775 (equivalent to about $2,050 in 2018).[7][9] The aides-de-camp held the rank of "lieutenant colonel, with a monthly pay of $33 in 1775 (equivalent to about $1,025 in 2018).[7][9] The aides-de-camp wore a green "riband across their chests as a rank insignia.[10] Washington referred to the headquarters staff as "my family."[11] Some were the sons of his friends and relatives, but above all he valued talent:

The Secretaries and Aid De Camps to the Commander in chief ought not to be confined to the line for plain and obvious reasons. The number which the nature and extent of his business require, in addition to the many drawn from the line to fill the different offices of the staff, when it is considered, that they ought all to be men of abilities, may seem too large a draft upon the line. But a consideration still more forcible is, that in a service so complex as ours, it would be wrong and detrimental to restrict the choice; the vast diversity of objects, occurrences and correspondencies, unknown in one more regular and less diffusive; constantly calling for talents and abilities of the first rate, men who possess them, ought to be taken, wherever they can be found.[12]

On the battlefield, the aides-de-camp were "couriers—delivering Washington's orders on horseback and gathering or relaying intelligence on enemy troop movement.[13] "Samuel Blachley Webb was wounded at the October 28, 1776 "Battle of White Plains and at the December 26, 1776 "Battle of Trenton.[14] John Fitzgerald and John Laurens were both wounded at the June 28, 1778 "Battle of Monmouth, where Alexander Hamilton's horse was shot from under him.[15] George Johnston served barely 4 months, before dying of disease at the "Morristown headquarters. "Tench Tilghman served longer than any other aide-de-camp, more than 7 years, about half of it as a volunteer.[16]

The commander-in-chief's headquarters staff was disbanded on December 23, 1783, when "General Washington resigned his commission to Congress, then meeting at "Annapolis, Maryland.[3] Aides David Humphreys, David Cobb and Benjamin Walker escorted him to and from the ceremony.[3] Many members of Washington's headquarters staff earned his trust and friendship. Some later served in his "presidential administration.[3]

Additional aides[edit]

In 1906, "Worthington Chauncey Ford, chief of the Manuscripts Division at the "Library of Congress, published a list of Washington's 32 military secretaries and aides-de-camp.[2] He added "Martha Washington as number 33, acknowledging her unofficial clerical help at Washington's headquarters.[2]

"Frank E. Grizzard, Jr., former editor of "The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series, adds to the list Washington's nephew, George Augustine Washington—a volunteer aide from September 1779 to May 1781, and from December 1781 to May 1782.[17]

Military secretaries[edit]

Appointed aides-de-camp[edit]

Volunteer aides[edit]

Possible aides[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Lefkowitz, Arthur S. (2003). George Washington's Indispensable Men: The 32 Aides-de-Camp who Helped Win American Independence. Stackpole Books. "ISBN "978-0-8117-1646-8. 
  2. ^ a b c Ford, Worthington Chauncey, ed. (1906). List and Writing of Washington's Aids-de-Camp and Secretaries. Calendar of the Correspondence of George Washington with the Continental Congress. Washington: Library of Congress. p. 9. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Fitzpatrick, John C. (January 1923). "The Aides-de-Camp of General George Washington". Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine. 57 (1). 
  4. ^ "George Washington to William McIntosh". Founders Online. National Archives: see note. October 21, 1776. 
  5. ^ a b Washington, George (July 27, 1775). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  6. ^ a b c d Washington, George (August 15, 1775). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  7. ^ a b c "John Adams to George Washington". Founders Online. National Archives. June 19–20, 1775. 
  8. ^ "Elbridge Gerry to George Washington". Founders Online. National Archives. January 13, 1778. 
  9. ^ a b "1775 → 2018 Inflation Calculator". FinanceRef Inflation Calculator. Alioth Finance. January 15, 2018. 
  10. ^ Bingaman, Steven A. (2013). The History of American Ranks and Rank Insignia. p. 11. 
  11. ^ "George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Jr". Founders Online. National Archives. May 14, 1781. 
  12. ^ "George Washington to the Continental Congress Camp Committee". Founders Online. National Archives. January 29, 1778. 
  13. ^ "John Laurens to George Washington". Founders Online. National Archives. June 28, 1778. 
  14. ^ a b c Washington, George (July 22, 1775). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives: note 2. 
  15. ^ "Alexander Hamilton to Elias Boudinot". July 5, 1778.  Letter quoted in "The Battle of Monmouth". The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 2 (2): 145–46. 
  16. ^ a b c Fore, Samuel K. (2012). Stoltz, Joseph F., III, ed. "Tench Tilghman". George Washington Digital Encyclopedia. Mount Vernon Estate. 
  17. ^ a b Grizzard, Frank E. (2005). George!: A Guide to All Things Washington. Mariner Publishing. 
  18. ^ a b Washington, George (June 19, 1775). "Diary Entry". Founders Online. National Archives: see note. 
  19. ^ "George Washington to Joseph Reed". Founders Online. National Archives: note 1. October 30, 1775. 
  20. ^ "George Washington to Joseph Reed". Founders Online. National Archives: note 1. April 23, 1776. 
  21. ^ a b Washington, George (August 14, 1775). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  22. ^ a b c d Washington, George (May 16, 1776). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  23. ^ "George Washington to Robert Hanson Harrison". Founders Online. National Archives. March 25, 1781. 
  24. ^ Washington, George (June 8, 1781). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  25. ^ Washington, George (May 14, 1782). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  26. ^ "Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington". Founders Online. National Archives: note 1. July 15, 1784. 
  27. ^ "George Washington to George Baylor". Founders Online. National Archives: note 1. January 9, 1777. 
  28. ^ a b c Washington, George (June 21, 1776). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives: note 1. 
  29. ^ Richard Cary married Anna Low, of New York, December 20, 1776, in Philadelphia. See Ford, Worthington Chauncey, ed. (1893). "Richard Cary to Samuel Webb [December 22, 1776]". Correspondence and Journals of Samuel Blachley Webb, Vol. 1. New York: Wickersham Press. pp. 175–76. 
  30. ^ Washington, George (June 15, 1781). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  31. ^ "David Cobb to William Heath". Founders Online. National Archives. June 15, 1783. 
  32. ^ a b c "George Washington to Robert Morris". Founders Online. National Archives: note 5. January 4, 1784. 
  33. ^ "Alexander Hamilton to Elias Boudinot". Founders Online. National Archives: note 14. July 5, 1778. 
  34. ^ Washington, George (July 2, 1781). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  35. ^ "George Washington to New York Committee of Safety". Founders Online. National Archives: note 2. May 6, 1776. 
  36. ^ Washington, George (August 24, 1776). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  37. ^ "George Washington to William Grayson". Founders Online. National Archives. January 11, 1777. 
  38. ^ Washington, George (March 1, 1777). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  39. ^ "Alexander Hamilton to George Washington". Founders Online. National Archives. April 27, 1781. 
  40. ^ Washington, George (November 6, 1775). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  41. ^ Washington, George (January 20, 1777). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  42. ^ "George Washington to John Laurens". Founders Online. National Archives: note 1. August 5, 1777. 
  43. ^ a b Washington, George (September 6, 1777). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives: note 1. 
  44. ^ "Founders Online: General Orders". 6 October 1777. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  45. ^ "Thomas Nelson to George Washington". Founders Online. National Archives: note 1. March 23, 1779. 
  46. ^ "Henry Laurens to George Washington". Founders Online. National Archives: note 2. March 19, 1779. 
  47. ^ "C.W.F. Dumas to John Adams". Founders Online. National Archives: note 1. November 28, 1781. 
  48. ^ "John Laurens to Anonymous". Founders Online. National Archives. September 24, 1781. 
  49. ^ "George Washington to Thomas McKean". Founders Online. National Archives. October 19, 1781. 
  50. ^ "George Lewis". George Washington Digital Encyclopedia. Mount Vernon Estate. Retrieved 2017-12-19. 
  51. ^ a b "Fielding Lewis to George Washington". Founders Online. National Archives: note 1. November 14, 1775. 
  52. ^ Washington, George (May 15, 1778). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  53. ^ "Marquis de Fleury to Alexander Hamilton, 1778". Founders Online. National Archives: note 2. 
  54. ^ Washington, George (March 12, 1777). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  55. ^ Washington, George (March 6, 1776). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  56. ^ Washington, George (June 7, 1776). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives: note 2. 
  57. ^ "George Washington to John Hancock". Founders Online. National Archives. January 22, 1777. 
  58. ^ Washington, George (March 6, 1776). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  59. ^ "Pierre Penet to George Washington". Founders Online. National Archives. August 3, 1776. 
  60. ^ "George Washington to John Hancock". Founders Online. National Archives: note 2. October 7, 1776. 
  61. ^ "George Washington to John Hancock". Founders Online. National Archives. November 2, 1775. 
  62. ^ Washington, George (July 6, 1781). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  63. ^ "George Washington to William Stephens Smith". Founders Online. National Archives. June 24, 1782. 
  64. ^ "Peter Presley Thornton". Library Thing. 
  65. ^ Washington, George (September 17, 1776). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. the General’s Orders are delivered by the Adjutant General, or one of his Aid’s-De-Camp, Mr Tilghman, or Col. Moylan the Quarter Master General. 
  66. ^ Washington, George (June 21, 1780). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  67. ^ Washington, George (June 5, 1781). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  68. ^ "George Washington to Richard Varick". Founders Online. National Archives. May 25, 1781. 
  69. ^ "George Washington to Richard Varick". Founders Online. National Archives: note 2. January 1, 1784. 
  70. ^ Washington, George (January 25, 1782). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  71. ^ Washington, George (February 19, 1777). "General Orders". Founders Online. National Archives. 
  72. ^ Ford, Worthington Chauncey, ed. (1893). "George Washington to Samuel B. Webb [January 11, 1777]". Correspondence and Journals of Samuel Blachley Webb, Vol. 1. New York: Wickersham Press. p. 181. 
  73. ^ Peter Bowman at "Find a Grave.
  74. ^ "Marking of Revolutionary War Graves By D.A.R. Signals Start of Campaign to Identify 595 in Onondaga County". Syracuse Herald. Transcribed 2007 by Richard Hillenbrand, Upstate New York Genealogy. June 28, 1931. Section 3, pp. 3, 9. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. 
  75. ^ Wiley, Samuel T., ed. (1889). "William H. Hopwood, M.D.". Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Chicago: John M. Gresham & Co. p. 349 – via "Internet Archive. 
  76. ^ Lockwood, Mary S. (1908). "Mrs. Susan McCulloch". Lineage Book of the Charter Members of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Washington, D.C.: D.A.R. p. 99. 
  77. ^ Col. Albert Pawling at "Find a Grave.
  78. ^ Kitts, Katherine Wallace (1903). Henry Pawling and Some of His Descendants. Privately printed. p. 19. 
  79. ^ "Maj. Albert Pawling to George Washington". Founders Online. National Archives. February 25, 1779. 
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