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and in fitting out the armed vessels. I would here ask a question, to-wit: Whether, as Mr. Warrens commission is superseded by Mr. Palfreys appointment, it will not be necessary to fix upon some person to pay the troops there, or are the payments to go through his hands? He does not incline to do anything in the affair without the direction of Congress.
I have enclosed you a return of the last brigade detached, and, also, of the forces remaining here; and as it is a matter of much importance to know the whole of our strength from time to time, and to see it at one view, for regulating our movements with propriety, I wish it were a direction from Congress to the commanding officers in the different districts, to make monthly returns to the Comman-der-in-Chief of the Continental Army of the state of the troops in their departments, and also of the military stores. Such direction will probably make them more attentive than they otherwise would be. I could not get a return of the Army in Canada all last year.
I beg leave to lay before Congress a copy of the proceedings of a Court-Martial upon Lieutenant Graver, of the Second Regiment, and of his defence; which I should not have troubled them with, had I not conceived the Courts sentence upon the facts stated in the proceedings, of a singular nature; to be by no means adequate to the enormity of his offence; and to be of an exceedingly dangerous and pernicious tendency. Upon these principles, I thought it ray duty to transmit the proceedings to them, in order that they may form such a judgment upon the facts stated as they may conceive right and just, and advancive of the publick good. At the same time I would mention to Congress, that I think it of material consequence that they should pass a resolve, cutting off the right of succession in the military line from one rank to another, which is claimed by many upon the happening of vacancies, (upon which principle this offence seems to have originated, in a great measure, and the extraordinary judgment in this instance to be founded,) declaring that no succession or promotion can take place upon any vacancy, without a Continental commission giving and authorizing it. It is of much consequence to check and entirely suppress this opinion and claim, which is becoming too prevalent, and has an obvious tendency to introduce mutiny and disorder; or if they conceive the claim good, and that it should take place, that they will declare it, so that the point may be settled and known in future.
I have the honour to be, with sentiments of the highest respect, sir, your most obedient servant,
To the President of Congress.
Return of the Regiments going on command to CANADA, April 28, 1776.
HORATIO GATES, Adjutant-General.
General Return of the Army of the United Colonies, commanded by His Excellency GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esq., General and Commander-in-Chief; Head-Quarters at NEW-YORK, May 5, 1776.
HORATIO GATES, Adjutant-General