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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Resolution by the Continental Congress concerning the reorganization of the Southern Department of the Continental Army, including related order
United States. Continental Congress
September 14, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 649-651


Head Quarters, Ashley Hill,
Saturday, September 14th, 1782.

By the United States, in Congress Assembled, August 7th, 1782.

Resolved, That the Secretary of War, on or before the first day of Jany. next, cause the non-commissioned Officers and privates

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belonging to the lines of the respective States, including soldiers, prisoners with the enemy, to be arranged in such manner as to form complete Regiments agreeably to the acts of Congress of the 3rd & 21st of October, 1780, or Regiments of not less than five Hundred, Rank & File, as Circumstances and the good of the service may, in his Judgment, require; that for this purpose the Junior Regiments shall be drafted to fill the Senior Regiments, and the surplus, should any remain after such drafts, shall be formed into a complete Company, or Companies, as near as may be, according to the said establishment, with a proper allowance of Field Officers, to two or more Companies; the said Regiments and Companies shall be commanded by Officers belonging to the respective States to which the non Commissioned Officers and Privates so arranged shall belong.

Resolved, That the commander in chief & the commanding Officer of the Southern Army direct the Officers of the line of each State respectively to meet together & agree & determine upon the officers as are inclinable to repair within the British lines, or any other who shall remain in service to command the troops, arranged as aforesaid, provided that where it cannot be done by voluntary agreement, the Junior Officers of each grade shall retire, so as to leave complete Corps of Officers in proportion to the Number of Men, and to be adjusted upon the principles of the acts of the 3rd and 21st of October, 1780, and the Fifth resolution of the act passed the 23rd day of April, 1782.

Resolved, That the Commander in chief & the Commanding Officer of the Southern Army, as soon as the said Arrangement shall have taken place, Transmit to Congress a list of Officers, whom they deem proper to be employed in the several staff departments, and other necessary duties in the Army to be taken from the list of retiring Officers. And upon being approv’d of by Congress, and accepting such appointments, such Officers shall retain their rank in the army with the pay and emoluments thereto annexed.

Resolved, That the officers retiring under the foregoing resolutions & not employ’n in the staff department as aforesaid, shall untill call’d into service with their proper Command, be entitled to all the emoluments, to which the Officers are entitled, who retire under

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the resolutions of the 3rd & 21st of October, 1780. That the said Officers shall retain their rank in the Army and be called into the service from time to time according to seniority in case of deficiencies of Officers, upon the principles of the foregoing resolutions.

Resolved, That in arranging the non-Commission’d Officers and privates of the Army, each State shall be credited for all the men except Deserters, and such as may have died, who shall have been duly mustered to serve during the War, or for three Years in Compliance with the requisitions of Congress of the 3rd day of October, 1780, or the 10th of December, 1781.

Resolved, That the preceding arrangement shall take effect on the 1st day of Jany., 1783. And that Copies thereof be immediately transmitted by the secretary at War to the executive authorities of the respective States.

[Extract from the Minutes.]


The Officers of the Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina & Georgia lines, now forming the Southern Army, will meet as soon as possible and agree who shall remain in service, to command the troops of each State agreeable to the foregoing resolutions and proposed arrangement. Authentic Copies of the proceedings had at such meetings are to be deliver’d in to Head Quarters as soon as may be, that they may be transmitted to the superintending Officer of each State to collect the minds of the Officers at Home, that a complete report may be made to the Secretary at War before the first of January next.

The heads of all the staff departments will also report to Head Quarters, the Number of Officers to fill each, and such Officers as have a mind to engage in the Staff agreeable to the Aforesaid plan, will report themselves to the principal of the Department in which they are willing to serve.

The Artillery & Cavalry are meant to be included in the foregoing orders; and are to meet and report accordingly.

Sept. 1782.
C. IVEY, Lt. Adjt. N. C. Batt.