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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Act of the North Carolina General Assembly concerning recruitment of Continental Army troops [as printed in the North-Carolina Gazette]
North Carolina. General Assembly
April 27, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 411-417

North Carolina Gazette, May 8, 1778.
An Act for raising Men, to complete the Continental Battalions belonging to this State.

Whereas it is absolutely necessary that the Continental Battalions belonging to this State be completed, and it is found impracticable to obtain that end in the common mode of recruiting.

Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that two thousand six hundred and forty eight men shall be raised and detached from the militia of this State towards completing the same, in the following proportion and manner, viz: From the County of Craven, eighty six; Carteret, thirty; Beaufort, twenty six; Johnston, thirty four; Hyde, twenty eight; Dobbs, one hundred and three; Pitt, thirty five; New Hanover, thirty two; Onslow, forty seven; Bladen, sixty three; Duplin, sixty two; Cumberland, seventy three; Brunswick, thirteen; Rowan, one hundred and seventy four; Mecklenburg, one hundred; Tryon, eighty three; Anson, seventy eight; Surry, eighty eight; Guilford, one hundred and fifty six; Burke, sixty two; Washington, sixty two; Wilkes, thirty five; Orange, one hundred; Granville, seventy; Wake, sixty; Chatham, sixty six; Caswell, seventy seven; Halifax, eighty six; North Hampton, sixty two; Edgecombe, sixty three; Bute, one hundred and five; Martin, thirty seven; Nash, fifty six; Chowan, thirty three; Perquimans, thirty three; Pasquotank, forty five; Currituck,

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fifty; Bertie, seventy six; Tyrrel, thirty four; Hertford, sixty two; and Camden, forty one. And the colonel or commanding officer in each county is hereby directed to order the field officers and captains belonging to his regiment to meet at the court house on or before the twenty fifth day of May next, and the field officers and captains shall then and there apportion the men to be raised in the county to the several companies, in proportion to the number of militia, including officers of every rank, his Excellency the Governor only excepted, in each company respectively, after deducting for such militia men only as shall have heretofore actually enlisted good able-bodied men as regular soldiers, or caused such to be enlisted, to serve in the Continental army, agreeable to the act passed in May, 1777, for encouraging the recruiting service, which said enlistments they shall prove by their own oath, and the testimony of an indifferent person, to be obtained without fraud or collusion, in due time, and without the procurement or assistance of any Continental officer or soldier. And the commanding officer in each and every county shall, within five days after such meeting, order a general muster at the place or places by law appointed, and he is hereby authorized to offer a bounty of one hundred dollars to every able-bodied man who shall voluntarily enter into the service; and if a sufficient number of volunteers do not turn out, then the several companies shall immediately proceed to determine by ballot who shall go out of each company to make up its particular quota, and the persons so voted in shall go themselves or provide able-bodied men to serve in their stead, and shall be entitled to a bounty of fifty dollars each.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any company shall refuse to appear, and ballot agreeable to this act, that in that case, the field officers shall point out the men who shall serve. Provided, That it shall not be lawful to vote for any person who shall produce certificates of having actually enlisted regular soldiers, by themselves or some others for them, to serve in the continental army, agreeable to the act passed in May 1777, for encouraging the recruiting service, if such certificates were granted and obtained fairly and without fraud, and the men whose names are therein mentioned were actually enlisted by or on account of the persons claiming such exemptions, the proof thereof to be made agreeable to the directions of this act.

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And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That each and every person who shall voluntarily enter, or be voted into the service as aforesaid, shall be entitled to have and receive from the commanding officer of the county, a pair of shoes and stockings, two shirts, a hunting shirt, waistcoat with sleeves, a pair of breeches, and trowsers, a hat and a blanket, and five yards of tent cloth; and every six men shall be entitled to have and receive from the commanding officer one axe and a pot or a camp kettle.

And in order to procure the Cloathing aforementioned, Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every company shall furnish and provide one pair of shoes and stockings, two shirts, a hunting shirt, a waistcoat with sleeves, a pair of breeches and trowsers, a hat and a blanket, five yards of tent cloth, for each and every man, and one axe and a pot or camp kettle, for every six men raised out of such company respectively. And the said articles shall be valued on oath by three freeholders or householders, who shall grant certificates of valuation to the persons furnishing the same, which certificates, with receipts, endorsed from the commanding officer of the county, for delivery thereof, shall be received by the tax-gatherers in part of public taxes: And if any company shall fail to furnish its quota of cloathing, tent cloth, camp kettles and axes, or any part thereof, the commanding officer of the county shall have power to cause so much of the property of any person or persons belonging to such a company refusing to furnish his or their quota of the aforesaid articles, to be seized and sold, as will procure the cloathing and other articles wanted, and shall grant certificates of the amount, which shall also be received by the tax-gatherers in part of public taxes.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the Brigadier General of each district shall take into their possession and distribute to the troops so raised, such guns as belong to the public and are good and sufficient, and in case there should not be arms for every man, then in that case, the colonel or commanding officer of each county, shall purchase guns for the men marching from the same, and shall give certificates to those from whom the guns are bought, which certificates countersigned by the clerks of the respective counties, shall be paid by the treasurer of either district, and allowed in the settlement of their accounts with the public.

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And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the men who shall be raised in the manner aforesaid in the districts of Halifax, Edenton, Newbern and Wilmington, shall march to Halifax, from thence to Petersburg, in Virginia, and those who shall be raised in the districts of Hillsborough and Salisbury shall rendezvous at Peytonsburg, in Pennsylvania, with all possible expedition, under the command of such continental officer or officers, as the commanding officer in the continental service in this State shall appoint for that purpose, and if there be none such appointed in any county, then the commanding officer of the militia in such county, shall appoint a person to conduct the men thereto belonging either to Halifax or Petersburg in Virginia, as the case may require, there to be delivered to the continental officer appointed to receive them, and such persons shall be allowed captain's pay and rations during the time of his employment; and the men who shall be raised in manner aforesaid, shall serve in the continental battalion of this State, for the space of 9 months from the time that they shall arrive at either of the places aforesaid, unless sooner discharged; and shall be subject to the same rules and discipline, and have the same pay and rations, as the continental troops, from the day of their being voted in, or enlisted.

And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in case any person so voted in, or voluntarily entering as a soldier, agreeable to the directions of this act, shall fail to appear in due time at the place of general rendezvous, or shall desert his duty during the time specified in this act, such person shall, from thenceforward, be held and deemed a continental soldier during the present war, and shall be liable to be taken as such; and every person who shall voluntarily enlist or be voted into the service, in consequence of this act, and shall well and faithfully serve as a soldier, agreeable to the true intent and meaning of this act, shall be free and exempt from serving again as a soldier for the space of three years next after the time of his procuring a certificate of his having served as aforesaid. And if any person shall harbour or conceal any of the men who shall voluntarily enter or be voted into the service as aforesaid, such person, on conviction thereof, before any justice of the peace in the county wherein the offence shall be committed, shall be deemed a continental soldier,

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and shall be turned over by the said justice to a continental Officer, or committed to gaol for that purpose, and shall serve three years, or during the war.

And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid. That the captains of each and every company shall return descriptive list of the men raised in such company, specifying the name, size, age, complexion and occupation of the men so raised, and also the name and number of the company from whence they were taken; and the said commanding officer shall make two fair copies of such descriptive list, one of which he shall deliver to the continental or other officer appointed to take charge of the men and he shall take a receipt for the delivery of the men on the other.

And be it further enacted, That the Quakers, Dunkers, Moravians, and Mennonites shall furnish men in proportion to their respective numbers in each county, and in default thereof, the commanding officer of each and every county is hereby empowered to hire men instead of the men to be by them furnished, and by warrant under his hand, directed to the sheriff of the county, to levy the sum given for such man or men, on the goods and chattels, lands and tenements of any perso belonging to such sect, as shall refuse or fail to find a man or men, agreeable to this act.

And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the men raised in the County of Rowan, and those raised in the County of Guilford, shall have the liberty of electing two Captains for each County, the men raised in New Hanover County and Brunswick shall elect one Captain jointly; and in such Counties as raise more than Fifty Men, the men so raised shall and may elect a captain in every County, and in the Counties which raise a smaller Number than fifty, the Men shall and may elect one Lieutenant for every County, and the persons so elected shall be commissioned accordingly by the Governor, and shall march and continue with their respective companies, with the Rank of Militia and the Pay and Rations of regular Captains and Lieutenants, during the Time of their continuing in the Service.

And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That James Roper and William Sheppard be appointed Contractors for the District of Salisbury, Thomas Hart for the District of Hillsborough, to contract for and purchase Provisions and issue them

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to the men raised in the said Districts until their arrival at Petersburg in Virginia, and that William Bennett be appointed for the District of Edenton, Hardy Bryan for the District of Newbern, Thomas Amis for the District of Wilmington, and William Amis for the District of Halifax, for the like Purposes, until the Men raised in the said Districts respectively shall arrive at Halifax, and then that William Amis be appointed to take charge of all those who rendezvous at Halifax, and conduct them as far as Petersburg: And the said Contractors, and every one of them, shall grant Certificates to the Owners of the Provisions by them respectively furnished, and shall have full power to seize Provisions of every Kind from any Person who shall or may have more Provisions than may be necessary for their own use or Family Consumption, if the Owners shall refuse to sell the same, and shall grant Certificates as aforesaid; and the said Certificates shall be redeemed at the next Session of Assembly, and the said Contractors shall keep regular Accounts of their disbursements or Purchases, and of all Certificates by them granted, that the Assembly may not be defrauded by Claimants, and may more easily settle with the said Contractors, who shall be allowed one Hundred and Twenty Dollars per Month for their Trouble, over and above all sums of Money by them expended for the Purposes aforesaid.

And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the Colonel or Commanding Officer of the Militia in each County be, and he is hereby empowered and required, to furnish the Necessary Wagons and Carts for marching the troops raised in such County, agreeable to the Militia Law.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the Owners of said Waggons shall be allowed Forty Shillings per Day, and Forage and Shoes for their Horses, and every Cart the sum of Twenty shillings per Day, with Forage and Shoes for their Horses; and the said Waggons and Carts, with their Teams, before marching, shall be appraised by three Freeholders that in case of Loss or Death the Owners may be paid for the same.

And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the Continental Deputy Pay Master General be, and he is hereby directed to pay the troops aforesaid; and that his Excellency the

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Governor be, and he is hereby empowered to grant warrants on the Treasury to the said Paymaster for the necessary Sums, taking Security for due Application of the same.