London May 26th 1783-
In Complyance with your request to me to State the Claims of the American Legion in writing for your Consideration, I beg leave to observe, that It appears by my Warrant, that the Corps was to Consist of One Colonel, two Lieut. Colonels, two Majors, Eleven Captains, Sixteen Lieutenants, Sixteen Cornets and Ensigns, and Nine hundred and Sixty Non-Commissioned Officers, and Soldiers.
It also appears by the Returns that there has been appointed, and now belong to the Legion One Major, Six Captains, five Lieutenants, three Cornets and Ensigns, who ought to have raised 331 Men to Intitle them to their Commissions, Vizt.
It also appears by the Returns made in March 1782 that the Above mentioned officers had then Inlisted 386 Men, which was 55 over, and above their Compliment, 39 of whom were Claimed, and Delivered up to the Navy, tho' in my Opinion very Unjustly, as they were Deserters from Mr. Washington's Army, who had previous to their being Inlisted, gone through an Examination at Head Quarters, and the Commandants, and had taken an Oath that they Did not belong to the Navy, yet afterwards (at the Instance of Colonel INNES) when they had Spent their Bounty, they were given up to the Navy, without any other proof than their base Assertion, that they once belonged to It;
and the Officers who Inlisted them and paid their Bounty on their being Inspected, were very Unjustly Subjected to the loss of their Bounty, Pay, and Cloathing which they had Advanced to them. The Men Claimed and delivered to the Navy Since March 1782, have been more than replaced by those Inlisted since, and these Men have been raised at an Expence of upwards of Four thousand Guineas to the Officers.
When these things are Considered and that the Fifteen Officers Appointed have (Notwithstanding every Impediment,) not only raised their full Compliment, but 46 Men over and Above, by the 15th of March 1782, (at which time most of them were prevented from recruiting by a General Order,) I make no doubt that your Excellency will agree with me, that they have great Merit, and are Justly Intitled to half pay, and that You will recommend them for the Same, especially when you Consider the Sacrifices which they have made, by Joining the Kings Arms, and the very great Expence they have Incurred by Recruiting (which I believe exceeds what would have been necessary to have raised a Compleat Regiment early in the War,) and has ruined most of them, who have now no dependence, but on their half pay, which they understood was promised them by Your Excellencey, and they Conceive that they have an equal Claim to It, with the Officers of other Regiments, altho the Legion has not been compleated to It's full numbers, yet their numbers have been greater in proportion to the Number of Officers who Claim half pay, than those of many other Corps who have been Recommended.
I have the honor to be with great Respect Sir,
Sir Henry CLINTON
University of Michigan, William L. Clements Library, Sir Henry Clinton Papers, Volume 197, item 40.
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