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South Carolina Militia

Instructions to Major FERGUSON, Inspector of Militia.

By Virtue of the Commission of Inspector of Militia, with which you are vested, you will use your best Endeavours, without Loss of Time, to form into Corps all the Young or unmarried Men of the Province of Georgia and the two Carolina's as Opportunity shall offer, to serve under the Orders of Lieutenant General Earl CORNWALLIS, or other General Officer, commanding in these Provinces.

This Militia you will form into Companies consisting of, from 50 to 100 Men each, and will when the local and other Circumstances will admit of it, form Battalions consisting of, from 6 to 12 Companies each, allowing such as cannot conveniently be assembled in Battalions, to remain as Independent Companies.

Each Company to be under a Lieutenant chosen by the Men, to whom you may add if you find it necessary, an Ensign from the Non Commissioned Officers and others who have served in the Army, to assist in establishing a certain Degree of Order, Regularity and Discipline, which however must be done with great Caution, so as not to disgust the Men, or mortify unnecessarily, the Love of Freedom.

Major TIMPANY of the 3d Battalion of Jersey Volunteers will act under you as Major and Captn. Lieutt. Frederick DePEYSTER as Captain in the First Battalion to which you will appoint an Adjutant and Quarter Master, each to do the Duty of the other when necessary; also a Surgeon.

The Officers during actual Service to have Army Pay, and those already in the regular Service only one Pay.

Each Company may be allowed two Serjeants, two Corporals and one Horn. The other Battalions to have a similar Establishment.

In order to procure the general and hearty Concurrence of the loyal Inhabitants it is of the first Importance to limit their Service to a precise Term and to remove all Distrust, that they may entertain of being drawn into the regular Service without their Consent; for which Purpose you will furnish each of them when they engage with a written Certificate in the following Words.

"By Order of Sir Henry CLINTON K.B. Commander in Chief &c I hereby certify that A.B. has joined the British Army as a Militia Man and not as Regular Soldier, and has only engaged to serve any Six Months of the ensuing twelve that may be required.

"I further certify that he is entitled to Six Pence Sterling Per Day and Provisions during the Time of his actual Service, and is not obliged under any Pretence to march beyond North Carolina or Georgia, and he is hereby absolutely freed from all further Claims of serving with the Army after the [blank] Day of [blank] being the Expiration of his Term."

Such as freely engage to enlist in the regular Forces, after 3 Days Consideration are not to be refused, but the Militia Men are to be protected from those Snares & Frauds frequently employed to entrap Men against their Consent, to the Prejudice and Dishonor of the Profession.

You will furnish each Man with Ammunition and Oznabrigs for a Rifle Shirt, and when practicable supply those with Arms who have none. Those who are averse to serve on foot, may be allowed to served on Horse-Back at their own Expence; and in a word, you are to endeavour to derive as much Advantage as possible from their Services at as little Expence as may be.

All Disbursements of Pay abovementioned, and unavoidable Contingencies, you will receive from the Paymaster of the Army, or of the Provincial Forces by Warrant from the Commander in Chief or General Officer Commanding in Carolina.

On every Occasion you will pay particular Attention to restrain the Militia from offering Violence to innocent and inoffensive People, and by all means in your Power protect the Aged, the Infirm, the Women and Children of every Denomination from Insult or Outrage, endeavouring as much as possible to subsist your Men and supply their Wants, at the Expence of the known & obstinate Enemies of the King and Constitution alone.

Beside this Body of Militia to act offensively with the Army, you will promote the Establishment of a domestick Militia for the Maintenance of Peace and good Order throughout the Country, composed of the Men who have Families under their own Officers, ready to assemble occasionally in their several Districts.

These Instructions and every Thing relating to the Militia to be subject to such Alterations and Restrictions as may be ordered by Lieut. Genl. Earl CORNWALLIS or other General Officer Commanding His Majesty's Forces in the Carolinas and Georgia for the Time being.

Given under my Hand at Head Quarters in Charlestown May 22d. 1780.

Signed.     H: CLINTON

University of Michigan, William L. Clements Library, Sir Henry Clinton Papers, Volume 100, item 15.

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