American Discharge Papers
American Discharge Papers - This packet contains the known discharge papers used by the Continental Army.
Discharge signed by Washington - By the summer of 1783, it was apparent that there would be little if any more fighting. In a cost-cutting move, Congress decided to furlough the army, allowing the men to go home. This furlough policy kept Congress from having to pay the troops, but allowed that the soldiers could be called back into service if necessary. The paper includes the paragraph on the back about the furlough becoming a discharge upon the ratification of a treaty of peace.
Discharge signed by Lincoln - Other Continental troops not stationed at New York were given these furloughs/discharges, which were signed by Benjamin Lincoln, the officer that accepted the British surrender at Yorktown.
Discharge signed by Knox - The Continental troops stationed around West Point were given papers signed by Henry Knox, the former Boston bookseller who was now Continental chief of artillery.
Discharge Pay Voucher - This piece of paper was given to the soldiers by Congress as an equivalent to the back pay owed the soldier. At the end of the war, Congress had almost no money left. These vouchers were given, but the soldier was expected to collect his funds from his home state.