Q.Did the army actively recruit, and by what means?
Arun Kosaraju, Muncie, Indiana
A.The Museum of the Valley Forge Historical Society does not have any original recruitment broadsides in the collection. The Museum Store for the VFHS does sell a replica of one printed on parchment — it does not have any images at all. Many would try and attract attention by the "perks" that were identified: pay, food, clothes and bonuses at the end of the subscription of service. One particular broadside uses images of soldiers, demonstrating the movement of using a firearm. The language on such would go like this:
TO ALL BRAVE, HEALTHY, ABLE BODIED, AND WELL DISPOSED YOUNG MEN,
IN THIS NEIGHBOURHOOD,
WHO HAVE ANY INCLINATION TO JOIN THE TROOPS,
NOW RAISING UNDER GENERAL WASHINGTON
FOR THE DEFENCE OF THE LIBERTIES
AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES,
AGAINST THE HOSTILE DESIGNS OF FOREIGN ENEMIES,
THAT, (days of the week; place, who) COUNTY, ATTENDANCE WILL BE GIVEN BY (who) WITH HIS MUSIC AND RECRUITING PARTY OF (regiment) COMPANY IN (battallion) OF THE 11TH REGIMENT INFANTRY, COMMANDED BY LIEUTENANT COLONEL AARON OGDEN FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING THE ENROLLMENT OF SUCH YOUTH OF SPIRIT, AS MAY BE WILLING TO ENTER INTO THIS HONOURABLE SERVICE. THE ENCOURAGEMENT AT THIS TIME, TO ENLIST, IS TRULY LIBERAL AND GENEROUS, NAMELY A BOUNTY OF TWELVE DOLLARS, AN ANNUAL AND FULLY SUFFICIENT SUPPLY OF GOOD AND HANDSOME CLOTHING, A DAILY ALLOWANCE OF A LARGE AND AMPLE RATION OF PROVISIONS, TOGETHER WITH SIXTY DOLLARS A YEAR IN GOLD AND SILVER MONEY ON ACCOUNT OF PAY, THE WHOLE WHICH THE SOLDIER MAY LAY UP FOR HIMSELF AND FRIENDS AS ALL ARTICLES PROPER FOR HIS SUBSISTANCE AND COMFORT ARE PROVIDED BY LAW, WITHOUT ANY EXPENCE TO HIM. THOSE WHO MAY FAVOUR THIS RECRUITING PARTY WITH THEIR ATTENDANCE AS ABOVE, WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY OF HEARING AND FREEING IN A MORE PARTICULAR MANNER THE GREAT ADVANTAGES WHICH THEIR BRAVE MEN WILL HAVE, WHO SHALL EMBRACE THIS OPPORTUNITY OF SPENDING A FEW HAPPY YEARS IN VIEWING THE DISTANT PARTS OF THIS BEAUTIFUL CONTINENT IN THE HONOURABLE AND TRULY RESPECTABLE CHARACTER OF A SOLDIER, AFTER WHICH, HE MAY, IF HE PLEASES RETURN HOME TO HIS FRIENDS, WITH HIS POCKETS FULL OF MONEY AND HIS HEAD COVERED WITH LAURELS.
GOD SAVE THE UNITED STATES.
SAS, Courtesy The Valley Forge Historical Society