Artificers Recruited at York
Just as today, during the Revolutionary War the Army needed a lot more than men who could shoot a rifle. An Army can’t function without support–personnel that gathers the supplies, feeds the soldiers, and keeps the equipment running.
The following recruiting ad comes from the Pennsylvania Gazette, printed in York, PA during Continental Congress’s stay here:
“York-Town, February 7, 1778.
To all Gentlemen ARTIFICERS,
WHO prefer LIBERTY to SLAVERY, and are hearty friends to the GRAND AMERICAN CAUSE, who are free, able and willing to serve the United States of America, during the war or for three years, in the character of an artificer, such as Carpenters, Black-smiths, Gun-smiths, Lock-smith, Wheel-wrights, &c. has now an opportunity of shewing their abilities in mechanism, by inlisting into the corps of artificers (commanded by COL. BENJAMIN FLOWER) now employed at the public works near Carlisle, let them appear to Lieutenant JAMES GIBSON, at Mr. Jacob Gardiner’s in York-Town, or at the public works, where they shall enter into present pay and good quarters, at Thirty Dollars per month, a suit of cloaths bounty, and a suit of cloaths every year, blanket, &c. None will be accepted but men of good characters and good workmen.”
Artificers, you may have guessed, refers to skilled craftsmen. The public works referred to was at Washingtonburg, now Carlisle Barracks, in Cumberland County. The pay of $30 a month certainly wasn’t bad. It was roughly equivalent to that of a Lieutenant in the regular army.
Click here for more information on the York-printed Pennsylvania Gazette.