"...Capt Valentine Opp has raised a Company for the Flying Camp in Bucks County, and his Men refused to march until they had receivd their bounty Money."
On June 3, 1776, the Continental Congress authorized the formation of a "flying camp" of light reserve troops, numbering some 10,000 men. Washington had requested this corps as early as March 1776, realizing that the American army had a huge swathe of territory to defend, and thus needed a quick reaction force that could respond to British raids and feints across the eastern seaboard. The Flying Camp was intended to consist of militiamen from Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, who would be fed and paid like regular soldiers and discharged by December 1, 1776. As Howell's letter (transcribed fully below) shows, recruiting for this formation was nearly as problematic as raising men for the Continental regiments, further complicating the manpower issues that plagued the American war effort for the first few years of the rebellion.