To Joseph Trumbull
Head Quarters [New York] June 9th 1776
I herewith transmit you the Resolutions of Congress for several Augmentations of the Army1—With Respect to Canada, I must inform you, that the last Accounts abound with Complaints of the deplorable Scarcity of Provisions, which our Men labour under; and mention the Impossibility of procuring Relief in that Colony—you will therefore, with all Expedition, forward a Supply of Meat and Flower; (particularly of the latter) to Albany—As there is a Reinforcement of six thousand Men shortly to be sent to Canada, there is a Prospect of the Want of Necessaries being still increased—in making Provision for the Troops already there, you must have a View to the Augmentation, which I fear will be sent before any Preparation can be made for them by Mr Price.
As to the flying Camp, it is probable, that it’s first Station will be in the Neighbourhood of Amboy.2 I am Sir, your most obedient Servant
P.S. I am informed, that several Merchants are about to purchase Salt Pork for Exportation; and I would recommend it to you to apply immediately to the Provincial Congress, to take some Measures to prevent them, as there is not only a Probability that it may fall into the Hands of the Enemy, but we may ’ere long experience the Want of it ourselves.3
LS, in Alexander Contee Hanson’s writing, Ct: Trumbull Papers; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. GW enclosed copies of Congress’s resolutions of 1 and 3 June calling for militia reinforcements for Canada and New York and for a “flying camp” in the middle colonies. Congress requested 6,000 militiamen to serve in Canada and on the routes to Canada, 13,800 militiamen to reinforce the army at New York, and 10,000 militiamen for the flying camp (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 4:410–13).
2. The formation of a “flying camp” in the middle colonies was recommended by the committee of conference that met with GW in Philadelphia in late May as a way to defend the area between New York and Philadelphia. Congress approved this mobile strategic reserve on 3 June and called on Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware to furnish the 10,000 militiamen authorized for it (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 4:400, 412–13). GW appointed Gen. Hugh Mercer commander of the flying camp in July, but the militia were slow in turning out. The strength of the flying camp apparently never exceeded five thousand men, and when the militia enlistments expired on 1 Dec., it was disbanded. The troops of the flying camp were used principally to defend New York City.