George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Artemas Ward, 29 July 1776

To Major General Artemas Ward

Head-Quarters N. York July 29th 1776.

Dear sir

Yours of 22d Instant I Received pr Post, and note the Contents, The Company of Artificers you mention are much wanted, would have you1 order them on with all convenient Dispatch, it was necessary the troops on their March for Ticonderoga should be furnished with powder & Ball, I have wrote several times about the remaining part of the Arms which you have not noticed in your Letters—there is yet a deficiency in the Carbines—not all of them arrived, these with the other Arms taken in different Vessels I wish you to send on, I am exceedingly anxious to know if you have forwarded the powder I mentioned, what Quantity and where Store’d,2 I must beg your answer to these particulars in your next, The Pork taken from Ireland the Commissary General requests may all be secured for the use of the Army, and desires you will order the Deputy Commissary Mr Miller to secure it in store ’till he receives his orders respecting it,3 Colo. Hutchinsons & Serjeants Regts have arrived with one man who has the Small Pox, but hope to be able to prevent the spreading of that fatal Disorder, The Enemies fleet are daily arriving—it appears they must have been much scattered on their passage, as they come in sometimes single, at others 3, 4, & so on, I hope our Cruisers may pick up some of them. I am sir Your Most Hume servt

Go: Washington

P.S. We are in distressing want of Artillery Men, if You can make any tolerable Shift, I must urge your sending on Capt. Burbeck with his Company, as soon as possible.4 I am &c.


LS, in Samuel Blachley Webb’s writing, MHi: Ward Papers; LB, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Webb inadvertently wrote “your” in the manuscript of the LS. The LB reads “& I would have you.”

2For GW’s instructions regarding gunpowder, see his letters to Ward of 7 and 19 July.

3In a letter to Commissary General Joseph Trumbull of 22 July, Charles Miller, the deputy commissary in Boston, wrote: “Yesterday a large Transport [the Queen of England] came into our Eelpot, the Fort fired on her, the Captain [James Arnout] sent his Boat on Shore to know the Reason, why he was fired at, our People detained the Boat & Men, & sent a Boat & Men of their Own on Board, & bro’t her Safe to Town—she has on Board 1,500 bls Beef & Pork, a quantity of Butter & Oatmeal & several other Articles.” Trumbull enclosed an extract of Miller’s letter in his letter to Hancock of this date, and in the postscript Trumbull writes: “I have order’d Mr Miller to secure the Eatables on Board the Transport, for the Continental Service, & Genl Washington has wrote on the Subject to Genll Ward” (DNA:PCC, item 78).

4Edward Burbeck (1741–1782) was commissioned a captain in Col. Richard Gridley’s Massachusetts artillery regiment in June 1775 and moved to Knox’s Continental artillery regiment in December 1775. Burbeck apparently left the army at the end of 1776.

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