George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Nathanael Greene, 29 October 1776

From Major General Nathanael Greene

Fort Lee [N.J.] Octr 29. 1776

Dear Sir

Inclosed is an Estimate made of the Provisions and Provinder, necessary to be laid in, at the different Posts, between this and Philadelphia, to form a communication; and for the support of the Troops, passing and repassing from the different States.1

Your Excellency will please to examine it, and signafy your Pleasure. Shoud the Estimate be larger than is necessary for the Consumption of the Army, very little or no loss can arise, as the Articles will be laid in at a season when the prises of things are at the lowest rates; and the situations will admit of an easy transportation to Market by Water.2

The Ships have fallen down the North River and the Troops which advanced upon Harlem-Plains, and on the Hill where the Monday Action was, have drawn within their lines again.3

I receiv’d the Prisoners taken, and have forwarded them to Philadelphia—I enclose you a Return of the Troops at this Post, who are chiefly raw and undisaplin’d.4 I am with great Respect Your Excellencys Most Obedt humble Servt

Nathanael Greene


1See the enclosure printed as an appendix to this letter.

2Robert Hanson Harrison replied to this letter on 3 Nov., informing Greene that GW “has examined the estimate of provisions & provender & approves not only of the Quantities but of the places you have fixed upon for ’em to be deposited at. he concurs entirely in your Observation, that no loss can arise, though the Estimate should prove rather large, but of that there will be little doubt, as our consumption and demands will be extremely great” (DLC:GW).

3Greene is referring to the skirmish of Sunday, 27 Oct. (see Greene to GW, that date).

4Greene apparently enclosed “A Return of the Forces encamped on the Jersey Shore, under the command of Major-General Greene, Fort Lee, October 26, 1776,” which is in Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 5th ser., 2:1250. Composed of Gen. Daniel Roberdeau’s and Gen. James Ewing’s brigades and Col. Richard McAllister’s and Col. Jacob Klotz’s regiments, Greene’s force on that date had totals of 222 commissioned officers, 25 staff officers, 291 noncommissioned officers, and 2,944 rank and file, of whom 2,146 were present and fit for duty.

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