To Brigadier General Henry Knox
Head Quarters Valley Forge 15th Jany 1778
Should it be thought expedient to draw a Body of Men together early next Spring, it will be necessary for us to know precisely what number of Arms we could have ready for such an emergency. I have desired Colo. Flowers to make me a return of all at the magazines under his immediate direction, & have wrote to the Commissary at Springfield to do the like.1 You will be pleased to make the proper inquiry for such as may be in Boston and any other places in Massachusets and new Hampshire, have them collected and properly deposited, and a return of them made to me as soon as possible. There may probably be quantities of Arms laying up and down useless at present for want of repairing. be pleased to endeavour to have them collected and put into a way of being fitted up.
I shall be glad to hear what steps are taking to recruit the Army, and of any other matters that relate to the service. I am Dear Sir Your most obet Servt
LS (photocopy), in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, OCHP; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. Tench Tilghman wrote to Lt. Col. Benjamin Flower on GW’s behalf on this date: “His Excellency desires that you will, as soon as possible, make him an exact Return of all the Arms in the different Magazines under your particular direction. We have wrote to Springfeild and the other Magazines to the Eastward for the Returns from thence. What Arms want repairing, you will order to be compleated as soon as possible” (DLC:GW). GW’s letter of this date to Ezekiel Cheever, commissary of military stores at Springfield, Mass., reads: “I desire you will immediately make me an exact Return of the Arms And Accoutrements at Springfeild, those out of Repair as well as those that are compleat. What Arms want repairing are to be put in order as soon as possible” (Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcriptDLC:GW).