From James Mease
Lancaster [Pa.] Jany 18 1778
I had the honor of your Excellency’s favor of the 10 Inst. respecting the materials sent by the state of Virginia for the use of the troops1 nothing was left here that had come forward except about 1500 Ells of cloth which I had put into the taylors hands immediatly but As it will be some considerable time before they could be all made here owing to the scarcity of hands as well as that the Council of this state having seized all that Cloth wh. had been taken by your Excellency’s order from Jos. Carson, have employ’d a number of them with it I have thought proper to deliver Lieut. Gambell 463 Coats cut out, with all the materials requisite for making them up, in order that they may be made at Camp.2 Your Excellency will please to direct whose hands they shall be delivered into, that they maybe answerable for them. There are a Quantity of materials at Fishkill on the way from Boston wh. have been expecting all this week but I beleive they cannot be got over the North River. when they arrive a great many more hands could be employ’d than I can get here. there was but six taylors could be found amongst the New England troops that are here which are set to work. If 50 or 100 could be collected from the Army it would Expedite the working up of the Clothing very much. If your Excellency should approve of this measure I should be glad to be directed how much to pay the men for their work. I am of opinion the same number of men will do twice the work here that they can do at Camp on Account of the conveniency wh. arises from being in a town where supplies of little necessary Articles may be had occaisionally There are Amongst the things at Fish kill about 2000 pr shoes & I hope the Hide department will shortly produce them in considerable numbers. The moment the rest of the Articles from Virginia arrive here they shall be pushd forward to Head Quarters but it has been impossible this whole week past for even footmen to get over susquehanah. I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect your Excellency’s most obdt & most Humble servt
1. Joseph Clark noted in his diary that “About the 10th of January, 1778, a quantity of blankets, stockings and shoes arrived at camp from Virginia, and were distributed among the Virginia troops” (Clark, “Diary,” description begins “Diary of Joseph Clark, Attached to the Continental Army, from May, 1778, to November, 1779.” Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society 7 (1853-55): 93–110. description ends 103). GW’s letter, presumably about the arrival of this shipment of clothing, has not been found.
2. For the seizure of clothing from Joseph Carson, see Mease to GW, 16 Dec. 1777, n.4. Robert Gamble (1754–1810), a merchant from Augusta County, Va., became a first lieutenant of the 12th Virginia Regiment in September 1776 and a captain of the same regiment in March 1778, continuing in the regiment after it was renamed the 8th Virginia in September of that year. Gamble was taken prisoner at the Battle of Camden, S.C., in August 1780, but apparently secured his exchange by the end of that year, and served as a captain until January 1783.