To John Chaloner
Valley-forge March 26th 1778.
You are to delay no time in providing a quantity of Indian Meal, as a number of Men are expected to join the Army soon who will have to undergo Inoculation for the Smallpox. I am &ca
ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The draft is docketed in part, “Copy of a Letter to the purchg Comy.”
On 27 Mar., Chaloner, the assistant commissary general of purchases with the army at Valley Forge, wrote to Thomas Huggins at Head of Elk, Md., and Robert McGarmant at Dover, Del.: “This morning I recd an order from His Excellency The Commander in Chief to procure a sufficient quantity of Indian Meal for the support of a Very Considerable number of Troops whilst under innoculation in Camp. You must therefore on Rect of this purchase 2,000 Bushells of Indian Corn, one half of which send to Camp immediately in the ear & the residue have manufactured into meal & forward with all expedition.
“The troops about to be Innoculated are Recruits who cannot be capable of service untill recovered & as the General is desirous of having the Army early in the field much depends on this Article being provided in time, all business whatever must give way to this and you must hold yourself accountable for the want of the Necessary supply should it not arrive in time” (Ephraim Blaine Papers, DLC: Peter Force Collection).