George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Stirling, 1 May 1778

From Major General Stirling

Camp Valley Forge May 1st 1778


I beg leave to lay the enclosed account before your Excellency, which only Contains, some of the principal losses I have met with in the Service of the United States, the Smaller ones I have kept no Account of. These losses would amount to more than any pay I have yet received in the Service, and I cannot Suppose it will be thought reasonable that I should be the Sufferer. If your Excellency should think that you are not impowered to order the Account to be liquidated and discharged; I must ask the favour of you to transmit it to Congress for their Order thereon.1 I am your Excellency’s Most Obedient and Most Humble Servant


ALS, DNA:PCC, item 152; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169.

1Stirling’s enclosed account, dated 30 April at Valley Forge, held “The United States of America” liable “For Two horses Saddles and Bridles lost on long Island the 27th August 1776 both very good horses.

“For all my Baggage and furniture left at New York by my being Suddenly ordered over to Long Island, and lost in Consequence of my being taken prisoner, the Value of which would amont to Several hundred pounds.

“For two very good horses, Saddles and Bridles lost at Trentown the 27th December 1776. being obliged in order to facillitate the passage of the Troops, to leave them horses on the East side of the River Delaware, in the night they were Stolen.

“For One very fine horse killed under me in Covering the Retreat of our Army from German Town the 4th of October 1777. I cannot now purchase so fine and Good a horse for 1000 Dolrs.

“For a Very Neat Silver Mounted fusee a pair of Screw Barreled Pistols and a pair of double Barreled d[itt]o all of the large Size, Silver Mounted & of the best Work” (DNA:PCC, item 152). GW replied to Stirling on this date that he could not order payment and forwarded Stirling’s letter and account to Henry Laurens on 4 May. Congress read them on the following day and referred them to the Board of Treasury (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 11:458).

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