George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Charles Young, 21 July 1778

From Charles Young

FishKill [N.Y.] 21 July 1778


I have your Excellencys favour of this morning, and am to acquaint you, that on my coming here last Thursday,1 I found in different places at this post, 94 Hogsheads of Clothing. My Instructions on my leaving Mr Mease were, to forward all stores on to philada I thought necessary, that I might meet on the road or find h⟨ere⟩. On Examing these, I found 85 packages were Appropriated to particular regiments, & markd or Addressd to the Commanding Officers of such, This Occasiond my concluding to continue them here, & Immediately wrote Mr Mease what I had done: The Teams I applyed for, were to remove the remaining 9 Hhds to fishKill Landing, 5 of which I wrote the Qtmr on the other side2 to prepare teams for, to send to phila., The other 4, were to have been sent from the Landing to Tarry town by Water, Addressd to Mr Kemper. The Invoice of the 9 Hhds is herewith enclosed, that your Excellency can Judge the propriety of my proceedings.3 How such a representation could have been made your Excellency, I cannot conceive, It was really far from my design to Execute. Your Excellencys favour will procure me the Teams so long applied for, in the Morng, so that some good is like to arise from this misinformation.

A Mr Measam has come to this post from Albany, by order Genl Gates, at a time Mr Mease’s Assistant was acting here, on which account the latter resign⟨d.⟩4 Mr Measam is a Gent:, who does not View himself accountable to Mr Mease for his proceedings. Three Hogsheads of Blanketts came this day from Boston to him, Tho’ I did not Expect attention would be paid to my request, I thought it my duty to require his Assistant (he being ⟨mutilated)⟩ to send them on with the 4 hogsheads to Tarry town, His reply was, Mr Measams orders to him were, on their coming to receive them, & Immediately acquaint Genl Gates, who would direct their distribution, & from which he could not alter.5

Your Excellency may be Assured that during my Stay here, I shall forward all on to the Army of Cloathing Kind, that comes to my Knowledge. I have the honour to be Your Excellencys most Obt hble Servt

Cha. Young D.C.G.


1The previous Thursday was 16 July.

2The quartermaster at Newburgh, N.Y., was Andrew Taylor.

3The invoice includes a note: “47 Hhds of the 85. are for Genl Knoxs Artillery, The rest for diff. regts of the Eastern troops” (DLC:GW). GW’s assistant secretary James McHenry replied to Young on 23 July: “The General is surprised, that you did not, on finding the 85 packages marked for particular Regiments give immediate notice to the commanding officers. This ought to have been done with the smallest loss of time as the Regiments were at hand to receive them which a day might alter by their being ordered on detachments.

“It is not his intention that any thing should be sent to Philadelphia that can be made up as conveniently in the neighbourhood of the army. The General directs that all possible industry may be used in collecting and forwarding Shoes—Shirts and all such light articles as the army more immediately wants He cannot but blame the great inattention which has uniformly marked the Clothiers department. He is assured that to this cause is to be attributed, why the soldiery have been so ill supplied, while the goods they were suffering for lay in the places where landed when they were bought—or in different parts along the road, without the necessary exertion to have them brought on to Camp And he expect in future more attention and regard will be paid to your department” (DLC:GW).

4George Measam (died c.1783), a Montreal merchant who acted as commissary of stores for the Continental army during the 1775–76 Canadian campaign, was appointed commissary of clothing for the northern army in October 1776. In June 1780 Congress appointed Measam to be a commissioner of the Chamber of Accounts. Clothier General James Mease had appointed Peter Hughes as the assistant clothier at Fishkill, N.Y., in October 1777, and he served until June 1778. Measam arrived at Fishkill between June 11 and 18.

5Measam was en route to Boston to expedite the shipment of clothing. Measam’s assistant, the clothier at Fishkill at this time, was Peter Hansen. His letter to Gates requesting orders about issuing 176 blankets is dated 27 July (NHi: Gates Papers). For more of Measam’s activities, see his letter to Gates of 28 July (DLC:GW).

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