George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Board of War, 18 October 1778

To the Board of War

Head Quarters [Fredericksburg] Octor 18th 1778.


Major Nicholas has been with me and reported the state of the Cloathing—and also the forwardness in which it is, for coming on. I was sorry to find by his account, that the whole of the shoes will not exceed seven thousand pair. This I thought it my duty to inform the Board of, as the supply will not more than answer the Instant—pressing wants of the Troops, who are actually barefoot. I fear we shall Suffer greatly in this necessary article, unless every possible exertion is used to prevent it. The demands are continual—and too large a quantity cannot be provided. I have the honor to be with great respect Gentn your most Obed. Servt

Go. Washington

p.s. Major Nicholas who has returned to the Eastward, informed me the Cloathing was of excellent quality and in very good order—Viz. the Coats, Jackets & Breeches. But from the account of Mister Kemper, one of Mister Mease’s assistants, many of the Blankets—which he has just opened, are so small that four of them joined together, will not exceed the common & necessary size of one. It is reported here that a Ship from Spain has just arrived at Baltimore with a very considerable cargoe, perhaps she may have some Blankets.


Copy, enclosed in Richard Peters to Henry Laurens, 26 Oct. 1778, DNA:PCC, item 147; Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read Peters’s letter to Laurens of 26 Oct. and its enclosure on 27 Oct. and referred them to the committee on the clothier general’s department (see docket and 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 , 12:1066). Peters replied to GW on behalf of the Board of War on 27 October.

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