George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Board of War, 25 May 1779

From the Board of War

War Office [Philadelphia] 25 May 1779


We have the Honour of transmitting the foregoing Extracts which will sufficiently explain themselves.1 It will never do in the present low State of our Magazines for any other Persons to draw upon them but those vested with the Authority by Congress.2 We have the Honour to be very respectfully your obed. Servants

Richard Peters
By order


1Written above this letter were two extract copies of other letters. The first extract was of a letter from commissary of military stores Ezekiel Cheever, presumably to the Board of Ordnance, dated 15 May at Springfield, Mass.: “I recd last Evening by Express from Genl Clinton & P.V. Renslaer public Storekeeper Orders for 30 Tons Lead, 15 Tons Powder, 200 Rheams Musket Cartridge Paper, 100 Rheams Cannon Cartridge Paper, 6 Barrells Flints, 200 lb. Twine, 100 lb. Thread 2000 Cartridge Boxes, 100 Drums, 200 Drum Heads, 600 Drum Snares, 100 Fifes. I have about 20 Tons of Lead on Hand & daily expect more to the Amt of 25 Tons. I hear many Teams with Lead are coming on but the Difficulty of obtaining Fodder detains them. I have on Hand abt 200,000 Cartridges, 70 Barrells Powder.”

The second extract was of a letter from the Board of Ordnance to Cheever, dated 25 May: “The order from General [Clinton] and Mr Van Rensalaer we confess surprizes us. We know not its foundation, but this we well know that the State of our Magazines will not afford such a draft—Send however one fourth part of the Articles as we do not know how the occasion on which the Stores are called for may press—We have sent a Copy of the demand to the Commander in Chief, and if you receive additional orders from him you will obey them, and them only—If the Stores called for, are destined for the use we conceive, provission is already made in another Quarter—Do not fail in future to regulate yourself by the inclosed arrangement of the Ordnance department.”

2For the regulations for the ordnance department that Congress established on 18 Feb., see 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 , 13:201–6.

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