To Jeremiah Wadsworth
West point July 25th 1779
By a letter from Col. Hall to Genl Gist—who was left with his Regt to guard the stores at Middle Brook I find that magazines of provision are laying up there1—as this is both contrary to my wish & orders2 I must beg you will let me know the reasons for establishing a magazine in that part of the Country or whether such a thing has actually been don, or is intended.3 I am Sir Yr Most Obet servt
LS, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, CtHi: Washington Letters and Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. This letter from Col. David Hall to Brig. Gen. Mordecai Gist has not been identified, but it was forwarded in a letter from Gist to GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison, written at “Camp Butter Milk Falls” on 24 July. Gist’s letter reads: “I herewith enclose you a letter from Colonel Hall of the Delaware Regiment which You will please to lay before his Excellency and Communicate his Answer to me to be forwarded to Middle Brook” (NN: Mordecai Gist Letter Book).
GW’s aide-de-camp Richard Kidder Meade replied to Gist on 27 July: “His Excellency has heard from the Commissary Genl, who informs that he knows of no orders to lay up a magazine at Middle Brook—& every kind of store there being ordered on immediately you will be pleased to desire Col. Hall to come on as soon as the principal part of the sick are discharged from the Hospital in that neighbourhood” (DLC:GW; see also n.3 below).
3. Wadsworth’s reply to GW, written at New Windsor on 26 July, reads: “I this moment recd Your letter of Yesterday respecting Magazines of provision laying up at Middlebrook. I neither have ordered or know of any Magazines at that place, and believe nothing more is intended than making that a Post to lay down the Provisions from Trenton as the Teams generally return from Middlebrook. but as the Comy Genl of Issues has the direction of all the Provisions from Philadelphia it may be his Order to form a Magazine at Middlebrook, but I think it very improbable, Col. Biddle has this moment wrote to the Quarter Master at that place to send on all the Provision & forrage not necessary for the Post” (LB, CtHi: Jeremiah Wadsworth Papers; see also Wadsworth to Nathanael Greene, 26 July, in Greene Papers, description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends 4:268). Col. Clement Biddle’s letter to the quartermaster at Middlebrook has not been identified, but Q.M. Gen. Nathanael Greene wrote Biddle from West Point on 28 July in a letter that in part reads: “I am exceedingly obligd to you for the Orders you have given respecting the Provision[s] at Middle Brook” (Greene Papers, description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends 4:273–74).