George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko, July 1779

From Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko

[July 1779]


I have only two Masons as yet Some from the Main Army, and do not expect any more, the Officers being unvilling to part with them. I applyed to the Detachements here who had a number of them, wrote to the Officers in the most pressing terms shewing the necessity of it but got nonce.

I am out of the lime, it is true I have a promise of having some more but when I cannot tele.

One of the Justice wrote to Mr Whiting G:Q:M: that General Green has excused the Inhabitants from sending more Teams than Ten,1 I suppose he has in view to imploy the Teams of the Brygades, as they do nothing at Present to ease the Burthen of the In habitants.2

I have Twenty Carpenters Sick by raison of drinking Water in this hot Weather (as they say) they suppose that one Half Gill added to them3 daily allowance would remedy the Evil.4

Col: Stewert was so good as to let me have a Stone Cutter from his Regiment5 for one Week I wish to have him for a Month having much to do and know not where to find another. Your Excellency with parfect Respect very Humble Servant.

Thad: Kosciuszko col.

ALS, DLC:GW. The docket of this letter supplies the date.

1This letter has not been identified, but Q.M. Gen. Nathanael Greene wrote Col. James Thompson on 10 July: “There is an application from Timothy Whiting D.Q.M.G. at Westpoint for 24 Teams for the use of the Garrison to forward the fortifications. John Wheeler Justice of the peace to whom application has been made, says the people are so engagd in harvesting their Grain, that it is impossible for him to procure the complement. He thinks he can get one half the number. You will therefore endeavor to make up the defic[i]ency and send to Westpoint as soon as possible; and you will also send a Waggon Master to this justice Wheeler who lives in Warwick to take charge of the Country Teams and conduct them down to Westpoint. No time is to be lost in this business, as all things will be at a stand at that place until the Teams arrives there” (DNA:PCC, item 173).

Timothy Whiting, Jr. (1758–1826), then quartermaster of the garrison at West Point, had served as a private in the Lexington Alarm of April 1775 and then as a sergeant major in Col. Ebenezer Bridge’s Massachusetts Regiment until that December. He became a lieutenant in the 16th Continental Infantry Regiment in January 1776 and served in that regiment until that December. Whiting received an appointment as an assistant deputy quartermaster general in 1777 and served in that office until June 1780. For his activities after the war in Lancaster, Worcester County, Mass., see the Salem Gazette (Massachusetts), 20 Jan. 1826.

2The lack of transportation to support construction of the fortifications at West Point became so critical that GW authorized Greene in a letter of 15 Aug. to impress forty wagon teams for “public service” (NjP: deCoppet Collection). GW then wrote Greene on 24 Aug. to impress “such number of teams as the good of the service shall require” (DLC:GW).

3Kosciuszko almost certainly meant to write “their” at this place.

4For the rum shortage that then plagued the army in the Highlands, see GW to Alexander McDougall, 28 June, and n.1 to that document; see also GW to Kosciuszko, 9 Sept. (DLC:GW).

5Col. Walter Stewart commanded the 2d Pennsylvania Regiment.

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