George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko, 9 September 1779

To Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko

Head Quarters [West Point] 9 Sepr 1779


In consequence of yours of this morning I have ordered the Commy Genl to procure a supply of Rum if possible for the Men upon fatigue.1 I shall be glad to know whether there has been any special agreement to give the Artificers draughted from the line any thing extraordinary for their Work. If there has, they must be paid in Rum (if that was the agreement) or an equivalint in Money when they do not get Rum. They must not at any Rate think of returning to their Regiments while their services are wanting.2 I am Sir Yr.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Kosciuszko’s letter has not been found. On this date, GW’s aide-de-camp Richard Kidder Meade wrote Royal Flint, assistant commissary general of purchases, from headquarters: “I received your favor of yesterday’s date, in answer to mine of the 7th on the particular subject of Rum—As you have said nothing on that head, & Mr Fitch gave no information about it, His Excellency desires me again to request, that you will transmit a return of all the Rum in the vicinity of the north river, & that you will exert yourself to afford an immediate supply for the troops here, or the consequence will be, great impediment to the carrying on the works. Inclosed is a letter of instruction from the Genl to Colo. Wadsworth” (NN: Emmet Collection). No report from Flint to GW on the supply of rum has been found. For the letter to Jeremiah Wadsworth, see GW to Wadsworth, this date.

For the issue of “fatigue rum” to the soldiers working on the West Point defenses, see General Orders, 1 August.

“Mr. Fitch” may be Jonathan Fitch, one of Connecticut’s commissaries.

2No reply from Kosciuszko has been found. For GW’s revision of the ration for artificers serving with the army, see General Orders, 22 September.

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