George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Stirling, 28 September 1779

To Major General Stirling

Head Quarters West Point 28th Sepr 1779

My Lord.

I have your favr of the 27th1—Supposing the Continental Cloathing delivered to the Virginia line last Fall to be of equal quality with that delivered to the other part of the Army, they ought now to be in better condition than any other troops, as they had at the same time contrary to my judgment and express desire, a very considerable quantity of State Cloathing in addition to the Continental, which I was sure coming all together would be misapplied and avail them little.2

I have directed Mr Wilkinson the new Cloathier General who is gone to the Eastward to send immediately forward all the woolen Cloathing of every kind.3 The moment it arrives it shall be delivered to those most in want. I hope we shall have a sufficiency of Body Cloathing, but in Blankets and Hats, notwithstanding my repeated remonstrances, I fear we shall fall short. I do not know what stock of shoes are on hand, but I imagine not great. I will write to the Cloathier and know, and will order a due proportion to your division.4 I hope the new arrangement of the Cloathing department will put it upon a better footing than it has heretofore been.5 It has occasioned more trouble to me, and has given more disgust to the Officers than any one thing besides in the service.

Upon the representation of the Commy General a few weeks ago upon his apprehension⟨s⟩ of a scarcity of Flour, I wrote to all the States which furnish that Article, I have answers from the Governors all promising to exert themselves⟨,⟩ and I hope we shall soon feel the good effects of it.6 I am with great Regard Your Lordships Most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NHi: Stirling Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1This letter has not been found.

2For these issues concerning the provision of clothing to the troops of the Virginia line, see Christian Febiger to GW, 4 Nov. 1778; see also James Wood to GW, 12 Nov. 1778, and n.12 to that document, and Wood to GW, 17 Jan., and n.2 to that document. The entire army had been issued new coats in October and November 1778 (see GW to George Measam, 28 Oct. 1778, and the notes to that document).

4The next letter from GW to Wilkinson, which has been found, is dated 5 October.

5Congress reorganized the clothing department in March (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 13:353–57; see also GW to John Jay, 2 April; Board of War to GW, 9 April (first letter); and GW to the Board of War, 15 April).

6See Commissary Gen. Jeremiah Wadsworth’s letter to GW of 27 Aug., and GW’s circular to the states of 28 August. For the responses to GW’s circular which have been found, see George Clinton to GW, 31 Aug., and the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council to GW, 7 Sept.; see also GW to William Livingston, 7 September.

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