George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benjamin Stoddert, 17 April 1780

War Office April 17th 1780.


The board have the honor to inclose the copy of a letter from Coll Broadhead for your Excellency’s consideration. The Military Stores are already forwarded agreeable to your request of sometime ago; and the board have reported to Congress, that six blank commissions should be sent to Col. Broadhead, to be filled up with the Names of such faithful Indians of the Delaware Tribe, as he shall Judge deserving, But they have not taken any order with respect to the Tents requested, as they are not informed whether any operations to the Westward will require Tents. I have the honor to be with the highest respect yr Excellency’s Most obed. & most Hble Servt by ord.

Ben. Stoddert


DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Fort pitt March 18. 1780


I am sorry to inform you that the Savages have already commenced fresh hostilities. Last Sunday they killed five men at a sugar Camp on Raccoon Creek in Yoghagania County & took three girls & three Lads prisoners. It is generally conjectured that this mischief was done by Delaware Indians, but it is possible that it may have been done by other Indians. If the Delaware Indians should declare against us, the frontiers will be greatly distressed as many other Nations who have hitherto been neuter, will join them, and my force is by no means sufficient to protect it—I am informed that there remains at Winchester a quantity of Cloth, which was purchased by Lieut. Colo. Campbell for the New Levies, which were to have been raised here in 1778, and that the Cloth is somewhat damaged, but would do well enough to clothe some of the naked Indians, wherefore I take the liberty to request your Honble Board to order it to be forwarded to this place, likewise some trimmings, such as Buttons and Thread and one thousand pair of French Shoes which were purchased at the same time.

As it is probable that the Enemy will make some attempt on our small posts, or principal ones, in the course of this Spring or Summer I entreat you to order the Cannon and other Mily Stores forward as soon as possible, without which we cannot make any considerable resistance. This Fort alone ought to have sixteen pieces of Ordnance and at present it has but five.

I have wrote to the Quarter Master Genl & his Deputies frequently to forward some Tents to this district, but cannot learn that any are upon the communication altho I have not a Tent to cover my men and the season is fast approaching in which we ought to take the field. If a reinforcement from the Main Army is not sent, and I am obliged to call out the militia, three hundred Tents of the best kind will be necessary; if they are made of thin Linen, the Militia will cut them up for hunting Shirts as usual—The Comy of Forage has made some purchases and paid small sums upon the contracts, but the Inhabitants have been so long amused with promises of payment that they now will not deliver the Forage, until they are paid, for which reason I have sent him to philadelphia, to make a personal application least the Horses should perish or be so far reduced as to be unfit for service & the Troops suffer for want of Supplies—which evils may yet be prevented provided an adequate Supply of money can be had out of the Treasury—The Quarter Master has no men, nor can he hire them (except what are furnished from the Line) for want of money, and I shall be compelled to call in all the Soldiers from the different Staff to protect the Settlements against the encroachments of the Enemy, wherefore it is indispensably necessary that he should be furnished with a sum of money. I apprehend that the Commissioning some of the Delaware Warriors will be attended with good consequences and I wish Congress may approve of the measure.I have the honor to be with the most perfect regard—Your most obt Servt

Daniel Broadhead

Colo. Commanding: W:D.

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