George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Howe, 18 April 1780

Highlands 18th April 1780

Dear Sir

Col. Hay This Moment tells me that He is under the Necessity of setting out to-Morrow Morng by four oClock for Head Quarters, in Consequence of Directions sent him by Major Genl Greene—Not having Time to go into a Detail of the Circumstances from which this Army have so amazingly suffered for Want of Provision & Forage, I am glad that He will have an Opportunity of seeing your Excellency, as he is amply possesed of every requisite Information, & will I doubt not communicate them to you—That Neglects have happen’d in some of the executive Staff Officers, I have Reason to imagine; & I am pursuing every Measure in my Power to trace to their Source those Errors which have contributed to occasion Distresses to the Army, injurious to them in particular, & to the Public in general.

But that our principal Sufferings owe Their Origin to Want of Cash in the Quarter Master’s, Commissary[’s] & Forage Departments is a Truth as Melancholy as demonstrable—& I wish with all my Soul very disagreeable Consequences may not ensue—I beg Leave to refer your Excellency to Col. Hay for those Particulars which I Have not Time to enumerate, & of which he is so well qualified to give you a Detail.

I cannot however conclude without expressing, in the Sincerity of my Heart, how much Service the Army, & the Public owe to the truly laudable Exertions of Col. Hay, & whose Condu[ct] has the strongest Claim to the Attention of his Country. I am Dear Sir With the greatest Respect & Regard Your Excellency’s most obedient Humble Servant

Robert Howe

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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