Hoster town febry 7. 1781
When I received your Excellencys orders, have proceeded immediately with a party in search of proper timber to make new rafts for the Chain at west point.
Have cut down the number wanting of Large Logs, back of new brought, within five miles of the river.
Then made application to the Quarter Master General concerning teams to haull the said timber to the river. a Copy of his answer I did myself the honor to inclose. All that are haulled to the river of said timber, is about one fifteenth parts.
It will be very Late in the seasson before the rafts are ready to be put on the water. Unless the timber are transported to the river without a moments Loss of time. I have the honor to be Sir Your Excellency’s most obedt and very Humble servt
D: Niven Capt. Engineers
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Newbrought Janry 21. 1781
I have your favour of yesterday. I am sensible the halling the Logs for the rafts to the river is an object of great importance; And if it were practicable teams should be furnished for that purpose—but the Late rough roads and want of forage have so reduced our ox teams (which is the fittest for your service) that they are at present insufficient.
In the course of a fortnight some fresh oxteams will return from the Country & within that time we shall doubtless have snow, when the Logs may be halled with half the labour they would now cost us. I will desire Colo. Hughes, if he had them not already. to provide the pitch tar & oakum you mention to be wanting for the rafts. I am Sir your obedt servant
T. Pickering Q.M.G.