Springfield April 24th 1781
I received your Excellencys favor of the 23d Ult. respecting—Mr Collens—and this Department; mark’d well the contence—made preperations immediately to send Collens to the Navy Board, the Night preceeding the Day he were to go he broak goal, made his escape & has not ben heard of since; the Goaler advertised him, & I sent the Crime, Sentence &c. to be Publish’d, for Example.
have Receiv’d a request from the Board of War to Inspect this Department and to make such alterations as should best serve the Public, at least Curtail the unnecessary Public expence—with an order on the officer of the Department to give the Necessary assistance to better regulate the Wretched situation of this Post—(could wish to be Quit of so deficult a Task) but in obedeance shall do all in my Powers to have the Department Move to better eoconemy then at Present: Stock is greatly wanting for the Harnesmakers befor much can be expected from them. and Money even for the whole, before the several branches can go on to advantage as here before.
Sr by the Bearer of this have sent on 93 Recruits which compleets from the County’s of Bristol, Worcester Hampshire, and Bearkshire about 510 in the whole.
The Recruits that come in now are much better then at first, and find the Towns in genl are much ingagd to comple[te] their Quota—shall not neglect any Measures in my Power to Expedite the engageing and forwarding good Troops—have (by application, obtaind, authority from genl Lincoln) “Deschargd a Number, reporting the same—& the Reasons—and have Reason to hope the most of the [Recruits] will soon be on. I am Sr with the greatest Esteem your Excellencys most obedient Humbe Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.