George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Elisha Sheldon, 6 June 1781

Head Quarters New Windsor June 6th 1781


In answer to your Letter of the 2nd Inst. I can only repeat the instruction I gave in mine of the 31st Ulto for you to draw on your own Return from the Public Stores such Articles as were indispensably necessary to equip your Corps, previous to its marching. I was in hopes that the Assembly of Connecticut, if they gave Orders for the purchase of the Horses, would also make provision for procuring the Equipage agreeably to the Recommendation of Congress.

As to the Article of leather for Sadles &c. I scarcely know what can be done about it. I am informed there are no hides on hand, and contracts to a considerable amount uncomplied with—and that the prospect of a supply of Shoes is not very promising—owing to the great dimination of the number of public Hides, in consequence of our obtaining the salted Beef by a specific Tax, without the Hides—I should imagine the State could from that resource, replace any leather in a little time that Mr Star may furnish. If I should undertake to break in upon the general Arrangements of the Board of War & Clothier General, by particular Orders, I fear the inevitable consequence will be that the whole Army, before the close of the Campaign, would be reduced to the necessity of going barefoot: but if there is any public leather, that can be shared without involving this consequence, I shall be very willing to have it appropriated to the uses you propose—Recommending however the strictest Economy, and that all the Portmanteaus, and other articles of leather formerly drawn should be regularly accounted for.

Genl Knox will give an Order for the Pistols which will be immediately wanted & for more then necessary—swords I apprehend are not in the public Stores. It is exceedingly to be regretted that the Boots & leather Breeches are of so bad a quality, as to be useless—but there are some drilling Breeches, which possibly may be a good Substitute for the latter.

P.S. There are some blue shrouds in store at Newborough which might by your Regimental Taylor, be made into Stable Jackets for those of your Corps, who cannot be otherwise supplied.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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