Philadelphia 17th April 1782
I had the honor to Address your Excellency before your Departure from this City on the subject of the Clothing of the Troops, to which I now beg leave to refer you.
I have Since been favored with the perusal of Your Letter of the 10th Instt to the Secretary at War, & Sincerely Lament that it has not been in my power Earlier to provide Against the Distress of those Corps you Allude to—Conscious that nothing on my part has been omitted to prevent it, & to Remove those Difficulties wch have marked my first onset in the Departure I am honored with the Direction of but as Your Excellency is pleased justly to observe, System & Regularity coud not at once take place of the long series of Confusion wch had unfortunately prevailed.
of the Several Articles of Clothing I was Deficient in, that of Hats was one I found it Necessary particularly to Attend to—but the great Scarcity of Wool, & the Want of Workmen make me apprehend that I shall not be Able to procure a full Supply of that Article & other Caps must in Such case Supply the place of Hats & of these I hope to provide a Quantity Sufficient to make up the Deficiency.
The present scarcity of shoes has Unavoidedly Arisen from the Late change in our Ressources for the Supply of that necessary Article of Clothing—Contracts were Immediatly Entered into, & a considerable Quantity I daily Expect to fall in. There will be about 20,000 pairs lodged in the Store at Newburg in the Course of the next Month, to be Succeeded by such Supplys Every Ensuing Month as will, I flatter myself prevent any Impediment Accruing to the service from the want of that Article.
In my Letter of the 27th Ulto I had the honor to Inform You that an Estimate had been layed before the Superintendent of Finance for the Summer Clothing—no provision has yet been made, but measures are to be Instantly taken for that purpose when I am furnished with the Means, Every Endeavour of mine shall be Exerted to Expedite the Supplies wch they are Intended to procure.
The Metal, & other Materials called for to complete the Woolen Cloths must [befo]re this be Arrived at Newburg, & in a few Days I shall forward a Sufficient quantity of Thread to make up the Cloth now in that store it for Summer overalls. I have the honor to be with the Greatest Respect & Esteem Yr Excellencys most Obedt Hble Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.