Newburgh May 15th 1782
I should be glad to know whether Colo. Pickering is detained in Philadelphia by proper authority, or whether his remaining there is to answer any valuable purpose?
I am sorry to add, but I cannot well avoid it, that for any good, or even knowledge I derive from this Gentleman, in his office, I might almost as well act without a Qr Mr Genl—When I arrived at Phila in Novr last and found I was to be detained there by a vote of Congress, I informed Colo. Pickering of it, and that it was necessary I should have the heads of departments with me, to make the arrangements for the ensuing Campaign—He replied, that his papers had gone on to New Windsor—that some matter called him there for a few days—but that he would return immediately—Instead of this, I saw nothing of him for three Months, and had only one or two Letters from him during his absence—When I was about to leave Phila I requested to know when he would be on, (having many matters to settle with him) his answer was, in ten or twelve days—near 60, have elapsed and now I hear (not from himself) that he does not expect to be here in half as many more.
The consequence of expecting every hour to see him, has prevented many orders—& caused much delay in essential preparations. In a word I am left totally in the dark With respect to every matter & thing in his department—and do not know at this hour when the Army will be able to take the field, or whether it can be done at all. I am Dr Sir Yr Most obt [Servt]
DLC: Papers of George Washington.