George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Major General Nathanael Greene, 30 January 1780

From Major General Nathanael Greene

Morris Town Jan: 30th 1780.


In consequence of your Excellency’s letter to me of this morning I am about to dispatch Mr Brown and Mr Durie below the mountains to the forage Officers with orders for the removal of the public forage.1 I have also written to the forage Officers and inclosed them copies of your Excellency’s letter on this occasion, urging them to exert themselves to give success and dispatch to the business. In addition to these steps I have addressed the Revd Mr Caldwell to give his aid in calling out teams, & rousing the inhabitants to facilitate the removal of the forage.2 I am in hopes the measures I have taken will put every thing in a train agreeable to your Excellency’s intention.

I am told there is a great quantity of forage on Barbadoes Neck3 which is altogether in the power of the Enemy. Will it not be worth while to attempt to get it off? If any thing of the kind is attempted there must be a military order for the purpose, with a press warrant to take all the teams in the Country for it’s removal. This forage never can be had for the use of the Army in any other way; and it will be next to impossible to support the Army through the winter without obtaining forage in this way or some other besides by contract. I am with great respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Humble servt

Nath. Greene Q.M.G.


1Benjamin Brown was an assistant to deputy quartermaster general James Abeel.

Thomas Durie was an assistant commissary of forage. In 1781, he became acting and then deputy commissary of prisoners (see GW to Durie, 11 May 1781; Durie to GW, 2 Nov. 1781; and GW to Durie, 3 Nov. 1781, all in DLC:GW).

2For the actions of James Caldwell in complying with these orders, see his letter to Greene of this date in Greene Papers, description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends 5:329–31; see also Caldwell to GW, this date.

3Greene is referring to New Barbadoes Neck, the name given to the peninsula formed by the Hackensack and Passaic rivers in the neighborhood of present-day Kearney, N.J. (see Map 2).

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