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I have more than once conversed with you on the subject of the army’s moving below; and expressed my wishes, prompted by divers reasons, that such a movement might not take place. But perhaps it may be proper to commit those reasons, stating them more particularly, to writing. 1. The want of forage. The General has himself seen that the horses and oxen cannot subsist, unless turned out to...
Newburgh [ New York ] April 20, 1781 . Doubts that, as quarter-master general, he possesses authority to appoint Colonel Jabez Champlin barrack master for French army in America. ALS , George Washington Papers, Library of Congress; LC , RG 93, Letters of Col. T. Pickering, National Archives; copy, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.
The moment teams could be provided the boats at Dobbs ferry were sent for. I expect them up to-morrow, five at least, and six if so many were there. I will immediately dispatch an express to Major Cogswell to send teams for the five additional boats ordered from Kings-ferry. I am your most obdt. servt. ALS , George Washington Papers, Library of Congress; LC , RG 93, Letters of Col. T....
In my conversation with the General about the ox-teams to be provided for the next campaign, I forgot one capital question. At what time shall the teams be ready to join the army? Or rather (as they will be collected at different distances) on what day shall they be engaged to be at any certain Rendezvous? They will have only pasturage for their support, which will not be sufficient till...
I have some bills of exchange drawn by Mr. Morris on John Swanwick, which I am authorized to exchange with the Receivers of the Continental taxes in any of the states eastward of Pensylvania. Mr. Morris informed me that he had advised the receivers of this measure, & directed their taking up the bills whenever they were in cash. By taxes or by loan I expect this state will shortly furnish you...
I believe it possible tho’ difficult to have Teams at the slote by Thursday night to take up five more Boats. I will endeavor to effect it. I presume they will come provided with oars. Must not they too be muffled? what Route are they to take? I shall be glad of further Instructions. It will doubtless be necessary to impress Horses on this Occasion. LC , RG 93, Letters of Col. T. Pickering,...
Newburgh [ New York ] April 20, 1781 . Asks for assistance in transporting a Canadian refugee from New Windsor to Philadelphia. ALS , RG 93, Miscellaneous Records, National Archives.
Preakness, New Jersey, November 6, 1780. Describes efforts to obtain boats for projected attack on the posts on the northern end of Manhattan Island. ALS , George Washington Papers, Library of Congress; LC , Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston; and LC , RG 93, Letters of Col. T. Pickering, National Archives. Washington hoped for one successful stroke against the British before going into...
I instantly sent off an Express on the Receipt of your first Note to Major Cogswell with Orders requiring him immediately to dispatch five Teams with Carriages for five additional Boats at Dobbs Ferry which had arrived there since the others were sent for! I will send again to know if the first Order was executing, and directing that the Boats be at the two Bridges by Wednesday-night. I am Sir...
Newburgh [ New York ] February 2, 1781 . Requests permission to issue rations to the families of Moses Dean and Hezekiah Gibson, both of whom belong to Colonel Jeduthan Baldwin’s Artificer Regiment. LC , RG 93, Letters of Col. T. Pickering, National Archives.
The Bearer Mr. John Lewis is master of a sloop which almost from the Commencement of the war has been in the public service. At the close of the present season his vessel with all the other craft in the like employment were discharged; but without being paid for a long time even from eight months to two years past as he informs me. Since their discharge they have drawn no provisions; and being...
I beg you will inform the General that the day he called at my quarters I sent a gentleman to the state to see what boats were there. I also directed him to go to Dobbs’s ferry to search for any that might be in that neighbourhood. The same day I went to Dodds, & found the boats wanted some, & the carriage many repairs. I ordered six more hands to work on them (for Colo. Baldwin had sent but...
In my conversation with the General about the ox-teams to be provided for the next campaign, I forgot one capital question—At what time shall the teams be ready to join the army? Or rather (as they will be collected at different distances) on what day shall they be engaged to be at any certain Rendezvous? They will have only pasturage for their support, which will not be sufficient till...
The five boats I had collected at Dobbs’ ferry arrived at Colo. Baldwin’s last evening. They want some repairs which are making. The five which came from King’s ferry to the slote, were at paramus last Evening. I am &c LC , RG 93, Letters of Col. T. Pickering, National Archives. These boats were being assembled for the projected attack described in Pickering to H, November 6, 1780, note 1 ....
On hand fit for service—soldiers tents 35. wall tents 6 Expected daily from Connecticut 300. very old tents at Morristown repairing, probably will be rendered serviceable 80. As Colo. Hatch is disappointed in his expectations of exchanging heavy for light duck, on notice of it, July 27th I immediately desired him to make up into tents all the Russia duck that was tolerably light. This may...
your favour of this date is just handed to me. The axes are all ground & part helved; the residue are helving. I have given directions to have grindstones fixed; and will attend to the means of transportation, agreeable to his Excellency’s wishes. I am yr most obedt servant DLC : Papers of George Washington.
The Justice of this precinct having on the former occasion impressed about the number of horses required in this, I wrote to him in the morning (the moment I had given the necessary orders for arranging the cloathing to West Point) urgently requesting him to turn out the same horses immediately as they had been prepared and appraised, tho’ they performed no service. In the forenoon I sent to...
Between the 5th & 13th inst. were loaded at Ringwood fifteen double teams & twenty nine single teams, with 124 barrels of flour 1 barrel of biscuit 33 barrels of beans 2 hogsheads of salt 6 tierces of ditto 23 barrels—do– according to the report of Mr Skidmore the deputy waggon master, who saw them loaded. On his return hither the 14th inst. he met 17 more single teams on their way to Ringwood...
Newburgh [ N.Y. ] , 15 Dec. 1780. Acknowledges a letter in which TJ stated his intention of appointing Maj. [Robert] Forsyth deputy quartermaster for Virginia. Forsyth had already requested this appointment and he is very acceptable to Pickering. RC ( PHi ); 2 p.; signed: “Tim: Pickering Q.M.G.”; addressed and endorsed. FC , in Pickering’s hand ( DNA : RG 93). TJ’s letter acknowledged by...
I am this moment honoured with your Excellency’s letter of the 15th ulto. informing of the appointment of Major Claiborne to be deputy quarter master for the state of Virginia. This was unexpected, and I fear may produce some difficulty. In consequence of your Excellency’s letter of November 21st, informing me of your having written to Major Forsythe, offering him the place of DQM for...
We did ourselves the honour of writing to your Excellency on the 20th ulto. when we expected to be able to send you 2000 cartridge boxes: but we have been disappointed; and Major Peirce has received at present but between six and seven hundred: nor, are we certain how soon the rest can be furnished. But as the whole number will be incompetent to the demands of your state, we beg leave to...
I was honoured with your letter relative to a deputy quarter master for the State of Virginia, and from the information it contained expected Colo. Finnies arrival in Philadelphia before I left it; but I have not seen or heard from him, And as I was so soon going to the Army I suspended my answer till I should have an opportunity of enquiring of the Gentlemen from your State if they could...
Philadelphia, 21 Aug. 1780 . Having been appointed by Congress to “an important and at this time a most difficult and ungratefull office,” that of quartermaster general, Pickering is obliged to request the governor and Council of Virginia to appoint a deputy quartermaster general for Virginia. Has consulted the Virginia delegates in Congress and requested them to recommend a proper person, but...
By the resolve of Congress of Novemr 10th 1780, the Commander in Chief is to determine what horses are "absolutely necessary" to be retained for public use with the troops. I have therefore made out the following list on which you will be pleased to obtain his Excellency’s decision. At the posts in the highlands No. of horses allowed General Heath & family General Howe & family General Parsons...
Your favor of this date is just received—I know not who has the Direction of the shad fishery; & if I did have no authority to put the Business in a new train. The Pettiaugers I can order to be got ready to sail at a moment’s warning: and for the security of the fish against the accident you mention (which however can scarcely happen) each boat may take & keep on board a barrel or two of...
In answer to your favour of this date just handed me, relative to the standards for the army, I have to inform you, that they came to the store at this place in a box with other articles, directed to Mr Frothingham field commissary of military stores, who opened the box & took out some of the articles, but left the standards, saying he would send for them: how ever, there they are yet. This is...
Previous to General Schuylers demand for nails, I have ordered from Pensylvania all that could be spared from the immediate services of the posts in that state; in consequence, Colo. Miles, my deputy there, sent from Philadelphia— 487 lbs. spikes and deck nails 1099 30d. nails 2081 24d. do 5813 20d. do 587 12d. do which were forwarded from Trenton June 22d by teams to go thro’ to Kings’ ferry.
FC ( NA : War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, Vol. 85, fol. 295–96). Addressed to “The Delegates in Congress from Virginia.” The main part of the letter, including the address and signature, is in the hand of a clerk. The Bearer with his family are just arrived from newburgh, to which place they came from Canada where they have been Prisoners about two years. Just before I...
In answer to the questions in your note of this date, you will be pleased to inform the commander in chief. That last May Saml Ogden Esqr. of Booneton contracted to make and deliver 1500 camp kettles in a very short time. From the 6th of July to the 23d of October he had delivered 1205—295 are still due, for which he has been importuned. On the 13th of February his Clerk wrote that they were...
General Hazen has applied to the secretary at war for the articles necessary to equip his regiment. For what regards my department, he is referred to me. I have no difficulty in ordering a supply of every article, tents excepted, which must be brought from the North river; nor should I hesitate about these, if the regiment were certainly to continue any length of time at Lancaster: for they...
I had the honour to receive your Excellency’s letter by Col. Lee, conferring upon me the office of adjutant general: And since, notwithstanding all my objections, ’tis your Excellency’s pleasure, I am happy to declare my acceptance of it. At the same time I am constrained, from my real feelings; again to express my fears that I shall fall short of your Excellency’s expectations. Few people are...
An Estimate of public horses on hand in the states named below, and in the main army: In Massachusetts 60 Connecticut 60 New York 130 New Jersey 80 Pensylvania 120 Waggon Horses 450 Riding horses in the hands of officers of all ranks in the line & staff, at least 50 500 About three quarters of that number are put out to be wintered; and probably four hundred out of the five hundred may be fit...
It is now time to deposit at West-Point as much wood as will be necessary for the use of the garrison the ensuing winter. If it be practicable to determine, at this time, what shall be the strength of the garrison, and the number and ranks of the officers, I will lay in forage, as well as wood, in proportion, as soon as I am favoured with your Excellency’s decision thereon. The wood I propose...
Yesterday afternoon arrived here the armed Cutter Royal George of 14 guns, prize to the Pickering of Salem. Coming addressed to me, a number of private letters found on board fell into my hands. Some of them contained intelligence which seemed of importance sufficient to be communicated to your Excellency. I have therefore made in haste the inclosed extracts. The private sentiments & anecdotes...
Inclosed is the return of boats which I mentioned this morning. I recd it last evening & have not had opportunity to take a copy. which I shall be glad to do in a day or two. I am very respectfully yr Excellencys obed. P.S. Those mentioned to be laid up at Wappins Creek Mr Sheafe expected to have repaired by this day. DNA : RG 93—War Department.
To render it practicable to support the horses indispensably necessary with the army, I beg leave to suggest the expediency of sending to a distance in the Country the surplus riding horses without delay. My ability to provide forage is not increased, but lessened, by the non-payment of the bills of exchange put into my hand for that among other purposes. I submit to your Excellency’s...
The inclosed copy of a letter from Thomas Smith Esqr. will inform you of the distressed condition of the frontiers of this state. The counties of Westmoreland & Northumberland are equally exposed with Bedford. Other accounts correspond with that of Mr Smith, & shew that a general stroke is greatly to be apprehended; and that in addition to the barbarous savages, the disaffected inhabitants are...
I have sent a person to examine the roads on the routes mentioned by Genl Hand, & urged his returning as soon as possible. I have sent an express to go with him as far as Ogden’s iron works (without crossing the Ramapaugh) to bring back his report whether that route be practicable for carriages. The inspection of the roads will then proceed as far as the two Bridges & return by Dods thro’...
I received yesterday your Excellency’s letter of the 27th inst. directing the estimates for the ensuing campaign to be prepared. They shall be made out with all possible expedition & laid before you. I have the honour to be with the greatest respect, your Excellency’s most obedt servant DLC : Papers of George Washington.
The inclosed extract of a letter from Colo. Neilson I beg leave to lay before your Excellency, and to request your direction relative to the artillery huts at Pluckemin. If they are not necessary to be preserved for any military purposes, the reasons given by Colo. Neilson require that they be sold without delay. Congress have determined on a reform of Colo. Baldwin’s regt files among the...
Sensible how mortifying is Disappointment especially when the Object of our wishes is almost within our Grasp; aware that the supposed Cause of the Disappointment is ever the Subject of Censure and Resentment; and fearing your Excellency will deem me greatly culpable for the Failure of the late Enterprize of the Light Infantry; I beg you will do me the Favor to read the Orders I gave on the...
The chain at West-Point has already suffered considerably by the rust, and will be daily growing worse. If it is to be kept for future use, it cannot too soon be housed; and in this case it is said it may be preserved from rust by painting. If it is not necessary to keep it, the sooner it is sold the better. It would probably fetch about two thirds the price of bar iron. The chain contains...
Your Excellency has been pleased to refer to my determination what boats, besides batteaux & two gun--boats, will be necessary on the Hudson. I shall be happy, nevertheless, to be favoured with your opinion on the arrangements I have had in contemplation relative to this business. The common batteaux being built with pine boards, are of course very tender, and altogether unsuitable for the...
An unexpected demand is made of 40 Waggons & 200 horses, to transport artillery & military stores to the Southward exclusive of what are attached to the troops destined thither. To that number are to be added probably six waggons for quarter masters stores—There is no possibility of furnishing them without taking both horses & waggons from the troops going to the northward. If your Excellency...
I find that one great cause of the failure of transportation of the salted provisions from Connecticut has been the general want of forage; of private forage I mean. The farmers there in general have not a lock of hay for their own stocks. Your Excellency’s wishes are anticipated. Colo. Hughes went off yesterday from Fishkill by one o’clock for Danbury (which I assure myself he reached last...
Agreeably to your Excellency’s directions, being accompanied by Colo. Swift, Colo. H. Jackson and Colo. Cobb, I have viewed divers parts of the Highlands, and the wood lands in the vicinity of New-Windsor and Newburgh, to find places adapted to the hutting of troops. About a mile on this side of the huts late of the 3d Massachusetts brigade, on the right of the road leading to them, after...
Your Excellency being vested with authority, by the resolve of Congress of the 11th of March 1780, to make the necessary regulations relative to the servants of officers of the army; and the general orders of the 18th of January last not comprehending any officers in my department, I request you will be pleased to extend your consideration of the subject, and fix the number of servants to be...
This moment has been handed to me the inclosed copy of General Heath’s "Garrison orders" issued at West Point, apparently with a design to regulate the public issues at Fishkill; but which, if carried into execution, will unhinge all public business there, & go near to dissolve my department in the state. They were issued, I am warranted to say, at the instigation of Colo. Hazen, whose...
The left wing of the army, commencing its march at seven o’clock to morrow morning, will proceed by the Continental Village to Nelson’s Point, where on Sunday boats will be in readiness to carry the troops to West Point; from whence they will march over Butter Hill in the road leading to Murderer’s Creek. On their descent from the Hill, the quarter masters of brigades will join and conduct...
Since your Excellency spoke to me yesterday relative to the movement of the army,I have more maturely considered of the means of effecting that movement, and the time requisite for collecting the horses and oxen to Verplank’s Point. In consequence of the orders given the 23d instant, I expect all the public horses and oxen on the west side of the river will have crossed over at Newburgh, one...