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Convinced of the utility, the necessity, at all times, of a well disciplined militia, to every free state; when the united wisdom of the continent, referring to the contest with the parent kingdom, called on every colony to prepare for the most unhappy events; and the more immediate recommendations of our provincial congress demanded a diligent application to the military art; deeming the...
’Tis with real pain I ask your Excellency’s attention (engaged as it is in affairs of such vast importance) to the subject of this letter: but justice, & compassion to the distressed (not to say the injured) compel me to do it. The bearer Capt. McGlathry about a month since was coming from the eastward with a load of wood, bound to Salem, but was taken by a man of war, & afterwards retaken by...
I esteem it a singular honour done me by your Excellency in offering me the post of Adjutant General, and it pains me sensibly that I am obliged to decline it. ’Tis an honour to which I did not aspire, because I did not account myself equal to the important business of the office. Your Excellency does not mistake my attachment to the interests of the United States; ’tis sincere & unalterable....
I sent by the express an answer to your letter respecting the office of adjutant general, & gave what appeared to me sufficient reasons to excuse my declining to accept it; but have since been uneasy, lest you should deem them otherwise; & that I was too willing, under the civil offices I sustain, to shelter myself from the dangers & fatigues of war. An opinion which, if it has taken place, I...
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...
It often happens that soldiers are discharged without being paid off, or furnished with a certificate of what is their due. A number of such men have been discharged lately by General McIntosh. One of them is now at the board, & presents an account of twenty one pounds & upwards, due to him for wages. As he has been long at the hospital, ’tis not improbable the demand is just; yet we cannot...
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...
Capt. Armstrong arrived here yesterday with some necessaries for the North Carolina troops, among them 2768 blankets: but the whole being stowed in four waggons, I was led to inquire of the size of the blankets, & find they are so narrow that two must be sewed together to make one. Genl McIntosh informed me that the North Carolina brigade was already nearly supplied with blankets. This induced...
General Gates has written to Congress describing his distressed situation from the want of men, money, arms, provisions &c. We were surprized at the mention of arms ; for by a return made in February it appeared that better than 2000 stands were then at Albany, fit for service; and the board have never given any order respecting them. Colo. Malcom says a quantity were sent from thence lately...
This morning it occurred to me that very little if any of the cloathing at Springfield had been sent forward to the main army; and that as six brigades will perhaps remain here or in the neighbourhood for some time; or at least may not return soon to the westward, it may be best to order a sufficiency of the cloathing for them to be stopped, which will save an expensive carriage of a hundred...
Justice and the Public Interest require that all Allowances engaged to the Army should be punctually paid; We regret that the precautions which sometimes seem necessary to prevent frauds to the United States, often cause such Delays as eventually deprive the Soldiers of the Benefits promised them; We are led to make these Observations from the present Application of a pay Master in Behalf of...
I have the happiness to inform you that the box, containing the orderly books & some returns, which has been so long missing is found. It was carried to Reading, from whence it was lately brought to this city with Genl Mifflin’s papers. ’tis now at the War Office, & waits your orders. I am desired by the board to remind your Excellency of their request to know your sentiments relative to the...
Letter not found : from Timothy Pickering, 5 March 1779. GW wrote Pickering on 10 March : “I had the honor of your letter of the 5th Inst. with its inclosures.”
Letter not found : from Timothy Pickering, 13 March 1779. GW wrote to Pickering on 20 March : “I have the honor of yours of the 13th instant inclosing a Copy of a letter from Colo. Brodhead with an estimate of the Stores necessary for an expedition against Detroit.”
yours of the 22d inst. came to hand yesterday evening. I immediately sent orders to the Clothier General to send on to camp without delay all the shirts, over-alls & blankets in his possession, reserving only so many as were necessary to answer the orders given for supplying Colo. Proctors & Colo. Hartley’s regiments. The Clothier General informs me there will then remain but about 150...
Last evening an express arrived here from Charlestown, which place he left the 23d of June. He brought a letter of that date to the honble Mr Laurens, who gave the following extract, viz. “General Lincoln having received such intelligence of the intentions, strength & position of the enemy as rendered it advisable to attack them at Stono Ferry, did so on the 20th inst., about 7 o’clock in the...
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...
We have recieved a letter from Mr Pausch, Surgeon Major of the Hessian regimt of Knyphausen, informing that Major de Stein as his return from New York—brought a letter from Genl Kuyphausen to Genl St Clair, intreating that Mr Pausch might be permitted to go into New York. Genl St Clair informs us that he communicated Genl Knyphausen’s letter to your Excellency, and that you consented to his...
Lt Colo. Connolly has a son about ten years old who is an ensign in the 17th regt British. His parents are anxious to get him into New York to put him to school. His father wrote a letter to your Excellency requesting your permission for his going in on parole: but as that letter may have miscarried, and the lad’s mother has repeatedly importuned us on the subject, We beg leave to ask your...
We do ourselves the honour to inclose you a letter from the board to Major General Howe at West Point, relative to the provisions to be thrown into that post. We submit it to your Excellency’s inspection; and if you judge it necessary, you will be pleased to alter or add to our instructions on the subject. We subjoined a direction concerning the stores at the post not wanted for immediate use...
We had the honour of receiving your letter of the 14th inst. by Captain Bowman, who arrived here yesterday, with capt. Joel, whom we have committed to the care of Colo. Nichola to keep in safe custody, at the same time to treat him with kindness and respect; in which condition he will remain till we hear further from your Excellency. We regret that Genl Knyphausen should not think himself...
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...
We have been honoured with your Excellency’s letter of the 18th instant; and to enable us to comply with your demands for shot & shells & the other principal articles in general Knox’s returns, we laid before Congress the estimates of which the inclosed are copies; & reported the resolutions thereon which Congress were pleased to adopt, copies of which are likewise herewith transmitted. In...
You will doubtless ere this reaches you, have been informed that Congress have been pleased to appoint me quarter master general. This was so totally unexpected, that it will take me some days yet before I can get ready to proceed to camp. In the mean time I shall make some necessary arrangements for conducting the business of the detachment in this state and the other states southward of it....
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...
I am authorized, with your approbation, to take from the line of the army such & so many officers to serve in my department as I may find necessary, and as are willing to engage in the business. In consequence hereof I have agreed to appoint Major Cogswell waggon master for the main army, if your excellency should approve of it. I find it has been the usual practice in the German armies to...
Capt. Clark of the corps of Artificers was sent yesterday agreeably to your Excellency’s directions, to examine the boats near Suffren’s. He now reports to me that, the boats are in a pond, & appear to be in good order; the water in them he supposes to be merely the effect of the late rain. Some of the carriages want bolsters & stakes, and one wheel a few spokes. These repairs being made the...
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...
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...
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...