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    • Pickering, Timothy
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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 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....
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...
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...
In the arrangement lately made by Congress, and announced in general Orders, I observe that there is to be but one Regiment of artificers; and it is directed that this regiment be furnished by the State of Pennsylvania. I am in doubt whether this refers to Colonel Baldwins regiment only, or is intended to comprehend his & Colonel Flower’s regiment of artillery artificers; by uniting them, &...
Four days ago I sent off an express to Springfield & Boston with letters to Otis & Henley the Clothier at Springfield, Colo. Jabez Hatch my deputy at Boston, & to Mr Tuckerman his Assistant at Springfield—in all representing the naked condition of the troops, the near approach of winter, and the necessity of their instant exertions to forward the cloathing at both places to Newburgh. I had...
Colonel Tupper has consented to go to springfield to attend to the transportation of the Cloathing; and now waits on your Excellency for Permission to proceed. Such information and directions as appeared necessary on the occasion I have given to Colonel Tupper in writing. I am with great respect &c. DNA : RG 93—War Department.
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...
In a memorandum of your Excellency’s which I recd at Totowa is the following—"Ox teams to be provided & used the next campaign." In a resolution of Congress of the 10th of November is the following paragraph: "That if it be deemed preferable by the commander in chief that a proportion of the public horses should be disposed of for draught oxen, to be provided for the ensuing campaign, he be...
I wrote last evening to Mr Humphrys, & gave him an account of my expectations respecting forage. The uncommon badness of the roads (either very rough or very miry) has prevented the farmers bringing in the forage the Justices of Ulster & Orange agreed to furnish & have in fact assessed: The present snow will enable them to come in. For instant relief to your Excellency’s horses I directed Mr...
Of the seventeen teams impressed by Justice Chandler for the artillery, tents & intrenching tools, five only came in, & those too late to draw the artillery, which I completed with Continental horses by breaking up three double teams. The five single teams which came in I have caused to be loaded with two horsemans tents—75 common tents—& 75 axes besides two crow bars. These will go about six...
Lieut. Colonel Popkins informed me last Evening that he would impress two Teams to take up the remainder of the Tents agreeably to my Request, as mentioned in my letter of yesterday to your Excellency. The intrenching Tools are loaded and just begun to move, so that the whole other Articles intended to follow the Detachment are now on their way to Ringwood. I send this by Mr Church whom I have...
Last evening I received the inclosed letter from Colo. Lutterloh, which I think it my duty to lay before your Excellency. It describes a practise not new: but which I hoped to remedy by positive injunctions to the state agents to deliver none except to the order of the Commissary of Forage, who has repeatedly written to the agents to that effect. The abuse however continues; and in some cases...
General Knox informed me to-day that no artillery was to go from hence. I had previously ordered 50 draught horses to be impressed for transporting the artillery, amunition & tents. I now propose to dispose of them as follows. For the marquis de la Fayette’s waggon 4 a baggage tumbril for the artillery officers 3 three close waggons in which are to be carried from hence eleven horseman’s & 60...
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...
I had the honour to inform you, on my return from Philadelphia, of what passed there relative to the means of procuring the numerous supplies requisite in my department for the ensuing campaign; and was unhappy that no prospect was presented of my obtaining a single shilling for that end. As the only alternative therefore, I submitted to your Excellency’s judgment the expediency of calling on...
On the 21st inst. I wrote to the leading Justice (Mr Burt) in Warwick relative to the procuring teams to transport the flour from that place to New Windsor: but have received no answer: and am now apprehensive that my application will be fruitless. And the supply on hand (as appears by the commissary’s return this day received) is so trifling, I dare not wait any longer my request for an...
Mr Tilghman favoured me to day with the act of Congress relative to a barrack master to the french Army; agreeable to which I have made the enclosed appointment for Colonel Champlin. If your Excellency shall deem any alteration in the form of the Warrant to be expedient, I beg to be favoured with your sentiments thereon for my direction. I am with great respect your Excellencys most obedt...
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...
Orders will be given forthwith to have a vessel got ready to carry a 100 barrels of flour to Albany. The necessary orders have been given, & in the most pointed terms, relative to the flour on the communications between this & Pensylvania; & as (other means failing) actual payment is to be resorted to, I cannot entertain an idea of disappointment. An express will go to-morrow for Boston. I...
I have just received from Colo. Hughes a letter of which the inclosed is an extract. Mr Pomeroy (the bearer of it, brother to the D.Q.M.) informs me that the towns who were called on early in March to send forward their salted meat, got themselves excused by the government, under pretence that the roads were impassable, promising to turn out when the roads were good. But when called upon, the...
I am informed that about 60 barrels of shad came down yesterday from Esopus. As this article of provisions is for an immediate supply, I beg leave to suggest the expediency of bringing down daily all that are caught. Two or three pettiaugers may be employed in this service; and with the wind as it is to day, they may run from Esopus to West Point in five or six hours; and if the wind be...
I was at Fishkill this morning4 & from Mr Stevens’s account of provisions received from Connecticut, compared with Mr Josiah Pomeroy’s, I am apprehensive your Excellency has been informed of larger quantities of salted provisions being put up in the towns westward of Connecticut river than were in fact provided. By Mr Stevens’s acct it appears, that from the 6th of February to the 11th inst....
Agreable to your Excellencys orders, we have consider’d of an arrangement of Colonel Baldwins regiment of artificers, and are of opinion That all the non commissioned officers & privates should form one company under the direction and command of Capt. Patten and Lieut Lears Artillery Artificers at the Park, and one lieutenant to be taken from said regiment, the whole to do duty at present at...
The return of boats of which your Excellency has a copy, is dated the 2d of April. At that time there appeared to be 60 batteaux at Wappon’s creek that were repairable. On the 29th of April there were eight batteaux there under repair, & fifteen more repairable, but very old. The residue, of consequence, of the 60, had been repaired & taken away. But I do not know of any repaired elsewhere;...
I was honoured with your Excellency’s letter of yesterday. The military stores ordered from hence are all gone, together with near twenty (I think) casks of flints which some of the ox teams had brought on from Springfield. The whole were a few days ago advanced as far as Sussex Court House, and are under the care of Ebenezer Brannon conductor of military stores. Lest there should not be...
I have been honoured with your Excellency’s letter of this date, and will pay due attention to the contents. I had no notice for the demand for planks till Gl Knox mentioned it today: He will inform your Excellency how I proposed to obtain a part of them. I shall send an express to Colo. Hughes at Albany to morrow morning on that account; and one for Boston to morrow afternoon on the score of...
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.