George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 21 October 1779

To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Head Quarters West Point 21st Octobr 1779.

Dear Sir

In consequence of yours of the 19th I gave your Qr Mr an order for 500 pair of shoes which, considering the stock on hand, is a full proportion for your Corps.1 I have directed all the Commissaries of Hides to collect and send in all the shoes they possibly can procure,2 and I am not without hopes that we shall in a little time have a sufficiency.

It is not in my power to grant the request of the Officers of Colo. Febigers Regt in regard to exchanging Hides for Boots and Shoes. It is true, things of a similar nature have heretofore been done, but the whole Business of the Hide department has lately been put into the Hands of Commissaries under the direction of the Board of War, who have, in the most pointed manner, desired me to admit of no further exchanges by any but the Commissaries—who are to deliver the shoes to the Cloathier General.3

Necessity obliges me to desire you to dispense for the present with one part of military duty—that of firing a morning and evening Gun—You cannot conceive how much value we ought to set upon every Cartridge—you will, I dare say understand me, and will no doubt see the propriety of my saying no more upon a subject that ought to be concealed as much as possible—We have a favorable account from the southward, tho’ not official Doctor Johnson4 who does me the favor to carry this, has the particulars.5 I am with great Esteem Dear Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, PHi: Wayne Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The LS is addressed to Wayne at Haverstraw, N.Y., and was sent “On public Service.” A note on the cover, in Tilghman’s writing, reads: “Favd by Docr Johnston.” Wayne received this letter at 4 P.M. (see Wayne to GW, 22 Oct., PHi).

1These orders have not been found; GW may have given them verbally.

3See Board of War to GW, 14 Aug.; see also Board of War to GW, 9 October. For Congress’s new regulations for the commissaries of hides, adopted in July, see JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 14:870–72. The board also had sent out instructions to the commissaries of hides (see Board of War to GW, 14 Aug.). For GW’s comments on these regulations, see GW to the Board of War, 16 August.

4GW probably is referring to Robert Johnston, assistant director of hospitals in the northern department; on the draft, also in Tilghman’s writing, this name is spelled “Johnston.”

5GW is referring to the attack on the British force at Savannah, Ga., by the combined allied forces of Maj. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln and French vice admiral d’Estaing. Contrary to GW’s expectations, the attack failed (see Planning for an Allied Attack on New York, c.3–7 Oct.).

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