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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...
Your favour of yesterday I received, and am sorry to hear that the Quota of Militia which the Town of Salem was to furnish, by Resolve of the Honorable General Court can not be had. The Generous tender of Services made by you Sir & the rest of the Volunteers, claims a return of my sincere thanks. Should I have an occasion to call upon them, I shall do It; At present I wish them to Continue at...
The Office of Adjutant General being vacant by the resignation of Colo. Reed, and the power of appointing a Successor with me, I am induced from the good opinion I entertain of your attachment to the interests of the United States and your Military character, not only to make a tender, but most heartily to wish your acceptance of it. It will give me much pleasure if the Offer meets your...
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 am favoured with yours of the 9th & 14th instants. Upon the Receipt of the first I had no hopes of seeing you in the department which I wished, but by the latter I am pleased to find, that upon a full reconsideration of the matter, you had determined to accept of the office of Adjutant General, provided it had not been disposed of. I am obliged to you for the free manner in which you unbosom...
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...
Wilmington [ Delaware ] August 29, 1777. Sends extract from General Orders of June 18, 1777, stating that “Timothy Pickering Esquire is appointed Adjutant General in the Armies of the United States of America.” ADS , Pickering Foundation, Salem, Massachusetts. Before his appointment as adjutant general, Timothy Pickering had served as colonel of a Massachusetts militia regiment.
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...
I have been favored with yours of the 19th inst. with its enclosures on the subject of the Indian voyages upon the Western frontier. Previous to the Receipt of it, I had put that part of the 13th Virginia Regt, which remained here under marching orders, with an intent of sending them to Fort Pitt, as they were raised in that county. Immediately upon receiving the account of the alarming...
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...
I am favd with yours of the 9th instant. I have directed the Blankets to be brought forward to Camp, after the North Carolinians are supplied the remainder shall be distributed among the troops who most want —The draughts from the Army for Teamsters, Mechanics and persons of different occupations are so great, that our return, upon command, amounts to almost half the effective fit for duty....
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...
I was honored yesterday with the Boards Letter of the 19th Instant. From the apprehensions of the public of an Indian war in the western department, and the earnest applications of General McIntosh for Troops, I was induced the 15 of the month to detach Durkee’s & Ransom’s companies for that command. I am told by Lt Buck that they are halted at Lancaster. As they are detached from this Army,...
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.”
I had the honor of your letter of the 5th Inst. with its inclosures. I have communicated the resolve of Congress respecting the pay of supernumerary officers to the Auditor of accounts for the goverment of his conduct. In case there are any quantity of shoes, at the different manufactories under the direction of the board, I could wish them to be forwarded to camp as soon as possible. as also...
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.”
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 —As there is no probability of an attempt upon that post at this time, I should not think it prudent to send the Artillery required and necessary Stores just now, but as we do not know what an unlooked for turn in the affairs...
As I shall have occasion to remove Colo. Rawlins’s Corps from Fort Frederick in Maryland, (where they are guarding the prisoners,) to Fort Pitt, I must request the Board to call upon Governor Johnston of Maryland to furnish a Militia Guard to releive Colo. Rawlins. I wish no time may be lost in making the requisition, and that the Governor may be informed of the necessity of sending the Releif...
I must request the Board to give orders to have a considerable number of Cartridges made up with Buck Shott and Ball, indeed it might not be amiss to have all from this time made up in that manner. I wish to be informed what number of Hunting Shirts are on hand and where they are lodged—There are none among the Cloathing in Camp—and but 500 in the Store at Fishkill. If there are any more, they...
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...
At the request of General Hamilton I inclose you his state of the deficien[cies] of provisions furnished to the Barracks. I have no reason to doubt the truth of the state so far as it may be understood of animal food, for of meal they have [had] always enough; but in Justice &c. (precisely as the above letter to General Washington only leaving out your Excellency in inserting your board). I...
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...
Your Letter of August the second has come duly to hand. We agree with you that the post at fort Pitt may be supplied much more œconomically from the settlements round about it, and these settlements have such a sufficiency of provision for the subsistance of the post that it is a waste of effort and of the public treasure to purchase and remove them from the east side of the Allegany. The...
I was in hopes that circumstances would have admitted of your joining the Army before this time; but your presence, or that of some person acting by authority under you, now becomes indispensably necessary; as, by a Resolve of Congress of the 23d Augt which takes effect this day, no Certificates for any Articles in the Quarter Master Generals department are to be valid hereafter, except signed...
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...
I am directed by The General to inform you in confidence, that the army will march from its present ground as soon as the weather permits. You will make your arrangements accordingly. When the weather clears, if you will call at Head Quarters, you will be informed of the particular disposition. I am D Sir   Yr. Obed ser ALS , MS Division, New York Public Library. Pickering had succeeded Major...
I am directed by The General to inform you in confidence, that the army will march from its present groundas soon as the weather permits—You will make your arrangements accordingly—When the weather clears, if you will call at Head Quarters, you will be informed of the particular disposition. I am Dr Sir Yr Obed. Serv. NN : Emmet Collection.
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...
You will have the boats at Dodd’s and those now with the army, properly furnished with oars, transported by horses for the sake of expedition—brought to the Notch, tomorrow evening precisely at five O Clock (i e half an hour before sunset) where they will receive further orders. You will have with each set a confidential person on whom you can absolutely rely for punctuality to a moment. 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 Jersey Brigade will be ordered to Kings-ferry to receive the Waggons of the Mas sachuset ts Troops, without any detention of the latter. No Troops about Hd Qr except the Guard & the Artillery Regiments in the vicinity of New Windsor. The light Infantry of the Jersey line will take charge of the Boats. The Massachusetts Brigades will be a t the Posts in the Highlands—West side. The...
I send you the dispatches for Millet—There are among them two letters—one for Morris Town and one for Baskenridge which he is to deliver—they are of consequence and therefore be pleased to give him a charge respecting them. His Excellency only wishes to have four more Boats upon Carriages, If you can have them mounted from those upon the North River—the remainder may be all sent up above 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...
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...