George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Flower, 4 August 1777

From Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Flower

[Philadelphia, c.4 August 1777]

Your Excellency will please to put in Orders who the several Officers wanting Stores of any kind are to apply to for Orders on me or the Comissaries of Stores—Capt. Watkins is Commissary of Ordnance Stores—Capt. Gostelowe Comy of Arms & Accoutrement &c. &c. (Thos. Butler Esqr. Public Armourer under the immediate Direction of the Hon. the Board of War).1 Your Excellencys most Obed. Very Hum. Servt

Benj. Flower Comy Genl M.S.

ALS, DLC:GW. On the manuscript page above this letter Flower copied a letter to him of 4 Aug. 1777 from the Board of War directing him to “deliver to His Excellency Genl Washington’s Order, or that of such Persons as he shall appoint, all arms, Accoutrements & all Military Stores the Army may or do require during their stay in, or in the neighborhood of Philad.”

1Joseph Watkins of Pennsylvania was serving as commissary of ordnance stores at this time although the Continental Congress apparently did not officially appoint him to that capacity until 11 Nov. 1777 (see Watkins’s commission, that date, in DNA:PCC, item 78). Watkins resigned from the army in February 1779. Jonathan Gostelowe of Philadelphia served as assistant commissary of military stores with the rank of captain from 1 Aug. 1776 to 1 Feb. 1777, when he was promoted to commissary of military stores and to major. Gostelowe held that office at least until April 1780, and he was dismissed from the service for unknown reasons by 15 March 1782, the day that Congress read a memorial from him complaining about his dismissal (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 , 22:136). Thomas Butler of Baltimore began serving as Philadelphia’s public armorer in January 1777 (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 , 7:55). Butler moved his arms-repairing operations to Easton and to Carlisle, Pa., in the fall of 1777 (see Tench Tilghman to Butler, 19 Oct. 1777, DLC:GW). GW complained of Butler’s inaction in the department in March 1778 (see GW to Horatio Gates, 6 March 1778), and Butler was dismissed from the service the following month (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 , 10:380).

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