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From George Washington to William Lord Stirling Alexander, 12 June 1781

12 June 1781

At a Board of General Officers convened at New Windsor N.Y. the 12th day of June 1781.


His Excellency the Commander in Chief

M. General Lord Stirling Brigadiers Generals Knox
Genl Howe Paterson
Genl Parsons Hand
Genl McDougall Huntington
Du Portail

The Commander in Chief informed the Board, that the principal Reason of his calling them together, was to make them acquainted with the plan of operations concerted between His Excellency the Count de Rochambeau and himself, at their late meeting at Weathersfield— He requested that thay would, at all times in the course of those operations, give him their advice and opinions, individualy, without hesitation or reserve, assuring them, that he should ever receive them with thankfulness, and that, although circumstances or other considerations might sometimes lay him under the necessity of taking measures different from what might be proposed, he hoped that would be no impediment to their still continuing to communicate to him their Ideas.

The Commander in Chief urged to the Board the necessity of economising Provisions, and recommended to the Generals, particularly the Brigadiers, the necessity of inspecting the Returns made by their Commissaries upon every drawing day, in order to see that the Quantity of Rations drawn does not exceed the number to which the Brigade was strictly entitled, assuring them, that he should, in future, look upon them as answerable for any irregularities upon this head. He here took occasion to state to the Board, generally, the present System of the Departments of Commissaries General of Purchases and Issues, and should the impossibility of their being, upon their present plan, a check, as was intended upon each other, and wished the Board to take the matter into consideration and report any method which appeared to them more likely to answer the end proposed. He also desired them to take the following matters into consideration and report upon them accordingly.

1st A plan for the regular inspection of the Magazines of Provisions, that the State of provisions may not only be constantly known, but, that the Commissaries may be called to Account for any damage which may appear owing to their negligence.

2d Whether the number of Issuing Posts to the Northward of Virginia (agreeable to the return which will be laid before them by the Commy General) appear to them necessary. If they do not, pointing out which, in their opinions ought to be abolished.

3d A plan for baking for the Army drawn up by General Knox.

4th The proportion of Women which ought to be allowed to any given number of Men, and to whom rations shall be allowed.

5th What Officers of the Staff shall be allowed draw waiters from the line of the Army.

6th Whether it will be safe during our advance toward New York, and which we are operating against that place, to trust Posts at Kings ferry & West Point to the following Garrisons, composed of the weakliest and worst Men , but who are always to remain in the works assigned them.

C. LC. M. C. S St. R&F.
North Redoubts {^ 1 2 25
1 {
Middle do {_ 1 2 25

Island " 1 2 3 40

No. 1 " {^ ^ ^ {^ 1 2 25
{ 1 {
2 " { {_ 1 2 25
1 {
3 " { {^ 1 2 25
{ 1 {
4 " {_ _ _ {_ 1 2 25

Fort Putnam " . {^ 1 2 3 75
Webb " 1 { 1 10
Wyllys " {_ 1 2 25

Clinton " 1 4 8 12 140
1 1 1 9 19 33 440

Kings Ferry "
Stoney Point " 1 1 2 30
Verplanks do " 1 1 2 30
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
1 1 2 4 60
West Point " 1 1 1 9 19 33 440
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Total " 1 1 2 10 21 37 500

7th How soon it will be advisable to encamp the Army and what place will it be best to draw them together in the first instance?


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