George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Brigadier General Henry Knox, 19 February 1780

From Brigadier General Henry Knox

Morris-Town 19th February 1780


I have the honor to enclose to your Excellency duplicates of returns which this day I have sent to the board of War—altho your Excellency has not requir’d them, I think it proper they should be in your possession.1 I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Your Excellency’s Obedient Servant

H. Knox


1Knox most likely enclosed four returns, all signed by Knox, addressed to GW, and dated 12 February. The first, a return of “Ordnance and Stores with the Park of Artillery & the Main Army,” lists under the category of brass ordnance three 12-pounders, nineteen 6-pounders, one 4-pounder, sixteen 3-pounders, three 5½-inch howitzers, and two 8-inch howitzers. The return lists an extensive array of ammunition: 799 fixed strap shot for 6-pounders and 1,028 for 3-pounders; 466 case shot for 6-pounders, sixty-eight for 4-pounders, 509 for 3-pounders, and forty-one case shot for the 5½-inch howitzers; eighteen grapeshot rounds for the 6-pounders, four for the 4-pounders, and eighty-six for 3-pounders; twenty filled flannel cartridges for the 6-pounders and seventy-six for the 5½-inch howitzers; forty paper cartridges for the 6-pounders and forty-one for the 3-pounders; fifty-one fixed shells for the 5½-inch howitzers; 4,481 priming tubes; sixty coils of slow match; and 853 port fires. The return also listed several types of damaged stores: sixteen 3-pounder strapped shot, twenty 3-pounder case shot, ninety-one 6-pounder strapped shot, thirty-three 6-pounder case shot, and seventy-five weight of powder (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 21247).

The second, “A Return of Small Arms, Accoutrements &c. in Store at Albany as pr last Return of Jany 1st 1780,” after accounting for the items repaired and issued since that date, also listed the small arms and accoutrements remaining in store on 1 February. Five mounted and two unmounted 6-pounders were in store on that date. Included in the list of items in store on that date as either “repaired” or “repairable” were 3,707 small arms and 618 bayonets. The list of items in store on that date also included 1,706 weight of powder, 3,361 weight of musket balls, 2½ barrels of flints, 910 priming tubes, 180 weight of slow match, 352 new gun locks, 24 sheepskins, 50 fifes, and 90 pounds of thread (DNA: RG 93 manuscript file no. 21032).

The third, a “Return of Ordnance Stores—Traveling Forges and Armourers Tools—&ca in possession of the Conductors with the Brigades of the Main Army,” dated at Morristown, listed the number of “Good” and “Bad” musket cartridges, muskets, bayonets, scabbards, belts, cartouche boxes, flints, gun worms, pounds of powder, and pounds of ball. Also listed are the number of forges, bellows, and tools held by the conductors in the 1st and 2d Maryland brigades, the 1st and 2d Pennsylvania brigades, the 1st and 2d Connecticut brigades, and the brigades of brigadier generals Edward Hand, William Maxwell, James Clinton, and John Stark (a note indicated that “Hand’s & Clinton’s Brigades have no Conductors, the duty being done by the B[rigade] Q[uarter] Masters.”). In total, the conductors of these brigades possessed 109,386 good and 13,093 bad musket cartridges, 390 good and 228 bad muskets, 482 good and 91 bad bayonets, 732 good and 100 bad scabbards, 460 good and 96 bad belts, 415 good and 170 bad cartouche boxes, 10,723 good flints, 880 good gun worms, 42 pounds of good powder, and 90 pounds of good ball. Every brigade except those of Stark and Clinton had a traveling forge (DNA: RG93 manuscript file no. 21004).

The fourth, a “Return of Ordnance, Stores &ca in charge of Capt. Lt Jeremiah Freeman at Easton [Pa.] Feby 4th 1780,” listed seven brass 4-pounders, two 6-pounders, one 7½-pounder, four 12-pounders, three 24-pounders, 265 strap shot for 24-pounders, forty-one strap shot for 12-pounders, nine strap shot for 4-pounders, ten case shot for 4-pounders, thirty case shot for 7½-pounders, eighty-six case shot for 12-pounders, forty-nine case shot for 24-pounders, 259 port fires, forty-two coils of slow match, 682 firing tubes, fourteen port-fire sticks, thirteen linstocks, thirty sponges, ten ladles, eight worms, ten pounds of powder, fifteen ammunition wagons, and one traveling forge. Also on hand were various quantities of such items as powder horns, drag ropes, gunner’s belts, and axes (DNA:PCC manuscript file no. 21236).

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