To Brigadier General Henry Knox1
[West Point, July 24, 1779]
I inclose you by the General’s order a letter from General Gates, with sundry papers respe⟨cti⟩ng powder Springfield &c.4 on which yo⟨ur opi⟩nion is requested. The question is—W⟨hat is t⟩o be done?
Col Nixon sent to Springfield ⟨to be in⟩ charge of the Massachusettes ⟨–⟩ writes that he has obtained a partial supply of arms but no Cartrige boxes.5 His Excellency requests your attention to this matter that measures may be taken to have a sufficient number ready here to furnish the men as they arrive.
D Genl Yr. Affect. huml ser
ALS, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.
2. Letter not found.
3. Charles Harrison, a resident of Virginia, was a colonel in the First Continental Artillery.
4. On July 18, 1779, Major General Horatio Gates wrote to George Washington that he was waiting for orders from Washington and Knox concerning military supplies in the eastern department. He requested Washington to send Colonel John Lamb of the Second Continental Artillery to inspect the stores at Springfield, which he believed were being poorly managed. Gates also suggested that more powder be manufactured at Andover because of the scarcity of musket and cannon powder throughout his department (LS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress).
Gates, a native of Britain who had served with the British army in North America during the French and Indian War, settled in America in 1772. In 1775 he was commissioned a brigadier general in the Continental Army and in 1776 was promoted to major general. He was the commanding officer of the victorious American army at Saratoga. When the letter printed above was written, he was the commanding officer of the eastern department of the Continental forces.
5. Thomas Nixon to Washington, July 18, 1779 (ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress).