From William Davies
Chesterfield March 21. 81.
The Commissioner of the provision law, I think he is called, being so exceedingly ill as to be past the possibility of recovery, I have taken this opportunity of giving your Excellency notice of it, as the arrival of the new levies will occasion a considerable consuption of provision; and we have no great quantity of meat on hand. Mr. Ball is the gentleman who is expected to expire in a few moments: being but little acquainted in the county I know of nobody who would be proper to succeed him. It is a place, however, of much consequence to the accommodation of this post.
The bearer will bring any letters your Excellency may have written on the Subject of former applications, to which I have received no answer.
I have the honor to be, Sir, most respectfully, Your Excellency’s most obed Servt.,
RC (Vi); addressed and endorsed.
On 21 Mch. Davies also wrote to Steuben: “We are put to much difficulty here for forage and provisions. The Commissioner (Mr. Ball) died this morning. I am now sending expresses to guard against the want of both, and must as soon as possible get the Executive to appoint another Commissioner, but I fear it will be some time before we get things in a proper channel. What makes the matter somewhat more unfortunate is that the Commissary (Mr. Robinson) has gone to Fredericksburg to settle his account with Major Forsythe, and it will probably be a fortnight before he returns” (NHi).