George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Artemas Ward, 28 April 1776

From Major General Artemas Ward

Boston 28 April 1776


By Mr Harrison’s Letter of the twenty second Instant, I am informed your Excellency can not supply me with the Cash I wrote for;1 I am very sorry as there are many demands on the Commissary and Quartermaster, which are not all of a late date. I have made out Warrants for the payment of the five Regiments here for the month of February, and have found it necessary to give Warrants for the payment of the men on board the Hancock, Franklin, and Harrison, Privateers, otherwise they must have been hauled up.

I have made enquiry respecting the arrival of powder at Cambridge since your Excellency’s departure, and am informed by Mr Barber that none has arrived.2

I have given all attention in my power to the Works, the fortress on Fort Hill is in good forwardness, there are now eight twenty four pounders and two twelves mounted and furnished ready for action. The Court agreed to have a Fortress built at Castle point, which is nearly finished and I intend to have the Cannon mounted in it this week. The work at Charlestown point I expect will be compleated in seven or eight days. Our works, and other business, have been much retarded for want of Teams.

Capt. Fellows, the Gentleman I sent to Beverly to view the Ship Jenny and the Brigantine, has just returned and informs me that he with Commodore Manley and Capt. Bartlett viewed the above Vessels, and are all of opinion that neither of them is fit for the service.3

As there are several of the Enemy’s armed Vessels which cruize in this Bay that are larger than our Privateers, I wish that a Ship of sufficient force to take them might cruise this way. I am Your Excellencys Obedient Humble Servant

Artemas Ward

LS, DLC:GW; LB, MHi: Ward Papers.

1An excerpt from Robert Hanson Harrison’s letter to Ward of 22 April is printed in Ward to GW, 12 April 1776, n.3.

2Nathaniel Barber, Jr., served as commissary of stores for the eastern department from April 1776 to April 1781 (Barber to GW, 1 May 1793, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

3On 3 April Artemas Ward’s secretary, Joseph Ward, recommended to John Adams that Gustavus Fellows (1736–1818), an experienced merchant ship captain from Boston, be given command of an American warship (Taylor, Papers of John Adams description begins Robert J. Taylor et al., eds. Papers of John Adams. 17 vols. to date. Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1977–. description ends , 4:106–8). Fellows was not appointed, however, and he subsequently became involved in several privateering ventures as a ship owner and agent. He also served as a Boston selectman from 1777 to 1783. The brigantine that Fellows inspected at Beverly, Mass., was the Little Hannah (see GW to Artemas Ward, 18 April 1776, n.2).

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