George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Captain Caleb Gibbs, 22 April 1777

To Captain Caleb Gibbs

Morristown. April 22. 1777

Dear Sir

I forgot before you left this place to desire you to provide clothing for the men that are to compose my guard—but now desire that you will apply to the clothier general and have them forwarded to this place, Head Quarters as soon as possible. Provide for 4 Serjeants, 4 corporals, a drum and fife, and 50 rank and file. If Blew and Buff can be had I should prefer that uniform, as it is the one I wear myself. If it cannot, Mr Mease & you may fix upon any other, red excepted. I shall get men from 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 10 for the Guard; for such sized men therefore make your clothing. You may get a small round Hatt, or cocked one as you please. In getting these cloathes—no mention need be made for what purpose they are intended; for though no extraordinary expense will attend it and the Guard which is absolutely necessary for the security of my baggage, papers &c. may as well be in the same uniform as to consist of twenty, yet the report of making a uniform (or if already made) providing a uniform for the guards creates an idea of expense which I should not wish should go forth. That your arms may also be of a piece I herewith enclose you an order on the Comy of stores for 58 muskets.1 I am Dr sir Yr most obedt servt

(Signed) Geo: Washington

Transcript, NN: Bancroft Collection; ALS, sold by Goodspeed’s Book Shop, catalog no. 125, item 2764, 1918. The heading on the transcript reads: “General Washington to Captn Gibbs (in Phila.).” Gibbs had left Morristown for Philadelphia sometime during the previous three days apparently to recover from a bout of ill health (see GW to Richard Gridley and to Nathaniel Heard, 19 April, and GW to Gibbs, 1, 3 May). On 23 April Gibbs was at Newtown, Pa., where he paid wages to two servants who had been employed in the headquarters household (see receipts from Jane Irwin and John Whitehead, that date, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 29). Gibbs reached Philadelphia by 27 April, and he left the city on 11 May to return to Morristown, where he apparently arrived on 17 or 18 May (see receipt from David Tew, 27 April, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 29, James Mease to GW, 12 May, and the entries for 23 April to 16 May 1777 in the household account book, 11 April 1776–21 Nov. 1780, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 28).

1This enclosure has not been identified.

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