George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Lewis Nicola, 7 November 1777

From Colonel Lewis Nicola

Trenton Novr 7th 1777


The inclosed Letter I wrote yesterday in order to send it by the first opportunity to your Excellency,1 & Just now received a letter from the Secretary of the Board of war & copy of which I have the honour to inclose to you2 & as you must certainly be well acquainted with the importance & danger of the Stores at Allen town & in this place & Burdentown I take the liberty to request your Orders as to my continuance or removal.3 On the receipt of Mr Peters’s letter I applied to Coll Sullevan to know whether the stores here absolutely required a guard his answer I send inclosed also a requisition I received this morning from Mr Paxton, issuing Commissary of Provisions, on account of one of his Store being robed last night.4 The number of men I have here fit for duty, beside the detachment sent to Burdentown, is about 40. I beg leave to assure your Excellency that I am with respect Sr Your most humle and obedt Servt

Lewis Nicola

ALS, PHi: Dreer Collection; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW.

1This letter has not been found.

2Richard Peters’s letter to Nicola, written from the war office in York, Pa., on 29 Oct., reads: “I am directed to desire you to march your Corps from Trenton to Allen town in Pensylvania & take the guard of the Stores at that place so soon as you can consistently with the safety of any Stores which may yet remain at Trenton” (DLC:GW).

3No written instructions from GW to Nicola on this subject have been identified.

4Samuel H. Sullivan’s letter to Nicola from Trenton of 7 Nov. reads: “A guard at this Post is Necessary for my Department—for the Forage Wood & other Stores which are Liable to be Stolen Every Night—it Likwise Necessary for impressing of Waggons which upon an Emergency Can be got in no other way” (DLC:GW). James Paxton’s letter to Nicola, which is not dated, reads: “I Shoud be much oblidged to you for a Guard at the Stores in Trenton as there is Salt, Soap, and other Things of Value which require a Constant Guard” (DLC:GW). Paxton, who was appointed deputy commissary of issues in September 1777, became assistant commissary of the Continental army’s general hospital in July 1778.

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