George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Henry Emanuel Lutterloh, 30 January 1778

From Colonel Henry Emanuel Lutterloh

Janry 30 1778


The inclosed return is brought to me this evening by the person I did send of[f], according to Your Excellencys order.1

Your Excellency was pleased to Send to me about the worn out horses—I have Send of Since we have been here 380 horses; to day went of a party for which I got with the greatest difficulty the drivers, and the rest remains here, for Want of Men to go of with them. I have made long ago the regulation to Send these old horses up in the Country to distand farm yards, by which I prevent the great difficulty to provide for them, and the horses are better taken care of.2 but for Want of hands I must allso defer that in General, as at present all the Soldiers are drawn of at once from driving Teams, I am put to the greatest distress—and a great Numbers of Teams are turned in and I do not Know how to Supply all Teams I am continually called upon. My plan of Inlisting drivers is gone in the different parts of the Country. but they will not come in so Soon. I must therefore beg your Excellency will be pleased to order a certain Number of Soldiers to drive so long till the New Men come in. I Spoke to the adjudant General about it.3 and as soon as I have them, I shall Send of the Tents & the same Waggons can bring back Stores from Reading. I have the honour to be with profound Respects Your Excelly Most obedient & most humble Servant

H. E. Lutterloh


1The enclosure has not been identified.

2The letter that GW or one of his aides wrote to Lutterloh on this subject has not been found, but it was presumably the same letter in which GW had ordered Lutterloh to request wagons from the Pennsylvania supreme executive council (see Clement Biddle to GW, 25 Jan., and note 3 of that document).

3The common practice of soldiers acting as wagon drivers had bothered Lutterloh and GW for some time. GW’s aide-de-camp John Laurens wrote Lutterloh “By Command of His Excelly” on 15 Jan.: “The abuse of the indulgence hitherto granted to the Quartermasters &c. of taking Waggoners out of the Line makes it necessary to put an absolute Stop to this practice—You are therefore to take timely measures for furnishing your Department with Drivers elsewhere, in order that every Soldier employed in that Capacity, may return to his Duty before the opening of the Campaign” (DLC:GW). Lutterloh replied to Laurens on the same date: “I have inlisters out Now to get Drivers & have allready engaged 46 Men to Serve during the War. It has been my Constand Speaking about the absolute Necessity to have drivers for a longer Term, as all our Continatel horses have been Spoiled thro’ the Soldiers, besids No Regularity could be expected from Men which could leave the Teams & went under the protection of their officers—it also Weakend the Army. This has been my Argument wrote Many Times—but I never Could get a positive order to go to the Expence of Inlisting—besids I wanted to Know wherefrom I should get the Cloathing which I absolutely must have to Keep the Men in order. I have Now Send my Inlisters out, upon my own Accord Knowing it must be So, but if I am not furnishd with a Resolution and agreing to those Terms of Cloathing I shall be in a pretty Situation, as I do not like to promise the poor fellows a Supply which the[y] will not get. It is Customary abroad that all our Driver are Annually Cloathed & then the Waggon Masters are obliged to luck after their Cloathing as a Captain after his Soldiers—as Soon as My Men come In I will allways Discharge the presend Soldier Drivers” (DLC:GW).

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