George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 26 April 1778

From Major General William Heath

Head Quarters Boston April 26th 1778

Dear General

I have been Honored with yours of the 8th Instant.

I do myself the Honor to enclose the resolves of the General assembly of this State for Drafting a number of men to Compleat their Battalions, and to Serve on Hudsons River which They appear to be Determined to accomplish without Delay.1

On the 13th Instant I Published an order in the publick Papers for all Soldiers in this Quarter belonging to Regiments in the Service of the United States of america who were absent from their respective Corps to Joyn them Immediately on pain of being treated as Deserters2—Several Detachments are on the way to the army.

enclosed is a request of Lieut. Clark of Colo. Lees Regt, for Leave to resign his Commission in the army being in a declining State of Health.3

Six or Seven victuallers are now at anchor in this Harbour having on Board 3034 bbs. of Flour 830 bbs. Beef 1235 bbs. Pork, between Twenty & Thirty Tons of Bread a Quantity of Rice Peas &c. to replace the Provisions that have been Supplied the Troops of the Convention the first four months of their being Here, a further Quantity of Beef is to be Sent from New York, which is to be Delivered here within Forty Days from the 7th of this Instant, which is also Due for the Supplies within the before mentioned months for the fulfilment of this I have a Pledge of Gold in my Hands, which is to remain as a Discharge of the accot if the whole of the Provisions are not replaced within the forty Days. If it is replaced, I am to Deliver the Pledge to Genl Phillips.4

Major Genl Pigot has Undertaken to Supply the Troops of the Convention with provisions in future5 which I think will be a Happy Circumstance in our favor as it will tend greatly to Lower the price of Provisions, and enable us to turn our whole attention to provide for our Own Troops. I have the Honor to be with great respect your Excellencys most Obd. Servt

W. Heath

P.S. I shall the next week forward to the Treasury at York Town about 10,0000 Dollars in solid Coin, which I have received of Genl Burgoyne for fuel.

ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1For a summary of this resolution, see Jeremiah Dummer Powell to GW, 25 April, n. 1.

2The order, signed by Heath’s aide and deputy adjutant general Israel Keith, appeared in the Boston-Gazette, and Country Journal of 13 and 20 April and the Continental Journal, and Weekly Advertiser (Boston) of 16 and 23 April.

3The enclosure has not been identified. John Clark, Jr., of Marblehead, who served as a sergeant in Col. John Glover’s regiment of Massachusetts state troops in the fall of 1775, was engaged as an ensign when that regiment was reorganized and designated the 14th Continental Regiment in January 1776. He was appointed a second lieutenant of Col. William Raymond Lee’s Additional Continental Regiment on 10 Feb. 1777. Heath wrote “Capt. Lyman and Two Subalterns” on the draft but struck out that phrase and substituted the words “Lieut. Clark.” Capt. Daniel Lyman remained in the army, becoming Heath’s aide-de-camp in May.

4At this point Heath wrote but crossed out the words, “Upon the whole, in justice, General Burgoyne has Discovered the greatest Honor in the whole Transaction—He [was].” For Gen. John Burgoyne’s agreement with Heath, dated 2 April, see “Heath Papers,” description begins “The Heath Papers.” Parts 1–3. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 5th ser., 4:1–285; 7th ser., vols. 4–5. Boston, 1878–1905. description ends pt. 2, pp. 225–26.

5For British major general Robert Pigot’s proposal, see John Morrison to Heath, 22 April, MHi: Heath Papers (see also DNA:PCC, item 157).

Index Entries