To George Measam
Fredericksbg 28 October 1778
The cold season advances so rapidly—and the necessities of the troops are so distressingly great, that it is of infinite importance to the service to have the cloathing of every kind brought to camp and distributed as speedily as possible. It begins to be high time to enter into Winter quarters; and we shall be obliged to adopt the same expedient and submit to the same inconveniences with respect to quarters this Winter as we did the last. To reconcile the men’s minds to the drudgery and sufferings they have before them, nothing can contribute so powerfully as to have them well clad, before they begin & nothing perhaps will facilitate recruiting more1—in doing this we have not a moment to lose. I am therefore to desire you will exert yourself to the utmost to forward the cloathing with all possible dispatch—Provided it come on in some tolerable order—we must dispense with the nice punctilios of exact method which at another time might be very proper. The great and pressing object now is to have the cloathing put upon the men’s backs to shelter them from the inclemencies of the season.
I inclose you a certificate which will show what colored cloathing the troops of each state are to have as determined by lot. In any issues you make, you must govern yourself by this.2
I wish you to know as soon as may be what quantity there is of each color. You will endeavour to ascertain it as near as you can and give me information. I am Sir Your hume servt
As it was apprehended that there might be a surplus of Blue Cloathing after supplying the troops of North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and New York agreeable to lottery No. 1. There was a second draft for the choice of Blue which is to be agreeable to lottery No. 2.3
Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s and Tench Tilghman’s writings, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Hamilton wrote all of the draft except for the dateline and the postscript, which are in Tilghman’s writing, and the phrase in GW’s writing (see note 1).
1. GW inserted the phrase “& nothing perhaps will facilitate recruiting more” above the line in his own writing on the draft manuscript.
2. The certificate of this date regarding the first of the two clothing lotteries that were drawn today by GW’s staff officers reads: “It having appeared to His Excellency, General Washington by Letters and reports, from persons employed in the Cloathing department-that the Coats for the Soldiers, about to be delivered, are of two colours Viz., Blue & Brown—faced with red—to prevent disputes & uneasinesses among the Troops in case there should be a difference in the quality and to give them all an equal chance—We certify—that he determined the Cloathing should be drawn for by Lot; that we were appointed to represent the Troops of the States set against our names and that we drew the Colours as hereafter mentioned.
|R. H. Harrison||North Carolina||Blue|
|R. K. Meade||Virginia & Delaware||Brown|
|A. Hamilton||New Jersey||Blue|
|H. P. Livingston||New York||Blue|
|A. Scammell||New Hampshire including Hazens||Brown.”|
The text of this certificate is taken from the signed manuscript in DLC:GW, which is in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing except for the table, which is in Tench Tilghman’s writing. Each of the eight staff officers involved in this lottery signed that document and the particular ticket that he drew. The eight signed tickets are also in DLC:GW. For the second clothing lottery of this date, see note 3. Harrison enclosed copies of both clothing lottery certificates in the letter that he wrote to Horatio Gates on this date (DLC:GW), but neither those copies nor the ones enclosed in this letter to Measam have been identified.
3. The certificate of this date regarding the second clothing lottery drawn today by GW’s staff officers reads: “The right of drawing Blue Coats having been determined to day in favr of the North Carolina Maryland—Jersey and New York Troops by Lottery in the first instance, and it being apprehended by His Excellency Genl Washington that there will remain a considerable number of the same Colour after they are supplied, and that the other Troops may prefer them to Brown—That they might all have an equal chance—We certify that we were appointed to represent the Troops of the States set against our Names and that we drew the Numbers hereafter mentioned which are to determine their right of Choice.
|R. H. Harrison||Virginia & Delaware||No. 2|
|J. McHenry||Pennsylvania||No. 4|
|C. Gibbs||Massachusetts||No. 1|
|A. Scammell||New Hampshire
The text of this certificate is taken from the signed manuscript in DLC:GW, which is in Tench Tilghman’s writing. Each of the four staff officers involved in this lottery signed that document and the particular ticket that he drew. The four signed tickets are also in DLC:GW. For Harrison’s sending copies of both clothing lottery certificates to Horatio Gates on this date, see note 2.