George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jeremiah Wadsworth, 16 November 1778

From Jeremiah Wadsworth

Frederiksburg [N.Y.] Novr 16. 1778


The solution, I am able to give to your several enquiries, will not I fear be fully satisfactory to your Excellency.1

I cannot promise to have more than two thousand bbls of salted meat, at Albany by the first day of ensuing February. And the diffi culty of manufacturing flour in the midst of winter will not allow of more than two thousand bbls of flour being in readiness at that place, by that time. By the first day of may next may be collected at that place five thousand bbls of flour and four thousand bbls of salted meat. Supplies of beef cattle may, at any time, be constantly furnished at Albany, for the subsistance of fifteen thousand men, provided those men are part of the army that are now fed.

There may be deposited in the neighborhood of Newbury on Connecticut river, by the fifteenth day of Jany next, one thousand bbls of salt beef & five hundred bbls of flour. In the course of the winter the quantity of flour may be increased so as to make a thousand bbls in the whole. Which quantities of meat & flour are the whole that can be got togather in that neighborhood by the first of may next.

An army of five thousand men, at the head of Connecticut river may be fed with beef after the first of may, including in the supplies, the meat abovementioned that is to be deposited there by that time.

In three or four days, I expect a conference with my Deputies when I shall be able to give much clearer & I hope more favorable accounts of my department. Your Excellencies most Obedient Humble Servant

Jereh Wadsworth Com. Gen. Purs.

ALS, DLC:GW; LB, CtHi: Jeremiah Wadsworth Papers.

Tench Tilghman wrote to Wadsworth on 17 Nov.: “His Exellency desires to be informed whether the two thousand Barrels of salted Meat and the two thousand Barrels of Flour that you engage to have at Albany by the 1st of February ensuing includes the provision already in that quarter or whether it will be so much additional—And again—Whether the thousand Barrels of salt meat and five hundred Barrels of Flour that you engage to have at Newbery by the 15th day of January includes the provision already in the Country and what you can add by transporting from the lower Country. If this should be the case, General Bailey’s representation of matters was very erroneous. He talked of 2000 Barrels of salt meat and from 10 to 20000 Bushels of wheat being on the upper part of Connecticut River. You will please to be as explicit as possible upon the above points as His Exellency will form his determination upon your Report” (DLC:GW).

Wadsworth’s reply of the same date reads: “The two thousand barrels of Salted meat, and the two thousand barrels of flower, to be at Albany by the 1st of Feby insueing, includes the provision already in that quarter and is not so much additional but is exclusive of what is to be expended for other purposes.

“The thousand Barrels of Salt meat and five hundred barrels of Flower to be at Newberry, by the 15th day of Jany is what I believe to be already their, and on its way—I am not certain more can be added by transporting, yet believe in the course of the Winter I can make the quantity of Flower one thousand barrels includeing the five hundred already mentioned.

“I am persuaded General Bailey’s representation was erroneous, my information comes from a person sent their on purpose, who I believe made him selfe well acquainted with the abillities of that Country General Baeleys sending for five hundred barrels of Flower to my deputy is a proof of his being mestaken in his calculations” (DLC:GW).

1See GW to Wadsworth, this date. GW forwarded both of these letters with his comments to Nathanael Greene on 17 December.

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