George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Nathanael Greene, 20 November 1778

From Major General Nathanael Greene

Camp Fredricksburg [N.Y.] Nov. 20 1778


Inclosd is Col. Biddles Letter to me upon the subject of Forage.1 I shall only add that a great number of our Horses for Ten days past have been falling away to such a degree for want of a sufficient supply that those which were in good order then are now almost unfit for duty.

I am perswaded it will be impossible to subsist the Cattle belonging to the Army here unless there is a Press Warrant granted to aid the Forage Master. I shall take great care that no improper use is made of the Warrant.2 I have the honor to be with great respect Your Excellency obedient humble Sert

Nath. Greene Q.M.G.


1The enclosed letter of this date from Clement Biddle at Quaker Hill, N.Y., to Greene reads: “It will be impossible to submit the horses at this Post if we remain here longer than tomorrow unless I have a Warrant to impress Forage—I beg you to represent this to his Excellency the General & request his warrant to impress what Forage may be necessary in the Vicinity of Camp both in this State and the borders of Connecticut. . . . It will be necessary to extend the warrant so as to serve on our March to Jersey” (DLC:GW).

2GW responded on this date with the following warrant to Biddle: “In consideration of the absolute necessity of it to the public service, from the impossibility of procuring sufficient supplies otherwise—You are hereby authorised to impress forage necessary for the consumption of the army, from the inhabitants as well of this state in the vicinity of camp, as on the borders of Connecticut and those residing on the routes through the Jerseys, by which any body of troops shall march, having regard to the real wants of the inhabitants and paying the established price for what you shall so impress—This Warrant to continue in force a month from the date hereof” (LS, PHi: Washington-Biddle Correspondence).

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