To Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Walton White
Head Quarters Middlebrook 10th Febry 1779.
I received your letter of the 5th Inst.1
It is my wish to avoid every measure, which has the appearance of distressing the farmer,2 or of forcing from him that forage3 which may be necessary for his own stock, in all cases, not strictly justified by the urgency of the occasion.
If subsistence for the whole regiment can be procured, thro’ the forage master in the regular mode4 without distress or coercion, you will continue them where you are. But if irregular measures must be used to procure, either grain or hay, a part must be sent to Baltimore, in order that the burden may be made easy to both places.5 Should this latter be the case, you will give such instructions to the officer who goes to Baltimore, as you have received for the goverment of the regiment. I am sir your most hble servt
LS, in James McHenry’s writing, NjR: Anthony Walton White Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW franked the cover of the LS, which McHenry addressed to “Lieutenant Colonel White 4th Regiment Light Dragoons at Lancaster.”
2. At this place on the draft manuscript, McHenry first wrote “inhabitants.” He then struck out that word and wrote “farmer” above the line.
3. At this place on the draft manuscript, McHenry wrote and then struck out the words “and subsistence.”
4. On the LS manuscript the words “in the regular mode” are inserted above the line in GW’s writing.
5. At this place on the draft manuscript, McHenry first wrote “the neighborhood of Lancaster.” He then struck out these words and wrote “both places” above the line.