From Royal Flint
Camp Rariton [N.J.] March 15. 1779.
From the prospect of supplies for the next campaigne there seems to be a necessity of reducing the quantity of flour now issued in a ration. The deficiency will be made up either in meat or rice. There will be considerable quantities of rice ready early in the season for the purpose of such a substitute; and there is no reason to fear but meat both salt & fresh may be procured in the greatest plenty. The scarcity of flour in every part of the Continent will make it difficult & perhaps impossible to collect suitable supplies unless it is used with great œconomy & substitutes adopted as far as will be consistent with the health & comfort of the troops.
The ration now issued consists of a pound & quarter of flour or soft bread eighteen ounces of beef or a pound of pork—a jill of rum or whiskey occasionally and the usual allowance of soap & candles. The alteration I propose to be made is only to reduce the flour in a ration to a pound; and in lieu of the quarter of a pound so taken off, there may be given three ounces of beef or two ounces of pork, or when it can be had half a jill of rice. Spirits, soap, candles &c. to be dealt out as usual. This alteration while it contributes to lengthen out the supplies of flour, will in no respect, do any injury to the army; as a pound of flour or soft bread has generally been deemed a proper allowance for a soldier one day. The occasion of allowing a greater quantity than a pound the year past was the scarcity of meat the beginning of last year.
I submit this proposal to your Excellencys consideration and hope it will meet with your concurrence.1 I am your Excellencys most ob. & hbl. Srvt
Royal Flint A.C.G.P.
LB, CtHi: Jeremiah Wadsworth Papers.
In addition to his official responsibilities as assistant commissary of purchases, Royal Flint received “Sundries sent to Head Quarters for his Excellency General Washington” (ViMtvL).
Jacob Plecker’s invoice reads: “1 box directed to Mrs Washington[,] 1 [box directed to] Major Gibbs[,] 3 Barrels of Wine[,] 1 Barrel of brown Sugar[,] 1 Loaf of Sugar.
“Received March 18th 1779 of Chaloner & White A.C. of Ps two boxes three Barrels one Barrel of brown Sugar & one Loaf of Sugar all in good order, which I promise to deliver to Royal Flint Esqr. at Head Quarters for which I have Signed two Receipts.”
Abraham Jagger’s invoice reads: “1 Tierce of Beer[,] 1 [Tierce] Loaf Sugar[,] 1 Barrel Spirits[,] 1 Barrel Bacon.
“Received March 18th 1779 of Chaloner & White A.C. of Ps one Tierce of Beer one Tierce of Loaf Sugar one barrel of Spirits & one Barrel of Bacon all in good Order which I promise to deliver to Royal Flint Esqr. Head Quarter & for which I have Signed two Receipts.”
David Altemus’s invoice reads: “2 Tierces of Beer[,] 1 Barrel Spirits[,] 1 Barrel Bacon.
“Received March 18th 1779 of Chaloner & White A.C. of Ps two tierces of Beer one barrel of Spirits & one Barrel of Bacon all in good Order which I promise to deliver to Royal Flint Esqr. Head Quarters for which I have signed two Receipts.”
In a letter to Chaloner & White of 2 March from Camp Raritan, N.J., Flint had written that GW’s “family are out of wine. Be pleased to procure and send on to Head Qrs two or three quarter casks of best madeira. I wish you would apply for a waggon immediatly for this purpose. In haste” (PHi: Chaloner & White Papers).