George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain Bartholomew von Heer, 18 July 1779

From Captain Bartholomew von Heer

Bloomen Growe [Blooming Grove, N.Y.]
July 18th 1779.

His Excellence the Commander in Chief

I have the Honour to acquaint You, of the present Situation of my Troop,1 by which I am sorry that I am obliged to lay before the Complaints made by myn Dragoons returning from their respective Detachments that General Waen and his Aide Camp2 liikewiise other Field Officer under His Command dismounts the Dragoons and Rite ther Horses by which in three Relieves consisting of one Corporal and four Men Eight Horses has returned entirely unfit for Service, undtil recover. I therefore should begg His Excellences kindness to know if it is Your Excellences Orders that the General and the Officers ther has the same Privelege to ruin the Horses in a such Manner, If every Command should return in the same Situation, I should not be able in a shiort Time to send any relieve more, as liikewiise the Forage is not to be gat ther, Ider in one Place or the other and We are liikewiise scars her.

Agreable to the Orders of General Puttnam I marched the remain of my Troop Yesterday Morning by Day braek to his Quarters as to receive Orders ther wher to proceed, The General was goen before I arrived—therefore I march my Troop to New Windsor to receive Orders from Head Quarters, and at the same Time called upon Collonel Biddle, which Gentelman informt me, that it is impossible to proviid any nigher Place for Forage, as at the present who I am stationed which is ten Mile from New Windsor.

If His Excellence has any particular Comand for the Troop I shall execute the Orders immediatly and shall move to the Place wher Your Derection will call me I have the Honour to remain in duty bound His Excellences most obedient and most Humble Servant

Barthw von Heer Capt. of M. L. Dragoons

ALS, DLC:GW. The cover of this letter reads “pr Capt. Lieut Maneke.”

1Heer apparently enclosed a return with this letter headed “A Weekly Return Of a Troop Marechose Light Dragoons commanded by Captain Barthw von Heer” and dated “Bloomen Grove July 18th 1779” (DLC:GW). The return showed one captain, one captain lieutenant, one volunteer, three sergeants, one trumpeter, one corporal, and twenty-two privates as “Present fit for Duty” as well as one lieutenant, four corporals, and eighteen privates as “absent on Furlough or Command.” The return also showed one “Sick present” and one “Sick absent.” The total “on Command” was twenty-three, with one lieutenant, one corporal, and seven privates at Philadelphia; one corporal and four privates with Major General Stirling; one corporal and three privates with Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam; and one corporal and four privates with Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne. The return concludes with an observation that reads: “At the above mentioned fit for Service the men are well and Healthy, but i have Sen Horses unfit, and can not be used until cared and recovered. The Captn Lieutenant will mentione your the particulair.”

2Heer likely is referring to Wayne’s aide-de-camp Benjamin Fishbourn.

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