George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 15 December 1779

To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Head Quarters Morristown 15th Decemr 1779.

Dear Sir

Yours of yesterday came to hand late last night. I had received an account by some Gentlemen from Newark that the fleet had certainly sailed, which I find by yours was premature. The same account mentioned that a great number of flat Boats and some Horse were on board.1 I would wish you to endeavour to ascertain the truth of these circumstances. It is probable they are waiting untill they are fully informed of the situation of the French Fleet.

Our Magazines of Flour and Rum, particularly the former, are, as you may suppose rather scanty. I hope upon application to the Gentlemen to whom the inclosed is addressed, who are Commissioners for collecting Wheat in Bergen County, your want of Flour will be releived.2 A Hogshead of Rum is ordered down to you.3

I shall immediately send Mr Pendletons letter to General Knox and desire him to do the requisite.4 I am Dear Sir Your most obt Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. While the Enemy remain in force at New York there seems a necessity of the light Corp’s continuing its present position. If any of the Officers are in want of necessaries, which they have not with them, I think they had best send for them as the time of their stay below is so very uncertain.

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, PHi: Wayne Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW signed the cover of the LS, which is addressed to Wayne at Second River, New Jersey.

1GW had communicated this intelligence to Congress and subsequently deemed the information erroneous (see the postscripts to GW to Samuel Huntington, 14 Dec. and this date).

2The enclosure has not been identified.

3Writing from Morristown on 16 Dec., Royal Flint, deputy commissary general of purchases, asked Q.M. Gen. Nathanael Greene for transportation to bring one hundred hogsheads of rum from the Hudson River to the winter encampment to relieve “our suffering troops” (Greene Papers, description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends 5:180).

4GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote Brig. Gen. Henry Knox from headquarters on 15 Dec.: “The inclosed came last evening from General Wayne. As it is uncertain when the Light Corps will be ordered up, His Excellency wishes you to furnish Capt. Pendleton with the Officers and Men required by him” (DLC: William A. Oldridge Collection). The enclosure apparently was a letter from Capt. Daniel Pendleton to Wayne that has not been identified. Pendleton served with the artillery artificers.

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