George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Benjamin Tallmadge, 18 September 1780

From Major Benjamin Tallmadge

Fairfield [Conn.] Septr 18th 1780


Capt. Hurlbut of the 2d Regt, who is now at New-London, having repeatedly informed me that the Dragoons which have been posted between Head Qrs & New Port must shortly quit their present Duty unless some Steps are taken to provide forage & Provision for them, I have visited the several Stages as far eastward as New Haven.1 I am in duty bound to observe (& am sorry Your Excellency shoud be troubled with these Complaints) that the Dragoons at most of the Stages have been obliged to forage for themselves as well as furnish their own Provisions. Those who are posted near any Commissary of Issues, have drawn their Rations. The People who have hitherto supply’d forage, seeing no Prospect of getting Pay for the same, have refused to supply any more. I have persuaded the most of them to keep the Dragoons ’till I could lay the matter before your Excellency, when I ventured to assure them, some Steps would be taken to redress them.

I cannot suppose the Stages can remain as they now are a week longer. A prevailing Distrust of public Credit, added to the Extreme Scarcity of forage along this Shore, I conclude, have given rise to these difficulties. If the Expresses are to continue as heretofore posted any length of time, I most earnestly beg Your Excellency would direct in the Premises.2 I have the Honor to be, with the highest Esteem, Sir, Your Excellency’s most Obedt Hble Servt

Benja. Tallmadge

ALS, DLC:GW; ADfS, NjP: Benjamin Tallmadge Collection. Tallmadge wrote “⅌ Express” on the cover of the ALS, which he addressed to GW at Bergen County, and which GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman docketed: “referred to Colo. Pickering Q.M.G.”

1For the couriers between GW’s army and Rhode Island, see George Hurlbut to GW, 8 Aug.; see also Elisha Sheldon to GW, 30 Aug., found at GW to Sheldon, 27 Aug., n.1.

2No reply from GW to Tallmadge has been found.

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