George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel James Wood, 21 September 1780

From Colonel James Wood

Charlotte[s]ville [Va.] 21st September 1780.


I have the Honor to Inform Your Excellency, that Our Supplies at this Post have been Much better since I last wrote you On that Subject.1 the Convention Troops have been fully Supplied for the last three weeks; that I have hopes from Appearances, there will be no Cause of Complaint in future, and that I shall have it in my Power within a few Days, to begin paying up the Arrears due to the Troops;2 this much I Can Assure Your Excellency, that Nothing On my part Shall be wanting, I have, and shall Continue to Exert my utmost Abilities to Prevent the Same Inconveniences for the future. You may be Assured that my Situation was truly Distressing, the Guards, as well as the Troops of Convention, were entirely without Meat or Bread for Several Days; in this Situation I was under the Necessity of Permiting a few Men from each Regiment to go into the Country to Purchase Provisions, an Indulgence I woud not have Granted On Any Other Occasion; but am happy to inform Your Excellency it was not Abused in Any Instance, and that the Troops in this time of Distress bore it with the Utmost Patience, and Seemed fully Convinced that it Did not Proceed from Design, but from Causes Altogether Accidental.

General Hamilton requests the favor of Your Excellency to Send the Inclosed Letter by the first Flag.3 I have the Honor to be Sir Yr Excellency’s Very Obt Servt

James Wood.


2Virginia governor Thomas Jefferson had written Wood on 14 Sept.: “Mr. [Francis] Tate informs me you are now in condition to pay up the arrearages of animal food due the convention troops, but that he supposed they would not receive them. If you be really in such condition I should be glad to have the arrearages tendered, and if refused a proper certificate of the fact, that I may transmit to General Washington and prevent any disagreable consequences from the representations already forwarded to him” (Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 3:648–49; see also Jefferson to GW, c.29 Aug.).

3The enclosed letter from Brig. Gen. James Hamilton has not been identified, but see GW’s reply to Wood on 11 October.

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