George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 9 November 1780

To Major General William Heath

Head Quarters Passaic Falls 9th Novr 1780

Dear Sir

I have received your favors of the 4th and 7th.1 Upon hearing of the destruction committed upon the western Frontier, and that we should thereby be deprived of the Magazines of Bread which we expected from that quarter, I immediately wrote to Congress and pointed out to them the absolute necessity of having a supply of Flour, equal to the winter consumption of the Garrison of West Point, and its dependencies, brought forward from the Southward before the Roads are broken up2—The Assistant Commissary is gone down to represent the situation of Matters also, and to hurry on what may be collected.

I do not know what prospects there are of Money, but I fear none very good—Upon a collective view of all the cloathing between Boston and Philadelphia, there is not more than a sufficiency for half of the number of men we shall have left in service after the Month of December. The most parsimonious distribution will be therefore necessary, and I would not wish that to commence (except for shoes, or such small articles as the men cannot dispense with) untill the Army gets together in Winter Quarters. Recruits for the War who have not received any Cloathing may be supplied for the present with such Articles as will make them comfortable. If their own State Clothiers have them, they had better furnish the supply, if not, they may be drawn from the public store.3 I am Dear Sir With the greatest esteem Your Most Obedient Humble Servant

Go: Washington

LS, in David Humphreys’s writing, MHi: Heath Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Letter not found: to Lt. Col. William Stephens Smith, 9 Nov. 1780. Smith wrote GW on 10 Nov.: “I do not know how I can answer your Excellency’s letter of the 9th.”

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