George Washington Papers

General Orders, 22 December 1780

General Orders

[New Windsor] Friday December 22d 1780

Parole Countersigns [ ]

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote “Dear Sir,” presumably Q.M. Gen. Timothy Pickering, from headquarters on this date: “His Excellency wishes you to obtain an exact account of the Horse’s kept at West point—on the East side of the River—New Windsor—Newburg—Fishkill Landing and Fishkill specifying by whom—If any should be found keeping them unnecessarily or having more than are reasonable they can be struck off—This he thinks a better mode than determining by an order who shall be allowed Horses and who not, because you will probably be obliged to take some into the account who have now divested themselves and who would bring them back.

“An Express is wanted to go to Philada with some important despatches—Be pleased to say whether it be in your power to send one, and when he can go off—Our letters will be ready by three oClock. … Do you know of any Body going to Har[t]ford?” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 25660). Pickering had written Tilghman from Newburgh, N.Y., on 20 Dec.: “By the resolve of Congress of Novemr 10th 1780, the Commander in Chief is to determine what horses are ‘absolutely necessary’ to be retained for public use with the troops. I have therefore made out the following list on which you will be pleased to obtain his Excellency’s decision.” Pickering’s request for figures on the number “of horses allowed” to officers listed in detail personnel at various locations and in all the various staff positions. His letter concluded: “I hand you a return of the horses for which forage was drawn on the 14th inst. Since which divers of the artillery officers have gone home with their horses, & most of the residue have sent theirs into the country.

“The remaining Waggon Conductors & Foragemasters, the quartermaster at this post & persons employed under him, will have frequent occasion for horses to enable them to do their duty. The four express horses of the Quarter Master herementioned in the return must have been wrongly returned as he has had only one express, & at this time none. … P.S. The Assistant Qr Master at Morristown informs me that Genl Waynes says 200 horses & 30 country teams are necessary for the service of the pensylvania division” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 24078; the enclosed return has not been identified; see also Samuel Huntington to GW, 12 Nov., and n.5).

Letter not found: to William Greene, 22 Dec. 1780. GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman docketed Greene’s letter to GW dated 8 Dec.: “Ansd 22d.”

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