George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Alexander Scammell, 22 December 1780

From Colonel Alexander Scammell

New-Windsor Decr 22nd 1780.


I have made particular Inquiry of Colo. Meig’s Officers relative to the leather Caps—And find they are of opinion that it takes no more leather in quality to make one of them than it does to make a single Shoe. That the quantity of leather in three shoes would make two Caps.

They inform me that a common workman will make three of them in a day. And a good workman five—That the caps for the soldiery of that Regt in 1777, cost but 8s £ M.,1 apiece painting the Cypher &c. included, which was nearly the price of a common felt hat that year—That a common cap will last two years good. That some of their men’s caps have lasted four campaigns, and still appear decent—Also that the maker who lives at Middletown Connecticut is imploy’d by the board of war to make cartridge-boxes for the army, and that after the leather proper for that purpose is cut out, the remnants will answer very well for caps, whereby a considerable saving may be made to the continent.2 I have the Honor to be Yr Excellencys Most Obedt Humble servt

Alexdr Scammell

ALS, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote on the undated docket: “Light Infantry Caps.”

1This unusual abbreviation may stand for eight shillings in pound money.

2Scammell’s investigation prompted GW to write the Board of War on 10 Jan. 1781 regarding “the want of Hats” (DLC:GW).

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