George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Henry Knox, 5 January 1781

From Brigadier General Henry Knox

Park of Artillery 5 January 1781.

Ordnance and Military Stores necessary for the campaign of 1781

Muskets of the latest and most approved construction in Europe, complete with iron ramrods, bayonets, scabbards and belts—25000.

Gun worms, brushes and wires, and screw drivers—of each species—30000. Cartridge boxes it is presumed may be easily made in America.

Flints of the best kind—250000.

Swords for the non commissioned of the artillery and infantry, short cut and thrust good blades, with black belts—steel mounted—1800[;] yellow [mounted]—200.

[Swords] for the officers, of a superior sort, with decent belts—steel mounted—1800[;] yellow [mounted]—200.

Dragoon Swords, of a good quality, steel mounted—1000.

[Dragoon Swords]—for Officers—[steel mounted]—200.

Pistols for light dragoons—pairs—1000.

[Pistols] for officers—of a better sort—pairs—200.

Blue Silk for regimental colors yard wide—Yds[—]600.


Powder—For the musket or infantry service—barrells of 100 pounds each—1500—For the service of the artillery—barrells—4500.

Flannel for the cartridges of the field artillery—yards—2000.

Artillery proper for a siege.

6. 13 inch mortars[;] 30. 24 pounders[;] 20. 18 [pounders;] 20 Brass Howitzers 8 inch. These may be brass or iron, there being but little difference in the weight of battering cannon of these calibres. If iron the metal ought to be excellent.

The above calibres supposed to be English measure.

The carriages made in America are equal to any imported, but it will take much time to make them. The cost of the carriages in Europe, exclusive of the freight, will be as much as the cost of iron cannon and mortars. If the cannon are to be used the ensuing campaign, they ought to be mounted on travelling carriages, if not, a great expence will be saved by not importing the carriages. It would be unnecessary to import garrison carriages or implements.

It would be equally unnecessary to import shot or shells, as they are made in America to great perfection.

H. Knox Brigr Genl Artillery

DS, DLC:GW; DfS, NNGL: Henry Knox Papers.

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