George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Ezekiel Cheever, 20 January 1781

From Ezekiel Cheever

Springfield [Mass.] January 20th 1781

Hond Sir

I take the liberty to enclose your Excellency, Copy of a Return Sent me from north Hampton by Maj. Tallmadge.1 whom I informed we have only Ten Common Saddles, that the harnissmakers can do nothing in their Way for want of leather; we have five hundred new Constructed Cartrige boxes Compleated in the Leather way, all but Belts, that as Soon as the quarter master Can furnish Coals, I could have the Pistols repaired, but at present we cannot effect any Material Service.

I have repeatedly Represented to the hon. board War our difficulties, and the want of leather, & to the Comry Genl office that Comry Lamb was ready to Supply what Leather sh’d be needed, provided he had orders from the board War,2 but hithertoo they have Neglected, & the men generally are Idle for want of Stock to employ them.

I happrehend the most Valuable men belonging to this Post: are determined to leave the Service, next spring: unless they are better paid & more liberally rewarded—The long want of money Stagnates all business, and with regrat I Say renders all reasonable expectations from this Post abortive.3 earnestly desireing to promote the public Service, and ardently wishing Your Excellencys health & felicity, I have the honor to be with the profoundest respect, Your Excellencys Most Humble & most obedient Servant

Ezekl Cheever D.C. Genl


1The enclosed “Return of arms accoutrements & furniture wanting to Compleate, 2nd Regt Lt Dragoons to the new Establishment,” dated at Northampton, Mass., on 16 Jan., and signed by Maj. Benjamin Tallmadge, listed the following: 7 swords, 184 pairs of pistols, 103 muskets, 122 bayonets, 181 sword belts, 109 knapsacks, 313 cartridge boxes, 172 saddles, 186 bridles, 188 halters, 171 portmanteaus, 262 currycombs, 261 horse brushes, 259 hair combs, 250 nose bags, and 346 caps. A note on the document reads: “The above is made out agreeable to the order of His Excellencey General Washington to Compleate the Regiment upon the new Establishment, orderd by Congress” (DLC:GW; see also Board of War to GW, 23 Nov. 1780, and GW to Elisha Sheldon, 8 Dec.). For the new establishment of the Continental army, see General Orders, 1 November.

2For Robert Lamb’s appointment as commissary of hides for Massachusetts, see Board of War to GW, 3 Sept. 1779 (first letter).

3GW enclosed a copy of this letter with his first letter to the Board of War on 19 Feb. 1781.

Index Entries