George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Timothy Pickering, 21 January 1781

To Colonel Timothy Pickering

Head Quarters [New Windsor] Janry 21st 1781


Since I directed Col. Humphrys the day before yesterday, to request you to have the beef salted in bulk at the several places on the River immediately transported by water, or (if impracticable) by land, to West Point, the matter has become more urgent, and the delay every Moment more dangerous.1

You will therefore take such measures as will be effectual for the purpose; and also to keep up the supply of flour at the Garrison, by Pack Horses, if the River should not be open.2 The time is now come when these things must be done, and the execution rests solely with you. For whenever it shall be known that there were provisions in the neighbourhood, and that the Troops have suffered for want of them; all the ill consequences, and the whole blame arising therefrom, will be attributed by the Army, and the Country to Your Department. Col. Hay will be able to inform you of the particular deposits of the Stores, with the quantities at each.

No report has ever been made respecting the transportation of the flour from Ringwood3—Nor do I know what quantity has been brought on to New Windsor, or forwarded to West Point. I am Sir Your Most Humble Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. If you should know of any opportunity of sending to Springfield, be pleased to acquaint me with it.4

LS, in David Humphreys’s writing, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 25276; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The postscript appears only on the LS, and GW signed the cover.

1No letter from GW’s aide-de-camp David Humphreys to Pickering of 19 Jan. on this subject has been identified. For the increased urgency, see William Heath to GW, 20 Jan. (first letter); see also GW to Heath, 29 Jan. (second letter).

2GW refers to the garrison of West Point.

3For the directions to Pickering on this subject, see Heath to GW, 4 Jan., n.3.

4No reply from Pickering to GW has been found.

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