George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Timothy Pickering, 26 January 1781

From Colonel Timothy Pickering

Newburgh [N.Y.] Jany 26. 1781.


Of the seventeen teams impressed by Justice Chandler for the artillery, tents & intrenching tools, five only came in, & those too late to draw the artillery, which I completed with Continental horses by breaking up three double teams. The five single teams which came in I have caused to be loaded with two horsemans tents—75 common tents—& 75 axes besides two crow bars.1 These will go about six miles to night, and to-morrow proceed for Ringwood, which being on the borders of this state, they expect there to be discharged; but if others are not ready to relieve them there I have directed Mr Tenbroek, who will have a small guard from the artillery, to push them on till they come up with the detachment, where they will receive your Excellency’s or General Howe’s orders. If there they could be relieved without prejudice to the service, it would be a happy circumstance for the owners of the teams, as their affairs will suffer in their absence. I was assured that two more of the impressed teams would be in to go with those above mentioned, which would have taken up the remainder of the tents, viz. eight horseman’s & 25 common. But being disappointed at last, I am now sending to Lt Colo. Popkins to request him to order a party to impress two of the nearest teams to take up the residue of the tents at the park as early as possible to-morrow, and push after the others. Two hundred intrenching tools, viz. 75 pick axes, & 125: spades & shovels I will send on to-morrow with Continental Horses if it be possible to get slays; if not they shall proceed in a waggon till they can find slays; unless the quarter master at this place, who is returned from duty in the country, & is very active, shall be able to procure Country slays immediately, which I have reason to hope he can effect; in which case the whole of the tents & intrenching tools will go forward to morrow forenoon.

It would be expedient to relieve these teams at Ringwood with fresh ones procured from Pompton, when the former might return with provisions to New Windsor. I will send forward an officer to effect this if practicable. I have the honour to be with the greatest respect your Excellency’s most obedt servt

T. Pickering Q.M.G.

ALS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA: RG 93, Records of Quartermaster General Timothy Pickering, 1780–87.

Pickering again wrote GW from Newburgh on 27 Jan., 11:00 A.M.: “Lieut. Colonel Popkins informed me last Evening that he would impress two Teams to take up the remainder of the Tents agreeably to my Request, as mentioned in my Letter of yesterday to your Excellency.

“The intrenching Tools are loaded and just begun to move, so that the whole of the Articles intended to follow the Detachment are now on their way to Ringwood.

“I send this by Mr Church whom I have directed to procure the Teams at Pompton requisite to relieve those sent from hence with the Tents & intrenching Tools—should he fail of Success the Teams now loaded are to proceed with them till they come up with the Detachment” (LB, DNA: RG 93, Records of Quartermaster General Timothy Pickering, 1780–87).

1This artillery and equipment was destined for the corps dispatched to suppress the mutiny in the New Jersey line (see GW to Robert Howe, 22 Jan., source note; see also GW’s second letter to Pickering, 25 Jan., postscript).

Joseph Chandler was a justice of the peace in Orange County, New York. He still held that office when he wrote GW in 1782 (see Chandler to GW, 25 Dec. 1782; see also GW to Chandler, 21 Jan. 1783, both DLC:GW).

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