George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Timothy Pickering, 5 February 1781

To Colonel Timothy Pickering

Head Quarters New Windsor Feby 5th 1781

Dear Sir

I enclose you a Copy of the Resolution of Congress of the 23d Janry on the subject of remounting the Regiments of Dragoons.1 It will be necessary to observe, that the Horses purchased for this service ought to be in size, strength, figure, & fleetness, capable of performing the duties for which they are designed. Otherwise the purchase Money will be thrown away, as has sometimes been the Case.

General Heath mentions in a Letter of yesterday the practicability of obtaining a quantity of forage from below the Lines, if teams could be had for the purpose. He suggests whether teams could not be procured from the Western Parts of Connecticut by impress or otherwise—And whether if they cannot, in the Ordinary Mode, it would not be expedient to make application to the Governor of the State for an impress Warrant—I leave the Matter to your discretion. I am Dear Sir Your Most Obed. Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in David Humphreys’s writing, DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 25418; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW signed the cover of the LS, which is docketed: “recd Feby 7.”

On this date, GW’s aide-de-camp David Humphreys wrote Pickering from headquarters at New Windsor: “Mr [James] Gamble reports there are 800 Barrels of flour at Morris Town, and 200 at Ringwood—Tho the General does not doubt your Agents have instructions on the subject of forwarding it, and that Measures are taking for the purpose—Yet he thinks the Roads so favorable Now, that more than usual efforts ought to be made, to improve the opportunity by calling forth the whole strength of the Country for transportation. Besides the advantage of getting so handsome a supply into the Fort [at West Point], which will put the Garrison for some time beyond contingency; the insecurity of its present position will be a stimilus with those who have the interest of the Country at Heart. And others will assist with the less reluctance from the fondness they have to this mode of conveyance, especially as the sleighing is likely to be better than it has been known at almost any season” (DNA: RG 93, manuscript file no. 26045).

1The enclosed copy of the resolution has not been identified, but see Samuel Huntington to GW, 27 Jan., n.3.

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