George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 27 February 1781

From Major General William Heath

West point Feb. 27. 1781.

Dear General,

The enclosed came to hand the last night—it is without date, but I apprehend was written yesterday morning.1 I expect Major Maxwell up to day.

Many of the arms and accoutrements turned into the store by the discharged soldiers want repair, especially the latter. I am inform’d it has been the practice to send them to Albany; but this is attended with much trouble, and considerable expence. Would it not be much better to have them repaired here?

Unless a supply of writing-paper can be obtained, business must stop. The officers have been obliged to cut up nearly all the company-books—And for myself, I must cease writing to morrow or next day.2 I would not represent this to your Excellency, were it not that it has been represented everywhere else, and the answers afford no prospect of relief.3 I have the honor to be, With the greatest respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant,

W. Heath

LS, DLC:GW; ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1The Sprague transcript of the enclosed undated letter Maj. Hugh Maxwell wrote Heath reads: “I have this moment received advices which I believe may be depended on, that Genl Arnold is fairly surrounded in Virginia, & has sent to New York for a Regiment which is now embarking” (DLC:GW).

2Heath addressed the issue of paper in letters to Ensign John Heart. On this date he wrote that “I am destitute of paper and cannot Obtain any from the Q.M. I send you one Sheet of the three or four which I have” (MHi: Heath Papers). He then wrote Heart from West Point on 28 Feb. that “having beg[g]ed a few Sheets of paper from Head Quarters I enclose you two Sheets more” (MHi: Heath Papers).

3GW replied to Heath in the postscript of the letter he wrote Heath on this date.

Index Entries