Highlands 9th June 1780
Having been inform’d that some difficulty would arise in obtaining the Public Horses from those Persons into whose Hands they had been lodged to forage them through the Winter, & having had it confirmed by many Persons having refused to deliver those up which were call’d for until they were paid the Expence of having foraged them—I directed Col. Hay to proceed in Person, & fall upon Measures to obtain not only those Horses but as many others as Service absolutely required, & which at this advanc’d Season I conceived it necessary to have ready for the Service of the Army. The Result of this Proceeding the inclos’d Extract will inform you Sir, which I was on the Point of transmitting by Express where the Arrival of Col. Hay on his Way to Morris Town upon some Public Occasion made an Express unnecessary, & to whom I beg Leave to refer you for further Particulars relative to this Matter, & upon which I should be glad to receive your Excellency’s Instructions. I am Dear Sir with great Respect your Excellency’s most obedient Humble Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Fish Kill June 8th 1780
In consequence of your Orders of 31st Ult. I proceeded to most of the Towns where our Horses have been Winter’d, and wrote to the Select-Men and principal Inhabitants of each Copies of which with their answers thereto, you have enclos’d, as well as a Copy of my Circular letter to each of the Inhabitants, at present possessed of any of the Horses, or Oxen, to these I beg leave more particularly to refer, and shall only say, I believe that not a Single Individual will refuse delivering them up, but not above 50 will be fit for Service in less than a Month, these 50 I expect we shall have down by Tuesday or Wednesday next, 32 at least of them will be wanted For this Post.I have given Orders that none be delivered to any Person whatever, except within your Department, But by your Order, therefore request you will appropriate these few in such way as you think best—I believe I can purchase some for Hard Money at a reasonable rate, agreeing to pay for them by the first of October next, either in that Species of Coin, or the Current Money of the country, that shall be equivalent thereto on the day of Payment, as a Number of Horses are immediately wanted, I think they can not be procured on more reasonable Terms. Please give me your Orders on this Subject.
Sign’d Udny Hay