George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Clinton, 10 December 1780

Head Quarters New Windsor Decr 10th 1780

Dear Sir

I have the honor to inclose to Your Excellency a Letter this Moment received from Mr Stevens the Commissy of Issues at Fish Kill; I must submit to you the propriety of suffering this flour to be exported, or the necessity of detaining it, under the present circumstances of the Army.

It is with the utmost regret I am compelled to represent to you, the distressed situation of the Troops on this River for want of bread, & the disagreeable prospects before us—The Army has been served for several days past, with but a small pittance of their Rations, there is no flour in the Magazines, and I cannot learn from whence the next supply is to be derived—Under these circumstances it is impossible for me to be responsible for the important Posts on this River, or even to assure myself the Troops can be kept together from one day to another.

I have therefore to entreat Your Excellency that the most vigorous & effectual measures may be instantly adopted for procuring relief—I will not presume to recommend the mode, but only to observe, that unless some spirited exertions, or coercive means are immediately made use of, for obtaining a supply; I can see nothing but ruin stare us in the face. I have the honor to be &c.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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