Garrison West Point Decr 21st 80
I am just honored with yours of the 20th. A small supply of flour arrived yesterday.
I will endeavour to enquire into the issues of provisions; but as the weekly returns are now sent to the Adjutant General, and the scarcity of paper forbidding duplicate Returns, I shall not have so good an opportunity of compareing the regimental & provision Returns, as probably the Adjutant General will have—but as far as is in my power I will endeavour to do it.
The Troops on the East side of the river shall be held under orders to march on the shortest notice.
Colonel Livingston & Colonel Spencers regiments shall have directions to apply for their proportion of Cloathing—The matter of Strouds shall also be mentioned to the respective Lines.
A number of our Prisoners are come & comeing out of New York; some engaged for the war others for three years, & for nine months: they are almost naked: can any thing be done for them, whose times of service are expired? without some small assistance of Cloathing it will be almost impossible for them to get home without suffering.
Several Officers who have arrived here this evening from New York, can give some intelligence of the present situation of the Enemy, & late embarkation. As they will call at Head Quarters, it is unnecessary for me to particularise. I have the honor to be with the greatest respect Your Excellencys most Obedient Servant.
P.S. A circumstance occurs to my mind, which may account in a principal manner for the Issues of provisions not decreaseing at first view so much as your Excellency expected. The discharged men being totally destitute of every means of support on their way home, as they are discharged draw three days provision at these Posts to subsist them—this of course prevents for a few days the dimunition of the Issues being visible on the weekly provision Returns.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.