Poughkiepse 2nd Jany 1781
Anxious about the supplies of the Army, and certain they must be nearly if not altogether destitute of flour, and seeing the river this morning nearly clear of ice, I have sent up the river to hurry to the landings all the flour or even wheat that the different assistants possibly can, and have taken the liberty to desire them if possible to hire vessells and even insure them against damages from the ice if they could not be prevaild on to risque their vessells on other terms, this was stepping out of my own line of Duty perhaps, but I hope the very precarious State of the River, and the necessity of getting an immediate supply down will justify the measure in the opinion of your Excellency, I have however for fear no vessells should be there wrote pressingly to Major [ ] at Fish Kill to forward some up the River with the utmost dispatch.
Permitt me to mention to your Excellency that batteaux at this season of the year would perhaps be more convenient than vessells, if hands can be spared for manning them, as, should the weather change suddenly they can be hauld ashore without risque if your Excellency thinks proper to send any be so good as give orders for the officer to call here, that I may have an opportunity of giving him information at what particular landings he will be able to obtain loads. I have the honour to be with every sentement of respect, Your Excellencys, most obedt & very humble Ser[t]
DLC: Papers of George Washington.