George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 15 January 1781

Garrison West Point Janry 15th 1781

Dear General

The Detachment ordered to be made & held in readiness to march have been compleatly ready for this day or two, & from the general representation of the Officers a very good temper is every where predominant among the men there is but little said by them, but the Officers are of opinion, that they will chearfully obey any orders that are given.

I mentioned in mine of the 13th that six companies of Colonel Putnams regiment, had the evening before, by the report of a Sergeant to Lt Colonel Newhall refused to draw their provisions; upon an enquiry made of the Q. Master of the Regiment, he asserts, that there was no refusal in his hearing, & that the men drew their provisions with as much chearfullness as usual; from which it is to be supposed, that the Sergeant’s report to Lt Colonel Newhall was groundless, or formed on the slight objections of some men, which are frequently made among themselves on all occasions.

That the Detachment may be in the most perfect readiness to march on the shortest notice, & to prevent their diminishing their provisions, they are taken off duty both of guards & fatigue except at the point; This stops the makeing the new road, & several other necessary peices of business—I therefore request Your Excellency’s opinion, of the probability of the Detachments being called to march; that if the probability is against it, the men may be put on duty as soon as may be thought convenient. I have the honor to be With the greatest respect Your Excellency’s most Obedient Servant

W. Heath

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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