George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Heath, 27 February 1781

Head Quarters New Windsor 27th February 1781.

Dear sir

I last evening received your favor of the 24th. By a return of the 15th instant There were then at Westpoint—Fish Kill and Ringwood 151 Teirces and 454 Barrels of salt meat and 400 Barrels on the communication from Deleware, which will be coming forward—I have directed the meat from the nearest deposits of Connecticut and Massachusetts to be brought to the River—A very considerable quantity of Flour is at the landings waiting for the opening of the Navigation—By a letter from Mr Philips, purchasing Agent for Massachusetts, we may expect about half a supply of fresh meat weekly from that State.

The Logs for the Chain are in tolerable forwardness—Captn Niven informs me that with the addition of six Carpenters and twelve fatigue Men to his present number, they will be ready in good season—All the Carpenters of the regiments of Artificers being already employed upon that and other Jobs—you will be pleased to endeavour to procure six from the troops—The fatigue men also to be sent—The Logs are at a landing about two miles above Newburgh on this side of the River.

The orders given to the Officer who first took possession of the post at Dobbs’s ferry were, to defend himself to the last extremity should he be suddenly surrounded, but if he discovered appearances of a serious attack in force and with Artillery time enough to withdraw his men, he was to do it—spiking up his Cannon and setting fire to the works—These orders may have been handed over to the present officer as they were directed to be—should they not, you will give similar ones. I am Dear Sir With great esteem and Regard Your Most Obedt and Most Hble servant

Go: Washington

P.S. I have recd your favr of this date, I will enquire of Genl Knox whether the Arms can be repaired here, and will see if it be in the power of the Qr Mr to supply paper.

MHi: Heath Papers.

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