Philada 14th Decemr 1781
Upon a supposition that this may reach you upon the North River, I am induced to recommend to your particular attention the collection and preservation of the Boats, if steps have not already been taken for purpose. You will consult with General Heath upon the number that will be wanted for the different services of the Garrison and all the remainder are to be deposited in a proper manner in some secure place. Wappings Creek appears to me as safe and convenient as any—I imagine it will be needless to go upon repairs till the Spring, but of this, those who are better judges of the matter will determine.
In order that we may know whether the number we shall probably have upon hand at the opening of the Campaign will be sufficient for the demands of it, you will be pleased to bring down with you an exact return of the present numbers, specifying the state they are in—And it will be well for you to leave directions with Colo. Hughs to enquire the lowest and most advantageous terms on which an additional number may be obtained if wanted.
Perhaps it may be impossible for you to enter upon a large and general provision of the Articles which will be necessary in your department for the next Campaign, before you know how far you can be supported by the Financier. But you may be making arrangements and calculations upon the same number of Men that were employed last year, and may be making enquiries before hand where and in what manner you can be best supplied. You are sufficiently acquainted with the low state of our funds to know that the utmost oeconomy is necessary, and that this Winter should be improved in putting into repair whatever of our old equipage can be again rendered servicable. I am with great Esteem Dr Sir Yr most obt & hble Servt
DNA: RG 93—Manuscript File.