George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Heath, 8 May 1782

Head Quarters Newburgh May 8th 1782

Dear Sir

Your Dispatches of yesterday have been handed to me.

I am astonished to hear the Recruits which arrived from Massachusetts are so very improper for service, after all the precautions & pains that have been taken to avoid a repetition of such horrid impositions on the Public—unless there are some circumstances that I am unacquainted with, & cannot conceive of, I think the Officer who mustered them ought to be instantly relieved, ordered to Camp, & arrested upon his arrival; the two french Deserters should be sent back if there is an opportunity; if not, they may be confined until they can be returned, or delivered over to some of the Commanders of His most Christian Majesty. I wish to know what Arrangements you have lately made respecting the Recruiting Service in Massachusetts, & That you would give any admiral orders you may think necessary.

An order was issued yesterday that Artificers while actually at Work, and Capt. Prays Water Guard, should be supplied with a ration & a half per day—I cannot conceive there is any necessity for extending the order to my own Bargemen, or any common Watermen on the River.

The matters in dispute respecting the Contract are under consideration—Most of the difficulties as to the mode of issues complained of since the first of May, appear to result from the Contract itself. Tho it were much to be wished, I do not very well see how the Commissys under the Contractor are to be prevented from becoming acquainted with the strength of the Troops to which they issue—they will at least know very nearly the efficient force, by the number of rations delivered.

Your regulation concerning the small Pox is perfectly satisfactory.

There is no mode pointed out for returning Invalids, who have recovered, to their former Corps—but I will advise with the Inspector upon it.

I would not have the new Arms broken in upon, so long as there are old Ones in the Store fit for use, when there are not, new ones must be drawn for the Recruits—but those out of repair, are by no means to be exchanged for New Arms. I am Dear Sir Your Most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

MHi: Heath Papers.

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