George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 5 June 1782

Highlands June 5. 1782.

Dear General,

The day before yesterday captain Walker, one of your excellency’s aides-de camp, called here and gave me several papers respecting the issues of provisions under contract, and expressed your desire to have the sentiments of some officers on them. I yesterday convened the officers commanding brigades; colonel Stewart, who is one of the company of contractors, met with them—the papers left by captain Walker, were taken up, read, and attentively considered. As there appears to be a difference of sentiment in the proposals made to messieurs Sands and his amendment made thereto which he presented your excellency, a new plan was sketched out, which I take the liberty to enclose with the other papers. The officers who met were unanimous in opinion, and colonel Stewart will endeavour to reconcile it to the contractors; it is therefore submitted to your excellency. Perhaps it may be well to add one per cent more in the draughts to the troops—The five per cent was divided, and two given to the contractors to compensate them for the encreased number of draughts to companies; but I think it will be but just to allow four per cent to the troops—and this was expressed by several of the officers after the proposals were finished.

The several matters of dispute, complaint, and grievance against the contractors, &c. which have arisen and subsisted between the beginning of January and first of May, the officers are of opinion should be brought to such investigation as your excellency may think proper having the fullest confidence that you will see that justice done the army which the principles of equity and honor require.

Enclosed your excellency will find a request from the officers of the several brigades of this part of the army, that you would be pleased in their name to address the minister of France on the auspicious birth of the Dauphin, with congratulations thereon, as to your excellency may seem proper, in which the general officers join, that it may be considered as the request of the whole. I have the honor to be With the highest respect, Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant,

W. Heath

P.S. The 3d Massachusetts brigade and 10th regiment were to join in the request to your excellency to address the minister of France on the birth of the dauphin—they will most certainly do it unanimously—But the distance to the 10th regiment has prevented the paper coming in season—and least it may delay your excellency in writing by the post, I thought it best not to detain the others longer—When that is received, it shall be forwarded.

W. Heath

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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