George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Heath, 5 June 1782

Highlands, June 5. 1782. 3 o’clock P.M.

Dear General,

I have just received the enclosed from the 3d Massachusetts brigade and 10th regiment, who were unanimous in the request, and happy in the opportunity to express their sentiments.

I am sorry to inform your excellency, that a distressing want of provisions has again taken place—Some of the troops have been two days without meat and without liquor—They have had bread, and that is all. Many officers dined this day on pea-soup, without a morsel of meat—And there was a complaint in the 3d brigade this morning among the men, that they were so faint they could not go on duty. In a whole regiment scarcely a single dollar in money can be mustered—The pound of bread and pound of meat is the principal dependence of both officers and men; and if these are not regularly issued, both must inevitably suffer. Whether the fault is with the contractors or with the states, I do not know; but it is certain the troops at this instant on account of subsistence, are in a most distressed situation. The magazines at the post are totally empty, and should any of the troops be called to move, in a few hours march they would faint on the road. It gives me pain to make this representation, but it is my duty to do it. I have the honor to be With the highest respect, Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant,

W. Heath

P.S. Between seventy and eighty recruits have just arrived from Massachusetts—which in general, appear to be good—they are from the rendezvous of Springfield. When the party marched it was upwards of eighty—ten deserted on the road.

W. Heath

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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