George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Timothy Pickering, 5 February 1783

Newburgh Feby 5. 1783.


The inclosed estimate is calculated on the supposition that the army under your Excellency’s command, will be composed of

9 major generals
10 brigadiers
30 regiments of 1 Hazens
infantry, of 500 2 N. Hampshire
men each exclusive 8 Massachusetts
of officers, viz. 1 Rhode Island
3 Connecticut
2 N. York
2 N. Jersey
8 Additional
3 Light Infantry
30 formed into
12 brigades
2 regiments of artillery, each of 500 men exclusive of officers
1 legionary corps (Sheldon’s) complete
1 Independent troop, Von Heer’s.
3 companies of sappers & miners.
With the usual staff.

In the article of tents, I have made no allowance for the militia that may be called into service; because the number of tents necessary to cover them (say 6000 men) if required at the time the militia shall be called for, could be provided and brought into the field by the time they would be assembled. But in the article of camp kettles, I have adverted to the destruction to which they are so subject, & to the militia because a dry season, like the last, would render it impracticable to get them made in the summer, for want of water for the rolling mills: and those now in possession of the troops will be burnt out by the opening of the campaign.

I know not but I have over-calculated on the regular force. Your Excellency having mentioned eight additional regiments complete, I was led to estimate on every regiment now here as full, at least to five hundred men; instead of their real force. But I did not observe it, until I had finished the estimate. This, however, will not materially affect any articles, excepting those of camp equipage, unless the number of regiments be reduced. And considering the accidents to which camp equipage is liable, perhaps the surplus above the real force may not be amiss.

If it is not intended to remount the dragoons of Sheldon’s & Von Heer’s corps, the heavy article of dragoon horses with their furniture, may be struck out.

I have conformed to the established allowances in every case which appeared consistent with the service: but in the regulations of Congress there are divers omissions. No provision is made for transporting the baggage of the medical department, the geographer or clothier. I have also made some small alterations in other instances; which will appear by the particular estimate of teams, which I beg leave to inclose. Neither have I calculated the forage agreeably to the last regulations: because I have every reason to expect the ration will be fixed as formerly; the committee of Congress being all of opinion it should be. The difficulty has been, not that the allowance was too small, but what was allowed could not be obtained: to add to the ration, therefore, was only to increase the public embarrassment. But I have reckoned on forage as necessary for the regimental paymasters & two or three others who are omitted in the regulations. I have the honour to be with the greatest respect, Your Excellency’s Most obedient servant

Tim: Pickering Q.M.G.

DNA: RG 93—Manuscript File.

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