George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Timothy Pickering, 10 February 1783

Newburgh Feby 10. 1783.


By the Bills brought in to my office in some cases, I find very large quantities of wood burnt by officers not hutted with the troops, quantities quite disproportioned to the allowances in Philadelphia, as formerly regulated at the War Office. The latter, it is true, are evidently insufficient for this climate & the quarters generally occupied. What they are your Excellency will see, if you will be pleased to inspect the inclosed paper. The troops in the huts burn without limitation—they have ever done it. Whether any, and what restrictions, should be established in other cases, I beg leave to submit to your Excellency’s determination. Such restrictions will not be difficult except in the cases of General Officers.

Some of the officers in the huts are providing stocks of wood while there is snow. I have spoken of the matter to several others. Lest however some should be less provident, I beg leave to suggest whether a general order directing the troops to provide, during the present month, fuel sufficient to last them until the first of April, or even the first of May, would not be expedient. If by this means regimental stocks were collected excessive toil & the destruction of cloaths in the months succeeding this would be prevented, and the distribution of wood among the troops, might afterward be regularly made. I have the honour to be with the greatest respect, your Excellency’s most obedt servant

Tim: Pickering Q.M.G.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


c.10 February 1783

Proposed Allowances of Wood to the Officers &c., named below, viz.
To a Major General, per month, Cord
brigadier general do
field officer 2 do
captain each 1 do
chaplain 2 do
non-commissioned officers & privates, each 1/4 do
artificers, labourers & waggoners
director of the military hospitals   do
hospital surgeon 2 do
apothecary 2 do
geographer each 2 do
deputy paymaster
assistant clothier
Commissary of forage
waggon master
public officer as the service requires
inferiour staff officers, each 1. do
To guards double allowances.
To the sick in the hospital, as the surgeons
shall judge necessary.

Monthly allowance of Wood, as fixed at the War Office for the City of Philadelphia.

To a Major General 3 cords
Brigadier General 2 do
Field Officer 1 do each
Subaltern 1/2 do do
Surgeons mate
Chaplain the same as Capn 1 do
Non commission’d officers & 1 do
privates to every 8 men
Director Genl Hospitals 1 do
Senior Surgeon 1 do
Junior Surgeons & mates 1/2 do
Superintendants of artificers 1/2 do
or of other business—and
conductor each
Hired Artificers & labourers
(where such allowance is a
part of the contract) the
same as Soldiers

Guards & Sick in the hospitals, double allowance.

Persons holding two offices, to draw only for one.

Half the foregoing allowances to be issued in Summer, or during the warm months.

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