George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Howe, 4 December 1783

New York 4th December 1783

Dear Sir

In the year 1781 when I went to the protection of the Stores at Tarry Town I marched off as your Excellency well remembers at a moments warning the party who went under my Command moved off without Baggage or Provisions, as this was the case the men were in want of support the more especially as the fatigue in getting the Stores on Shore & up the hill was considerable—a little Rum upon such an occasion you know Sir has a very good effect, I therefore upon Mr Sackets offer to supply that article, directed that the men should be served with a Ration of Rum a day while the Command continued, which he with the greatest readiness issued upon my promising that the Commissary should replace it. He took a certificate of the quantity & was to call upon me at Camp to receive it of the Commissary but our sudden movement from the Plains made it necessary for Mr Sacket to take care of his Effects, and I was gone to Philadelphia before he came up, he produced the Certificate to General Heath who for reasons best known to himself refused giving an order for it until I came up, which I the more wonder at as the men had drawn no more than what they had a right to & what the Soldiers in Camp were than actually drawing. when I returned from Philadelphia the new Contract had taken place, so that an order from me was of no Effect.

Mr Sackets situation makes this matter triffleing as it is of importance to him, & he has requested me to lay it before your Excellency whose influence he supposes can obtain him the money and in justice to him I must add that he supplyed the Troops with provisions and other articles of which he made no charge, that he was very useful upon that occasion & that if you Sir can serve him it will much oblige me. I am dear Sir, with the greatest respect Your Excellency’s most Obt Servt

Robt Howe

DNA: Item 78, Miscellaneous Letters Addressed to Congress, PCC—Papers of the Continental Congress.

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