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TO MESHECH WEARE, PRESIDENT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
Major-General Heath, second in command, and an officer whose high rank and consideration entitle him to particular notice and attention, is prevailed upon to proceed to the several eastern States, to represent the present distresses of the army for want of provision, and the consequences which must inevitably ensue, unless a more regular system and more vigorous measures for aflbrding supplies are speedily adopted.
From the post of Saratoga to that of Dobbs's Ferry inclusive, I believe there is not (by the returns and reports I have received) at this moment one day's supply of meat for the army on hand. Our whole dependence for this article is on the eastern States ; their resources I am persuaded are ample. To request and urge that they may be drawn forth regularly, and to be informed with precision and certainty what may absolutely be depended upon through the campaign, are the objects of this application.
I have already made representations to the States, of the want of provisions, the distress of the army, and the innumerable embarrassments we have suffered in consequence ; not merely once or twice, but have reiterated them over and over again. I have struggled to the utmost of my ability to keep the army together, but all will be in vain without the effectual assistance of the States. I have now only to repeat the alternative, which has been so often urged, that supplies, particularly of beef-cattle, must be speedily and regularly provided, or our posts cannot be maintained, nor the nnny la-pt in ihe held much longer. I entreat your Excellency, that this representation may be received in the serious light it is meant and deserves, or that I may stand exculpated from the dreadful consequences, which must otherwise inevitably follow in a very short time. I enter not into the detail of matters, as General Heath will be able to give your Excellency every necessary information, as well as to lay the proper estimates of supplies for the campaign before you. I am, &,c.
- George Washington
- The Writings of George Washington Being His Correspondence, Addresses, Messages, and Other Papers, Official and Private, Selected and Published from the Original Manuscripts. Vol VIII, Jared Sparks, 1839