The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 - Vol. 19

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 - Vol. 19

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 - Vol. 19

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 - Vol. 19

Excerpt

To BRIGADIER GENERAL NATHANIEL HEARD

Head Quarters, Springfield, June 12, 1780.

Sir: As there is a large number of horses and Cattle in the vicinity of the enemy which they will no doubt convert to their own benefit and without making compensation to the owners, the good of the service and a regard to the individuals to whom they belong require that they should be immediately removed. The rules of war justify this precaution and good policy forbids us to leave so valuable a resource in the power of the enemy. I therefore authorise and desire you as speedily as possible to have all the horses and Cattle (except a few milch cows absolutely necessary for family use) within five miles of the water from Newark to Amboy driven off and delivered to the Commissary of Provisions or his assistants, who will have them disposed of at some secure places to be returned to the owners as soon as circumstances will permit; except such as the exigency of service may require to be applied to the use of the army, which will be paid for at the market price. That justice may be done to the owners, you will direct your collecting parties to keep an exact account of the number of horses and Cattle taken from each person.

On June 14 these instructions to Heard were modified as follows: β€œTo deliver the horses you collect to the Quarter master Genl. or his assistant. To deliver all the Cattle unfit for immediate use to the contractor of the County, who will dispose of them in some safe place till further orders.” These instructions are in the Washington Papers .

The draft is in the writing of Alexander Hamilton.

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