<br /> Lee Letter: n52

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Henry Lee

Dear Sir:

I have your favors of the 1st. and 22d. from Dover and am much
obliged for the steps you have taken and are taking for procuring
Supplies for the Army. All the Cattle that are tolerably fit for
slaughter, must be immediately consumed on account of our present
necessity, and therefore should be drove towards Camp, as fast as they
can be collected. I do not think that Kent in Maryland or any part of
the Eastern Shore, a proper place to form a magazine of the lean ones,
because if the Enemy were to land but a few men upon any part of the
Delaware State, it is so short a way across the Isthmus, that they
would sweep what are collected before any force would be drawn together
to oppose them and I have some information that such an excursion is in
contemplation. Again, if the Enemy should establish a post any where
down the River in the Spring, a thing by no means improbable, on
account of the opportunity it would afford them of obtaining supplies
from the disaffected in the Delaware State, they might, by extending
themselves across, render it very difficult for us to draw our Stores
from any Magazines below Christeen. For these Reasons, I should think
it best to have all the lean Cattle drove into Chester County at first;
from whence they may be distributed thro’ the upper parts of that
county, Lancaster and Berks. This is a fine Country for Forage and
Grass, and being directly in our Rear is perfectly safe. Colo.
Hollingsworth1 who is well acquainted with
the Country, can inform you what part of the County of Chester would be
most proper to drive the lean Cattle to.

I have, agreeable to your desire, wrote to the president of the Delaware
State recommending it to him to endeavour to procure a law, making it
penal for any person knowingly to harbour Deserters. If they do this,
any officer sent to apprehend Deserters may bring an offender to
justice, which they cannot at present do for want of such a law.

Mr. Blaine the Deputy Commy. General of purchases, has gone down to the
lower Counties by my direction, he will be able to form some Judgment
of the amount of the Cattle and other provision that you take off, and
will fall upon the proper means to procure payment.

I am


1 Col. Henry Hollingsworth, Deputy Forage Master General.

2 The draft is in the writing of Tench Tilghman.