George

 

Washington

 Commander-in-Chief

 

Memories of Valley Forge,

during which Washington complained in a famous comment that his men were

“without shoes and otherwise naked”

That letter sold for almost $500,000.

 

Now, 24 Months Later, 

 

“men without coats”

Letter Signed, "G: Washington," as Commander-in-Chief, with his Franking Signature on address leaf, to Governor George Clinton, reporting that he has written Congress to convey the necessity of their supporting Col. [Udny] Hay, explaining his efforts to obtain clothing for the troops, and describing the current and expected supply of coats.

 

"Head Quarters / New Windsor," 22 December 1780 
 



"Dear Sir, Your Excellency's favor of the 15th did not reach me 'till this morning. I immediately dispatched an extract from it to Congress, and very warmly recommended to them the necessity of supporting Col. Hay, in the performance of his Contracts. I most sincerely hope we may find him successful in the impress, for I see no dependence upon any other quarter. 
"I had, two days ago, directed a very liberal allowance of all kind of Cloathing (except Coats of which he got about 200 very good) to be delivered to your State Cloathier, for the four Regiments near Albany. Weissenfeldts had a compleat supply previous to going to Fort Schuyler. We shall fall very short of the necessary quantity of Coats--few of the troops have had any delivered to them this season. We expect about two thousand from Boston, and unless we should have an arrival from France, that will be our whole stock." 


 

At the time of writing, supplies for maintaining the Continental Army had become desperately inadequate. In the letter to Congress mentioned in the present letter, Washington urgently requests that Colonel Hay be supported in requisitioning flour so that the troops might have sufficient bread for winter,

 

"as by this energetic exertion of the State of New York the Army will probably be kept from dissolution." Clinton's letter, to which the present letter is Washington's reply, describes the urgent plight of the state troops with respect to clothing by stating that they "are become so utterly destitute of Clothing as not only to be unfit for Duty but that many of them must greatly suffer as the cold Season advances."

 

1 page, folio, with integral address leaf (detached); expert tissue repairs to tears at folds on verso, few small holes at intersections, seal tears and minor soiling to address leaf, remnants of prior mounting overall on verso of each page.

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