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I fear you will suppose my stay here too long, but the Baron Steuben will acquaint you fully with the reasons for it. Indeed I am well assured that had it not been necessary for me to do some duties for his assistance, it would not have been for the interest of the department for me to have repaired to the Army before this time. The invasion of Mr [Benedict] Arnold effectually dispersed the Executive & we could not get them together again till the 19th instant.
Major [Richard] Claiborne & myself had formed a plan for bringing into operation the Waggons & Teams of all parts of the Country for Transporting the Supplies for the Army, to which the Accession of the Executive was absolutely necessary as on them we are to depend for support. We have at length got these Accessions, & I have so far Compleated my busines as to be abl to set out tomorrow for the Army & shall lose no time on my way but what shall be necessary at Hilsbro [Hillsborough, N.C.] where I have wrote Col [Nicholas] Long to meet me.
I ever have found it necessary to spur the Executive to the Execution of some Laws on which the existence of the Army depends.
The Waggons you requested from the State were to be obtained by Virtue of a Law which I think must have been efficatious, but by the dispersion of the Executive, I fear it has not been attended to in time to give all the advantages of it. The Law was a temporary one, & had nearly expired before the Executive could be collected to attend to it. The Assembly is to meet on the first of March when Major Claiborn will take care to have all misfortunes of this sort rectified. The Axes, Boat nails & c. would have been coming on by this time but [James] Hunter under the influence I believe of Genl [George] Weedon set his works to making intrenching tools under a supposition that Mr Arnold would make an Attempt on his works. I have Charged Majr Claiborne & the Qr Master at Fredericksbg to Urge their coming on as quickly as possibl. I hope by this time Supplies of Iron & Horse Shoes are on their way from Rosses Works to Hilsbro & the Army. A Company of Artificers from Philadelphia passed by this place a few days ago to the Army Commanded by Lt Haitton [James Hutton]. He has with him a number of shoes for the Troops a return whereof I now inclose you. He could not make a return of his Tools, but says he is fully equipped. He has gone by the way of Hilsbro.
The Baron Steuben informs me the Stores in future are to be sent to Bethena [Bethania, N.C.?], which shall be done. Of Lieutt [Nicholas] Newberrys Command[,] of which I inclose[d?] a return, the Arms & some Military stores have been ordered back to Petersbg on Account of the invasion, to the amount of 20 Waggons, six of Which with such Articles as came back through Misapprehension of orders are proceeding again. shall certainly be with you very shortly & will be able [to] acquaint you fully of the state [of] my department so far as I have yet meddled with it.
I have the Honor to be with respect yr mo ob
The Papers of General Nathanael Greene,
ed. Dennis Conrad et al.
(Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 1999). Full texts of documents calendared in
The Papers of General Nathanael Greene
(Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1994), Vol. 7, pp. 152-289. On the Web at http://mep.blackmesatech.com/mep/ [Accessed 27 August 2017]