Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOHN ROBINSON. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757)
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TO JOHN ROBINSON. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. I (1748-1757) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889-1893). Vol. I (1748-1757).
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TO JOHN ROBINSON.
Alexandria, 11 September, 1755.
After a small halt at Fredricksburg, to issue out orders to the recruiting officers appointed to that rendezvous, I proceeded to this place, in order to collect a return of the provisions, clothing, &c, that were lodged here, an exact copy of which I herewith send you. I find, after the soldiers have their short allowances, there will arise great inconveniences, if stores of clothing are not laid in to supply their wants; particularly shoes, stockings, and shirts, for these are the least durable and mostly needed.
The method I would recommend is, for the country to provide these things, and lodge them, or a convenient part thereof, in the hands of the quartermaster, who may be appointed to receive and deliver them to the soldiers, by particular orders from their captains, taking care to produce these orders and proper vouchers for the delivery, each pay-day, when it must be deducted out of that soldier’s pay, who receives it. And then this, I think, will be a means of keeping them always provided and fit for duty, preventing the officers from supplying the men, which is generally attended with misunderstandings; and will also be a means of discouraging followers of the army from demanding such exorbitant prices, as is usually practised on these occasions. However, I only offer this as the most efficacious method I can at present think of. If any other more eligible can be found, I should be glad to see it executed, as something of the kind must be done, otherwise the soldiers will be barefoot, &c, which always pleads for exemption from duty, and, indeed, in the approaching season will be a very just one. You will be a judge, when you see the returns, what had best be done with the provisions. The quantity is too great for the present consumption, and to wagon it up can never answer the expense.
Major Carlyle thinks the West India market best, as the returns will be in rum, which he can soon turn into flour at the camp.
I am afraid I shall not be able to push things with vigor this fall, for want of a commissary who will act with spirit. Mr. Dick seems determined not to enter into any further contracts, unless he is better supported, or ’till he meets the Committee in October, by which time the best season for engaging beef will be almost over. And the Governor, by the advice of Sir John St. Clair, expressed, just as I was coming away, his desire of having him continued; so that I am entirely ignorant how to act. The making of contracts myself is foreign to my duty; neither have I time; and to see the service suffer will give me infinite uneasiness, as I would gladly conduct every thing, as far as I am capable, with life and spirit, which never can be done without a fund of money is lodged in camp for defraying the contingent charges.1 As I believed it difficult to get all the clothing in any one part of the country, I engaged it where I could, and have got shoes, stockings, shirts, and hats enough upon tolerable good terms, as you may see by the enclosed.
Major Carlyle is also willing to engage one hundred complete suits, as good as those imported, for three pounds, or less; which I have acquainted the Governor of, and believe it to be as cheap as can be got below, as it is the making chiefly, that occasions the difference between the imported, and those provided here. I am, &c.2
[1 ]To the Governor he wrote: “I greatly fear we shall also proceed slowly in recruiting. It was attempted at the general muster in this county without success. And the officers, newly appointed, began to express their apprehensions so soon as they had their commissions; and to draft them will answer no end, unless they are put under better regulations. A proof of this is very flagrant in Fredericksburgh, where they were obliged to imprison the men, who were afterwards rescued by their companions.” September 11, 1755.
[2 ]According to Washington’s copy of his Military Orders and Instructions the following were his movements at this time:—