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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. III (1775-1776) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. III (1775-1776).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Cambridge, 14 January, 1776.
I am exceedingly sorry, that I am under the necessity of applying to you, and calling the attention of Congress to the State of our Arms, which is truly alarming. Upon the dissolution of the old Army, I was apprehensive that the new, would be deficient in this instance, and that the want might be as inconsiderable as possible, I gave it in orders that the arms of such men as did not reinlist, should be (or such of them as were good) retained at the prices which should be affixed by persons appointed to Inspect and value them: and that we might be sure of them, I added, that there would be a Stoppage of pay of the months of Nov. and Decr. from those, that should carry their Firelocks away, without their being first examined.—By these precautions I hoped to have procured a considerable number; But, Sir, I find with much concern, that from the badness of the arms, and the disobedience of too many in bearing them off without a previous inspection, that very few were collected.—Neither are we to expect that many will be brought in by the new recruits—the officers who are out inlisting having reported that few men who have Arms will engage in the Service, and that they are under the disagreeable alternative of taking men without arms, or of getting none.—Unhappy situation indeed and much to be deplored! Especially when we know that we have to contend with a formidable Army, well provided of every necessary, and that there will be a most vigorous exertion of Ministerial vengence against us, as soon as they think themselves in condition for it. I hope it is in the power of Congress to afford us relief; If it is not, what must, what can be done?
Our Treasury is almost exhausted and the demands against it, very considerable; a constant supply of money to answer every claim and exigency, would much promote the good of the Service; In the common affairs of life, it is useful; in War, it is absolutely necessary and essential.—I would beg leave too, to remind you of Tents, and of their importance; hoping if an opportunity has offered, you have procured them.
I fear that our Army will not be raised to the new establishment in any reasonable time, if ever; the Inlistments go on so very slow, that they seem almost at an end.
In my letter of the 4 Inst., I wrote you, that I had received certain Intelligence from a Mr. Hutchinson and others, that 2 of the 5 Regimts from Cork, now arrived at Hallifax 1 at Boston, and the other 2 had sailed for Quebec, and had not been heard of.—I am now assured as a matter to be relyed on by four Captains of Ships who left England about the 2d of Novr, and who appear to be men of veracity, that the whole of these Regiments (except the three Companies, which arrived at Boston some time ago) when they sailed, were at Milford Haven, where they had been obliged to put in by a violent storm the 19th of October,—that they would not be able to leave it for a considerable time, being under the necessity of repairing their Vessels and taking some new ones up.—Such is the Incertainty and contradiction in what I now hear that it is not possible to know, what to believe or disbelieve.
I wrote to the General Court yesterday and to the Convention at New Hampshire immediately on being acquainted with the great deficiency in our Arms, praying that they would Interest themselves in the matter and furnish me with all in their power. Whether I shall get any or what quantity, I cannot determine having not received their answers. the same application will be made to the Governments of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
I do myself the honor to send you Sundry Newspapers I received from the above mentioned Captains, as they may be later than any you have seen, and contain some Interesting Intelligence.1
[1 ]Read in Congress January 25th. Referred to the Committee of Correspondence.