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Letter from Henry Knox, September 7, 1782

TRANSCRIPT GLC 2437.09.146

Henry Knox.  Autograph letter draft:  Westpoint, to George Washington, 1782 September 7. 3 p. + doc.


West point 7 Sept 1782


[inserted different hand:  To W]




I received your Excellencys favor of the 5th instant respecting the repairs of arms in the Army.  The respective brigades have hitherto executed by their own armorers [struck:  as many repairs as possible] [inserted:  the common repairs [struck: of their arms]], and when the business was industriously [struck:  pursued attended] pursued they have been nearly able to [struck:  execute all the light repairs] [inserted: [struck: perform] keep the arms in order].  This is still, under present circumstances the only possible mode to be adopted, for there is not one hired armorer in the Army of the United States.


[inserted:  Your Excellncy must have been misinformed with respect to any armorers at this post, [inserted: as] there are none here.]


The brigades are in possession of travellng forges, and can have them removed to Verplanks point.  Three ounces of borax, and two quarts of salt will serve a travelling forge for the campaign.  The one can be obtained of the Commissary and I have sent a person to endever to purchase [inserted: a pound of] borax, upon ten days credit.  if he succeeds it shall be instantly forwarded. [struck: Three Weeks] [inserted: Some time] ago I sent to Philadelphia for Borax, and I expect it [strike-out] momently.


I have pressing & urged [inserted: to General Lincoln] the importance of having [inserted: [struck: at this Garison]] a company of armorers [struck: to Gen Lincoln] [inserted: at this Garrison].  In the first letter, he answerd that the present desire must be submitted to for he [struck: cannot] [inserted: could not] obtaining means to pay [struck: them] [inserted: armorers].  In another letter of the 2d ultimo he proposes [struck: the propriety] [inserted: a] consideration of the propriety [2] of forwarding some German prisoners of War, who are [strike-out] armorers, and who wish to obtain their liberation; & [struck: wish] [inserted: desires] to know whether they could be trusted I am of opinion that principls of propriety preclude, employs in this Garrison; persons of that description [struck:  and any accidents arising from them could not be forgiven by the person giving orders for that purpose at Springfield to Philadelphia] [inserted:  If any accident that arise <?> the employing them would not be forgiven by the <?>], they might be set at work with advantage [inserted:  at Springfield or Philadelphia]  I have not yet answrd Genl Lincolns letter, and before I do, I pray that your Excellncy would have the goodness to transmit to me your sentiments on the subject


A Captain [inserted: <?>] of the York Levies, [struck: [inserted: <?>] <?>] [inserted: <?>] at Bedford, [struck:  has sent] [inserted: <?> post sent] to the provost at this place <?>.  The has forwarded no evidens but wrote a letter which <?> Judge Advocate, transmited to Colonel Cobb. [struck:  If he is not amenable to our laws] It appears that Capt Kent gave him prompt punishment for some [struck: real or] supposed misbehaviour, and afterwards as an additional punishment orderd him to West point.  If the man has already been punished, or if we [struck: have work] he is not amenable to our laws, it appears to be an infraction of the principles of justice to detain him any longer.  [struck: It appears] [inserted: is] pretty clearly to me that [struck: Capt] Kent is gratifying his own malignity at the expence of our humanity.  I should not have [3] troubled you with reading this, [inserted: but have discharged him myself] had not the matter been previously before your Excllncy. [struck:  I should have discharged him]


I have the honor to be with great Respect
Your Excelencys
Most Obednt


His Excelency
General Washington


To His Exy. Gen. Washington
7th Sept. 1782.