Description[Revolutionary War]. George Washington Letter Signed. One page, 8" x 12.5", "Head Quarters," August 3, 1780, to Brigadier General Henry Knox. Within the first years of the Revolutionary War, Henry Knox had risen to the role as Chief of Artillery under General Washington. The two had met in 1775 and got on famously, forging a lifelong friendship. Following the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, Washington's army took up positions around New York and over the next two years, in addition to running the first officer and artillery training school, Knox was tasked with obtaining supplies for the army. After six long years of war, Congress had bankrupted their resources and French assistance was yet to arrive. The extreme depreciation of the Continental dollar made it completely useless. Washington writes to his friend begging for any supplies to relieve his beleaguered troops, in full:
"I wish to be informed, whether what Arms and Accoutrements you have on hand, together with those in the Magazines capable of being put in repair in three weeks; are sufficient to equip five thousand men, exclusive of the troops now on this grounds, who are destitute and must be supplied.
"If there are not Arms and Accoutrements to this amount, I beg you will give me the best information you can of the number, in an hour after the receipt of this."
This letter is found on page 311 in the "Writings of Washington, Volume 19, June 1780-September 1780." Weakened folds have entirely detached, but the letter has been archivally repaired. Some ink is smudged at the folds, but the letter is still legible. Minor paper loss at right, obscuring one word, and two holes at the left edge are also repaired. Bottom left corner damaged. Slight chipping along the right edge. Unevenly toned throughout. Washington's signature is bold and unaffected by damage.
One month later, in September 1780, Knox would serve on the court-martial of Major John Andre which would expose Benedict Arnold's treachery. Knox would continue to serve Washington as the first Secretary of War.
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