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Resolution about Foraging, General Washington, Westchester County, September 7, 1781

Resolution to determine quantities of forage taken in Westchester by Washington's army so certificates could be paid to State (Udny Hay)

Resolution to determine quantities of forage taken in Westchester by Washington's army so certificates could be paid to State (Udny Hay)

New York State Archives, NYSA_A0142-77_3974
 
Document Description
Resolution to ascertain the quantity of forage expended by the allied army under the command of General Washington, Westchester County, New York, September 7, 1781.
 
Transcription
September 7, 1781
 
            Resolved,
                                    That Major general Heath or the commanding officer in the eastern department cause immediate and equitable measures to be taken for ascertaining the quantities of forage expended by the allied army under the command of General Washington in the county of West Chester in the State of New York during the present campaign, which hath not been accounted for and that he direct the Deputy Quartermaster in that department to give certificates accordingly to the State Agent of New York, or any other person or persons authorized to receive the same.
                                                            Extract from the minutes
                                                                        Cha Thomson
 
 
Questions
When was this resolution written?
 
What were the commanders and quartermaster being asked to provide?
 
What does this document show us about this time period?
 
 
Historical Challenges
Research the different responsibilities of a quartermaster in 1781. What was their job description and expectations? How does this compare to the responsibilities of a quartermaster today?
 
 
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Calculate the cost of supplying a soldier during the Revolutionary War. Estimate how much it would cost to supply an entire troop.
 
English Language Arts/ Home and Careers: Create/ write a job posting for an available quartermaster position. Be sure to include the responsibilities and duties of this job.
 
 
 
Resources
Organization of the Quartermaster’s Department. George Washington University. Web. 20
March 2013. http://www.history.army.mil/books/RevWar/risch/chpt-2.htm
 
The First Federal Congress Project. George Washington University. Web. 20 March 2013.
http://www.gwu.edu/~ffcp/exhibit/p13/p13_8.html
 
 
 

Historical Context
As the impending war drew closer, the newly independent states needed to raise and supply an army capable of defeating a major world power: Great Britain. Originally defended by the local militia, the former colonies established the Continental Army in April of 1775. George Washington was named the Commander-in-Chief and the leaders set out to furnish an army that could defeat England, and fight for their independence.
            The matter of supplying an army was of great concern for these new states. At the very least, soldiers needed food, clothing, and weapons. The army used several means to supply the army, ranging from issuing bills of credit to foraging. An individual or group of individuals, known as a quartermaster, had the responsibility of distributing supplies and provision to troops and documenting these expenditures to the states.  
 
 
Essential Question
How did the need to supply an army impact the newly independent states?
 
 
Check for Understanding
Write a paragraph explaining the answer to the following question, using evidence from the document: What was the purpose of this resolution?