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Colonel Joseph Trumbull to General Washington



Lebanon, November 20, 1775.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY: The disease I have been afflicted with has given such a shock to my constitution as still disables me from travelling to Cambridge, where I want much to be; but sickness must be submitted to. I hope soon, now, to be able to travel, if the weather is tolerable.


I have been making every necessary preparation, within my department, for the subsistence of the Army, and find I have got a good supply of flour at camp, and on the roads leading thereto; and have now given orders for all to stop twenty miles back from Cambridge and Roxbury, on the different roads, from whence it can be hauled at all times, and in the worst seasons.

I am now also collecting pork and beef, agreeable to direction of Congress, to drive to and within twenty miles of camp, and there to be killed and salted; and have contracted to have it done so as to make the saving to the Continent full equal to my most sanguine expectations. This branch of business will make a heavy demand on the Paymaster, which I hope he is able to answer, as it would give great uneasiness to the farmers not to get their money on the delivery of their cattle and hogs, and me great trouble to have them to pay afterwards. On what your Excellency wrote me, when I drew last to pay my flour contracts, I took the liberty to write to the Delegates for this Colony what sums I should probably want, and the necessity of my being supplied, at the present season, which I hope will forward supplies of cash to the Paymaster, to answer the necessary demands on him. Some considerable sums of cash will be wanted for beef and pork, and to pay up the officers' rations — those of them who are like to leave the service before I can come to camp — and I have directed Mr˙ Avery to apply to your Excellency for a warrant or warrants, as may be needed. Whatever sums your Excellency has or shall give warrants for, to him, I will be answerable for, and underwrite his receipts on my arrival. I have made out an estimate of the cost of a day' s ration, which is annexed for your Excellency' s inspection and approbation, as a rule to pay the officers by.

I am, with the greatest respect and esteem, your Excellency' s most obedient and most humble servant,


His Excellency General Washington.



An Estimate of the cost of a day' s Ration, as allowed the Troops in the service of the UNITED COLONIES, NOVEMBER, 1775.
Three-quarters of a pound of pork, at 77 6 per barrel d3
One pound of beef, at 20 per ct˙, is nearest d2 1/2
One pound of salted fish, at 18 per ct˙, is nearest d2
One pound of bread or flour, at 30 per ct d2 1/2
One pint of milk d1
One half-pint of rice, or one pint of Indian meal, per week d1
Cider, beer, or molasses, per week d2
Twenty-four pounds of soap, 7 per week, per one hundred men d1 3/4
Three pints of peas or beans, per week per man d2 1/4 — d7
Pork is issued three days in the week, beef three days, and fish one day in the week; the mean sum is nearest to d2 1/2
Bread or flour, 2 1/2d — milk, 1 d3 1/2
Weekly allowances, divided, are, per diem d1
Six ounces butter per man, per week, (omitted,) 8d per lb˙ is nearest d1/2
Per man, per diem d7