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Welcoming the New Year of 1779, or the dog ate my homework (kinda long)

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  • Thad Weaver
    Further to John White s and P. O K s postings on gunfire in the New Year, consider the exchange of letters between His Excellency (General Washington) and
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2000
      Further to John White's and P. O'K's postings on gunfire in the New
      Year, consider the exchange of letters between His Excellency
      (General Washington) and Major Daniel Burchardt of the German
      Regiment. My first reaction in reading Burchardt's letter was that
      it was 18th century equivalent of "the dog ate my homework":

      2/26/1779 Washington to Burchardt (Fitzpatrick, WRITINGS OF
      WASHINGTON, Vol. 14, pp. 156-157)

      "Sir: I have recd. information from the Board of War that they had
      furnished you with Ten thousand new Musquet Cartidges for the use of
      the German Battalion . . . The Board were not without reason
      surprised to hear from Colo. Hooper [DQMG at Easton, PA] that there
      were no Cartridges either good or bad remaining in the Regt. This is
      so strange a Circumstance that I am directed to call upon you in the
      most express manner to account for this total deficiency of
      ammunition . . . "

      3/20/1779 Burchardt to Washington (WASHINGTON PAPERS)

      Sir: Received your Excellency, letter dated 26 ult, concerning, the
      Cartridges, that was furnished the German Battalion. I left, the
      Regiment, at Fish Kills, Colo Weltner, was the Commanding Officer -
      several times, large party's, when detached, up the North River, in
      collecting Forage for the Use of the Army, in Escaping [?] bad
      weather, which was, the Ocassion, of a Quantity, of Cartridges being,
      Destroyed, a party, was sent, to mend the Road, in Connecticut State,
      there Arms, Ammunition where, in the Waggon, which Occassioned, a
      number to be lost, in Escorting, the Convention Troops, a Quantity,
      wher Damaged, not fit for use, two Boxes of Damaged, Cartridges, when
      Deposited in the Waggon, which did not follow, in Eighteen Days,
      after our Marching - through the neglect of the Guard, where lost. I
      called on the Officers concerning the Firing, of the Cartridges, at
      Easton, on New Years Eve, they blame, Capt. Rice - am Eseceeding
      Unhappy, to Inform your - Excellency, of any Delinquency, in Any
      Officer Under my Command, when I cam, to the Regiment they had, but a
      few Cartridges, I Applyed to the Board of War, for a Supply, they
      granted it -"

      Happy New Year!

      Thad Weaver
      German Regiment
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