- Jul 1, 2000Rob,
Here are two pieces from Cruikshank's "Documentary History"
All I can say is, What a way to run a war!
A letter from New York State Governor, Tompkins to Secretary of War William
Eustis on difficulties in supplying the militia with equipment, 27 June,
". The keeper of the stores will not part with cannon, muskets, ammunition,
or other articles, without the order of his superior officer. General
Dearborn has requested me to order out the militia.and informs me that the
Quartermaster General will supply camp equipage for them. Upon application
to the Quartermaster General, who is now in Albany, I find there is no camp
equipage except a few tents and about sixty camp kettles which have been in
our arsenal at this place for several years. For the delivery of even these
I cannot obtain a written order. The Deputy Quartermaster General will not
give an order for their delivery without written directions from the
Quartermaster General and the Quartermaster General does not seem willing to
give such written directions.although he is perfectly willing I should have
the articles. Under such circumstances, I shall presume to take possession
of them at my own hazard and shall accordingly forward them to-morrow
morning, hoping that my proceedings on the emergency will be approved and
(Tompkin Papers N.Y.State Library)
A letter from General William Wadsworth to New York State Governor
Tompkins upon being notified that he was being placed in command of the
American militia forces on the Niagara frontier, June 28, 1812;
"Sir- I have received your letter of the 23rd instant. I take the command
of the troops at Black Rock and its vicinity in obedience to Your Excellency
's order with the greatest diffidence, having no experience of actual
service. My knowledge of the military art is limited; indeed, I foresee
numberless difficulties and occurrences which will present to which I feel
totally inadequate. I have been ambitious that the regiment and brigade
which I have commanded should be distinguished at their reviews, but I
confess myself ignorant of even the minor duties of the duty you have
assigned me, and I am apprehensive that I may not only expose myself but my
Government. Any aid which Your Excellency may think proper to order will be
received with thanks. A military secretary intimately acquainted with the
details of camp duty would be of great service to me."
(Tompson Papers Vol VII, P271 2 N.Y. State Library.
And these guys wanted a war?
Regards Richard Feltoe
PS There's plenty more where that came from.