Rutgers and the American Revoltion: A Starving Army
Through Captain Smith's letter to Bogart dated April 27, 1778 we learn that troops are arriving daily at his camp to help drive away the enemy. One wonders where the troops are coming from as the previous year recruits were hard to come by. Bad living conditions of the troops led to deserters. Food and drink were scarce. In a letter written by Washington to the Deputy Commissioner of Issues, Washington's frustration is apparent:
"The Cry of want of Provisions comes to me from every Quarter. Gen. Maxwell writes word that his People are starving; Genl. Johnston, of Maryland, yesterday informed me, that his People could draw none; this difficulty I understand prevails also at Chatham! What Sir is the meaning of this? and why were you so desirous of excluding others from this business when you are unable to accomplish it yourself? Consider, I beseech you, the consequences of this neglect, and exert yourself to remove this evil."--(Washington, George. Writings, Vol. VII, pp. 160-161, 183, 189)
Washington did finally receive permission to acquire what ever is necessary from town people, if not by trading then by force.