• Revolutionary War Col. Daniel Brodhead Concerned About Lack of Clothing, Officers for 8th PA; Washington Got Involved

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    Daniel Brodhead (1736-1809) was the colonel of the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment in the Continental Line, part of Washington's army defending Philadelphia; he later commanded a major expedition against Indians in western Pennsylvania, and was commissioned a brevet brigadier general by Washington.


    1 ¼ pp, 8 ¼ x 13, ALS to an official at the Board of War (“Sir”) discussing his regiments lack of clothing and officers. Somerset Courthouse [now Millstone], NJ, 20 May 1777.


     “I am honoured with your favour of the twelfth instant and am happy in the assurance you give me of having my Regt. & Cloathed.


    “The men were, previous to my appointment, furnished with more cloathing than I knew of when I wrote you, and no stoppages have been made for those cloathing because Mr. Mease had not informed the officers what the prices were.


    “If I am rightly instructed, the men are by resolve of Congress entitled to a bounty of a suit of cloathing each, and stoppages shall be made out of their pay for those they have had.


    “I would with greatest cheerfulness send you a return of the officers of my regt. as it now stands, with the names of worthy gentlemen to fill the vacancies – but his Excelly. Genl Washington having been wrote to by Genl. Lincoln, on account of the scarcity of officers to do the duty of the Regt. hath commanded me to send him a list of vacancies and officers in order that he might issue their new appointments in the Regimental Line, and condemned a proposition for filling the vacancies with more worthy men. If therefore your Honble. Board was to proceed to the appointments of new officers, such as I could undertake to recommend, your appointments would certainly interfere with those made in the Regimental Line by his Excelly. I wish his Excelly. Had not been wrote to on the occasion and will write you as soon as I am informed what hath been done by the General.


    “If it will give you any satisfaction, I will upon the first notice send you a list of the officers. I am with due Regard & Esteem your most obed. Servant Daniel Brodhead.

    Toning at folds, chipping at right edge and top, touching a few letters with partial loss of docketing at the top edge.

    Prior to the Revolutionary War, Brodhead farmed, ran a grist mill and worked as a deputy surveyor for Pennsylvania.  During the war, his first action came at the Battle of Long Island, where he was recognized by Washington for his bravery and initiative.  Brodhead’s only son, also named Daniel, was wounded and captured during the battle.  He was exchanged in 1778.   In 1777, Brodhead led his troops in the defense of Philadelphia and wintered with the Continental Army at Valley Forge from 1777-79.  In April 1778, he led a successful expedition against the Lenape bands around Muskingum River in Ohio County.  From his headquarters at Fort Pitt, Brodhead directed numerous raids against hostile native American tribes, often leading expeditions personally.   Brodhead was removed from command over allegations of mishandling supplies and money.  He was acquitted of all charges except misspending recruiting money.  He was later acquitted of these charges as well.  Brodhead spent the remainder of the war as commander of the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment.  He was one of the founders of the Society of Cincinnati.  In 1789, he was appointed Surveyor General of Pennsylvania.

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