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Excerpts from Washington’s Dec. 23, 1777, Letter to Henry Laurens With AM-Washington Letter

December 16, 1991

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. (AP) _ Excerpts from George Washington’s Dec. 23, 1777, letter to Henry Laurens, president of Congress:

″I am now convinced beyond a doubt, that unless some great and capital change suddenly takes place in that line this army must inevitably be reduced to one or other of these three things. - Starve - dissolve - or disperse, in order to obtain subsistance in the best manner they can. rest assured, Sir, this is not an exaggerated picture, and that I have abundant reason to support what I say.″

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″(Y)et finding that the inactivity of the Army, whether for want of provisions, Cloaths, or other essentials is charged to my account, not only by the common vulgar, but those in power, it is time to speak plain in exculpation of myself. With truth ... I can declare, that no Man in my opinion ever had his measures more impeded than I have, by every department.″

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″Soap - Vinegar and other articles allowed by Congress we see none of, nor have we seen them, I believe, since the battle of Brandywine - The first indeed we have now little occasion for, few men having more than one shirt - many only the moiety of one, and some none at all.″

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″I can assure those Gentlemen, that it is a much easier and less distressing thing, to draw Remonstrances in a comfortable room by a good fire side, than to occupy a cold, bleak hill, and sleep under frost & snow without Cloaths or Blankets: However, although they seem to have little feeling for the naked and distressed Soldier, I feel superabundantly for them, and from my soul pity those miseries, which it is neither in my power to relieve or prevent.″