New York, East
20 March 2001
[REVOLUTIONARY WAR]. DS, by representatives of the Committee of Westmoreland in Western Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress, dated 6 August, 1776. A petition from the Committee of Westmoreland in Western Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress. 3 pp., 2o, folded (small holes along crease, edges chipped). FEARING INDIAN ATTACKS THE COMMITTEE OF WESTMORELAND SENDS A DESPERATE PLEA FOR AMMUNITION TO THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS. The petition, expressing greater fear of Indian attacks than those of the British, reiterates reports of breakdowns in treaties between Colonists and Indians from soldiers returning to the region after fighting in Schuyler's army to the North. The British had negotiated new treaties with the local tribes, which encouraged attacks against the Colonists of the region. Not only did attacks increase, but a vital supply line was severed. Colonel George Morgan unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a treaty with the Indians to re-establish trade-ties or at least military neutrality. Under increased attack, the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, established by the Continental Congress in July of 1776 to defend the region, had consolidated forces around Fort Pitt leaving the Westmorelanders defenseless.
Soon after this petition, the Continental Congress chartered a new regiment and sent supplies and ammunition. Locals eagerly enlisted in the new regiment, but they had barely the time to man their posts before Washington demanded their services to fight the British back East. They reluctantly left their homes and families, to endure a 500-mile trek through the Allegheny Mountains in the dead of winter, with insufficient food and clothing, many dying en route to meet Washington's troops.
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