Document Spotlight-Nine Thousand Pounds of Cannonballs

March 20th, 2012

Recently, transcriber Nbollen brought usĀ  a document detailing the kinds of logistical considerations military officers faced daily. While not a matter of life or death, officers had to make sure outposts were adequately supplied; likewise, arms or materials sitting around in unnecessary places made it hard to keep hot spots had what they needed.

In this document, Samuel Hodgedon gave a brief summary of the artillery situation at Fort Ransalaer–there seemed to be eight six-pound cannons and one four-pound cannon that were being underutilized. He asked for those cannons, along with carriages, to be taken to Governor’s Island. In addition, he asked that 1,000 nine-pound cannonballs be taken as well, but only if it could be done easily and cheaply.

These kinds of decisions were routine, but required adequate communication. A supply officer had to know what equipment was available, and where it was available. Thus, correspondence like this took up a great deal of an officer’s time.

Read the original document here.

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