Article on The Tent of Washington
By George Washington Parke Custis about the tents belonging to George Washington for the May 18, 1855 issue of The National Intelligencer.
Paper. W 21.7, L 27.0 cm
The Tent of Washington
There were two Tents or rather Marquees attached to the baggage of the Commander in Cheif during the Revolutionary War.
The larger that can dine about forty persons, formed the Banqueting Hall for the Grand Banquet given by Washington to the Officers of the Three Armies, immediately after the Surrender of YorkTown, when the Victor made the Feast and the Vanquished were the his guests. -----
The smaller or sleeping Tent, has a history of touching and peculiar interest attached to it, as related by Colo John Nicholas of Virginia, an Officer of the Life Guard. He said. Altho the HeadQuarters were generally in a house, yet allways pitched pitched the smaller Tent in the yard or immediately adjacent to the Quarters, and to this Tent the Chief was in the constant habit of retiring to write his despatches. His orders to the Officer of the Guard were. Let me not be disturbed when I have completed my despatches I will come out myself. Let the expresses be mounted, and in waiting.--
Often would a courier arrive, "bloody with spurring", and shouting, despatches from General ____________ to the Commander in Cheif. Often the travel soiled courier would have time to breathe a little after a desperate ride, till parting the door folds of the Tent would appear the Man of mighty labours, the despatches ready sealed in his hand.----
From within those venerable canvas walls, emanated the momentous despatches that guided the destinies of the Struggle for Independence.--------
The Tents were originally made in Philadelphia in August 1775, under the direction of Captain Moulder of the Revolutionary. They were first pitched on the Heights of Cambridge and in 1775, and are now preserved in the Portmanteau in which they were carried during the whole of the War of
We learn that it is the intention of Mr Custis to bequeath these venerated relics of the Revolution and of Washington, to the American Army to be preserved among the Military Archives of the Nation, at the Seat of Government. Till which time, they will be preserved where they have been for half a century, at Arlington House.
For National Intelligencer
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, ARHO 2552
View next page of letter