A standoff ensued in the days following the failure by Regulators under Captain Daniel Shays to seize the barracks and stores of the United States Arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts. An army of government militia led by General Benjamin Lincoln encamped at Hadley and the Regulators under Shays encamped at Pelham. When word reached General Lincoln that Shays' men were marching to Petersham, he ordered a thirty mile night march in pursuit. Despite a severe, unexpected snowstorm, Lincoln's men arrived in Peterham on the morning of February 4, taking the Regulators by surprise and routing them completely. Lincoln wrote this order for rations of bread and meat for Matthew Gillche and twenty-four other men as part of a more general effort to supply his army with provisions. These rations were probably requisitioned from the people in town.