To Brigadier General Silas Newcomb1
Head Quarters [Towamencin, Pennsylvania] October 10th. 1777
I am desired by His Excellency, to inform you that, on a second consideration, it has been thought inexpedient to send as many Continental troops to Red-bank,2 as was at first intended; and that the number, now on their march for that place, will be rather insufficient for the defence of it. He therefore requests you will, in addition to the Continental troops, furnish from a 100 to 150 of your Militia, to complete the number necessary for the security of a post of such essential consequence; and that you will hold the rest of the troops under your command, in constant readiness to cooperate with the Garrison, whenever the enemy shall make an attempt upon it.
I am &c
ADfS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Newcomb was a brigadier general of the New Jersey Militia.
2. Red Bank, situated below Philadelphia on the New Jersey shore of the Delaware River, was the site of Fort Mercer. At the time this letter was written, the Americans, holding both Fort Mercer and Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, were seeking to prevent General William Howe from receiving supplies by way of the Delaware. The British, for their part, were attempting to reduce both forts.