Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to George Washington, [26 June 1778]

To George Washington

[Robins Tavern, near Allentown, New Jersey, June 26, 1778]1


The result of what I have seen and heard concerning the enemy is, that they have incamped with their van a little beyond Monmouth Court House and their rear at Manalapans2 River abt. seven miles from this place. Their march to day has been very judiciously conducted—their baggage in front and their flying army in the rear, with a rear guard of 1000 men about 400 paces from the main body. To attack them in this situation, without being supported by the whole army would be folly in the extreme. If it should be thought adviseable to give the necessary support, the army can move to some position near the enemy’s left flank which would put them in a very awkward situation, with so respectable a body in their rear and would put it out of their power to turn either flank should they be so disposed. Their left is strongly posted and I am told their right is also. By some accounts one part of his army lies on the road leading from the Monmouth road to South Amboy. It is not improbable that South Amboy may still be the object.

I had written thus far when your letter to the Marquis arrived.3 This puts the matter on a totally different footing. The detachment will march tomorrow Morning at three oClock to English Town.

I am with great regard & esteem Yr Obed ser

A Hamilton

ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress; copy, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1J. C. Hamilton (JCHW description begins John C. Hamilton, ed., The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1851). description ends , I, 122) and Lodge (HCLW description begins Henry Cabot Lodge, The Works of Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1904). description ends , IX, 139) both misdate this letter June 28. Fitzpatrick (GW description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington (Washington, 1931–1944). description ends , XII, 123n) misdates it June 27.

2Also known as Penelopen; situated between Hightstown and Monmouth Court House.

3On June 26, Washington wrote Lafayette four different letters. The one to which H refers presumably is that which ordered Lafayette to Englishtown, New Jersey, and warned him against surprise (Df, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress).

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