George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Benjamin Lincoln, 23 October 1776

From Major General Benjamin Lincoln

[Valentine’s Hill, N.Y., 23 October 1776]


I Sent out in the morning Two parties ordered one of them to the Right of the Enemy & the other to the left & to meet in the Centre of their front each performed the part Assigned him on their meeting they joined a party of Rifle men and march[ed] in a body to the eastd of wards Tavern1 were soon discovered by the enemy who attempted to incir[c]le them they fell back to Wards where they posted themselves untill som of the Light Horse came a skirmish insued on that the enemy advancd with their field peices kept up a fire with them for a considerable time but did not advance within musket shot altho they were covered with a large party Capt. Rowley misses one of his men2 did not discove[r] any thing very material.

ADf, MHi: Lincoln Papers. Although Lincoln did not include a dateline or specific address on the manuscript, he docketed it: “Octr 23. 1776—To His Excellency.”

Lincoln was posted on Valentine’s Hill at Mile Square from about 18 Oct. to about 24 October. On 19 Oct. Lincoln wrote GW from “Mount Valentine” that “Nothing important turned up here through the last night. We have no knowledge of the enemy this morning—Our men Continue to throw up the works here—If our Troops have left East Chester where Colo. How, a Militia Regiment from Mass., was stationed, would it not be best that he should join the other Militia Regiments at this place if he Should join us he will want Tents to cover his men—The bear[er] will wait for your Excellencey Orders” (ADf, MHi: Lincoln Papers; although the draft is unaddressed, its context indicates that it was written to GW). Col. Ezekiel Howe’s regiment apparently joined Lincoln on Valentine’s Hill by 23 Oct., when Lincoln had four regiments there. Of his brigade’s other regiments, two were at Fairfield, Conn.; one was at Rye, N.Y.; one was Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.; and one was at Tarrytown, N.Y. (see Lincoln to the Massachusetts Council, 23 Oct., MHi: Lincoln Papers).

1Ward’s Tavern was located about three miles northeast of Valentine’s Hill and about three miles northwest of New Rochelle.

2Aaron Rowley (1739–1799), who had served during 1775 as a first lieutenant in Col. Benjamin Ruggles Woodbridge’s Massachusetts regiment, was at this time a captain in the Berkshire County, Mass., militia. Rowley was promoted to major in the Berkshire County militia by October 1781, when he was wounded in action at Johnstown, New York.

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