George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Joseph Kirkbride, 14 January 1777

To Colonel Joseph Kirkbride

Head Quarters Morris town 14 January 1777


Colo. Smith being ordered to march up to this place with the Jersey Militia and form a Brigade under Genl Dickinson, you are hereby directed to collect as many of the Militia of your County as will mount the necessary Guards at the Ferries where Colonel Smith was posted.1 You will take particular Care to keep all the Boats, except such as are necessary for the Ferry, drawn up and well guarded under the care of a good Officr. I am Sir Yr most obt Servt.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Brig. Gen. Philemon Dickinson was headquartered on the Raritan River three miles above Bound Brook, N.J., by 16 January. Col. Isaac Smith’s 1st Regiment of Hunterdon County militia had been stationed on the Delaware River to guard the shore from Yardley’s Ferry to the ferry opposite Bordentown in anticipation of the Battle of Trenton (see Stryker, Battles of Trenton and Princeton description begins William S. Stryker. The Battles of Trenton and Princeton. 1898. Reprint. Spartanburg, S.C., 1967. description ends , 18, 30). The draft of GW’s orders to Smith of this date, also in Tilghman’s writing, reads: “I have ordered Colo. Kirkbride to relieve you with the Bucks County Militia. As soon as he takes your posts, I desire you will immediately march, with the Men at present under your command and as many others as you can collect, to Basken Ridge [N.J.], where you will meet Genl Dickinson with the Militia of this State” (DLC:GW).

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