George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Philemon Dickinson, 13 March 1777

From Brigadier General Philemon Dickinson

Mr Bells Farm Rariton [N.J.] 13th March 1777


Agreable to your Excellency’s Orders, I shall this Day send down to Boundbrook, 300 men.1

The Person I mentioned to your Excellency, is just returned from Brunswick, & brings the following Intelligence.

Genl Howe, went to New York, 10 Days ago, the Troops much in the same Situation they were, no Boats building; the Hessians very sickly, & die fast; many English Troops begin to sicken, Skinners Brigade, all order’d off to Long-Island to recruit, being in very bad Health.

Skinner says, the moment the roads will permit, they are determined to march to Morris Town, rout your Excellency. They have a report, that all the Field pieces are sent off, from that Post, & that our Numbers are small—the Person sent in, was told as a very great Truth, that our Numbers at the different Posts only amounted to 21,500—he seemed a little surprized, as he thought they had not exceeded 12,000, altho’ many People imagined, they were about 30,000; Skinner seemed a little startled at our Strength. He is possitive, that Morris Town, is their Object.

I have proportioned the Field & other Officers in my Brigade, to the Number of men agreable to your Excellency’s Request. Sincerely wishing, the perfect recovery of your Excellency’s Health, I am, Your most Ob. Servt

Philemon Dickinson


1GW’s secretary Tench Tilghman wrote to Dickinson requesting these troops on 12 Mar. 1777: “His Excellency desires that you would immediately upon the rect of this detatch three hundred Men from your post to Bound Brook to releive the Militia under Genl Lincoln, whose time of Service is expired” (DLC:GW). Tilghman wrote a similar letter to Brig. Gen. William Maxwell on 11 Mar., asking him to forward 300 men “to take post at Quibble town in the room of the Battalion late McCoys, which is ordered to Bound Brook to releive Genl Lincoln” (DLC:GW). A return of the Continental troops under GW’s command in New Jersey that was made on 15 Mar. 1777 shows 342 men stationed at Bound Brook belonging to Col. Aeneas Mackay’s 8th Pennsylvania Regiment (DNA:PCC, item 152).

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