George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Adam Stephen, 19 May 1777

To Major General Adam Stephen

Morris Town 19th May 1777.

Dear sir

I have receiv’d your favor of this date1 & still continue to think that an Attack upon the Tory Regimts in their present Situation would by no means answer your expectation.

I have order’d Genl Heard (who will soon be reinforced to a considerable Number) to advance towards Hackensack with all his Men, except those necessary for the Works at Pumpton & there act in what ever manner he finds most conducive to distress & Harass the Tory Regimts at Bergen.2 I am Dear sir Your very Hhble servt

Go: Washington

P.S. What causes my Objection to your making an attack is, that the Necessary preparation for Crossing the River could not possibly be made without a Discovery.


LS, in John Fitzgerald’s writing, DLC: Stephen Papers. Fitzgerald addressed the cover: “To Major General Stephen Chatham.”

GW’s aide-de-camp George Johnston wrote Stephen on this date: “His Excellency [GW] bids me acknowledge the rect of your favour of this date. In Consequence of your indisposition and Genl Maxwell’s, he has ordered Genl Scott upon the lines; The inclosed conveys it, he with Genl Muhlenberg’s Aid can manage till your recovery” (DLC:GW). Johnston enclosed a copy of his brief letter to Gen. Charles Scott of this date conveying those orders (DLC:GW). Stephen’s second letter to GW of this date concerning his illness has not been found.

1This letter has not been found.

2See Robert Hanson Harrison to Nathaniel Heard, 15 May, in Heard to GW, 14 May, source note.

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