George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Nathanael Greene, 24 May 1777

From Major General Nathanael Greene

Bound Brook [N.J., 24 May 1777]1

Dear General

Your Excellencies favor of Yesterday this moment came to hand.2 I am perfectly satisfied with the exchange of Hazens Regiment for the Barron Arends—I am by no means attach’t to any particular Regiment—nearly an equal distribution of the forces will be entirely satisfactory to me. I only wish to stand upon an equal footing with other Officers—then if I dont execute my duty as well I am willing to be subject to censure.

General Sullivans reasons for the exchange are very substantial and perfectly satisfactory—I ever wish to make the good of the service my principal object—when I deviate from that line I wish to be corrected.3

I arrivd at this place yesterday about Noon—and immediately issueed the necessary Orders for collecting the Troops together from the out Posts.

I fear without great exertion in the Commesaries department there will be a want of Provision—I shall endeavor to learn the design of the Enemies collection of Waggons.

We shall begin to lay off the encampment this morning—Coll Biddle arrivd too late last Night to do any thing more than to ride round the ground.4 I am with the greatest Respect Your Excellencies Obedient Servt

N. Greene


1Although Greene neglected to date this letter, Alexander Hamilton docketed the manuscript: “from Genl Green B. Brook 24th May 1777.”

2This letter has not been found.

3Greene on this date wrote Sullivan agreeing to this exchange of regiments, and Sullivan thanked Greene in his reply of this date (see Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 2:90, 92; see also Arendt to Greene, this date, ibid., 91–92).

4This new encampment was laid out in the adjoining village of Middlebrook, N.J., to accommodate most of the Continental army for the beginning of the new campaign. Located at the base of the first range of the Watchung Mountains seven miles up the Raritan River from the major British outpost at New Brunswick, the new camp was well positioned for observing the movements of General Howe’s forces in New Jersey and for intercepting any British attempt to march overland to Philadelphia. It also was a good defensive position, and in case of need, the Continental army could retreat north to even safer positions in the Watchung Mountains. GW established his headquarters at Middlebrook on the evening of 28 May (see General Orders, 29 May, and n. 1, and GW to Hancock, 29 May). For Greene’s efforts in developing the Middlebrook encampment, see his letters to GW of 25 and 27 May and the source notes for the General Orders of 26, 27, and 28 May.

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