George Washington Papers

Orders to Colonel Daniel Morgan, 13 June 1777

Orders to Colonel Daniel Morgan

[Middlebrook, N.J., 13 June 1777]


The Corps of Rangers newly formed and under your Command, are to be considered as a Body of Light Infantry and are to act as such, for which reason they will be exempted from the common Duties of the Line.

At present you are to take post at Van Veighters Bridg⟨e⟩ and watch, with very small scouting parties (to avoid fatiguing your men too much under the present appearance of things) the Enemy’s left Flank, and particularly the Roads leading from Brunswic towards Millstone, princetown &ca.

In case of any movement of the Enemy you are instantly to fall upon their flanks and gall them as much as possible, taking especial Care not to be surrounded⟨,⟩ or ha⟨ve your⟩ Retreat to the Army cut off.

I have sent for Spears which I expect shortly to receive and deliver to you, as a defence against Horse. Till you are furnished with these, take care not to be caught in such a Situation as to give them any advantage over you. Given under my Hand at Head Q⟨uarters⟩ Middle Brook this 13th June 1777.

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NN: Myers Collection, Daniel Morgan Papers; ADf, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The text in angle brackets is mutilated and supplied from the draft copy. GW’s draft contains another paragraph before the closing that may have been inadvertently omitted when the LS was made: “It occurs to me that if you were to dress a Company or two of true Woods men in the right Indian style and let them make the Attack accompanied with screaming and yelling as the Indians do it would have very good consequences especially if as little as possible was said, or known of the matter before hand.”

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