George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General John Sullivan, 19 June 1777

From Major General John Sullivan

Sourland Hills [N.J.] June 19th 1777

My Dear General

I am honoured with your Excys favor of this Day.1 Shall Send on Mr Burr as Directed—I have Inquired of General Forman he knows of no Captain Wetherby There is a person of that name at Shrewsbury, who had orders To Enlist Troops for the British Service he Enlisted Some & was Detected & put in Irons by Genl Stephen Last Summer where he remained till about 8 Weeks Since when the Genl assembly of this State Released him perhaps he may Since that have undertaken the Business yr Excy mentions—The Enemy have Certainly Left Millstone I am falling Down toward the post Road as fast as possible to Harrass them if they attempt that Rout. Dr General I am with Much affection & Respect your Excys Most obedt Servant

Jno. Sullivan

P.S. Yr Excy will please to Consider That I am very weak—& wish to be Reinforced.


The Enemys Rout is for Brunswick Burning Houses Barns &ca in their Rout many of my parties have been in Somersett—The Enemy abandoned it Little after Sunrise probably they may Turn off for Philadelphia.2


1This letter, which has not been found, apparently included a request for information related to Loyalist Benjamin Wetherby, which William Livingston wrote to GW about on 18 June 1777.

2The following undated letter from GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton to Sullivan apparently was written in reply to the postscripts of this letter: “His Excellency has received your two last favours to day—In the first you hint the want of a reinforcement; but as the intention of your body is chiefly for observation and skirmishing and not to make any serious stand, it is the less necessary it should be powerful in numbers. It will however depend upon circumstances, how far it will be expedient to reinforce you—and as soon as any thing can be determined from them, you shall have whatever addition of strength you may stand in need of.

“The information contained in your last, of the enemy’s being incamped on the road leading from Brunswick to Princeton about the three Mile run, is not well founded. We have had parties and officers reconnoitring as far as the mile run and there is no sign of an incampment. They seem to be taking their old position with their right at Amboy and their left at Brunswick; but how long they will remain so it is hard to tell. His Excellency desires you will engage some trusty persons at South Amboy, on whom you can depend for faithful and early intelligence of the appearance of shipping in the river, or any preparations for a movement by water, that we may be, in time, prepared to counteract them” (DLC:GW).

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