George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Stephen Moylan, 21 July 1777

From Colonel Stephen Moylan

Elizth town [N.J.]
21 July 1777 Seven ô Clock P.M.

Dear Sir

I received Mr Tilghmans Letter of the 19th Yesterday at five ô clock P.M. ordering me to march to New Windsor, takeing my rout by the Clove, which I understand is near ten miles round,1 however I will obey it except I meet Contrary orders, I shoud have been further on the March, had not an unluckly thought taken hold, last night, of nineteen, of Craigs Troops who sett off from hence towards Philadelphia at twelve ô clock, Col. White and the Major with two troops brought them back, after a very Severe Chace of upwds of forty Miles I believe they have not been well used in regard to pay, which they give as the reason of their proceeding towards Philadelphia, in order to get a Settlement, I shall not however trust them on horseback again, and when an oppertunity of a Court Martial offers, they shall be brought to triall, the horses they rode, and the horses rode by their pursuers are So Stiff that I cannot pretend to move them this day I hope it will not be attended with any ill Consequence as I am informd the enemys fleet are falling down to the Hook,2 inclosed is the report of Yesterday, just now Come to My hand. I am Most assuredly Dear sir Your affect. & ob. Sert

Stephen Moylan

I shall proceed early in the morning.


1For Tench Tilghman’s letter to Moylan of 19 July, see GW to Elias Dayton, 19 July, n.2.

2British officer Ambrose Serle gives the following account of the sailing of the British fleet from Staten Island to Sandy Hook in July 1777: “Saturday, 19th. Signal was made for sailing, & got under way about 8 o’clock; but in less than half an Hour, Order was given by the Admiral [Howe] to anchor, the Wind coming foul. Sunday 20th. Sailed this morning from Staten Island, with all the Transports, to Sandy Hook, where we came to Anchor; the large men of War not being able to come down; the Wind & Tide not properly serving together. So many Ships at one Time under Sail, with the Wind for the most part ahead, which obliged them to traverse, rendered the Scene very grand & picturesque.... Monday, 21st.... The large Ships of War fell down from Staten Island, in order to join the Transports at the Hook; but the Wind coming foul, so much of the Tide was spent, that they could not come over the Bank, which lies in the Channel between the East & West Banks, & so came to anchor just above them. Tuesday, 22d. The Weather being rainy & foul, the Ships could not move.... Wednesday, 23d. The Wind being fair, the Men of War & Transports (in number above 260 Sail) sailed out of Harbor, and proceeded by the Evening about 10 Leagues SSE from the High Land of Neversunk” (Tatum, Serle’s Journal description begins Edward H. Tatum, Jr., ed. The American Journal of Ambrose Serle: Secretary to Lord Howe, 1776–1778. San Marino, Calif., 1940. description ends , 239–40; see also Kemble Papers description begins [Stephen Kemble]. The Kemble Papers. 2 vols. New York, 1884-85. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 16–17. description ends , 1:125–26).

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