Head Quarters, at Derby [Pa.]1 August 24th 1777.
Parole: Chester.Countersigns: Derby. Easton.
General Greene’s and Genl Stephen’s divisions are to march to morrow morning at four o’clock precisely, if it should not rain, towards Wilmington, and encamp on the first good ground beyond Naaman’s creek.2 All the horse are likewise to march at the same time, and proceed to Wilmington, and encamp on the first good ground there, or in their neighbourhood thereof.
Genl Lord Stirling’s division, and that commanded by Genl Wayne, with the park of artillery, will remain to morrow at their present encampment, and on Tuesday3 follow the other divisions, beginning their march at four in the morning, if it should not rain. The Commander in Chief possitively forbids the straggling of soldiers of the two divisions which remain behind, their quarters; and the General Officers commanding these divisions will take every precaution in their power effectually to prevent it; and likewise to prevent an inundation of bad women from Philadelphia; and for both purposes, a guard is to be placed on the road between the camp and the city, with particular orders to stop and properly deal with both.
Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. Robert Hanson Harrison’s receipted account of 24 Aug. credits him with $16 “To Expences paid Mr Rudulph at Derby for his Excellency & family” (vouchers and receipted accounts, 1776–80, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 29).
2. Naaman Creek enters the Delaware River near the Delaware-Pennsylvania border about six miles northeast of Wilmington. Lt. James McMichael, who was in Greene’s division, says in his diary entry for 25 Aug.: “At 3 A.M. tents were struck, at 4 A.M. marched W.S.W. past Marcus Hook, and 2 P.M. encamped in Brandywine Hundred, New Castle county, within 5 miles of Wilmington” ((“McMichael’s Diary,” description begins William P. McMichael. “Diary of Lieutenant James McMichael, of the Pennsylvania Line, 1776–1778.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 16 (1892): 129–59. description ends 147–48). Capt. John Chilton, who was in Stephen’s division, says in his diary entry for 25 Aug. that after marching by way of Chester, Pa., and Marcus Hook, he “encamped within 2½ Miles [of] Wilmington” (“Old Virginia Line,” description begins Lyon G. Tyler. “The Old Virginia Line in the Middle States during the American Revolution.” Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine 12 (1930–31): 1–43, 90–141, 198–203, 283–89. description ends 287; see also Pickering and Upham, Life of Pickering description begins Octavius Pickering and Charles W. Upham. The Life of Timothy Pickering. 4 vols. Boston, 1867–73. description ends , 1:152).
3. The following Tuesday was 26 August.