George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General William Maxwell, 2 September 1777

To Brigadier General William Maxwell

Head Quarters Wilmington [Del.] 2d Sept. 1777
½ past 8 OClock


I am just favd with yours of this Evening.1 I do not know where the Sign of the Buck is,2 I therefore cannot say whether it will be proper for you to leave your present post to go and attack the party that is said to be thereabouts. If it is upon your left as I suppose it is, it will be by no means proper, because while you were gone down, the Enemy might advance from Grey’s Hill to Christeen and cut you off from us. Be careful to keep upon the left flank of the Enemy for the Reasons given in my former of this day. I am Sir Yr most obt Servt


Copy, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1This letter has not been found.

2The Buck Tavern, which was operated by William Carson, stood near present-day Summit Bridge, Del., about eight miles southeast of Head of Elk. GW apparently forgot that he had dined at the tavern on 3 Sept. 1774 on his way to attend the first Continental Congress and that he had breakfasted there on 28 Oct. 1774 on his return trip to Virginia (see Diaries description begins Bruce E. Burgoyne, ed. and trans. Diaries of two Ansbach Jaegers: Lieutenant Heinrich Carl Philipp von Feilitzsch and Lieutenant Christian Friedrich Bartholomai. Bowie, Md., 1997. description ends , 3:274, 287). GW dined and lodged at the Buck Tavern on 22 Mar. 1791 at the beginning of his southern tour (see ibid., 6:99).

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