George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Captain Benjamin Pollard, 6 September 1777

To Captain Benjamin Pollard

Head Quarters New Port [Del.]1 6th Septem. 1777.


By the time this reaches you, you will have made a considerable progress in blocking up the Bridge which you had begun to lay over the Brandywine and blocking up the Road leading to it—as soon as this business is effectually done; I should be glad to have a proper Bridge thrown over that part of the Creek and adjacent Mill Races which the Engineer pointed out to you this morning—provided the Execution of such a work would not require too long a time—this you will consider and let me know by the return of the Bearer in how little time you could undertake to perfect the Bridge in question. I am Sir Your most obedt hble Servt.

Copy, in John Laurens’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW on this date moved his headquarters to Newport, Del., about three miles west of Wilmington, and he posted most of his army along the east side of Red Clay Creek, extending north from the Christina River, to oppose General Howe’s anticipated advance toward Philadelphia by way of Wilmington. GW remained at Newport until the early hours of 9 Sept. when the army began withdrawing toward Brandywine Creek to avoid being outflanked by Howe’s unexpected march to the north on the previous day (see 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 , 1:153–54; Howe to Germain, 10 Oct. 1777, in Davies, Documents of the American Revolution description begins K. G. Davies, ed. Documents of the American Revolution, 1770–1783; (Colonial Office Series). 21 vols. Shannon and Dublin, 1972–81. description ends , 14:202–9; General Orders, 4, 9 Sept.; and GW to Hancock, 9 Sept.). GW’s lodging place at Newport has not been identified. Caleb Gibbs’s entries for 9 Sept. in the headquarters expense account book say only: “To Lodging &c. 22/6. To breakfast 7/6. . . .To sand for the room at Newport 2/6” (household account book, 11 April 1776–21 Nov. 1780, DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 28).

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