George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Stephen Moylan, 13 September 1777

To Colonel Stephen Moylan

Camp at Mr Hills [Germantown, Pa.] 13 Sepr. 1777


You will perceive by the Inclosed Letter fr⟨om⟩ Colo. Flowers to Mr Rittenhouse, that the removal of our Military Stores from French Creek is an Obje⟨ct⟩ of great importance.1 For the purpose a number of Waggons must be collected a⟨s⟩ soon as possible; I therefore desire that you will immediately detach Twenty Light Drag[oons] under an Active Officer without a moments loss of time to assist Mr Rittenhouse at French Creek in procuring such a Quantity as he may judge necessary, and to render such other services as he (the Officer may think material) You will instruct the Officer to procure the Waggons in the least exceptionable manner—But they must be had without one instants delay—The Stores must be removed immediately or they may be destroyed.


Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman wrote Moylan on this date: “His Excellency recd your Message by Colo. Blands Adjutant, and commands me to inform you that you may keep the main Body of the Horse at the Barracks upon Schuylkil, but he begs that you will keep parties advanced towards the Enemy, more especially upon those Roads leading from Brandywine to the Sweeds Ford and the other Fords upon Schuylkill. Considering the distance that we now are from the Enemy, the security of the Army depends upon the Vigilance of your patroles. The General desires me to mention one thing particularly to you, which is, that he fears the reconnoitering officers often take up a report of the Situation of the Enemy from others and not from their own observation, he begs you to impress the Gentlemen before they go out with the importance of the Business upon which they are sent, and let them know that if any accident should happen to the Army from false intelligence they will be answerable. Your own Judgment will point out any other directions necessary to be given upon the occasion” (DLC:GW).

1The enclosed letter has not been identified. French Creek in western Chester County, Pa., enters the Schuylkill River from the west about four miles above Valley Forge.

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