George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Hancock, 16 September 1777

To John Hancock

Camp between The Warren & White Horse
Taverns [Pa.]1 Septr 16th 1777.


I arrived here last night with the Army and am now so far advanced, as to be in a position to meet the Enemy on the Route to Swedes Ford, if they should direct their course that way. Their situation, I believe, from the best information I have been able to obtain, is nearly the same it was Yesterday Evening when I wrote you. I have ordered All the Troops to be refreshed this Morning, as they were late in getting to their Ground last Night, and they are now cooking their provision. In the mean time, I intend to see my Genl Officers and to collect their sentiments upon the subject of our next movement & Operations. Genl Smallwood was at Oxford meeting House Yesterday. he has with him about 1150 Rank & file fit for duty, but not more than 860 or 70 are well armed—Some are without any. They want Ammunition too & Many necessaries. The former I ordered on Sunday.2 Colo. Gist is at Christiana with ab⟨out⟩ Seven hundred Men, who will form a junction with Genl Smallwood. I have the Honor to be with great respect Sir Yr Most Obedt servant

Go: Washington

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169. GW franked the addressed cover of the LS. Congress read this letter on this date (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 8:747).

1The White Horse Tavern was on the Lancaster Road in East Whiteland Township, Chester County, about two-and-a-half miles west of Randall Malin’s house, which stood about a half mile west of the Admiral Warren Tavern (see Scull, Montresor Journals description begins G. D. Scull, ed. The Montresor Journals. New York, 1882. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vol. 14. description ends , 454).

2See Robert Hanson Harrison to William Smallwood, 14 Sept., which is quoted in Smallwood to GW, 13 Sept., source note.

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