George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 18 September 1777

To Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Reading furnace [Pa.] septr 18th 1777


As I have receiv’d Information that the Enemy have turn’d down that Road from the White Horse which leads to Swedes Ford on Schuylkill I have to desire that you will Halt your Troops wherever this Meets you if coming this way1 & set them to Cleaning their Arms drawing Ammunition & Cooking Provision.

I must call your utmost Exertion in fitting yourselves in the best manner you can for following & Harrassing their Rear—Genl Maxwell will have a Similar Order & will Assist you with the Corps under his command.

the Army here is so much fatigued that it is impossible I should move them this Afternoon. I shall expect by return of the light Horse Man to know where you are & when it will be in power to Comply with this Order. I am Sir your mo. Obed. Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in John Fitzgerald’s writing, PHi: Wayne Papers.

This letter was accompanied by an undated letter written and signed by Fitzgerald that reads: “since Sealing the within his Excellency Orders me to mention to you that as the Enemy will probably find some opposition at Swedes ford, they will Endeaver to make a Push at some of the Fords lower down on schuylkill—he therefore wishes you to keep a constant Guard towards their Right that you may be able either to give Information or Oppose them if the Party should not be an overmatch for you.

“He is fully satisfied you will do every thing in your power to Harrass & Distress them on their March, without suffering yourself to be reduc’d to any disagreeable situation” (PHi:(PHi: Wayne Papers).

1On the manuscript the words “if coming this way” are inserted above the line in GW’s writing.

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