George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 19 September 1777

From Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Paoli [Pa.] ¾ After 10: A.M. 19th Sepr 1777.

Dear General

The Enemy are very quiet, washing & Cooking—they will probably Attempt to move towards Evening1—I expect Genl Maxwell on their left flank every Moment and as I lay on their Right, we only want you in their Rear—to Complete Mr Howes buisness—I believe he knows Nothing of my Situation—as I have taken every precaution to prevent any Intelligence getting to him—at the same time keeping a Watchful Eye on his front Flanks & Rear.2

I have not heard from you since last Night. I am your Excellencies Most Obt Huml. Sert

Anty Wayne


1On the manuscript Wayne inadvertently wrote “Evenening.”

2Howe’s aide-de-camp Captain Muenchhausen writes in his diary entry for this date: “In the evening it was reported that General Wayne had been detached by General Washington with 800 men to make the region behind us insecure. Consequently, the 2nd battalion of light infantry and the English riflemen were dispatched to break camp quietly and attempt to surprise these gentlemen. They found General Wayne two and a half miles behind us, and they had almost surrounded him when fate intervened. Two drunken Englishmen fired at a picket, which touched off an alarm, and permitted their escape, though in great confusion. At two o’clock in the morning the light infantry returned, without having attained its objective” (Muenchhausen, At General Howe’s Side description begins Friedrich von Muenchhausen. At General Howe’s Side, 1776–1778: The Diary of General William Howe’s Aide de Camp, Captain Friedrich von Muenchhausen. Translated by Ernst Kipping. Annotated by Samuel Smith. Monmouth Beach, N.J., 1974. description ends , 34). For an account of the successful British attack on Wayne’s division on the night of 20–21 Sept., see Wayne to GW, 21 September.

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