George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General David Forman, 11 October 1777

From Brigadier General David Forman

Freehold [N.J.] 11th Octor 1777.


Agreeable to my engagement of your Excellency, I immediately waited on the legislative Body of this State for an Order to call out the Militia to reinforce your Excellency’s Army. I procured an Order from the Assembly for two Thousand men to be ordered from this State, and was so happy as to meet with the Concurrence of the Governor & Council.1

A Copy of the Order from the Governor I herewith inclose.2 When I came to enquire into the State of the Militia I found nothing had yet been done towards classing them. I immediately set down and issued Orders for classing & drawing them out varying the time of assembling the different Regts to their local Situations. a copy of my Order your Excellency has herewith.3 the Militia not being classed necessarily prolonged the time given them to assemble and the Extent of the different Counties from which they are to be drawn made it necessary for me to appoint the Cross Roads in Bucks County Pensylvania for their place of general Rendezvous—Your Excellency will observe the No. called for two thousand; neither the Legislative Body or myself expect that so many will march, the Number was enlarged to (if possible) insure the Number called for in your Excellency’s Order.

On the twenty first of this Inst. I expect to be prepared to march from the Cross Roads for your Excellency’s Army, unless a counter Order should prevent.

My anxiety at this critical time induces me to beg it as a favor that one of your Excellency’s Family will favor me with as many of the particulars of the Action of the 4th as have come to your Excellency’s knowledge, and are proper to be communicated. I have the Honor to be Your Excelly most Obedt Humb. Servt

David Forman


1For the legislature’s resolutions of 8 Oct., see N.J. Votes and Proceedings description begins Votes and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of New-Jersey. Burlington, N.J., 1777. description ends , Legislative Council, 3 Sept.–11 Oct. 1777, 118, and General Assembly, 3 Sept.–11 Oct. 1777, 195.

2The enclosed copy of Gov. William Livingston’s letter to Forman of 9 Oct. reads: “You are hereby directed to detach any Number of the Militia of this State not exceeding two Thousand Men to join, under your command the Army under the command of his Excellency General Washington in Pensylvania unless you should receive Orders to the contrary from the Commander in Chief of this State before the men are march’d into Pensylvania—the men are to be raised in the following manner & proportions Vizt From Burlington 20 Classes[,] From Middlesex south of Rarritan 2 ditto[,] From Monmouth 2 ditto[,] From Colol Wests Regt in Sussex 2 ditto[,] From Colol Phillips’s in Hunterdon 2 ditto” (DLC:GW).

3Forman’s orders to the various militia colonels of 9 Oct. read: “By Order of his Excely the Governor & with the concurrence of his Council and the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey You are commanded immedeately to class your Regiment agreeable to the late Militia Law of this State and as speedily as possible to draw out four Classes. You are to see that they are properly armed and accoutered and each Man furnished with a pair of good Shoes, a Blanket and Cloathes Sufficient to serve them one Month after they join our grand Army. Your Men must be prepared to march from Burlington on the 18th of this Inst. without fail” (DLC:GW).

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