George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General David Forman, 19 October 1777

To Brigadier General David Forman

Head Quarters [Worcester Township, Pa.]
19th October 1777


I have yours of the 17th1 and am sorry to hear, that the information you have recd of the intent of the Enemy, to destroy the Salt works upon the Sea Coast of Monmouth County, will divert you from coming to the reinforcement of this Army; but these works are so truly valuable to the public, that they are certainly worth your attention. If you should have any force to spare, after protecting the Salt Works, I think you had better, instead of crossing the Delaware, direct it to Red Bank upon the Jersey Shore, opposite to Fort Mifflin, where we have a Body of Men posted for the defence of the Chevaux de frize.

The Enemy, last night, left Germantown and fell down to Philada.2 our Army will move downwards in the Morning. I congratulate you upon our Success to the Northward which is beyond our utmost expectation, and I hope the example will incite us to make as compleat a conquest of Genl Howe. I am Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NjR: Neilson Family Papers. Tilghman addressed the cover: “To Brigr Genl Forman at Freehold.”

1This letter has not been found.

2On this date Howe’s “army marched from Germantown to the heights North of Philadelphia extending from the river Delaware to the Schuylkill 2½ miles and encamped in the rear of the 10 redoubts” (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 , 468). Hessian captain Ewald says in his diary entry for this date that “the right wing was stationed at the Delaware behind Kensington, in which village the Queen’s Rangers were cantoned, and the left was placed behind the [Robert] Morris country house on the Schuylkill. The jägers received their post behind the wood at this plantation, in front of the army’s left wing. Work began today on redoubts which were to be constructed around Philadelphia” (Ewald, Diary description begins Johann Ewald. Diary of the American War: A Hessian Journal. Translated and edited by Joseph P. Tustin. New Haven and London, 1979. description ends , 96; see also 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 , 40; Lydenberg, Robertson Diaries description begins Harry Miller Lydenberg, ed. Archibald Robertson, Lieutenant-General Royal Engineers: His Diaries and Sketches in America, 1762–1780. New York, 1930. description ends , 153; André, Journal description begins John André. Major André’s Journal: Operations of the British Army under Lieutenant Generals Sir William Howe and Sir Henry Clinton, June 1777 to November 1778. 1930. Reprint. New York, 1968. description ends , 59; and Baurmeister, Revolution in America description begins Carl Leopold Baurmeister. Revolution in America: Confidential Letters and Journals, 1776–1784, of Adjutant General Major Baurmeister of the Hessian Forces. Translated and annotated by Bernhard A. Uhlendorf. New Brunswick, N.J., 1957. description ends , 125).

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