From Daniel Cunyngham Clymer
Burlington [N.J.] 1 OClock P.M. Octr 26. 1777
On the most strict Enquiry since I arrived at Burlington I find that the british Troops who landed in Jersey to reinforce the Detachment of Hessians under Count Dunlope on their Retreat had a Consultation at Marmaduke Cooper’s (two Miles from Wm Coopers ferry) where it was determined to retreat1—they accordingly embark’d their Troops the day of their Defeat from Jersey and arrived that Day in Philadelphia the Prisoners are still at red Bank where I shall immediately repair and see that the Paroles of the Officers are taken2—It appears very clear from the concurrent Testimony of several Officers who have arrived in Burlington since the Action that the Enemy have left between 400 & 500 kill’d and wounded—and that the remainder have entirely abandoned the Jerseys—it is thought the Enemy have sunk 10 or 12 of their field Pieces in Timber Creek—27 24 Pounders with 27 Silver Watches some Linnen &c. &c. were yesterday taken from the Wreck of the Augusta Man of War the Enemy came forward to plunder her but were prevented by the Gallies whose Men on driving down the Shipping took that which the british were willing to save.3 I have the Honor to be your Excellency’s obedient Servant
ALS, DLC:GW. Clymer most likely was referring to this letter when he apologized to GW on 4 Nov. for passing false intelligence (see GW to Clymer, 11 Nov.).
1. For accounts of the unsuccessful attack that the Hessian force commanded by Colonel Donop made on Fort Mercer at Red Bank, N.J., on 22 Oct., see Samuel Ward, Jr., to GW, 23 Oct., and note 2, and for the sending of the 27th Regiment and a light infantry battalion across the Delaware River on the morning of 23 Oct. to cover their retreat, see Joseph Reed to GW, 24 Oct., n.4. There were two Cooper’s ferries running between Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. Samuel Cooper (1744–1812) operated a ferry at Cooper’s Point below the mouth of Cooper’s Creek, opposite northern Philadelphia, and his cousin William Cooper (d. 1787) operated a ferry a short distance farther downstream opposite central Philadelphia. Marmaduke Cooper (d. 1795), appointed a member of the Gloucester County, N.J., committee of observation and correspondence in December 1774, was at this time a horse breeder living at Newtown in Gloucester County.
2. General Howe’s aide-de-camp Capt. Friedrich von Muenchhausen wrote in his diary entry for this date: “Several Hessian surgeons were sent to Red Bank today to attend to our poor wounded who have not yet been bandaged. . . . The English doctor has just come back from Red Bank; he says that, though Donop is still alive, he will not recover under the circumstances. Also, a flag of truce from the enemy has just come in with open letters from our captured officers” (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 , 41).
3. For an account of the burning of the British warships Augusta and Merlin on 23 Oct., see Robert Ballard to GW, 23 Oct., n.2. “The Rebels here had many men upon the wrecks this Evening,” writes British navy captain William Cornwallis to Lord Howe on 25 Oct., “but from the Size of their Boats, I do not apprehend, they have got any thing of Consequence out of them” (Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 10:286). John Linzee, captain of H.M.S. Pearl, gives a similar account in his journal entry for the same date: “At 10 AM the Rebels came down with their Galleys & Boats to the Augusta’s Wreck. Fir’d many Guns at them as did the Liverpool & Cornwallis” (ibid., 287).