George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General James Potter, 18 November 1777

From Brigadier General James Potter

[Newtown] Squair [Pa.] Novr 18th eight oClock P.M. 1777


you have been informed of the enemys move to Chester last night and of Generals Reed and Cedwaleder and me Reconnetring them, by Reeds latter of this day from Darbey1 I am Now to inform you that the are all Imbarked on Bord there ships and gon over to the Jarsey—Redbank must now fall. I am your Excelancey Most obedant Humble servant

Ja’s Potter

P.S. I send you enclosed the Deposition of Mr Sellers.2


1Potter apparently is referring to Joseph Reed’s first letter to GW of this date, which has not been found. GW already had been informed of the British descent on Chester and the reconnoitering efforts of generals Cadwalader, Potter, and Reed by John Clark, Jr.’s first letter of 17 Nov. and by his second of 18 November.

2The enclosed deposition of Nicholas Sellers, sworn on 17 Nov. and signed by Potter, reads: “Nicholas Sellers of the Borough of Wilmington, County of New Castle and State of Delaware Shallopman, (late a Prisoner with the Enemy) upon his solemn Oath, taken on the holy Evangelists of Almighty God, declares that about six Weeks ago, he was taken by the Enemy and confined in the new Jail in the City of Philadelphia, that he received the first two Weeks of his confinement half a pound of fresh Beef, four Biscuit and a half for three Days, that the third Week he received one quarter of a pound of salt pork, and two Biscuit for the same time that from the third Week of his captivity until the Day of his releasement which was on Thursday the 13th Instant, he received but half a pound of Pork and six Biscuit for eight Days—that all the prisoners with him received the same allowance and no more, that many of them died for want of Provisions being obliged to eat Roots which they got in the Jail Yard—that he, this Deponent must have shared the same fate, had it not been for his parents who assisted him with Money & Victuals that recruiting Officers came to Jail and enlisted near three hundred of the Prisoners who thro fear of starving were obliged to engage—that those who remain are in a suffering condition—& that this Deponents Friends got permission for him to return to his Family at Wilmington & that he left the City yesterday” (DLC:GW).

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