George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General John Lacey, Jr., 26 January 1778

From Brigadier General John Lacey, Jr.

Camp, G. Rodman’s, Warwick,1 Jany. 26, 1778.


I have received your Excellency’s favor of the 23d inst. My numbers are reduced so low, that I thought it most prudent to move my Camp a few miles back into the country, till I received a fresh supply of men.

I received a letter from the President and Council, dated the 9th inst. advising me of seven classes being called out, and forty Light horse from Philadelphia and Bucks counties, to be sent me by the Lieutenant—none of them have yet joined me; nor have I received any account of them.2

I have taken every measure in my power to stop the intercourse between the country and city. No person has yet fallen into my hands, against whom sufficient proof can be had. The intercourse is chiefly carried on by women. An accident happened in camp the 24, inst. A number of cartridges were consumed in consequence of a spark blowing from the fire into an open box, where the armorer was engaged in assorting some that were damaged. About six thousand cartridges (chiefly damaged ones) were destroyed—some tents and cartridge boxes consumed, and five men badly burnt.

The enemy’s Horse were as far as Germantown this day. They have advanced their sentries to the 3d mile stone, on the Germantown road.3 I have the honor to be &c.

J. Lacey.

Hazard’s Historical Register of Pennsylvania, 3 (May 1829), 298.

1Gilbert Rodman (1748–1830), who in April 1776 had been appointed a major of the 2d Regiment of Bucks County Associators, owned an estate of around 200 acres in Warwick Township, Bucks County, Pa., about twenty miles from Philadelphia.

2Thomas Wharton, Jr., wrote Lacey on 9 Jan. that “Two classes of Militia from the county of York, two from the county of Cumberland, two from the county of Northampton, and one from the county of Northumberland, are now ordered into the field; and the Lieutenants of the counties of Philadelphia and of Bucks are directed to supply you with twenty Light Horse, each without officers, as they must be necessarily divided into small parties, where officers will be useless” (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 6:168; see also the circular letter of the same date from the Pennsylvania supreme executive council to the county lieutenants, ibid., 169).

3For the purpose of the British movement, see GW to Richard Peters, 24–25 Jan., n.3.

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