From Colonel Silvanus Seely
Head Quarters Elizth Town [N.J.] March 20th ’78
I have received information of the embarcation of Troops from New-York and have taken Various methods to find out there numbers and destination.
There is four Regts of them two of Hessions & two of British and there numbers (as near as I can find out) are two thousand three hundred.
I am informed they take on Board Ninety days Provision and the common report is that they are destined for Philadelphia They began to Embark about the 16th Instant—I cannot larn that they have taken any flat Boats on board as yet (altho’ they have bin preparing them for som time past) but as they will be the last artical put on board perhaps they may take them in at ⟨their⟩ sailing.1 I am Sir, your Most Obedient Huml. Servt
Silvs Seely Coll Commandant
ALS, CSmH; copy, enclosed in GW to Henry Laurens, 24 Mar. (first letter), DNA:PCC, item 152; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW. One word that is illegible on the LS has been supplied in angle brackets from the copy sent to Laurens. Silvanus Seely (1745–1821) of Morris County was a colonel in the New Jersey militia.
1. On 12 Mar. the British general orders at New York had directed “All Officers Convalescents and Recruits belonging to the Grand Army to hold themselves in readiness to Embark for Philadelphia to Morrow. Those at Paulis Hook will be furnished with Boats to proceed to the Ships appointed for them” (De Lancey Orderly Book, 51).