George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Alexander Clough, 23 May 1778

From Major Alexander Clough

Hickory Town [Pa.]
May 23d 11 Oclock A.M. May 23d [1778]


I received Your Excellencys instructions Yesterday in the afternoon,1 the Horse being much fatigued I thought it necessary to give them a short time for refreshment in the main sent down two partys of a Sergt and six men each, the one to be under the directions of Captn McLean the other to the officer Commanding at Plymouth meeting House2—Captn McLean sent me the Inclos’d3 in consequence of which I purpose down to white marsh Church with the whole party this afternoon—I have the Honor to remain your Excellencys most Obedient Hume Servant

A. Clough


Richard Kidder Meade replied for GW on this date: “I am commanded by his Excellency to acknowledge the receipt of your favor, inclosing a letter of intelligence from Capt. McLane, the substance of which he had from the Capt. a little time before. The Genl has to desire that If the Enemy should make a move you will give him the earliest information of it, & keep your Party of Horse as much in their front, as possible, that, should they mean anything serious against this army, you may always have it in your Power, to join us; this step is the more necessary as there are but few horse here” (DLC:GW).

1Clough apparently is referring to a letter of 21 May that has not been identified.

2Plymouth Quaker Meeting House was located in Plymouth Township in what is now Montgomery County, Pa., about fourteen miles northwest of Philadelphia.

3A copy of the enclosed letter of this date from Capt. Allen McLane to Clough, dated “Germantown Saturday 8 Oclock A.M.,” reads: “I received this moment a note from your Serjt directing me to take the command of his party & give the earliest Intelligence of the mo[ve]ments of the enemy. About 6 this morning one of my Spies came out of the city. His information is that the Enemy are prepared to move at a moments warning & that they will move this day. It is my opinion that they will move this night, am at a loss to say what, Rout but have reason to beleive a body will come up this side—As my party is much fatigued moving at night 6 horse will not be sufficient to watch their motions on any road beyond the old York Road. It is possible they may move up the Bristol Road this afternoon. If you have any further commands for me, I may be found about Chews House. … Permit me to advise the ser[j]t party might contunue with me till releived by an equal number” (DLC:GW).

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