George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philemon Dickinson, 31 May 1778

From Major General Philemon Dickinson

Trenton [N.J.] May 31t 1778

Dear Sir

Captain Carle1 with a part of his Troops, went down Yesterday, as low as Frankford—he saw many People, who had just left the City, all of whom agreed, that Genl Howe return’d there on Thursday last, having unexpectedly met with a French Fleet, at the Capes2—the report of the Enemys passing thro’ Jersey, still prevailed in Philadelphia, but, that it was Genl Clinton’s intention, to attack your Excellency, previous to his march, this way. many wooden Cannon were placed, in several of the Redoubts, part of the Iron ones, being embarked—great quantities of Goods, lay on the pavement yesterday morning; much Tory furniture, had been thrown out the Vessells, which lay on the Wharf, to make room for public stores—by Intelligence recd from below, sixty sail of Transports arrived the 27th instant, at New Castle—the same day, eighteen Vessells deeply laden’d, passed the Cheveaux de frize—since which, I am told One hundred sail, have fallen down—no particular information from Staten Island, but daily expect it—your favor of the 28th instant came to hand. I have the honor to be, Your Excellency’s most Obt

Philemon Dickinson

Those Persons whom Capt. Carle saw Yesterday, informed him, that Genl Clinton, was ⟨embodying⟩ the Citizens.


1Israel Carle (1757–1822) had been captain of a troop of Hunterdon County, N.J., militia since October 1777.

2The rumor was false, as Dickinson admitted in his letter to GW of 1 June.

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