George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philemon Dickinson, 1 June 1778

From Major General Philemon Dickinson

Trenton [N.J.] June 1st 1778

Dear Sir

This morning, I received the inclosed from General Maxwell1—Yesterday a party of Horse returned from the lines, they saw many Persons from Philadelphia, who say, that it was Lord Howe, who arrived there on Saturday last, & not Genl Howe, as I mentioned to your Excellency, in mine of Yesterday’s date—The Captain of a Boat, which I keep down the River, landed yesterday Morning at Parrs Place,2 I had a Conversation with an Uncle of his who lives in the City, he informed him, that the Enemy had thrown a great Number of Cannon, into the different Docks, & the greatest preparations still continued, to evacuate the City—most of the Shiping, were to fall down tomorrow—Numbers of People, daily go into the City from Bucks County, without the least interuption. I have the honor to be, Your Excellency’s most Ob. Sevt

Philemon Dickinson


1The enclosed letter to Dickinson from Brig. Gen. William Maxwell, dated 31 May from Mount Holly, N.J., reads: “There has been verry little news in this place since I came. I will send you what I have, Viz. A person came out of Town that was sent on purpose says that part or whole of the 2 Regts of Fuzeleers between 2 & 300 and about 100 Horse came over yesterday in the afternoon, as they enquired strictly about me, it is thought my coming here is the cause of their being sent, though they say it is to prevent the Roman Catholick Regt & Coll Allens from Deserting. The great number of Waggons brought over as was supposed appears not to be above 60. There ⟨mutilated⟩ two large Scows loaded with waggons comi⟨ng⟩ ⟨mutilated⟩ when the Informant came away the Regts brought some pack Horses with them & the Soldiers their Wives Kitts &C. As soon as the Vessels are Loaded they are sent below the Shivaux De Freeze. There is nothing can be obtained with certainty concerning the Enemys movement. a Few light Horse would be verry exceptable It is still the prevailing opinion in Philida that they will march through the Jersey but that may be held out for particular purposes it is said that they have held several councils concerning their movements one of which was verry lately…. Please send this or a ⟨mutilated⟩ of it to His Excellency…. a Woman that was sent in on purpose came out late ⟨illegible⟩ Evening after the other news, says all the Troops on this side ⟨had⟩ struck their Tents and had set all their Cord Wood on fire” (DLC:GW).

2Dickinson apparently is referring to William Parr (c.1725–1786), a former sheriff of Philadelphia County who lived at Point-No-Point, northeast of the city.

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