George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Philemon Dickinson, 6 June 1778

From Major General Philemon Dickinson

Trenton [N.J.] June 6th 1778

Dear Sir

I this moment, recieved the inclosed from General Maxwell1—in consequence of which, the Troops at this Post, are prepareing to march down the River. An Express, from the other side of the River informs me, there is a large Detachment of the Enemy, advancing towards Newtown—a plundering Party I suppose. I have the honor to be, Your Excellency’s most Ob. St

Philemon Dickinson

P.S. The Tories in Bucks County, are very troublesome from every Information—should not some Notice be taken of them.


1The enclosed letter from Brig. Gen. William Maxwell to Dickinson, dated “3 oclock” on 6 June from Mount Holly, N.J., reads: “I have information from Town this night that 300 Saylors was then in their flat bottomed boats the army mostly all out up the River it is thought to make a stroke at me and those that is near me I suppose meaning you and those at Burdenton. the informent recommends for the Inhabitants to move off their Stock and best furniture.

“I am preparing for them and will try to keep in the upper side of them muster all you can this may be only a Short stroke for me it is thought a party will come up from coopers Ferry send some thing to His Excellency” (DLC:GW).

Capt. Allen McLane sent similar information to GW’s aide James McHenry from Germantown at “10 oClock” on this date: “It may not be a miss to inform That the Enemy brought up yesterday from theyr fleet about five hundred Saylors for Mannin the flat bottom boats that lay Ready at the Warves they Continue Crossing Wagons and horses in the Jerseys theyr fleet is Nearly all threw the Islands all the Rum in the City is Seased for the trupes this morning a body of horse and foot advanced as high as allens house—theyr horse fell in With my party which Brought on a little Sport in the affair the Enemy had a Cornet and for men woun[d]ed two men Killed one horse taken one Killed Six wouneded I beate the horse of[f] the ground and Securd my party from theyr foot With out any loss the Ene[m]y lay about two houses at and about Allens house then Returned mutch Dissatisfied the offisers informed Several inhabetents of Charictor that Lord Cornwalles arr[i]ved last Night in Company With the Commissonrs had a Short passage from England” (DLC:GW).

McHenry replied on 8 June: “I received yours dated Germantown, this morning, at 10 O’Clock, and immediately communicated it to His Excellency. We felicitate you upon your success, and wish a continuance of the same, good fortune, you will continue your vigilance, and send on the earliest intelligence, of what you collect” (DLC: Toner Collection). For more on these movements, see Maxwell to GW, 5–7 June, and note 1 of that document.

Index Entries