George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major Alexander Clough, 18 June 1778

From Major Alexander Clough

Germantown [Pa.] June 18th [1778] 8 OClock


since my last1 I have recd the inclosed from Mr Morris2 but ⟨do⟩ not complye’d with his request as your excellencys instructions was to the contrary3 what he mentions has been conferm’d by man⟨y⟩ I have se⟨en⟩ this after⟨noon⟩ from tow⟨n⟩—the in⟨closed⟩ is a return of prisoner⟨s⟩ taken by capt. Heard4 as delivered them to the care of Lt dover belonging Capt. Mc lanes detachment5—I have not been able to collect any Matteriall intelligance from them. I am Your Excellencys Most Obt Hbl. Servt

A. Clough


1See Clough’s previous letter of this date.

2The enclosed letter from Robert Morris to Clough, dated “5 oClock P.M.” on this date at Philadelphia, reads: “I have been in this place since one oClock and am sorry some of our Troops were not here at an earlyer hour as they wou’d probably have Captured many British officers, indeed we are now told that several officers & Refugees are at this Moment hid in the City with intent to make their escape this Evening which might be prevented if proper Guards were posted for the purpose, there are also Sundry Public Works, such as the Bridge over Schuylkill, the Public Stables, a Wood Yard with a Considerable quantity of Wood, Forage Yard &c. all of which will be destroyed, Plundered & Pilfered by the lower order of Inhabitants, unless Guards are Set over them for preservation. I know that His Excy Genl Washington did not intend that Troops shou’d indiscriminately enter the City, but that a particular Corps destined for this Service, shou’d enter it, to take care of Public Stores, preserve Peace & good order and for such other purposes as the Comm⟨anding⟩ officer shou’d find necessary & proper. The Enemies retreat has been so sudden, that the Corps intended for this Service have not yet arrived & possibly may not this night, under this Idea, Colo. Boudinot prevailed on Capt. Dandridge & Capt. McCleane to Enter the City, they have been usefull but their Numbers are not sufficient. I am of opinion your appearance here with your whole Force, also Capt. McCleans wou’d Answer the valueable ends I have mentioned, of preserving Peace, Preventing Plunder, taking Prisoners &c. untill the other Corps arrives and I hope you will find yourself at liberty to comply with the Wishes of the Whigs now in this City, who probably may stand in need of your protection & who are ready to assist & Support you in this business, you can if needfull produce this letter to His Excellency Genl Washington & I am confident it will have proper weight with him…. P.S. Some of your Friends will wait your arrival at the Second Street Gate” (DLC:GW).

4The enclosed “Return of Prisoners & Deserters Taken by Capt. Heard of Colo. Moylans Regiment Light Dragoons 18th June 78” is in DLC:GW. GW’s aide Richard Kidder Meade wrote to Col. Stephen Moylan on this date: “I am commanded by His Excellency to desire that you will immediately assemble all the cavalry not on duty at some place the most convenient to camp, where forage is to be had, there to hold themselves in readiness to move on the shortest notice—when you have done this you will please to inform the Genl of the place where they are & where your quarters…. The Genl desires that you will provide Tents, not meaning that you should use houses, the Q.M.G. is in stock” (DLC:GW).

5John Dover (1755–1821) was appointed an ensign in the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment in January 1776 and rose to the rank of second lieutenant two months later. In January 1777 he joined the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment as a first lieutenant, and he resigned in November 1778.

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