George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Joseph Kirkbride, 23 June 1778

From Colonel Joseph Kirkbride

Yardleys Ferry [Delaware River]
10 oClock 23rd June 1778

Your Excel’y

I have Just now had the honr of Receiv’g your Excel’y Letter of yesterday, 5 oClock A.M., and Shou’d be Inexpressably happy—to have it in my power, to forward a Respectable No. of the Melitia of this County in Manner Your Exellency wou’d wish. Genl Lacey has Just now Cross’d the River at this place with the Inconsiderable No. of 40 men Four Class’s of Melitia has some Weeks past been Order’d to hold them Selve in Redyness—but no Orders—has come to hand, for Ordering them out, which to me, is most Surpriz’g.1 If I can possibly Turn out any Volunteers to Act With the small party Under Genl Lacy, it shall be done. Yesterday, @ 12 P.⟨M.⟩ I was at Bordenton: the last Accts were, the Enemy had Advans’d Within about 6 miles of that place—& seem’d Inclin’d to leave it on their Left—about 9—10—this morning, I hear’d a Cannonad’g, which from My knowledge of the Country—was Above, or Near Croswicks Bridge—it Continu’d Near an Hour—but not Very brisk.2

Your Excellency may be Asur’d, Every Attention, to, & Servis for the Glorious Cause, Shall be at all times freely render’d on my part, & I have the Honr to be With the greatest Esteem, Your Excellency’s most Obedt Hume Servt

Jo. Kirkbride


1Brig. Gen. John Lacey, Jr., wrote on 22 June to the colonels of his Pennsylvania militia brigade: “His Excellency Gen. Washington requests a party of Militia from Bucks county may be collected and marched into the Jersey’s, to hang on, and harrass the rear of the enemy. This request he made to Col. Kirkbride; which the Colonel made me acquainted with this evening—and I join heartily with him to carry it into execution; and call upon you to lend a hand, by calling upon your battalion to stand forth this once, and share the laurels just ready to be gathered, by the total overthrow of our cruel enemies.

“You will, sir, (I most ardently beg,) call upon your battalion to turn out as volunteers for a few days. They will meet me, next day after to-morrow at Doylestown; where they shall have such necessaries as I have, or can procure for them. They are to bring their own arms, blankets, &c. if they have any. Let every officer come. Pray exert yourself night and day. Spare no pains; as this is the finishing stroke. Send the men by two’s and three’s, as you get them ready; and they can be embodied when they arrive at Doylestown. Send me word, also, what success you meet with” (Register of Pennsylvania, 16 May 1829, p. 357).

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