George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Lafayette, 25 June 1778

To Major General Lafayette

[Kingston, N.J., 25 June 1778]


You are immediately to proceed with the detachment commanded by Genl Poor and form a junction as expeditiously as possible with that under the commanded of Genl Scott.1 You are to use the most effectual means for gaining the enemys left flank and rear, and giving them every degree of annoyance—all continental parties that are already on the lines will be under your command and you will take such measures in concert with Genl Dickinson as will cause the enemy most impediment & loss in their march—for these purposes you will attack them as occasion may require by detachment, and if a proper opening shd be given by operating against them with the whole force of your command.

You will naturally take such precautions as will secure you against surprise—and maintain your communication with this army. Given at Kingston this 25th June 1778.

Df, in John Laurens’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Lafayette’s force consisted of about one thousand men (see General Orders, this date, source note). Lt. Col. Henry Dearborn of the 3d New Hampshire Regiment, which made up part of Brig. Gen. Charles Scott’s advance detachment of 1,500 men, gave this account of the day’s events: “this morning we march.d within 5 miles of the Enimy—& Halted & Drew Provision. Sent a small Party of Horse to Reconoightir the Enimy. at 12 O Clock we ware Inform.d that the Enimy ware on their way to Monmouth Coart House. Which is Towards Sandy Hoock. Our main army is Near Prince Town, we are now Prepared to Harress the Enimy. Genrl. Scot 1500 men Genrl. Maxwell 1000 Colo. Morgan 500—Genrl. Dickerson 1000—Millitia; & 200 Horse. the above Detatchmts are on the Flanks & Rear of the Enimy. Genrl. Washington is in our Rear with 12000 men to support us—at 4 O Clock P:M we marchd to Allin Town & Incamp.d.—the Enimys Rear is 5 miles from us” (Dearborn, Journals description begins Lloyd A. Brown and Howard H. Peckham, eds. Revolutionary War Journals of Henry Dearborn, 1775–1783. 1939. Reprint. New York, 1971. description ends , 125).

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