George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel George Baylor, 23 September 1778

From Colonel George Baylor

Hackingsack [N.J.] Septr 23thd 1778

Dr Sir

I yesterday receiv’d intiligence from a party of militia which were sent down to Burgen, that lait in the afternoon a number of Transports came as near to Powles hook as they could and landed a considerable boddy of men. other parties have returnd and confirm this account. they (the Enemy) encamped last night in Burgen wood about five miles on this side of the Town—on the road to the liberty pole. from the spais of ground which they took up on their march & on their encampment; I suppose their number to be about five thousand.1

A Regiment of Militia which were here last evening to assist the sherrif in taking two of my men Prisoners deserted us, as soon as this news was heard, the Colo. himself could not be prevaild on to stay.

The Bearer has a letter for you which was sent out late last evening by the liberty pole; by the same conveyance I receivd one for the President of congress and others [for] the members.2 I am Sir with the greates Respect your obt Humble Servant

George Baylor


1On 22 Sept. Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis led a force of about seven thousand men into northern New Jersey on a major foraging expedition that lasted until 15 October. British major John André, who participated in the expedition, wrote in his journal entry for 22 Sept.: “The Grenadiers, Light Infantry and 3rd and 4th Brigades crossed in transports and flat boats from Red Hook to Paulus Hook. The Guards and Volunteers of Ireland joined these Corps from York [Manhattan] Island. The whole lay at Bergen that night, except the Light Infantry, which was pushed on . . . towards English Neighborhood.” Cornwallis’s force also included a detachment of about two hundred light dragoons under Maj. Francis Edward Gwyn (André, Journal description begins John André. Major André’s Journal: Operations of the British Army under Lieutenant Generals Sir William Howe and Sir Henry Clinton, June 1777 to November 1778. 1930. Reprint. New York, 1968. description ends , 97; see also Lydenberg, Robertson Diaries description begins Harry Miller Lydenberg, ed. Archibald Robertson, Lieutenant-General Royal Engineers: His Diaries and Sketches in America, 1762–1780. New York, 1930. description ends , 182; Kemble Papers description begins [Stephen Kemble]. The Kemble Papers. 2 vols. New York, 1884-85. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 16–17. description ends , 1:162; Gruber, Peebles’ American War description begins Ira D. Gruber, ed. John Peebles’ American War: The Diary of a Scottish Grenadier, 1776–1782. Mechanicsburg, Pa., 1998. description ends , 221; Ritchie, “New York Diary,” description begins Carson I. A. Ritchie, ed. “A New York Diary [British army officer’s journal] of the Revolutionary War.” New-York Historical Society Quarterly 50 (1966): 221–80, 401–46. description ends 279, and Baurmeister, Revolution in America description begins Carl Leopold Baurmeister. Revolution in America: Confidential Letters and Journals, 1776–1784, of Adjutant General Major Baurmeister of the Hessian Forces. Translated and annotated by Bernhard A. Uhlendorf. New Brunswick, N.J., 1957. description ends , 216). Red Hook is on Upper New York Bay at the western end of Long Island. Liberty Pole (now Englewood), N.J., was at the northern end of the English Neighborhood, about twelve miles north of the town of Bergen (now part of Jersey City).

2Baylor mistakenly forwarded to GW the letter that Henry Clinton wrote to Henry Laurens on 19 Sept., rather than Clinton’s letter of that date to GW. See Henry Clinton to GW, 19 Sept., and GW to Henry Laurens, 23 September.

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