George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel George Baylor, 26 September 1778

From Colonel George Baylor

Paramas [N.J.] Septr 26th 1778

Dr Sir

Since my last to you1 I have been out to make what discoveries I could of the Enemy’s position & numbers. they are encamped from the new Bridge on the Hackingsack River, to the foot of the hill opposite to Fort Lee; in bush Huts. they are fortifying a very commanding Hill a little on this side of the new Bridge, which appears to be extensive.2 they have also thrown up small intrenchments across the two roads leading from Taupon to the Liberty Pole, in the english neighbourhood; one of them is near Scrawnsburgs meeting house two miles and a half from the new Bridge, the other is a little above the liberty Pole.

Enclos’d is a Deserters account who left the Bridge this morning,3 he also says that it is talk of amongst the Soldiery, that they are going up to relieve a Fort of theirs, which is besieg’d in the back country.

Two General officers are out on this command, Lord Cornwallis & Genl Gray.

From all the inteligence that I can get, they are collecting no more provisions or Forage than is necessary for their own use.

Various are the conjecturs here of their designs; it was at first suppos’d, to conceal the embarcation of their troop at Newyork. I am Sir with the greatest Respect your most obt and very Humbl. Servant

George Baylor


2British officer Archibald Robertson says in his diary entry for 25 Sept. that the large British foraging party in New Jersey on this date “began Redoubts on a Rising Ground West side of New Bridge to secure our left Flank” (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; see also 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 , 222; 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, and 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 , 1:162–63).

3The enclosed undated account reads: “Mantras Hysome a deserter from the fifteenth regt says that Lord Cornwallis command consists of two Brigades and three corps of Lt infantry and Granedeers—and a Corps of refuges wth the fifteenth regt in all about six thousand—provisions for four days is expected to day from new york—thay are throwing up a work on the height above the new bridge and the fifty seventh regt is stationed in Bergan—this Regiment was stationd on Powles Hook before the enemy came out” (DLC:GW).

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