George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General William Maxwell, 27 September 1778

To Brigadier General William Maxwell

Head Quarters Fredericksburg 27th Septr 1778


I rec’d yours of the 19th & 22 Inst.

As the party of the enemy now on a forage in the Jersey, are in considerable force, and from the latest intelligence have taken post at the liberty pole, extending themselves to the New-bridge on the Hackinsac River—You will therefore immediately march to the high grounds west of acquacanack with your Brigade,1 in order the better to cover the Country the public Stores at Morristown2—give confidence to the militia—and promote the driving off the Cattle &ca. It may be expedient to leave a small party at Elizabeth Town to watch the enemy on Staten Island and forward your information from New-york.

I have ordered a brigade under General Woodford to take post at or near3 Clarkstown, you will mutually communicate with and assist each other.4

I need not recommend a careful observance of every precaution necessary to prevent a surprise by a sudden and rapid movement of the enemy, and am Sir.

Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. For the changes that GW made to the draft manuscript in his writing, see notes 1, 2, and 3.

1On the draft manuscript GW wrote the words “your Brigade” above the line in place of the struck-out words: “such militia as may have joined you.”

2GW inserted the words “the public Stores at Morristown” above the line on the draft manuscript.

3GW inserted the words “or near” above the line on the draft manuscript.

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