George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General William Winds, 30 September 1778

From Brigadier General William Winds

Head Quarters Aquanock [N.J.] 30th Septr 1778


I Just Now Recd yr Favour of the 28th and would Inform yr Exelency, by Divers Reports the Enemy Consists (some say) of fifteen thousand and some of twelve, and by two Deserters that Came to us Last Night say that their whole force is Nearly there—but in my oppinion there is Nine thousand Men with seven Generals1—I yesterday went with my Troops of Melita Near to their works and fired on their Picquets and Drove them in, but Coul’d Not Draw the Enemy out2—I am here Now with a Detachment of Melitia of about six hundred men but Cannot keep them Long as they are Daily going of[f] being Allarm’d Men. I am Sir yr Most obedt Servt

Wm Winds


1British Brig. Gen. James Pattison says in his journal entry for 23 Sept. that Cornwallis’s force in New Jersey amounted to about seven thousand men (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).

2British captain John Peebles says in his diary entry for 29 Sept.: “A Party of 2 or 300 Rebels came down towards where we are making the work on north side of Newbridge & fired away at a great distance for above an hour when a party of Light Infantry dash’d out after them & drove them off” (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 , 223).

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