George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Stirling, 1 October 1778

From Major General Stirling

Kakiyate [N.Y.] Octobr 1: 1778

Dear Sir

I wrote you Yesterday afternoon by a Messenger from General Maxwell. I found Genl Woodford with his Brigade at the Courthouse about two Miles East of this place they are now on their March towards Paramis. the best account of the Scituation [of] the Enemy & of Col: Baylor & the Wounded of his Corps is Contained in the enclosed Letter from Dr Griffith to Genl Woodford.1 I think at least two Regiments of Maxwells should move up towards Equakanoch for unless the Militia have some Support, they will not Stay. however I will see what the Motions of the Enemy are this day & determine Accordingly. This Moment a deserter2 from Lord Raudons Corps is Come in and tells me the Enemy are about to make a Move some where he thinks to Morris Town for he heard of Stores being there. If they should attempt it, we shall make but a poor figure in opposing them as the Cheif part of British troops are over however we will do the best we can. I am your Excys most Humble Servt



1The enclosed letter, which David Griffith wrote to Brig. Gen. William Woodford on 30 Sept. from Orangetown, N.Y., reads: “I am this moment returned from the Enemys Pickets, where I went to ask permission to remain with the wounded at this place. I found the picket (a Subaltern & 20) about two miles below this, but understand that they have parties on all the roads leading to Hackinsack, that have no fixed Station, but patrole constantly. The 1st Battn Light Infantry is close in the rear of their Pickets.

“The wounded left here are Coll Baylor, the Surgeon [George Evans] and one private of his Regt a Militia man & an Old man 73 Years of Age, a resident; who, besides shooting him through the thigh, they severely beat. Major Clow [Clough] died yesterday morning, & this day was buried. Coll Baylor has a wound in his thigh with a Bayonet—another in his groin & Several cuts in his hand with a Broad Sword: I do not think that any of his wounds are very Dangerous—his Intestines are free from Injury—is in good Spirits, & free from all bad Symptoms. His Patrolls were taken, which occasioned his being surprised. Docr Crosby was here an hour ago, & tells me that, besides the Men that you have seen that escaped, Sixteen have come into Paramus, most of them wounded; two are sin[c]e dead.

“I understood from Sir James Manning, who commands the Infantry, that they are soon to quit Jersey, & that Sir H. Clinton & Lord Cornwallis are both returned to New York. The officer that comma[n]ded the Picket told me, that Sir James Wallace came Express from N. York to the General, & that a Packet was arrived. He did not mention any News; & I think he woud not have concealed it if he had had any to tell that was favourable to them.

“I did not obtain the permission I desired. Sir James desired I would come to their Pickets to morrow, & he woud have it ready with such necessarys as Coll Baylor was in need of” (DLC:GW). For the British attack on Col. George Baylor’s 3d Continental Light Dragoon Regiment on 28 Sept. near Old Tappan, N.J., see Israel Putnam to GW, 28 Sept., and notes 1 and 2 to that document.

2Stirling inadvertently wrote “deserted” on the manuscript.

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