George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Stirling, 3 October 1778

From Major General Stirling

Paramis [N.J.] Octobr 3d 1778 7 oClo. a.m.

Dear Sir

I wrote your Excellency two letters from Kakiyate,1 I came here the day before yesterday, my time Since has been Cheifly employed in Veiwing the Country and getting intelligence of the Enemy: two deserters from the 15th yesterday say their Regiment and Eleven others are in a few days to Embark for the West Indies, that they were Officers Servants and over heard this, which is the Cause of their desertion.2 I had their lines reconitred yesterday from Hackensack Bridge to Tapan, they are fully employd in forageing. they have two Redouts on the heights on this side of the New Bridge with about 600 Men, otherwise Hackensack R. is their Boundary on the West, which they seldom come over.3 I shall leave Genl Woodford here with his Brigade, Spencers Regt the Goshen Militia & some light horse; & shall this Morning proceed to Pasaick where I expect to meet Genl Maxwell with two Regts of his Brigade & 1000 Militia—besides what Genl Winds has with him. from thence I shall be better able to inform your Excellency of the proceedings of the Enemy below. I am your Excys Most Obt Servt



1Stirling is referring to his letters to GW of 30 Sept. and 1 October.

2Maj. Gen. James Grant’s West Indies expedition, which consisted of ten regiments, including the 15th Regiment of Foot, embarked between 25 and 28 Oct. and sailed from Sandy Hook on 3 November.

3British captain John Peebles says in his diary entry for 1 Oct.: “The two Redoubts on t’other side New Bridge are finish’d they are Squares with a platform for 1 Gun in each—

“The foraging going on below by Vessels,—a large foraging party out yesterday in front for the use of the Garrison & rooting parties—The Guards cover’d.”

In his diary entry for 2 Oct., Peebles writes: “another large foraging party out today towards Tapan, some Regts. from the Brigades cover, they bring the Hay down to the Mill about 5 miles below this in waggons & there put it on board Vessels—it will take a great while to lay in enough at this rate for the Winter—5000 horses will eat a great deal of hay 1½ tons each” (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 , 223–24).

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