George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Alexander McDougall, 9 October 1778

From Major General Alexander McDougall

Camp [Fredericksburg] 9th octor 1778.


You may remember, I informed you this morning, I had Sent Col. Putnam to inspect the roads to Farmington; and directed him to cause Such routs be mended from this, throˆ the Severals Towns you mentioned, to that Town, as he on inspection should Judge most eligible for the march of the Army.1 I beg leave to inclose his report on this Subject, handed to me by the Bearer, who returns to the Party at work, between this and New milford.2 your excellency will please to give directions on the points the Col. mentions.3 Col. Hale from my Division with an Hundred men, had the Roads & Bridges from this to New milford assigned him.4 a like number from General Lincoln’s, had that from New Milford to Farmington, which I conclude is under the Command of Major Groversnor.5 I have the Honor to be your Excellency’s Humble Servant

Alexr McDougall


1For GW’s directions regarding the repair of this road, see his letter to McDougall of 2 October.

2Col. Rufus Putnam says in the enclosed letter to McDougall of this date from “Stuarts 7 Mile North of New Milford” that he had examined “the Country thoroughly between Fradricks Bourgh and New Milford and in my opinion the Roade which Colo. Hale has ben Repairing will be Traveled Soonere by a Large Number of Carages then any othe[r] way that Can be found out althou it be 5 mile fartherst. Should any part of the army move towards New Milford Befoere I Return it might be nessessary you Should be Informed they Should proceed by Head Quarters Northward by Colo. More Houses your Course then will be Eastward in the Rout to Bulls Ironwork Neare three mile when Turning to the S.E. about 3½ mile you fall on N. Milford [Housatonic] River at De[a]con Galors [Gaylordsville] in the Neighbourhood of this place is good forage but none from this to New Milford. I Beleave Coolo. Hale will Compleat the Roade to that place in 2 days ofter this I was at New Milford yesterday where I learned that Major Grosvenor had passed Woodbury with the Detachment Sent from the Connecticut Devition [division] I shall pursue them to day.

“I would Suggest whither Colo. Hale after he arives at New Milford Should not be ordored to Repair the Roade towards Litchfield which by every Information I Can obtain is much the Best Roade to Farmington for Carages and falls in with the Roade by Bulls Iron works 8 mile from New Milford.

“if this Should be thought best Colo. Hale Should know it Seasonally that he may take measurs to Suply him Self accordingly. this I Suggest on the Supposition that Major Grosvenor has thouroughly Repaired the Road on the Rout by Woodbury Should be Glad Colo. Hale might know you[r] Pleasure by the Bairer” (DLC:GW).

3For GW’s directions, see his letter to Rufus Putnam of this date.

4Jonathan Hale of Hampshire County, Mass., was lieutenant colonel of Col. Ezra Wood’s regiment of Massachusetts militia levies, which served with the Continental army from May 1778 to January 1779. Wood’s regiment was attached to Col. John Nixon’s brigade, which, along with the North Carolina brigade, composed McDougall’s division at this time. Hale had been commissioned second major of the 1st Regiment of Hampshire County, Mass., militia in February 1776, and he had been promoted to lieutenant colonel of that regiment in October 1777.

5Thomas Grosvenor (1744–1825), a lawyer from Pomfret, Conn., who had joined the 3d Connecticut Regiment as a second lieutenant in May 1775 and had fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill the following month, became a captain in the 20th Continental Regiment on 1 Jan. 1776 and major of the 3d Connecticut Regiment on 1 Jan. 1777. The commission as lieutenant colonel of the 3d Connecticut Regiment that Grosvenor received during the spring of 1779 was backdated to 13 Mar. 1778 (see GW to Peter Scull, 15 April 1779, DLC:GW). Grosvenor transferred to the 1st Connecticut Regiment on 1 Jan. 1781, and he served as lieutenant colonel commandant of that regiment from 29 May 1782 to 1 Jan. 1783, when he retired from the army. GW stopped briefly at Grosvenor’s house in Pomfret during his 1789 presidential tour of New England (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:494–95).

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