George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Edward Hand, 20 November 1778

To Brigadier General Edward Hand

Head Quarters Fredericksbg [N.Y.] 20th Novr 1778


Since mine of the 16th your missing letter of the 10th and another of the 11th has come to hand. A supply of Cloathing for the 4th Penna Regt and the Rifle Corps has been ordered up by Capt. Cobourn of Colo. Aldens Regiment and I hope it may be arrived with them by this time.1

The exigency of Affairs to the Northward having required an additional number of troops to be sent thither, I have ordered up the New York Brigade as being most convenient and suitable upon many accounts. Genl James Clinton their own Brigadier going with them will of course supersede you, and as the whole force in that quarter will not admit of being divided into commands proper for two General Officers, I have thought it would be more agreeable to you to remove down to the Minisink settlement and take the command of a body of troops which we are under the necessity of assembling there to protect that Frontier against the incursions of the Indians. The Corps at the Minisink will consist of Count Pulaski’s Legion, Colo. Armands Corps and Colo. Spencers Regt making about 500 Horse and Foot. Colonel Cortlands Regiment is at Rochester in the neighbourhood of Minisink. This Regt tho’ part of Genl Clintons Brigade will remain under your command for the present.2

The troops upon the Susquehanna (tho’ pretty remote) consisting of Colo. Hartleys Regt and two independent Companies will also be under your general direction, should there be any means of cooperation—I have just heard that the Indians have again appeared at Wyoming and threaten that quarter seriously.

If you have, in consequence of my last, formed any plans of Offence, you will be pleased to communicate them to Genl Clinton and repair as speedily as possible to Minisink and acquaint me upon your arrival there. As Governor Clinton goes himself to the Frontier he will be the best judge of the propriety of taking the Ranging Companies into pay again. I send you a Copy of Colo. Hartley’s letter by which you will perceive the situation of matters upon Susquehanna.3 I am Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NjMoHP; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

2See GW to James Clinton, 16 and 20 November.

3GW enclosed an “Extract of a letter from Colo. Hartley dated Sunbury 9th Novemr 1778,” in Tench Tilghman’s writing: “A large Body of Indians have surrounded Wyoming—they have destroyed the settlement at Nanticocke—the Garrison are in want of Flour, or at least have not a sufficient quantity. About 80 Indians came from Wyoming and destroyed all the settlements as Nescopeck Falls, they have drove off the Cattle from there, they did not think proper to attack the Fort called Jenkins A few of them have returned with the Cattle towards Wyoming and the others (by intelligence just recd[)] were yesterday evening on the path that leads from Wyoming to Muncey. About 22 Miles from hence they took some prisoners yesterday. I maintain Fort Muncey and a line to that place. Fort Jenkins has also a small Garrison. The people are ordered to draw themselves together with their families. I am collecting all the force I can and tomorrow I will send a party after the Indians to Chillisquaque and myself move towards Fishing Creek. If they hear of my advancing they will probably imagine that troops are advancing from the Main Army and induce them to draw off from Wyoming” (NHi; the full letter is in DNA:PCC, item 78).

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