From Brigadier General William Maxwell
Elizth Town [N.J.] 27th Jany 1779
This Accompanys a Packet from Sir Henry Clinton.1 The Octr Packet arived from London last Saturday,2 I inclose You yesterdays paper.3 I had it from a person living on Staten Island, that he had great reason to believe that the Enemy would soon evacuate that Island. I had an account from New Ark last evening that Capt. Laurence of the N. Carrolina Brigade with 50 Men who had gone into Bergan Town the evening before, had like to be surprized by a large body of the Enemy who had way laid the road he went down: He luckeyly got some Intiligence, and made his escape by the Cedar-Swamp road to Schuylers, having crossed Hackinsack on the Ice, some few of his Men was missing but they may come in yet.4
I expect more particulars to day.
I have in formed Genl Leslie that I have refered the Inclosed to Your Excellency, and Am Sir Your Most Obedient Humble Sert
2. A report in the New-York Gazette: and the Weekly Mercury for Monday, 25 Jan., says that on “Saturday Night last the GRENVILLE Packet, Capt. Kempthorp, arrived here in 10 Weeks from Falmouth,” bringing “Advices” from London dated 10 to 29 Oct. 1778.
3. Maxwell apparently enclosed a copy of the Royal American Gazette (New York) for 26 January.
4. This officer may be Nathaniel Lawrence, a New York native who had been commissioned on 1 June 1778 as second lieutenant in the 2d North Carolina Regiment. Taken prisoner with the garrison of Fort Lafayette at Verplanck’s Point, N.Y., on 1 June 1779, Lawrence remained a captive until exchanged on 28 March 1781.