George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General William Maxwell, 6 April 1779

From Brigadier General William Maxwell

Elizth Town [N.J.] 6th April 1779


I am favoured with Your Excellencys of the 4th Inst. with Sir Henry Clintons l[ette]r and one for the Commissioners, accompanying it. The two latter I sent off yesterday morning, but the Commissoners was not then arived on the Island. This accompanys a Letter from Sir Henry Clinton to your Excellency.1

I have got more fair promises about the boots, but I am informed that a little Rum to the head work man, will have more effect in finishing the Boots, than twenty promises of Ogden. I therefore intend to try that method to day.2 The reason I have not sent my observations of the South side of Lake Ontario, and the ajasent country was that I have been disapointed in geting a rough draft of the Country made. I hope soon to have it.3 This accompanys two news papers.4 Coll D’Hart in forms me that Lieut. Paul of the 2d Regt at New Ark, who had the watter guard of twelve Men, very imprudently landed on the Bergan shore, where the enemy had laid wait for them, and made them all prisoners: I am hartily sorry for this accident. I had cautioned them agains sending partys on Bergan. I intend going to New Ark to day and enquire into the matter.5 and am Your Excellencys most Obedient Humble Servant.

Wm Maxwell B.G.


2For earlier references to these boots, see GW to Maxwell, 7 March, and n.3 to that document, and 8 March. Maxwell’s comment about Col. Matthias Ogden of the 1st New Jersey Regiment may have stemmed from the recent court-martial that had found Ogden guilty of gaming but had acquitted him of neglect of duty, repeated frauds against the public and his subordinates, and cowardice (see General Orders, 2 April).

3No further response from Maxwell has been found to the request for this information that GW had made in his letter to Maxwell of 25 March. For Maxwell’s earlier suggestions for campaigning on the frontier, see his letter to GW of 27 January.

4The enclosed newspapers have not been identified.

5A report in the New-York Gazette: and the Weekly Mercury for Monday, 5 April, reads: “A Party of 12 Continental Troops with an Officer, were taken last Friday Night on Bergen Neck, by a Detachment from the 64th Regiment that lay at Powlis Hook: They were brought to Town Saturday Morning last.” Hessian major Carl Leopold Baurmeister wrote in his dispatch of 3 May from New York that “the 64th Regiment, stationed at Powles Hook,” sent patrols to Bergen Neck “and recently surrounded the rebels there, returning with one officer and sixteen men taken prisoners” (Baurmeister, Revolution in America description begins Carl Leopold Baurmeister. Revolution in America: Confidential Letters and Journals, 1776–1784, of Adjutant General Major Baurmeister of the Hessian Forces. Translated and annotated by Bernhard A. Uhlendorf. New Brunswick, N.J., 1957. description ends , 267). James Paul, who had become a sergeant in the 2d New Jersey Regiment in October 1775 and had been wounded at the Battle of Short Hills on 26 June 1777, was promoted to ensign in July 1777 and to lieutenant the following December. He was exchanged in the spring of 1780 and retired from the army in July 1782.

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