George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major Henry Lee, Jr., 6 June 1779

To Major Henry Lee, Jr.

Head Quarters Ringwood [N.J.] June 6th 1779

Dr Sir

I have received your favour of yesterday. You will proceed with your corps with as much expedition as you can without injuring your horses, to the vicinity of Suffrans.1 Baron De Kalb is directed to have two companies of light infantry formed to join you there and act with your corps.2 He is to endeavour to have a junior officer to you to command it, that the whole may be under your direction. The intention of your command will be to countenance the militia, plague the enemy—and cover the country from the depredations of their light parties, as much as possible. The enemy have now a body at Kings ferry and appear to be establishing a post at Stoney point to which quarter your attention is principally to be directed. I leave You at perfect liberty to dispose of yourself as you think most proper for answering the purposes I have mentioned consistent with the security of your corps. Your utmost vigilance and attention will be necessary, as you will be entirely detached and unsupported, and will act in a very disaffected country, the inhabitants will give the enemy every kind of intelligence to enable them to take advantage of your situation. You will take every measure in your power to acquire information of their situation movement and designs and give me the earliest advice of every occurrence3—I wish you to exert yourself to keep up the spirits of the Militia. yrs &c.


P.s. The instructions which you were told should be lodged for you at Genl Greenes quarters were sent there.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton first wrote “the vicinity of the enemy at Stoney point, Kings ferry, giving notice when you will arrive.” He then struck out those words and wrote “the vicinity of Suffrans” above the line.

3At this place on the draft manuscript, Hamilton wrote and then struck out a suggestion that reads: “Baron De Kalb is at Suffrans—Perhaps Kakeat will be a good place of rendezvous in the first instance for your corps and the companies of light infantry—whence you can proceed as you judge adviseable.”

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