George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General John Glover, 8 July 1779

To Brigadier General John Glover

Head Qrs New Windsor July 8 1779


I have received intelligence that a Body of the Enemy embarked on the 4th Instant at Frog’s neck1 and have proceeded Eastward up the Sound.2 It is uncertain what their object is; but as they may intend to make a sudden incursion into the State of Connecticut, or to commit some ravages on their Coast, it is my wish that you direct your march by some rout not far from the Sound, that you may with the greater facility form a junction with the Militia in case they make a descent, and take measures with them for counteracting & repelling their attempts. The sooner you direct your march near the Sound, the greater protection you will afford.3 I am Sir, with great regard Yr Most Obedt sevt

Go: Washington

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, in private hands; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The draft manuscript, also in Harrison’s writing, is addressed to “Genl Glover or Officer commanding his Brigade.” GW enclosed the LS in his letter to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., of 7 July. Col. William Shepard commanded Glover’s brigade on its march from Rhode Island (see Trumbull to GW, 7 July, and n.3 to that document).

John Glover (1732–1797), a wealthy merchant in Marblehead, Mass., became a Patriot leader and served on the town’s committee of correspondence from 1772 to 1774. An experienced militia officer, he was named colonel of a Massachusetts battalion raised in May 1775, and later that year, GW charged him with outfitting armed vessels for Continental service. Glover assumed command of the 14th Continental Regiment in January 1776 and served as its colonel until his promotion to brigadier general in February 1777. Leaving the army due to poor health in July 1782, Glover returned to Marblehead, where he remained active in town and state politics but failed to secure a federal appointment as collector for the port (see Glover to GW, 24 Feb. 1790, in Papers, Presidential Series, description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series. 17 vols. to date. Charlottesville, Va., 1987—. description ends 5:171–73). Glover’s wife, Hannah, whom he married in 1754, died in 1778. He married a widow from Boston, Frances Fosdick, in 1781.

1GW is referring to Throg’s Neck, New York.

2The source of this intelligence has not been identified, but it likely prompted a letter of this date from GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton to Brig. Gen. Henry Knox: “The General inquires what quantity of stores there is at Litchfield, New Millford, &c. By a very intelligent deserter just come in, who pretends to give the particular corps, it would seem as if a larger force than was expected had gone to the eastward—say five thousand men.

“He also asks what train the stores are in as to a removal if necessary” (DLC: Peter Force Papers).

3For the prescience of GW’s orders, see his letter to Trumbull of 9 July.

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