George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, 16 July 1779

From Brigadier General Anthony Wayne

Stoney point [N.Y.] 16th July 1779

Dear Genl

I have now the pleasure to assure you of the surrender of the Fort, at Stoney Point; and transmit you herewith, a return of the Killed, wounded, prisoners, ordinance, and military stores.1 It is with infinite satisfaction I acknowledge to you, that the officers, and men under my command behaved with the greatest bravery, and fortitude. Too much praise cannot be given to Leiutenant Colo. Fleury, Major Steward, and the officers under them who led the Van, and forced their passage at the point of the Bayonet. Colonels Butler; Meggs, and Febiger and the other feild officers acted with that prudent conduct, and calm intrepidity which ever insures success. I must also acknowledge myself very much indebted to Major Lee for the quick and useful intelligence he repeatedly gave me which contributed much to the success of the enterprise.2

The officers and privates of the artillery were very attentive, and expeditious in securing the Cannon, and turning them on the enemy. Leiutenant Col. Hay was wounded in the thigh bravely fighting at the Head of his Battalion. I have not yet been able to procure a particular return of our Killed and wounded; but the loss is much less than could have been expected. The pain I feel from a Wound in my Head prevents me from being more particular.3 I have the honor to be with respect Dear Genl Your very hble Sert

Anty Wayne

Mr Archer who will have the Honor of delievering this has shewn the Greatest Intrepidity in the Storm.


1One enclosure, which is in DLC:GW, is titled “A return of the killed, wounded, and prisoners, taken in the Fort at stoney point, the 16th July 1779. at ½ past 12 in the morning.” In tabular form, the return shows one lieutenant, four sergeants, two corporals, and thirty-four privates killed in “the 17th regiment with detachts from the Loyal Americans and others.” The return also shows the 17th Regiment of Foot, plus detachments, to have suffered two ensigns, six sergeants, three corporals, and twenty-five privates wounded, as well as one lieutenant colonel, four captains, seven lieutenants, four ensigns, one adjutant, two surgeons, ten sergeants, fifteen corporals, twenty musicians (“Drums & fifes & their instmts”), and 299 privates taken prisoner. From the 71st Regiment of Foot, the return shows one captain, four sergeants, one corporal, and sixteen privates killed; two lieutenants, two sergeants, and fourteen privates wounded; and two captains, five lieutenants, two sergeants, seven corporals, four musicians, and sixty-four privates taken prisoner. From the Royal Artillery, the return shows two bombardiers wounded, as well as three bombardiers and thirty-three matrosses taken prisoner. The return shows total casualties for all British units as one lieutenant colonel, seven captains, fifteen lieutenants, eight ensigns, one adjutant, two surgeons, thirty-three sergeants, twenty-eight corporals, twenty-four musicians, and 485 privates. In addition, the return shows one standard and two colors captured, all from the 17th Regiment of Foot, plus detachments, as well as six “Deserters in arms.”

Enclosures related to ordnance and military stores have not been identified. A document titled “Return of Ordnance & Stores on Stony & Verplanks Points. 15th July” almost certainly dates to 1780 when GW took an inventory (DLC:GW; see also GW to Henry Knox, 26 June 1780, and Knox to GW, 16 July, both DLC: GW).

2See GW to Wayne, 14 July, and n.3 to that document, and Wayne to GW, 15 July.

3GW commented on Wayne’s head wound in his letters to George Clinton, to William Heath (first letter), and to William Livingston, all this date; to Goose Van Schaick, 22 July; and to Horatio Gates, 25 July; see also Richard Butler to GW, 19 July, and Wayne to GW, 20 July.

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