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Summary of the opinion of the General Officers upon the propriety of attacking New York in the Campaign of 1780 Genl Greene. States the Enemy’s force in New York at 11,000 Regular Troops—Militia & Refugees 4,500—Sailors & Marines 3,500—Total 19,000—and Our force at 8,000 Contls—Recruits for Regr Ballns 12,000 (of 16,000 demanded)—Militia 8,000—French Troops 6,000—In all 34,000. Is very...
At a meeting of a board of Genl Officers held the 4th July 1780 pursuant to a General Order of the 3d Present Major General’s Greene Marquis dela Fayette Brigadier General’s Maxwell The Board adjourned untill tomorrow 9. o’Clock A.M. July 5th the Board met agreeable to adjournment. Present Major General’s Greene Lord Stirling Marquis dela Fayette Brigadier Genls Maxwell
Majr Genl Greene Is under present appearances, for discontinuing our preparations against New York, and givg up the Enterprize, unless a considerable reinforcement should arrive immediately from the West Indies. In that case, tho’ he has no sanguine hopes of success he thinks a co-operation should be attempted with our allies agt New York. Keeping the Continental force (now in this Quarter)...
To locate the army to any particular spots, may facilitate the Enemies getting possession of advantageous grounds, either upon one or the other of our flanks. It appears to us more proper therefore, that we move the troops upon the high and advantageous grounds, according as the motions of the enemy may indicate an intention to make an impression at particular places. Having examined the...
In Obedience to Your Excellency’s Orders, we have considered the Matters referred to Us, & beg leave to recommend the following Signals to be given from Roxbury, in Case of any Movement of The Enemy to Distress our People at Dorchester Hill: Signal in Case the Enemy begin to Embarque, a Flagg on Roxbury meeting House; If they Actually Land at Dorchester Two Flaggs, One, over the Other; In case...
Remarks on the Resolution of Congress of the 25th February 1780—requiring each State to furnish certain species of supplies for the support of the Army. The measure seems to be calculated, more for the convenience of each state, than for the accommodation of the service. The aggregate quantity ordered, tho’ far short of the demands of the army, is proportioned on the states, in such a manner,...
It gives me the greatest pain to hear the murmurs and complaints among the officers for the want of spirits—they say they are exposd to the severity of the weather subject to hard duty and nothing but bread and beef to eat morning, noon, and night, without vegetables or any thing to drink but cold water—this is hard fare for people that have been accustomd to live tolerable—The officers...
Inclosd is a letter from Mr Levi Hollingsworth relative to the situation of the Stores in that quarter —General Mughlenburg has marched with his detachment to cover the removeal of the Stores—If your Excellency thinks any additional force is necessary it shall be sent immediately—I wait your further Orders and am your Excellencies Most Obedient & very humbl. Servt ALS , DLC:GW . Robert Hanson...
I wrote your Excellency the 8th of February since which I am without your favor. In my last I informed you that I had written to Count Rochambeau for reinforcements. Inclosed is his answer. I am persuaded he must have mistaken your intentions. I find nothing is to be expected from that quarter. I am sorry the Legion was put in motion as it may raise the enemy’s apprehensions, and bring upon us...
Inclosed is a copy of my letter to Congress which contains all material matters of occurrence since I wrote your Excellency before. Capt. Shutrick, who transacts the business for Major Hyrne in the commissary of Prisoners department since his misfortune has transmitted a copy of the State of that business in this quarter and upon examination I found Major Hyrne had forwarded one a few days...
Your Excellencys favor of the 24th I had the honor of receiving last Evening. I dind yesterday with the Minister of France and find him still determind to set out for Camp to morrow. He sets out at seven in the morning and intends lodging at Trenton. On Wednesday he will be in Camp, if no accident attends him; but at what hour cannot be assertaind as the place he dines at, is not yet determind...
General Wayne wrote me last Evening that all his troops had crost over the River Delaware into the Jerseys—He intends to collect all the Stock and burn all the Hay along the River that will be within the reach of the Enemy—If he executes the business effectually the only chance the Enemy will have of forageing will be between Schuylkill and the Delaware—I am told there is considerable Hay upon...
Philadelphia is an object of such magnitude, the prejudices of the People in the surrounding States so strong, in its fervor, as to its importance, and consequence, the manufactories & supplies for the Army so numerous in that City, that the loss of it would so effect the Country, and the Army, that very great injury would arise to the common cause of America. to prevent so great an evil, it...
While I was in philadelphia, I wrote your Excellency, that I had little prospect of being able, either to provide for the march of the Maryland Troops to the southard, or to put this army in motion. Lest you should suppose that the prospects have mended, and be about to take measures accordingly, I think it my duty to inform you, that the former embarrassments still continue, and that new...
An idle surmise of Mr. Banks, and an improper curiosity of General Scott in the State of Virginia, may give an unjust complexion to the late transaction respecting the measures taken to obtain clothing, as the Governor of Virginia writes, that it was considered a mere speculation for private emolument. For fear, such rumors should spread to my disadvantage, I take the liberty to enclose you a...
I have examind the prisoners and find them to be a poor parcel of Ignorant Cowardly fellows. Two are Taylors named John & James Dunbar, and the other two are common labourers named Isaac Petit & Will Smith. They candidly confess they set off with an intention of going to Statten Island, but not with any intention of Joining the Enemy; but to get out of the way of fighting here. I believe the...
I am just favored with your Excellency’s letter of the 18th of March. I wrote you in my letter of the 22d April that a spirit of mutiny and discontent had got footing in the Army. hanging the serjeant and sending off five others belonging to the Pennsylvania and Maryland Line has happily put a check to it, and the troops appear now of quite a different temper, altho’ their sufferings still...
I do myself the honor to inclose Your Excellency a return of the Troops under my command, and take the Liberty to request you will order a copy made out for the Board of War as I have been able only to obtain one copy and that just as the Express was about to set out. I am with every Sentiment of esteem & respect Your Most Obedt ser. NjP : DeCoppet Collection.
Major Burnet and Col. Dehart has just returnd from the Equacanock [Pequannock] and say that there is (as to wood Water & Sandy soil) a most excellent position, within about four Miles of Equacanock [Forks of Pequannock] and five of the great falls, it is distant 15 Miles from Newark ferry, and twenty from Elizabeth town. The left will be coverd by the Pasaic: It lies in a plentiful Country of...
I find in yesterdays orders I am directed to attend the Board of General Offic⟨ers⟩ for settleing the Rank of the Line of Artillery. your Excellency must be sensible th⟨at⟩ the duties of the quarter masters Department are a sufficent employment for the most active mind. I consider my being put up⟨on⟩ these Boards therefore a public injury; bu⟨t⟩ as I seem to be excluded in the present...
Inclosed I send your Excellency a letter from Colo. Hay covering some conditions proposed by the Ship–carpenters at Fish Kill on which to engage in the Continental service. I have had the letter by me some days and have defered giving an answer untill things were in such a train as to enable me to judge whether we should stand in need of their services or not. But this being settled in your...
The position which Lord Sterling and Col. Abeel wrote such a flattering account about, has nothing but water and naked ground to recommend it, for I dont believe there is one quarter wood enough to supply the Troops through the Winter. I rode all day yesterday, and all day to day in search of a position, but without the least success. I have searched the Country pretty thoroughly from...
Prospect Hill, 21 February 1776 . Mr Davids has been chosen chaplain for Varnum’s and Bond’s regiments, and Mr Noble chosen chaplain for Hitchcock’s and Little’s regiments. ALS , DLC:GW . Ebenezer David (c.1752–1778), who was ordained by the Sabbatarian Church of Newport on 31 May 1775, began serving as a chaplain in January 1776. It is said that he returned his commission to GW and acted as a...
Since I wrote your Excellency last, I have taken an entire new position with the Army. One part is with me on this river about 80 Miles from Charlotte, and the other is with Genl. Morgan on Broad river, on the West side of the Catawba about 60 Miles from Charlotte. The State of the provisions as well as many other reasons rendered this measure necessary. Lord Cornwallis continues in the...
2 March 1776 . “I visited the . . . Guards in the left and Center Division and . . . found all the Guards in Good Order—Capt. Lewis reported Eight oClock this Morning Five sail of Ships were Coming into Boston. . . . N.B. Joel Hewit of Col. Sargeants Regiment & Francis Offy of Col. Greytons Regt confined in the Main Guard at Cambridge for Mutiny & Disobedience of Orders.” ADS , DNA : RG 93,...
In my despatches of the 29th Ultimo, I did myself the honor to acquaint your Excellency with the disposition I had made to counteract the movements of the enemy, and to protect the Country from their depredations. Lord Cornwallis continued at Weymissbury, making every preparation, and compleatly equiping his troops for the most active operations, untill the 9th Instant; when having been joined...
Inclosd is a Letter receivd last Evening from Mr Patterson. The contents are not the most agreeable; and how it comes directed through me to your Excellency I cannot imagin. He mentions there being a greater number of Boats upon the Susquehannah then he gave an account of when at Camp. Will it not be best to lessen the number orderd to be built; if the proper sizd ones can be had already fit...
Benjamin Cattle Esquire an inhabitant of South Carolina lately in the Continental Army and one of the Governors privy Council has been in a declining state of health for a long time. It has been recommended to him by his physician, and friends to go to the Northward by winter to New York for the recovery of his health, and General Leslie has been polite enough to grant him the necessary...
By an Express from Major Clarke stationed at Dobbs ferry I find the Enemy are encampt right opposite, to the number of between three and five thousand—and the Major adds from their disposition and search after Boats they design to cross the River—A frigate and two Transports or Provision Ships past the Cheveau de frize Night before last—they were prodigiously shatterd from the fire of our...
Inclosed is a copy of my Letter to Congress containing an account of the operations of the detachment mentioned in my last gone towards Charles Town for the purpose of attacking the Enemys lower Posts. The success was less than I expected or than the opportunity promised; however upon the whole many advantages have resulted from the manoeuvre. Major Hyrne our Commissary of Prisoners has...
Inclosed is the answer of Major Brewan respecting erecting a Gallery for the review. In better days it would have been thought a disgrace and reproach to these States not to have had either Money or credit necessary to purchase Lumber for the Army. However so it is. Many things equally necessary in the order of business as these boards are left unprovided from mere poverty. The Affairs of the...
From present appearances and what is past one would be led to conclude the enemy mean to change the whole plan of the war for a time or that they are taking measures to bring about a peace. Which is their object or whether either, is what I could wish to have your sentiments on. I am much at a loss how to take some measures of a private nature and shall esteem it a particular mark of your...
[ Middlebrook, New Jersey ] February 23, 1779 . States that the work on “batteaux” will be continued in case it is decided to revive expedition against Canada. LS , Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives.
Inclosed I have the honor to transmit Your Excellency a Return for the Month of November of the infantry, cavalry, Artillery, and the Legion serving in the Southern Department. I am Your Excellency’s Most obedient Humble Servant DLC : Papers of George Washington.
Inclos’d I send your Excellency a copy of a letter from Mr Thompson, Waggon Master General, respecting Waggoners. His plan and reasons you will judge of, and give your directions accordingly. This, or some similar mode, is indispensibly necessary to promote the service, and however inconvenient it may be to the line of the army, Congress have put things upon such a footing that there is no...
I am sorry it has not been in my power to give your Excellency an earlier answer to your letter of the 26th Ulto. The subject is a matter of such moment, that although it required dispatch, yet the delay must be Less injurious than a want of full information to decide with certainty. It is not less mortifying to me than unhappy for the public interest and national security that circumstances...
The loss of the garrison of Charles Town, and the return of part of the troops from the Southward to join the Enemy’s force at New York, materially change the face and state of things laid before the General Officers at a Council of War held at Morris Town the sixth Ulto; in which your Excellency demanded their opinions on the several questions laid before them in Council. I have frequently...
Col. Varnum Reports from Red Hook about sun set and after as many as One hundred Boats were seen coming from Statten Island to the Ships full of Men. Three Ships went towards the Narrows previous to which about thirty Boats with Soldiers went on board them. From the best Observations made by Capt. Foster and others there is a general Imbarcation. I have inclosd a Report from the Officer of one...
Since I wrote your Excellency in answer to the resolutions of your Assembly relative to the conduct of the Cavalry Officers, and the measures pointed out to supply this Army in future with Horses, I have been considering more fully the tendency and consequences that would attend it. It is to be lamented that Officers will not exercise more discretion and prudence when entrusted with the...
There is great complaints from Fish Kill and other Posts among the Waggoners and Artificers on account of the Commisarys, being directed to issue a Gill of Rice in lieu of half a pound of flour and being cut off of their usual allowance of Rum—Col. Hay writes me the Waggoners are actually leaveing the service on account of the Rice and the Country People refuse to work without the allowance of...
I have just receivd a Letter from Governor Greene upon the recall of Glovers brigade from the State of Rhode Island. I shall make no comments upon it. The weak and distressed condition of the State your Excellency is as well acquainted with as I am. You are also equally as well acquainted with the Enemies force being greatly superior to that of ours all this was known at the time the order was...
I herewith send your Excellency the Estimates which Colonel Hamilton requested me to furnish yesterday. The want of full information upon several points, from the deranged state of the Quarter Master’s department for some time past, prevents my being as exact as I could wish; but I believe the Estimates are sufficient to ground the applications upon for all such articles as the states are to...
I informed your Ex’y this morning that the enemy were on the advance in force. I now acquaint you, that they proceeded with vigor until they had gain’d Connecticut farms. They then were checked by Colo. Dayton’s regiment. They have since advanced in two formidable Columns on the springfield & Vox hall roads After very obstinate insistance they are now in possession of Springfield with one...
Colo. Hands morning Report contained nothing material. Lt Colo. Chambers reports this moment that he saw at Ten this morning ten Sail of Vessels standing in for the Hook, but at too great a distance to discover what they were. Mrs Grant applies again for Permision to go on board the fleet. Should be glad to know your Excellencys Pleasure in the matter. she pleads great distress. but it can...
One of the Connecticut brigade quarter Masters was with me this afternoon; and says many of the Officers are apprehensive there will be a scarcity of timber on the Mountain where it is proposd for six brigades to hut. Altho I can hardly suppose their fears are well grounded, yet as it will be almost impossible to get wood to them should it fail, on account of the make of the ground, and from...
Your Excellency’s letter of the 13th of Decemr, this day came to hand. It is true, I came to the Southward in expectation of meeting with difficulties but they far exceed what I had any Idea of. This Country is so extensive and supplies are so difficult to obtain that it is impossible to carry on the war any length of time with the Militia. The waste of stores & consumption of provision and...
If your Excellency thinks that the intelligence which you have lately receivd from Europe is of such a nature as to warrant any alteration in the preparations for the great plan of operations for the campaign; it would be a great saving to the public and a great relief to the Army, to give order immediately to discontinue the purchasing of horses and stop the teams from coming to Camp orderd...
When I wrote you last I did not expect to address you from this place again; but Col. Carrington has detained me upwards of a week to complete the business of his department. On Thursday next we set off by land for the Northward. The Assembly of this State have rejected the impost Act recommended by Congress. Had your circular letter been printed a fortnight earlier I am persuaded it would...
Your Excellencys favor of the 22d was deliverd me this afternoon. I am happy to find you have wrote so fully to Congress upon the disagreeable consequences that may follow from starveing the quarter Masters Department at this critical season. I wish it may have the desird effect and rouse their attention; but I must confess I am afraid the stupor is so great that nothing can alarm their fears...
I do my self the honor to inclose your Excellency a piece of intelligence given by Col. Abeel, who seems to be very positive that the facts stated, are well grounded. Great allowances are to be made for the natural credulity of his temper, and his general inclination to deal in the marvellous; yet I think the information ought not be altogether neglected. It is natural to suppose the Enemy...