George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General William Winds, 27 June 1778

To Brigadier General William Winds

Englishtown [N.J.] ¼ after 1 OClk P.M.
June 27: 1778


I this morning received your Letter of Yesterday and was much concerned to find that you had declined advancing to join this Army or to act in this Quarter.1 Your aid I deem of great importance, and if you are not too far beyond Brunswic when this reaches you, I must request that you will immediately face about and proceed as expeditiously as you can with the Troops under you, to Spotswood, from whence or a little before you get there you will inform me by Express. You will not halt at Spotswood2 but direct your course towards Middletown point. I will write you immediately on receipt of your Letter.3 Your services may be of infinite advantage, & I doubt not if you are not too far returned, that I shall presently be reinforced with your command. I am told the Bridges at Spotswood & South River are not cut up & if they are that your passage neverless will not be obstructed. I am


Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW apparently is referring to the second of two letters that Winds wrote to Maj. Gen. Philemon Dickinson on 26 June. The first letter, written from New Brunswick, N.J., reads: “Being just got to this place with about 800 men, I think it necessary to give you notice of it, and that I shall move on towards the enemy tomorrow morning, by the most direct route in which I shall be governed by the intelligence or directions I shall receive in the interim.

“I relinquished the scheme of crossing the Raritan at Amboy, in consequence of advice from some who were much better acquainted with the country than myself. My troops have come from Woodbridge today by way of the landing about 14 miles, which makes it necessary for the men to refresh themselves this PM—hope they will be able to move rapidly tomorrow.

“I think I have left a sufficient force on the lines of this state to oppose any attempt of the enemy from Staten Island, Especially if Genl Gates is moved down towards the enemy’s lines at Kingsbridge, (which ’tis said he has) if only with design to draw their attention that way” (DLC:GW).

Winds’s second letter to Dickinson, written at New Brunswick at “7 oClock PM,” reads: “I this Day Informed you of My being here with about 800 Men, With Whom I Intended to Advance tomorrow Morning, but Afterwards Concluded to take the Cool of the Evening to Go on as far as Spotswood, & Accordingly put the body In Motion & Went on about two Miles, When I learnt the Bridges at Spotswood & South River were Cut Down & that I Could not Gain Freehold by any rout Short of 9 or 10 Miles more than if the Spotswood bridge had been Standing, Which Affording so little prospect of Coming up with the Enemy that I returned to this place, & Shall now return with all speed to My post, The Disappointment Gives me real Concern but When I Consider the situation of the lines under My Charge & that I have not the least Prospect Remaining, of Rendering the Smallest service by Advancing, I Cannot but think My present Measure will Meet your Approbation” (DLC:GW).

2Spotswood, a town in South Amboy Township, Middlesex County, N.J., was located about eleven miles northwest of Monmouth Court House.

3Winds wrote GW on 27 June; GW’s response of the next day has not been found.

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