George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Major General William Heath, 3 July 1778

To Major General William Heath

Head Quarters, near Brunswick [N.J.]
3d [July] 1778.

Dear Sir

I received your favor of the 22d Ultimo by the hands of Captain Horton.

It is a melancholly consideration that in the execution of our duty an officer of the convention should suffer so unfortunate a fate.1 However your conduct in the affair will meet general approbation.

I have attended to Ensign Ponds memorial and accept of his resignation.

In my last of the 24 Ulto I gave you the course of the enemy—we came up with them near Monmouth Court house, when an action ensued—The several contentions during the day were sharp and severe. We remained in full possession of the ground—of 245 dead, and several wounded which they had not time to carry off—Our loss in rank & file is 60 killed and near 130 wounded.2 About midnight they decamped, retreating in great silence and rapidity, and gained a position which made any further pursuit impracticable.3

In one of your late letters you mention the arrival of a vessel with military stores, among which are horse accoutrements4—I desire that the latter may be sent forward to the North River with all possible dispatch. I am, Sir, your most obedient and very hble servt

Go: Washington

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, MHi: Heath Papers; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Although the LS is dated 3 June, the draft and Varick transcript are dated 3 July, and the content of the letter suggests it must have been written in July. GW signed the cover of the LS. Heath wrote GW that he received this letter on 12 August.

1GW was referring to the shooting of Lt. Richard Brown by an American sentry.

2The draft reports “52 killed and 120 wounded,” which are the numbers given in GW’s letter to Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates of this date. The larger number reported in the LS includes artillery casualties.

3At this point on the draft, McHenry wrote but crossed out a sentence: “Consequences truely valuable and important will attend the advantage gained in this instance over the flower of the British army.”

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