George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Hancock, 21 May 1777

To John Hancock

Morristown May 21st 1777.


Inclosed I have the Honor to transmit you a General Return of the Forces in Jersey. It is regimentally digested and will shew the strength of each Corps.1 I should not have sent it so particularly made out, had I not conceived the conveyance, by which it goes from hence, entirely secure. I have nothing material to add respecting the Enemy. I have the Honor to be with great respect Sir Yr Most Obedt servt

Go: Washington

P.S. I need not suggest to Congress the necessity of keeping our Numbers concealed from the knowledge of the public. Nothing but a Good face & false appearances have enabled us hitherto to deceive the Enemy respecting our Strength.

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 23 May and referred it to the Board of War (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 8:381).

1See the return printed as an enclosure to this letter.

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