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1Council of War, 10 April 1779 (Washington Papers)
At a Council of War held at Head Quarters Middle Brook April 10th 1779. Present The Commander in Chief[,] Major Genls Sullivan[,] Greene[,] Ld Stirling[,] St Clair[,] D’Kalb, [Brigadier Generals] Smallwood[,] Knox[,] Woodford. The Commander in Chief states to the Council, that since the last meeting of Commissioners on the subject of an exchange of Prisoners, the result of which is contained...
Letter not found: from Brig. Gen. William Smallwood, c.26 Mar. 1778. GW wrote Smallwood on 28 Mar. , “I was yesterday favd with yours without a date, inclosing the proceedings of a Court Martial held upon Colo. Hall of Maryland.” The usual time of passage for letters from Smallwood was one day, and Josias Carvil Hall wrote GW on the subject in a letter of 26 March.
Letter not found : from William Smallwood, 2 June 1778. In his letter to Smallwood of 5 June , GW mentions “your last of the 2d Inst., with which I w⟨as⟩ favoured.”
Letter not found : from William Smallwood, 13 Aug. 1779. On 15 Aug., GW wrote Smallwood: “I have received Your Letter of the 13th.”
Letter not found: from Brig. Gen. William Smallwood, 17 April 1778. On 18 April, GW wrote to Smallwood , “I have this moment recd yours of yesterday by Capt. patton.”
Letter not found: from Brig. Gen. William Smallwood, 4 Sept. 1777. GW wrote Smallwood on 9 Sept. : “I received your favor of the 4th Inst.”
Letter not found : from Brig. Gen. William Smallwood, 11 Feb. 1779. GW wrote Smallwood on 12 Feb. : “Upon considering the contents of your letter of yesterdays date—it appears to me proper that they shd be communicated to Baron de Kalb.”
Letter not found: from Brig. Gen. William Smallwood, 27 April 1778. On 30 April, GW wrote Smallwood , “I have been favord with yours of the 27th Inst.”
We have recovered our Sloop which I wrote concerning the other Day, & no other Damage sustained by the Tories retakg her, than a few Barrells of Flower, & some Pork, our Party havg surprized & drove them of[f] whilst unloading her. The Brig is like to be much more valuable than was at first supposed, there appears to be a great Quantity of Arms, Baggage & some Cloths, Ammunition Rum & Wine,...
I have the pleasure to acquaint you that since I wrote you on the 1st Instt. I have received arms and Accoutrements for the 4th Regiment and about one Hundred of the 5th and the State promise to make every exertion to forward Supplies of Cloathing after the Troops into Virginia which induces me to order them to March early Tomorrow Morning with all possible dispatch to join the Marquis as they...
I have dispatch’d two Officers one to Governor Johnson at Annapolis & the other to the head of Elk for the purposes you required the result of which upon their return shall take the earliest opportunity of Communicating and in the Interim the troops shall Constantly be held in readiness to move at a Minutes warning. Just before I recd your favour I had wrote you yesterday, The party detach’d...
Last Night Colonel Gist joined me he has * Troops—our united Force amounts to §. I am now on my march and rest assured every Effort shall be exerted to §§—as expeditiously as possible which I hope to effect Tomorrow—the Shameful neglect in the Commissarys Department throws many Obstacles in my way and retards my March—I am reduced to the Necessity of sending Officers forward to provide for the...
I have revolved in my Mind the Subject of your Requisition last Night, and placed it in every Point of View, and must confess I am much embarrassed, I see the Propriety and Necessity of an Attack, I view with Pain the pressing Expectations of the Public, the Reputation of the Army at Stake, the depression of our Money, the difficulty & hazard of the proposed Attact, and the Misfortunes & I may...
I had Intelligence yesterday afternoon from Newcastle, that upwards of one Hundred Sail of Transport Ships lay off reedy Point, the Admiral off New Castle, & that upwards of fifty Sail more pass’d down yesterday; I have not heard from that Quarter to Day, I have understood that a draft of Marines from each Armed Vessel was ordered up to Philadelphia, and Capt. Rumford informed me four Sloops...
Two of the Questions stated yesterday by your Excellency to the Council respecting Detatchments being sent towards Boston, & against the Indians & disaffected on the Frontiers of this State, being determined, require no farther Observations or Reply. The Uncertainty of the Enemys Views—their Strength, & superior Advantages to effect Speedy Operations—The present State of, and the disciplining...
The Enemys Fleet still remain down below Reedy Island, except such Transports as conveyed off the Invalids &c.—various accounts of the Numbers, from 1,200 to 2,000, some are said to have marched down by Land, others to have landed from the Fleet near Salem, they have plundered, and were the other Day carrying off Forage, the Jersy Militia took & sent over here nine of their Seamen, they landed...
Agreeable to your orders I sent Capt. Norwood to obtain a List of the Stores at the head of Elk, who returned this Evening with the Inclosed Lists from Hollingsworth, Rodolph & Huggins who could give no Acct of the Stores in the Peninsula below and at Charles Town, but Colo. Hollingsworth informs Capt. Norwood there were near as much more at those Stages & that he daily expected Several...
I was honored with your Favor dated the 6th Instant, and regret much that the Commands are so filled—and that Circumstances will not admit of my having the Pleasure of joining you in the Enterprize below—especially as I see no possibility of pushing the recruiting Service shortly, with any prospect of Success—for want of Specie, or some other Medium that would circulate, to engage the Men, if...
By return of a Party of Dragoons who I had detatched for that purpose, I have just received Intelligence of some of the Enemys Movements, & have inclosed the Ltrs for your perusal & satisfaction, from which it will appear (tho these Views are not absolutely demonstrated) they have intended to intercept General Wayne, & his collected supplies, and that they have had & may still have a design...
After meeting with many impediments in the Commissary’s & Quarter masters departments, which have delayed considerably the march of the Militia under my command I arrived here yesterday evening with about 700 effectives and expect to be joined in a day or two by 600 more exclusive of the body under Colo. Gist, who was yesterday at Christeen & will pursue the rout you have chalked out for him:...
Inclosed is a letter, I fancy from Governor Johnson, forwarded by the bearer hereof Mr Burrell who informs me that he left his son about fourteen Months ago with his Brother about 12 Miles above Philada upon the Schuylkill to Learn the Bleaching trade, his Brother having taken refuge with the Enemy Carried his son without his Privity with him & having understood that his brother sent the boy...
Our Field Officers desire me to request your Opinion on the following Questions, as they judge the Resolve of Congress of the 24th November to be silent thereon. Does a Title to Promotion, upon a vacancy previous to the 16 Sept.—76, give Rank from the Time such Vacancy happend, & ought to have been filled, whether the Party acted in it, under Brevet or otherwise? If it does, are the Officers...
Colo: Harrison will address this, who commands the first Continental Regiment of Artillery, composed of Men from the States of Virginia and Maryland, to him I would beg leave to refer you for a true State of the Regiment, which is now much reduced. I need not mention to you the Merit of a Corps which has so often distinguished itself, nor the Expediency of filling it up, to which purport I...
I have inclosed a Return of the Troops at this Station, by which you will observe the number marched, and remaining sick in Hospital and Barracks; exclusive of the recruiting Parties, and such recruits as I have had no return of. The detachment embarked on the 5th Instant for the Head of Elk, they were without Tents, bare of blankets, shirts and some other articles of clothing, but I directed...
I have just recd your favour of the 25th Inst. & am happy to find the Measures I had Adopted have in a great Measure Coincided with your views and the Possition you have recommended, I had just finished my Letter to send by Mr Fitzhugh, shall send the Express off with him —I hope my reasons for remaining here thus long will Suffice for deviating from your orders in not Marching Immediately as...
For this two Days past the Enemys Fleet have been passing by here, to amount of 150 Sail, of which there were 70 or 80 Sloops & Schoners, some few flat Bottom and a number of Ships Boats on Deck & in Tow besides—there destination not known, it’s said there are Troops on board, but it is not reduced to a Certainty, if any, they were kept below, as there was no great appearance on Deck—The...
I am sorry to inform you that the third Regiment was detained beyond my Expectations, for want of Equipments, they marched to join the Marquis on the 28h of August, but are yet deficient one hundred stand of Arms, and upwards of two hundred Blankets, The arms I have procured, and shall forward with all possible dispatch—some Cloth has been received which is now making up into Blankets to be...
The Waggons not returning from moving the tents ’till yesterday and the weather proving wet on Wednesday, prevented my Marching that day, but we arived here yesterday after having got all the Quartermaster and Commissaries stores under way before we left Wilmington, we have taken a possition about a mile back of Chads Ford but are not fix’d being about now to reconitre and fix upon an...
The march of the troops down here through the frosty roads, has cut out their shoes, & by being barefoot they are rendered unfit for duty, to remedy which, I have contracted with a gentleman here, for 200 sides of sole, & 200 sides of upper leather, for which he is to receive raw hides in exchange at the same rate on which the commissary of hides exchanges raw hides for dressed leather. I have...
I have just received your Favor of the 18th Instt, at a Time I was preparing to set out. Allow me to assure your Excellency I shall use the utmost dispatch, in repairing to the Army; and that my particular Situation has been such, that it wou’d not admit of my waiting on you as I expected when I last wrote for your Directions, which have ever had, and ever shall have the greatest weight, and...
The within is a State of the Officers present & Absent in the seven Regiments of our Line now on this Ground—It also specifies the Officers recommended as Persons best qualified for the Recruiting Service, by their Respective Commandants who they think can be spared, tho you will observe it will leave some of the Regiments very thin of Officers —I have endeavored in drawing out these Officers...
The Prisoners of War I shall send of to Lancaster early in the morning, and the tories I shall take the most elligible method of disencumbering myself off immediately. It appears from a letter which I recd from Colo. Hollingsworth on the 27th Inst. that there are a Number of Stores remaining yet at the head of Elk, but if Mr Wade has forwarded the Waggons which I directed, and they have been...
I am sorry I had not the satisfaction of falling in with you whilst in Virginia; after the third Regiment had been dispatched below Dumfries on their way to Fredericksburgh, I did myself the pleasure to wait on Mrs Washington at your Seat in Expectation of meeting you there, but your taking that Route being doubtful, I proceeded to George Town on my way to Baltimore, hoping to fall in with you...
I was not honored with your favor, dated the 1st of Septr, ’til yesterday, which appears by the Post Master’s mark on the cover, not to have been received in his Office in Phila, till the 18th. Your Orders with respect to moving the Troops shall be complied with as soon as possible; I will send them off immediately, if Vessels can be procured to transport them, to the Head of Elk, from whence...
I shoud be glad to be favored with your Orders respecting the Troops now in this State—there remains near two hundred—composed partly of Recruits and Soldiers who came from Carolina this Spring—General Greene having compleated one Regiment there sent in the residue—and all those whose Term of service was near expiring—these latter I have discharged upon the expiration of their Terms of service...
In reply to the Propositions stated yesterday by your Excellency to the Board —after considering the Circumstances of our present Situation with respect to our Supplies of Provision—the unfinished State of the Fortifications at West Point—our present Strength & that of the Enemy—I think it inelligible to attempt any active Operations against their Main Army on the East Side of the North River...
I have inclosed you Depositions &c., relative to the Treatment of the British Prisoners Captured in the Brig Symetry during their Stay here—shou’d have transmitted them before, but have waited in expectation of obtaining Colo. Gunbys, Captns Godmans, & Learmonths De-positions, which would have been very material, as they were privy to the whole transactions from the Time of the Brigs Capture,...
I am clearly of opinion no movements or Opperations in this army ought to be undertaken, ’till we can with more Certainty ascertain the designs of the Enemy, which from their present Manœuvres, and the aspect before us, is difficult to limit, with any degree of precission, so as to render our movements secure, or to hold up any great prospect of success; they must have had two objects in view...
Upon rect of your favour of 23d Inst. late at Night, the next morning early I gave orders Immediately for the removal of such Stores and Baggage as were retain’d here, to one Bells between Kennett Square and Chads-ford, proposing to take a position on the most Advantageous ground between Gibsons & Chads-ford, as nearly opposite to Dilworths as the ground wou’d Admit, which position not Knowing...
On my arrival here at Christmas I found the Regular & flying Camp Officers in general much disgusted by the Appointments of the Commissioners, in which indeed there were irregula[ri]ties and Improprieties which no established Mode cou’d justify, many being below, others promoted above their Rank, & many more not appointed at all; which induced me, as the Appointments were incompleat, to make...
I received yours of the 1st Instant, in answer to mine by Colo. Proctor, soon after his Departure the Fleet hove in sight, & got up to Marcus hook that Tide, where & at Grubs Landing Numbers of Tories came on Shore, & traded with The Inhabitants; five of whom a Party of ours took, and forced the others on Board, soon after which the whole stood up the River—part of Salem is said to be burnt...
Since I have been in this State I have been peculiarly embarrassed—not only in raising Men—but in equipping them—The acts of the State and her Finances have been utterly incompetent towards compleating her Quota, which I am well assured might have been effected, could Money have been advanced—and the Public Acts calculated to promote the recruiting Service—Impressed with a just sense of the...
I am much obliged by your favor received last Evening, and shall take every necessary precaution to obviate any design formed against this Post—but I am induced to think the Information was groundless, as we have now seve⟨n⟩ Prisoners taken on the Evening of the 7th, part of them taken by the mouth of Derby Creek going up with Provision, & the others above that, coming down from Philadelphia...
I hope your Excellency will excuse the Delay in not answering your favors of the 12th & 13th Inst. before. I have been so pester’d this 10 Days past, that I need not tell, for you will readily perceive I am scarce yet in my proper Senses, nor do I believe I shall ever get clear of the Echo of Rank in the Line , of the Staff, Furlough, Recruiting, Resignation, Desertion, disaffection, pass into...
I am honored with your favor wrote from Newburgh without Date—and shou’d sometime ago have anticipated your Requisitions, by laying before you the Information you require—but was first solicitous to have a Detachment nearly ready for marching, which the want of Cloathing and Equipments has prevented. As you seem desirous of obtaining regular Reports of the progress I have made, and a minute...
I have just been favor’d with yours of yesterdays Date, & the Requisitions therein shall be stricktly complied with—I wrote some Days ago by Colo. Gist (who informed he had your Permission to retire to settle his Regimental Accts) to Governor Johnson, to forward the Cloathing to this Place, & have taken Measures to comply with the Resolution of Congress respecting the Stock. I have no...
I have sent you as ⅌ r the Inclosed List, such Goods as you wrote for, so far as the Prize wou’d furnish (escorted by Serjeant Sprig —& Guard all trusty Men) which I hope will suit, as they are the best in Quality in the Prize. There were but two steel mounted small Swords (& none other tolerably genteel) these are small & rather short, however I think them genteel, & have sent them both, that...
Yesterday I recieved your favour dated the 1st Inst., and in pursuance of your Order have directed Lieut. Hugoe of the fifth Maryland Regiment to repair to, and take Command of the Soldiers in the Shoe Factory at New Ark, and have given him proper Instructions for this purpose, he Marches down Twenty of the Nine Months Men, who have inlisted in that Regiment, as they are altogether from the...
Capt. Marbury Quarter Master of the first Maryland Brigade waits on you to obtain an order for Clothing and Blankets for my Brigade agreeable to the Inclosed returns, which the troops are in extreme want off particularly Blanketts, the want of which has already Subjected many of our Men to sickness, and from the Approaching cold weather cannot Longer be dispensed with, part of the first, and...
I received your Favor of the 6th Inst., & in reply to that part relative to the British Prisoners, & their Treatment contained in the Deposition transmitted you, I can truly assert the whole is without the least foundation, except several being frostbit, which Fate many of our Soldiers in common shared with them, from the severity of the Weather, & unavoidably getting their Feet & legs wet in...