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In Obedience to your Excellencies Commands I have waited on the Genl and find Sufficient of Arms for the Remainder of my Battalion—for which I Obtained an Order, and expect they will be put into proper repair, by the time Liet. Col. Johnston Arrives with the troops—except Bayonet Scabbards which cannot be procured for want of Leather. I also have the pleasure to Inform your Excellency that...
AL (draft): Historical Society of Pennsylvania The writer, later known as “mad Anthony,” needs no introduction. Deborah Franklin had dealt with him briefly a decade earlier about her husband’s land speculations, but we have no evidence that Franklin knew him before they served together on the Pennsylvania committee of safety. They may or may not have met in Canada; Franklin was en route from...
LS : American Philosophical Society: AL (draft ): Historical Society of Pennsylvania We are so far remov’d from the Seat of Government of the free and independant States of America, and such an insurmountable Barrier (Alb . . . y) between Us, that scarcely One Letter or the least intelligence can reach here from your Quarter; through the medium of my Chaplain I hope this will find you, as he...
ALS (draft): Historical Society of Pennsylvania It was with the greatest Concern I recd. the Acct. of Liet. Col. Allen’s Resignation. He undoubtedly at that time had his reasons for such a step. Circumstanced as he then was, and some unmerited Injuries recently Offered (as he thought) to his nearest Connections might percipitate him into a measure that strict prudence wou’d not justify. I yet...
ALS : University of Pennsylvania Library; two drafts: Historical Society of Pennsylvania I shou’d have acknowledged the Rect. of your favour of the 28th of Augt. sooner but for want of time; I am glad to find that unanimity prevails in Congress. Whilst that Continues I am under no Apprehension but that we shall rise Superior to every Dificulty. The Settling the boundaries of the Respective...
ALS : Historical Society of Pennsylvania Yesterday An express Arrived here from Albany giving Intelligence that Gene. Howe with the British fleet and army had passed Kings Bridge and from Appearances seemed as if he Intended to penetrate into Jersey or proceed up the Hudson’s River the truth of this you will know much better than we at this Distance. However Genl. St. Clair with the first...
Genl Wayne’s Opinion of the Defences necessary for the River and Land in case the Enemy should Attempt the Reduction of Phila. The Works, as Contracted by Agent De Coudre to be Compleated and Supplied with Six or Eight pieces of Artillery and men Sufficient to fight them with about 500 Troops—One Redoubt on the High Ground at Darby Creek Sufficient to Contain 200 men. the fleet fire ships &...
I took the liberty some days since to Suggest the Selecting 2′500 or 3′000 of our best Armed and most Disciplined Troops (exclusive of the Reserve) who should hold themselves in Readiness on the Approach of the Enemy to make a Regular and Vigorous Assault on their Right or Left flank—or such part of their Army as should then be thought most expedient—and not wait the Attack from them. This Sir...
Letter not found: from Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne, 18 Sept. 1777. GW wrote in his second letter to Wayne of this date : “I have this Instt recd yours of ½ after 3 Oclock.”
On the Enemies Beating the Revellee I ordered the Troops under Arms and began our March for their left flank—But when we Arrived within a half a Mile of their Encampment found they had not Stired—but lay too Compact to admit of an Attack with prudence—Indeed their Supineness Answers every purpose of giving you time to get up—if they Attempt to move I shall Attack them at all Events. this...
The Enemy are very quiet, washing & Cooking—they will probably Attempt to move towards Evening —I expect Genl Maxwell on their left flank every Moment and as I lay on their Right, we only want you in their Rear—to Complete Mr Howes buisness—I believe he knows Nothing of my Situation—as I have taken every precaution to prevent any Intelligence getting to him—at the same time keeping a Watchful...
About 11 OClock last Evening we were alarmed by a firing from One of our Out guards—The Division was immediately formed, which was no sooner done than a firing began on our Right flank—I thought proper to order the Division to file off by the left, except the Infantry and two or three Regiments nearest to where the Attack began in order to favour our Retreat—by this time the Enemy and we were...
Letter not found: from Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne, 22 Sept. 1777. GW wrote Wayne on 23 Sept. : “I received Your favor of Yesterday morning.”
I feel myself very much Injured until such time as you will be kind Enough to Indulge me with an Enquiry into my Conduct Concerning the Action of the night of the 20th Instant. Conscious of having done my duty I dare my Accusor’s to a fair and Candid hearing—dark Insinuations and Insidius friends I dread—but from an Open and avowed enemy I have nothing to fear. I have no other mode of drawing...
After we left the field of Battle the Troops, who took the Upper Rout were formed at White Ma[r]sh Church under Genl Stephens—it was thought Advisable to Remain there for some time in Order to Collect the Straglers from the Army. the Enemy made their appearance with a party of Light Horse and from 1500 to 2000 Infantry with two field pieces—the Troop[s] upon this were Orderd off—I took the...
Altho’ I am Confident that your time is Necessarily taken up on the most Important business—yet my own Honor and Charecter—Induces me to Request your perusual of the Enclosed Defence —every part of which I have fully proved by Indubitable Evidence and however the Gentn who Composed the Courts of Enquiry may have Determined—yet so Concious am I of having done my Duty—that I am very Desirous of...
I must Acknowledge that the Opinion of the Court of Enquiry has given me both pain and Surprise—Surprise to find Gentn go on the most Erronious ground in two facts from which they seem to found their Opinion i.e. with Reguard to the Distance, and the Carrying off of one of the Piquets. the Distance between the nearest part of the Enemies Camp and where I lay—was near 4 Miles w[h]ich was...
The Light Infantry who were Encamped on the Right between third & fourth Street have Struck their tents this morning—their Picquets are drawn in—we took possession of the Advanced Redoubt made of Rails when they Vacated this day—I am just proceeding along the line to the left—they have turned out the Guards from a house near the City with a few of their Horse but don’t seem Inclined to...
May it please your Excellency, We the Subscribers, General Officers in the American Army, beg leave to represent, That we have severally been accus’d of unsoldierly Conduct, dangerous Neglect, and other Crimes, which, had they been prov’d, must have blacken’d our Characters as Officers, and sunk us beneath the Reproaches of our Country. In Consequence of these malicious Accusations, Courts...
After the most Dispationate & Deliberate Consideration of the Question your Excellency was pleased to propose to the Council of General Officers last Evening; I am Solemnly and Clearly of Opinion; that the Credit of the Army under your Command, the Safety of the Country—the Honor of the American Arms—the Approach of Winter which in a few days will force you from the field—and above all the...
The procuring good and easy Winter Quarters for the Troops under your Excellencies Command—and Covering the Country from the Depredations of the Enemy as far as Possible without too much fatigue to the Army—are Objects of the first Consequence, & to which too much Attention can not be paid. A Chain of Cantonments has been proposed (and Supported with very plausible Arguments) from Lancaster to...
I am not for a Winters Campaign in the Open field—the Distressed and naked State of your Troops will not admit of it. But if taking post at Willmington & the Villages in it’s Vicinity—or Hutting at the Distance of about Twenty Miles West of Phila. (which will not only support the Honor & Reputation of Your Army in the eyes of the Enemy—and the States of Europe —but will give Confidence to...
The Inhabitants from being acquainted with me are perpetually lodging their Complaints against the proceedings of the Deputy Commissaries Quarter Masters & Soldiery—they say that all the provision & Provender which they had laid up for their family use and Stock during the Winter, has been taken and Carried off by force—that money will not Replace it, and that they must either Starve or remove...
If I am rightly Instructed, Genl Woodfords pretentions to rank is founded on his Serving as a Colonel in the State of Virginia against Govr Du[n] more in the Year 1775. I have no Idea of his being Entitled to rank in the Continental line from holding a Commission at that time in the State—especially if he Adverts to the Distinction which that State drew between the Rank of Militia, Minute men...
I landed in New Jersey the 19th and proceeded to salem the same Evening—the next Morning I sent out several Detachment to Collect Cattle &ca pursuant to the within Order; at the same time Dispatched the enclosed Letter to B. Genl Ellis. It was difficult to meet any Cattle, Altho the Country abounded with them; as the Inhabitants had Secreted all such as were fit for our use in the...
The flat Bottomed boats which I mentioned to have passed down the River landed yesterday Morning about two OClock at Billings Port—about Two thousand in Number—fifteen Hundred of which Encamped last Night within Seven Miles of Selem—and I doubt not but that they are now Employed in Collecting the Cattle &ca which the Inhabitants in that Quarter took great pains to hide from us—finding means at...
Soon after I wrote your Excellency from Mount Holly —I recd Intelligence that the Enemy had Detatched themselves into small parties and were Collecting forage Cattle &ca in the Vicinity of this place, Coopers and Timbers Creeks & this Induced me (altho my Numbers were few) to make a forced March and Endeavour to drive in or cut off some of these parties, at Nine oClock at Night we arrived at a...
Wishing to prevent the Enemy from Receiving any benefit from the forage in the Vicinity of the River, and anxious to save as much from the Fire as possable (by Obliging the Inhabitants to carry it into the Pines ) took me up more time, than I at first expected—but that Business being now perfected—I have put the Detatchment on board of the Gallies—to be landed at Bristol, where I expect to...
I am this Moment favoured with yours of the 12th Instant but wish it was not so urgent, as I am but too well assured that my presence on the Occation, on which it’s required—will give me more pain—than executing any Order—which your Excellency would please to favour me with in the field. my presence will be Indispensibly Necessary in this place tomorrow, the next day you will be waited upon by...
In pursuance of your Excellencys Orders, a Considerable Number of Horses & Cattle were collected in the State of New Jersey—in Feby and March —for which the Inhabitants Recd Certificates for the price or Weight signed by Col. Ricd Butler Duplicates of which are now in his possession and will serve as a Check against forgery or Impossition. In these Certificates the people are Informed that...
I took the Liberty (some time since) to Suggest to your Excellency the Idea of making an Offensive Campaign against such place as afforded the Greatest prospect of Success to us & Injury to the Enemy—but the Object will depend upon your force—the first and most Desireable would be Mr Howe’s Army—the next New York. The Question will then arrise how is our Army to be supplied and the Stores...
I have endeavoured to Investigate the Questions Offered by your Excellency —and am fully and Clearly of Opinion—that the Recovery of Phila. and the Distruction of the Enemies Army there—are the first and greatest Objects—but in Order to Effect this—it will Require at least Twenty five Thousand Effective men—i.e. Eighteen thousand in front of their Lines—five thousand in New Jersey—and two...
I have not heard whether the Arrangement has yet taken place by which a light Corps was to be formed, your Excellency must have been well Convinced of the Utility as well as Indespensible necessity of such a Corps previous to your Recommendg it to Congress—the time is now arrived when that Corps will be wanted to act in the field—all I wish is to be made one of the Number. I have not often...
I have Maturely Considered the Matters which your Excellency was pleased to lay before the Council of General Officers last Evening —and am Clearly of Opinion that any Attempt on the City of Phila. with your present force whilst Defended by the Number of Troops that may be brought to act against you, will be Ineligible. but it is my wish & Opinion that you cause the sick in camp & it’s...
The purport of the Questions Offered by your Excellency this morning to the Consideration of the General Officers were As to the first I am not for Risquing a General Action with them—unless Circumstances should Render Success Certain—or at least such as not to leave you in a Worse Condition or Situation if Unfortunate, than you would have been if you had not Attacked. And in Answer to the...
In Obedience to your Excellencies Desire I have Maturely Considered the Questions which you were pleased to put to the Board of General Officers yesterday, the purport of which was As to the first, I can’t Conceive what Advantage we should Derive from any Movement to the Eastward at this time —on the Contrary would we not by a Movement that way give an Opening to the Enemy to cut off all our...
In Obedience to your Orders of the 2nd from Fish Kill, I sent Lieut. Colo. Williams with a Proper Detatchment to Repair the Road to Litchfield. Quarter Master Alexander has just Returned & makes the following Report of the Road & Encamping Grounds viz. 1st days March from Genl St Clair Quarters to Talmans & Soles, Bridges 12 Miles 2nd To Preston 10 Miles (very Stony Road) 3rd To Mount Tom 8...
I have Deliberately Considered the State of facts which your Excellency was pleased to lay before the Council of General Officers, together with the Questions Arising therefrom. The first of which has already been Decided upon by Determining that a Detatchment shall March towards Boston. The Season being now far Advanced—and the troops begining to Suffer from the Keeness of the Weather & want...
Letter not found: from Anthony Wayne, 27 Nov. 1778. On 28 Nov., GW wrote Wayne : “I recd yours of Yesterday late last Evening.”
I have been long wishing for the pleasure of seeing you in Camp but Conclude from the Multiplicity of Buisness in which you are Engaged that it will be some time before we shall Experience that Satisfaction. Our City is completely finished. it’s Regularity is equal to any on the Continent—& it’s Internal police at least as regular as that of Phila. I can Assure your Excellency that we are much...
I did myself the Honor of writing to you the 20th ultimo mentioning that I was necessitated to be here at the meeting of the Assembly of this State—& that I shou’d take the liberty of waiting on you the first of this Instant for leave of Absence . I was unfortunately deprived of the pleasure of seeing you by passing down the Jersey shore whilst you were on your way for camp on the Pennsa side...
Having been absent from this City on a Visit to my farm—it was not until this moment I had the Honor of Recg your favor of the 16th, it gives me sincere pleasure to find that the Construction, and Disposition of the Pennsa Barracks meet your Approbation. when the Arrangement of the Army ⟨ mutilated pe⟩rmit the formation ⟨ mutilated ⟩ny movement ⟨ mutilated ⟩py to Receive ⟨ mutilated ⟩. In the...
I am this moment Honored with your’s of the 16th Containing the Affidavits & Extract of a letter from Govr Levingston, the Enclosed Naritive of Mr Archer will shew you something of the Nature of the Complaint —I hope it will [not] be persuming too much on your Excellency’s good nature to Recapitulate the Circumstances which Immediately relate to myself. some time in January—at an early hour in...
From a full Conviction that a well disciplined Corps of Horse & foot (under good Officers) would be of the Utmost Utility—as well as from a wish to serve two Worthy young Gentlemen: i.e. Mr McPherson & Mr Archer—I took the Liberty to Suggest to some members of Congress & of the board of War, the Idea of raising two Companies of Infantry to Consist of One Hundred light men, to be Annexed to...
I was honored with yours of the 8th Instant, & am fully convinced of the force, as well as propriety of your Objections to the plan which I took the Liberty to Suggest—Indeed the reasons against it are so just, & so pointed that had they sooner Occured, I certainly shou’d not have Intruded upon your Excellencies time & patience on that Occation. I am now to Inform you that I have succeeded so...
In Obedience to your Excellencies Orders I have Reconnoitre the Situation of the Enemy at Stony point & the approaches to them in the best manner that Circumstances would admit & Returned late last evening to this place. The sketch herewith transmitted (which differs but little from that made the Other day by Colo. Butler) will give you a General Idea of the Strength of their Works on the West...
I took the Liberty to mention to your Excellency the difficulty that the Light Corps experience in receiving the necessary Supplies of Clothing not being in a Situation to Apply to their Respective Regiments for the articles they may from time to time want. to remedy which, the Field Officers of the Corps propose the following plan Viz. “A Brigade Quarter Master to be Appointed to each Brigade...
Enclosed is a Letter from Genl St Clair who has sent Lieut. Butler (a Brother of the Colonels[)] to take the place of Lieut. Gibbons in the Infantry—I believe them both deserving Spirited young Officers—but can’t think myself justified in the Exchange of any Officer belonging to the Corps—least it shou’d lay a pre[ce]dent for Other exchanges from every Division and every Regement in the...
Your Excellency must have Observed how wretched our Officers were armed—many of them without any—of Consequence should they ever come to a Charge in place of producing an example of fortitude to their men they must Inevitably be the first to give way—an example much easier adopted by the human mind than the former— especially by the private Soldier who can’t conceive his Honor or duty...
I am this moment honored with your’s of this day & note the Contents—I shall effect the Interview you wish in the least Suspicious manner possible. every thing will be in readiness at the time you mention—I shall do myself the Honor to enclose you the plan & Disposition tomorrow. Interim I am Your Excellencies Most Obt Huml. Sert ALS (photocopy), ViU : Gwathney Autograph Collection microfilm;...