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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;...
On the 11th Colonels Butler & Febeger with myself Reconnoitred the Enemies works at Stoney point in the most Satisfactory manner possible—and are decidedly of Opinion that two attacks & one faint ought to be made agreeable to the Enclosed plan & Disposition, which I now transmit. by the unanimous Voice of the Field Officers present as well as by your Excellencies permission, I have ventured to...
The fort & Garrison with Colo. Johnston are ours—Our Officers & men behaved like men who are determined to be free. Yours Most Sincerely ALS , DLC:GW ; copy, enclosed in GW to George Clinton, this date, sold by Christie’s, Sale No. 1770, 5 Dec. 2006, no. 324. A letter from GW’s secretary Robert Hanson Harrison to an unknown recipient, written on this date, reads: “His Excellency requests you...
I have now the pleasure to assure you of the surrender of the Fort, at Stoney Point; and transmit you herewith, a return of the Killed, wounded, prisoners, ordinance, and military stores. It is with infinite satisfaction I acknowledge to you, that the officers, and men under my command behaved with the greatest bravery, and fortitude. Too much praise cannot be given to Leiutenant Colo. Fleury,...
I have the honor of giving you a full & particular relation of the reduction of this post by the light Infantry under my command. On the 15th instant at twelve o Clock we took up our line of march from Sandy beach, distant 14 miles from this place; The roads being exceedingly bad and narrow, and having to pass over high mountains, through deep morasses, and difficult defiles, we were obliged...
Your’s of this date I recd this Moment —Mr Archer’s Conduct as well as Major Fishbourns was highly Meritorious, the Circumstances you mention of Mr Archers having no Rank in our Line Induces me to wish him to be the Messenger—otherwise from equal Merit Major Fishbourn wou’d expect it—I could spare them both a little time as I shall be Obliged to retire for a few days. The Officers who led the...
The Circumstances situation & Numbers of this Army, as well as that of the Enemy—which your Excellency was pleased to lay before the Council of General Officers last evening —I have fully Considered, & am of Opinion that something ought to be attempted in order to draw Genl Clinton’s attention towards Kings Ferry, which will not only give great Security to the Adjacent States—but leave it in...
Letter not found : from Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne, 30 July 1779. GW wrote Wayne on this day: “Your favor of this date came duly to hand.”
That affair of Colo Williams’s is very old & I thought had been long drop’t. I can’t pretend to recollect the Circumstances & Charges laid against him—all I know of my own knowledge is that early in the morning of the Action of Germantown Colo Williams came & took me by the hand & seemed pleased at the prospect of Immediate Action; but at the same time appeared to be much Intoxicated with...
It was not until 10. OClock this morning that I was honored with your favor of yesterday, (& not as Commanding Officer of the Light Corps, but as your Excellency desires ) I now give my Opinion on the point you require. The Enemy will certainly profit so far by their late misfortune at Stoney point, as to provide for, or guard against a Surprize, & to find out, & Strengthen the most Vulnerable...
A deserter from the 64t British who left Stoney point last night Informs that it was reported, that a Large fleet of Shipping with troops on board had arrived at Sandy Hook, that Sixty Transports was said to be proceeding up the River—but knows nothing of the Intentions of the Enemy, they continue hard at work on their fortifications & have enclosed them in the Rear with Pickets—& Surrounded...
I believe every man has his Volarnarable part—& if ever a poor fellow was more sorely tro[u]bled to find it out than me, I sin[c]erely pity him. When you can have a Leisure Moment I wish you to ⟨peruse⟩ the Enclosed as Numbered—I believe the cause of Complaint is removed & harmony again taken place. I do not think it Originated in this Corps—at le[a]st I have some ground to apprehend the...
I returned late last evening from Reconnoitring the Enemy at Stoney point, & find that they have nearly Completed their works —which Consist of One Advanced Redoubt on the Hill Commanding the ferry, way enclosed & finished, with a good Abbatis & Block House to fire over the parapet in barbet. The large work is also Enclosed the parapet raised much higher than usual & fraised in the most...
Enclosed is a Letter from Mr Measam proposing the Clothing of the Light Corps in a Complete Uniform of Blue & Red —as many of them are very Ragged—especially the Virginia Line whose coats are so worn out that they are Obliged to Substitute Linnen hunting Shi[r]ts—and as the Corps is made up of Officers & men from each Line—it can’t be deemed partiallity to any One State when a proportion of...
Letter not found : from Anthony Wayne, 20 Sept. 1779. On 21 Sept., GW wrote Wayne: “Your letter of yesterday evening came to hand late last night.”
I was honored with yours of the 21st Instant on my return from the Enemies Lines last evening, containing a Complaint of a Young Gecock concerning some violences said to be committed against him in my Corps. I shall agreeable to your Excellency’s Orders give you the Circumstances & Cause of that treatment as far as came within my knowledge. a Constant & Disorderly practice of fireing in the...
I intended to do myself the honor of waiting on you this morning, but my foot being a little painful, & the appearance of the Sixteen Gun Sloop of War, with a Galley & a few boats round the Dunderberg point, determined me to remain in my Quarters, shou’d anything further turn up your Excellency may depend upon the earliest Intelligence. I wished to have spoke to you on Major McCormicks affair...
I have in Company with Sevl field officers reconnoitred the Ground in the vicinity of Haverstraw Forge and the roads & avenues leading to it & find a very strong & advantegious position about a mile in the rear or Westward of the forge each flank covered by Strong ground and roads to retire either by the left to June’s or under the foot of the Mountain to Sufferan’s—this position will at once...
I took the Liberty to mention to you yesterday the expediency of having two more pieces of artillery added to the Light Corps—I could wish for two Light [field pieces] or Grass Hoppers which with the two we now have under Capt. Pendleton —will be sufficient to give Confidence to our own people & some degree of Apprehension to our Enemy—for altho’ I have but Little Opinion of the Execution done...
The moment I recd your favor of the 3rd Instant which was not u[n]til 11 OClock yesterday—I orderd out a Covering party & took with me some field Officers, under an Escort of a few Dragoons—& proceeded to the place where Genl Du Portail was to be—but he had gone away about a half an hour before we arrived. I immediately detached a Light Horse who returned without coming up with him after he...
Enclosed is a plan of the Enemies works at Stoney point—taken by Colo. Putnam with the points of attack in case of an Investure. They have neither Bomb proofs—nor a Magazine, their Amunition is kept on Board a Sloop in the rear of the point except a few Rounds for their Artillery which are Covered by two tents—they have one 32 pounder mounted on their Right or North part of the works, one 18...