Alexander Hamilton Papers

From Alexander Hamilton to Marquis de Lafayette, [25 June 1778]

To Marquis de Lafayette1

[Cranbury Town, New Jersey, June 25, 1778]


We find on our arrival here,2 that the intelligence received on the road is true. The enemy have all filed off from Allen Town on the Monmouth road. Their rear is said to be a mile Westward of Lawrence Taylor’s Tavern, six miles from Allen Town. General Maxwell is at Hyde’s Town,3 abt. three miles from this place. General Dickinson is said to be on the enemy’s right flank, but where cannot be told. We can hear nothing certain of General Scott but from circumstances he is probably at Allen Town. We shall agreeable to your request consider and appoint some proper place of rendesvous, for the union of our force, which we shall communicate to General Maxwell & Scot and to yourself. In the mean time, I would recommend to you to move towards this place as soon as the convenience of your men will permit. I am told Col Morgan is on the enemy’s right flank. He had a slight skirmish with their rear this forenoon at Robert Montgomery’s, on the Monmouth road leading from Allen Town. We shall see General Maxwell immediately, and you will hear from us again.

I am Yr Obedt ser

Alex Hamilton

send this to the General
after reading it.

We are just informed that General Scot passed by Hopper’s Tavern, 5 miles from Allen Town this afternoon at 5 OClock

ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.

1The British forces, under the command of Howe’s successor, Sir Henry Clinton, evacuated Philadelphia and were in New Jersey by June 18, 1778. By June 21, Washington and some of his forces were on the Jersey side of the Delaware.

The letter printed here deals with the disposition of the American forces in pursuit of the British and the maneuvers that were to culminate on June 28 in the Battle of Monmouth.

2H, who had been assigned to Lafayette as a liaison officer, had gone ahead to Cranbury. Soon after H wrote this letter, Lafayette arrived in Cranbury. Lafayette enclosed this letter in one to Washington, June 25, 1778 (Louis Gottschalk, ed., The Letters of Lafayette to Washington, 1777–1799 [New York, 1944], 48).

3Hightstown, New Jersey.

4Dr. Hezekiah Stiles, whose house was used as headquarters by some of the American forces until at least June 27, 1778.

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