To Captain Francis Grice1
Head Quarters Camp at Middle Brook [New Jersey] May 30th. 1777.
Colo. Biddle4 has given Mr. Grace an order to make use of the waggons at Hackets Town,5 for the purpose of transporting the twelve boats you mention. The General expects it will be done with all possible dispatch, as it is absolutely necessary we should have all the boats we can collect at and about Coryel’s ferry,6 in case we should want to make use of them.
The General expected, that by this time, all the boats were removed from Trenton to Coryel’s. He desires it may be done, without loss of time; since by remaining there, they can answer no good end to us, and may be serviceable to the Enemy, should they make a sudden push that way; and it would be difficult to move them up the River in a hurry, should it be necessary, whereas nothing would be more easy than to carry them down, if there was occasion.
You will be careful to keep your boats together, so that they may all be had at a moment’s warning, which cannot be the case, if you allow them to be scattered up and down the River.
I am Sir &ca.
A. Hamilton A.D.C.
Varick transcripts, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
Grice was assistant deputy quartermaster general of the Pennsylvania militia.
2. On May 30, 1777, Grice wrote to George Washington: “We have at Trenton lower Ferry twenty boats built to transport 100 men each, & five artillary scows five other scows will be ready at our return built to carry two field pieces the company & apparatus; the last mentioned boats & scows are large & will be expensive pooling them to Corells, therefore request your Excellency’s order for that particular purpose should your Excellency think it necessary to have them up” (ALS, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress).
3. Captain Richard Grace of the Second Maryland Regiment.
4. Colonel Clement Biddle was deputy quartermaster general of the Flying Camp from July 8 to December 1, 1776. On July 1, 1777, he became commissary general of forage.
5. Hackettstown, Warren County, New Jersey.
6. Coryell’s Ferry was approximately twenty-five miles north of Trenton on the Delaware River.