George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General William Livingston, 7 July 1776

From Brigadier General William Livingston

Elizabeth Town [N.J.]
July 7. 1776.

May it please your Excellency,

By Capt. Swan of the new Levies just going off for the City, I take the Liberty of enclosing a Rough Draught of the Sound & Jersey Shore from Elizabeth Point to Amboy, with an Abstract of the different Posts I have directed along the same.1

Altho’ this may not be of any essential Service, yet I thought it not amiss, as it might give You an Idea of what I had done, that your Excellency might rectify any Thing that was amiss in the Arrangement.

Since writing the above, a deserter is brought into me, whose Examination I have taken I therefore enclose it, & forward this by Express, lest it should be delayed2—I have also this Moment received Intelligence from Philadelphia, that the Pensylvania forces marched the 5 instant to our Assistance, and that the principal Part of the Strength of Pensylvania will soon be on their March for the same benevolent Purpose.

I receiv’d your Excellency’s Letter respecting the Persons apprehended at Amboy,3 & I shall send them all (except Smith, whom I think I can trust on his parole), to the Convention to Morrow morning. I have the honor to be your Excellencys most humble Servt

Wil: Livingston.

LS, DLC:GW; Df, MHi: Livingston Papers. Livingston also wrote to Joseph Reed on this date about his disposition of militia (see Prince, Livingston Papers description begins Carl E. Prince et al., eds. The Papers of William Livingston. 5 vols. Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J., 1979–88. description ends , 1:78).

1This enclosure has not been identified. Jedediah Swan of Elizabethtown was a captain in the Essex County militia. He also served as a member of the Elizabethtown committee of correspondence and a justice of the peace.

2The undated examination of James McFarlan, a deserter from the 55th Regiment of Foot, reports in part that the British forces on Staten Island “consist of 9000, about 1000 Sick & lame—General [James] Grant of the Brigade to which the Examinant belongs, is about 1½ Mile from Blazing Star in Land, with three Batalions of 8 Co. each of foot—No breast Works or other remarkable works raised since Grant came on the Island—The Men so weak & feeble, and the weather so hot that they cannot work and therefore don’t intend raising any yet a while—About 400 of the Inhabitants to be sworn yesterday, to be true to carry Arms, but not to go out of the Country—He has not tasted a bit of fresh Provision since he has been on the Island—but Yesterday they began to buy—Their Centries are all along the Shore—two together in the Night Time—The report in the Army is that they are waiting for the Fleet from England—He thinks one half of the Army are very easy about the Dispute and had rather let it alone, these are chiefly Scotch & Irish, but the English are very violent—They expect a reinforcement of 10 or 12000 Men—He thinks Admiral Shuldam Commands the fleet—If they are to be attackd now is the Time” (DLC:GW).

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