George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Adam Stephen, 23 April 1777

From Major General Adam Stephen

Chatham [N.J.] 23d April 1777


By —— from B——k I have advice that Eight hundred men came in the Ships from England—There is a Report that Rhode Island is to be Evacuated, but no account of the Arrival of the troops—The 15th & 27th did duty at York & my friend was uncertain as to the Names of the 36th & 4th mentioned from Newark Yesterday.

Ten Boats for the Bridges are arrivd at Brunswick, 16⅓ foot in length four feet Wide & 2½ deep; Waggons are fitting up for their Carriage.

Genl Skinners force consist of about 1,000,1 to be joind by Some regular troops, & to proceed from Bergen through Sussex & the back parts of the Jerseys, when the troops March for Philadelphia.

The Enemy to have their provisions carryd into the Delawar by Water.

The Sick Sent from the Jerseys to N. York.

Brunswick not to be Evacuated.

Thomas Long, not an American, nick named Bunk Eye, from his prominent Eyes, height 5½ feet—age upwards of forty—Wears Whitish Cloaths—rather fair Complexion—He was Schoolmaster Near Raway, distressed the Inhabitants On the passage of the B. troops through the Jerseys—He is gone for Philadelphia as a Spy—two days ago—He Associates with Quakers—It would be of importance to Seize him, as the Enemy is much in want of Intelligence from that City—He has been there three times.2

Other Matters in their former State.

I have got a York paper of the 17th, nothing Matterial but the great Success of the B. Brook Expedition.3

I will forward it, after learning a prayer that is in it—& am with great Respect, sr Your most Obt hue Ser.

Adam Stephen

The Enemy Attempted Retaliation the Night before last; but were beat back, pursued, & kept up all night—By a person from B. town—They had one Man killd & 2 Wounded—We Sufferd none—Majr Crawford of Col. Cooks behavd well.4

They Report in Brunswick, that they have killd 100 of us & taken 200 more, & that the highlanders have got Ample Satisfaction for the loss of their picket.5

The Enemy Cannot be Ready to March this Week—They intend an Excursion for horses—All Should be ordered back from the Lines.

LS, DNA:PCC, item 152; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169. The LS was enclosed in GW’s letter to Hancock of this date.

1Gen. Cortlandt Skinner commanded the New Jersey Volunteers, a Loyalist corps consisting of four battalions.

2Thomas Long (d. 1779), who was a native of England, was captured in a barn near Rahway, N.J., on 1 Nov. 1779, and after being tried and convicted of spying he was executed on 4 Nov. (see the Pennsylvania Gazette, and Weekly Advertiser [Philadelphia], 17 Nov. 1779, and “Record of Henry Williams,” in N.J. Hist. Soc., Proceedings, new ser., 7 [1922], 25–26).

3Stephen apparently is referring to the 17 April issue of the Royal American Gazette (New York). For an account of the British attack on Bound Brook, N.J., on 13 April, see GW to Owen Biddle, 14 April, n.3.

4James Crawford (1730–1817), of Northumberland County, Pa., became major of Col. William Cooke’s 12th Pennsylvania Regiment in the fall of 1776. Wounded at the Battle of Brandywine on 11 Sept. 1777, Crawford resigned his commission a month or two later because of a dispute over rank.

5For an account of the American raid on the advanced British picket at Bonhamtown, N.J., on the night of 14 April, see GW to Hancock, 18–19 April, n.1.

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