George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Nathaniel Heard, 24 May 1777

To Brigadier General Nathaniel Heard

Morris Town 24th May 1777


The Disposition of the Army which I am about to make renders it necessary that I should call away the Continental Troops now at1 Newark & Elizabeth Town—I therefore think it necessary to give you this Information, & to let you know that I expect you will extend part of the Militia under your Command, so as to give assistance to the well affected people of that part of the Country from Newark to Aquaquinack & Hackinsack,2 I do not mean3 that you should establish permanent Posts in these places, but to keep scouting parties all along in such a manner as to give you the earliest Intelligence of any movement against you, by which you may have an Opportunity of calling in the Country to your assistance or (if necessary) give Notice to the Officer belonging to the Continental Troops who commands nearest to you4—I repeat my request that I may be furnish’d with an exact Return of the Militia5 under your Command as soon as possible. I am Sir Your mo. Obedt servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, NjR: New Jersey Letters; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. For differences in wording in the Varick transcript, see notes 1–4.

1The Varick transcript reads: “the Continental Troops which are at present at.”

2The Varick transcript reads: “from Elizabeth Town to Aquackanonck and Hackinsack.”

3The Varick transcript reads: “I do not intend.”

4The Varick transcript reads: “by which you may have an opportunity of calling in the Country to your assistance, or acting in any other manner that you see necessary.”

5The Varick transcript reads: “the Troops.”

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