George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General John Sullivan, 9 July 1777

To Major General John Sullivan

Head Quarters Morris Town 9th July 1777.

Dear Sir

Upon reconsidering the propriety of your crossing the River immediately, it has been determined by a great majority of the General Officers, that as the Enemy have not yet embarked any of their Light Troops and do not seem prepared to move suddenly, you should halt in the Clove, take possession of the most advantagious Grounds and there wait till we see, more clearly the Enemy’s intentions.1 If you have any Tools with you, you may as well throw up some slight Works that will make the passages in those strong defiles still more defensible. Perhaps you will have marched beyond the Clove before this reaches you, but I am in hopes that you will not, as I should be sorry that the Troops should be harrassed more than is needful. I am Dear Sir Yr most obt Servt

Go: Washington

LS (photocopy), in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The address on the cover reads: “To the Honable Major Genl Sullivan on his March to Peekskill.”

1Before issuing these new orders GW had instructed his aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman to write the following letter of this date to Sullivan: “The Express that went up to you yesterday with orders to march to Peekskill returned this Morning and only brought a Letter from you to Colo [Alexander] Hamilton in which no notice is taken of your having recd the order of march, Lest some mistake should have happened I annex the order which you are to comply with if it is not already done” (Hammond, Sullivan Papers description begins Otis G. Hammond, ed. Letters and Papers of Major-General John Sullivan, Continental Army. 3 vols. Concord, 1930-39. In Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society, vols. 13–15. description ends , 1:412).

Index Entries