George Washington Papers

To George Washington from General William Howe, 21 September 1777

From General William Howe

Head Quarters [Charles Town, Pa.] 21st September 1777


There being some wounded Officers & Men of your Army at Howel’s Tavern & the neighbouring Houses, with whom a Surgeons Mate is left, having Orders to join me on the 23d if not sooner relieved by one of your Surgeons, I am to request you will lose no Time in sending whom you shall think proper for this Purpose with Directions to give Receipts for the wounded so delivered up as Prisoners of War to be hereafter exchanged. With due Respect I am Sir your most obedient humble Servant

W. Howe

LS, DLC:GW; two copies, P.R.O., 30/55, Carleton Papers. The LS is addressed to: “General Washington &ca &ca.”

Howe’s aide-de-camp Captain Muenchhausen says in his diary entry for this date: “Very early in the morning a trumpeter was sent off with a letter to General Washington, who was on the other side of the Schuylkill River. The letter informed him that there were more than 100 severely wounded from Wayne’s corps and that it was necessary for him to send surgeons to take care of them, since we had no surgeons to spare.

“The main reason for sending this trumpeter off, probably was not only to acquaint Washington with the bad news, but also to have the trumpeter secure information on the depths of the water at Valley Forge. Giving Washington the news of Wayne’s defeat before he might learn it himself, might induce him to leave his position and allow us to cross the Schuylkill unopposed” (Muenchhausen, At General Howe’s Side description begins Friedrich von Muenchhausen. At General Howe’s Side, 1776–1778: The Diary of General William Howe’s Aide de Camp, Captain Friedrich von Muenchhausen. Translated by Ernst Kipping. Annotated by Samuel Smith. Monmouth Beach, N.J., 1974. description ends , 34–35). For accounts of the British attack on Wayne’s division on the night of 20–21 Sept., see Wayne to GW, this date, and note 2.

Index Entries