George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General David Forman, 27 October 1777

To Brigadier General David Forman

Head Quarters [Whitpain Township, Pa.]
27th October 1777

Dear Sir

I am glad to find by yours of the 26th that you had arrived at Red Bank, and I hope from your exertions in that quarter that the Militia will be induced to come out. I take the Body of Men, that have been seen crossing schuylkill, to be a covering party to the Waggons going down for a Convoy of Stores and provisions provided they did not cross to Billingsport1 as they have a road leading over province and Tinicum Islands to the Mouth of Derby Creek, at which place they debark their provisions &ca.2 The possession of Red Bank is a thing of so much importance to the Enemy, that I am confident they will leave nothing untried to make themselves Masters of it. I have ordered a considerable reinforcement from hence, who are only waiting for the Weather to clear up.3 In the mean time, I beg you will assemble every Man you can, and after throwing as many into the fort as will be sufficient for the Works, post the others in some convenient place to fall upon the Enemy in the Rear should they set down to invest it. Be pleased to keep me constantly advised of any movements of the Enemy. I am Dr sir yrs &c.

⟨G. W——n⟩

Df, in the writings of Tench Tilghman and Richard Kidder Meade, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. All of the draft text is in Tilghman’s writing except the closing and signature, which are in Meade’s writing, and an insertion made by GW (see n.1).

1GW inserted “provided they did not cross to Billingsport” in the draft.

2Tinicum Island was located on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River opposite Billing’s and Little Tinicum islands, which were in the middle of the river, and Billingsport on the New Jersey bank. Tinicum Island was bounded on its upper side by Bow Creek and on its lower side by Darby Creek, which enters the Delaware about three miles above Chester, Pennsylvania.

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