George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General David Forman, 28 October 1777

To Brigadier General David Forman

Head Qrs. [Whitpain Township, Pa.] 28th Octor 1777.

Dr sr

I wrote you last eveng with respect to reinforceing Red Bank, & Fort Mifflin, my anxiety from the importance of those places, is so great, that I cannot help urging you again to throw in without loss of time, what assistance The Commanding officers and your self may think necessary, and such as you may be able to afford them. I informd you that the reinforcement order’d, from hence was detain’d by the weather, a continuance of which, still prevents the March of it, and may retard their passage, when they set off,1 for which reason, I wish your immediate consultation with the officers, that you may know what reinforcements are necessary & supply them if possible without loss of time I am Dr Sr &c.

G. W——n

P.S. If you mention the coming down of a reinforcement, it may reach the Enemys Ears, and they endeavour to intercept it. for which reason I wish it may be kept as secret as can be.

Df, in Richard Kidder Meade’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The draft contains several deletions and insertions, but Meade’s strikeouts make much of the original text illegible.

1Heavy rain from 27 to 29 Oct. caused extensive flooding along the Delaware, hampering the activities of both Americans and British (see Tappert and Doberstein, Muhlenberg Journals description begins Theodore G. Tappert and John W. Doberstein, trans. and eds. The Journals of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1942–58. description ends , 3:92–94). Royal Artillery officer Francis Downman complained in his journal that beginning on Monday, 27 Oct., it rained “without intermission till Wednesday following and was exceedingly cold. The [Province] island is entirely under water and so deep in many places that the relief could not pass, consequently many were obliged to remain in this dreadful situation for 48 hours, without any cover, without any fire, and above their knees in water on the platform. This is at present the situation of Province Island, and it is expected that the trifling batteries on this island (notwithstanding all the improvements) are to silence a much superior fire better situated on Mud Island. . . . [29 Oct.] with great difficulty and no small danger of being drowned, I waded from the island to the town” (Whinyates, Services of Francis Downman description begins F. A. Whinyates, ed. The Services of Lieut.-Colonel Francis Downman, R.A., in France, North America, and the West Indies, between the Years 1758 and 1784. Woolwich, England, 1898. description ends , 45).

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