George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Commodore John Hazelwood, 28 October 1777

To Commodore John Hazelwood

Head Quarters [Whitpain Township, Pa.] 28th October 1777


In consequence of your representation of the Weakness of your Fleet, I have order’d a return of Sailors in the Army to be made to me,1 & find they amount to more than 100, which will March with a Detachment for the Forts, as soon as the weather will permit. This Reinforcment, I expect, will amply Supply your wants, & enable you to give every assistance to the Forts that can be reasonably expected from you, & as their Strength will be greatly augmented, it is my most earnest desire, that every mode may be adopted, by which your force may be brought to Co-opperate against the designs & approaches of the Enemy. & that a mutual Confidence & perfect understanding may chearfully take place.2

the Ammunition which you have & will receive is to be considered sent for the use of the whole, & distributed Accordingly.

As there is a greater possibility that the reduction of the Forts might be effected by surprize than any other means you will see the necessity of giving them every Aid by your Gondolas & Guard Boats as may effectually prevent any mischance of this kind. I am &C.


Df, in John Fitzgerald’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

2For GW’s efforts to obtain seamen for the American fleet near Philadelphia, see GW to the Continental Navy Board, 25, 27 Oct., and the Continental Navy Board to GW, 26 October. The seamen, who were to accompany Continental army reinforcements ordered to Red Bank and Fort Mifflin, were prevented from marching for several days because of severe weather (see General Orders, 29, 30 Oct.). Hazelwood had complained of a shortage of manpower in his letter to GW of 12 Oct., and he made an additional plea for sailors in a letter to Pennsylvania supreme executive council president Thomas Wharton, Jr., of 29 Oct.: “Dear Sir, if you have any influence on General Washington, I beg you will use it with him to send me 250 men to reinforce our Fleet, for we cannot mann half our Galleys to go to action. I have repeatedly wrote him, but have nothing but promises from time to time” (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 5:722).

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