George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Nathanael Greene, 22 November 1777

To Major General Nathanael Greene

Head Quarters Whitemarsh [Pa.] 22d November 1777

Dear Sir

I am favd with yours of Yesterday Afternoon from Burlington. As you have crossed the River, an attack upon the Enemy’s detachment if it can be made with success, would be a most desirable object. But I must leave the propriety of it entirely to your own judgment. I have heard nothing more of Glovers Brigade than that they were advancing down the Road from Morris Town; I sent an Express to meet them, and to turn them down towards you, but I think you had better dispatch one of your family or an Officer to guide them to you.1 There are not more than one hundred and Seventy of Morgan’s Corps fit to march, as they in general want Shoes, they went Yesterday and will join you I suppose this day.2 Captn Lee’s Troop are not yet come from the other Side of Schuylkill, but they are expected every instant, and will be sent immediately over to you. If you can procure any account that you think may be depended upon, of the Number that the Enemy detached from Philada, I beg you will send it to me. Or if they send any part of their force back, let me know it instantly. I shall be anxious to hear of every movement of you or the Enemy and I therefore wish to have the most constant advices. I am Dear Sir Yr most obt Servt.

P.S. I shall order an Express to be stationed at Bristol to bring on your dispatches.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

2A “Return of the Shoes Given out Novbr 30th 1777” in DLC:GW indicates that shoes were issued to some of Morgan’s riflemen on that date. The return does not specify whether the shoes were issued in pairs or singly but gives the total as twenty-two. Richard Butler, colonel of the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment and commander of the rifle detachment, made the return and signed a note on the verso written by GW’s aide-de-camp Robert Hanson Harrison: “The within number of Shoes were purchased by the late Major [Joseph] Morris for Colo. Morgans Rifle Corps.” Butler signed another note by Harrison, written on Lt. John Hardin’s receipt of 7 Mar. 1778, stating that thirteen pairs of shoes distributed to Morgan’s corps on that date had been supplied by Morris before his death in early January (DLC:GW). Butler had been promoted from lieutenant colonel to colonel and transferred from the 8th to the 9th Pennsylvania Regiment on 7 June 1777.

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