George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Johann Kalb, 1 December 1777

From Major General Johann Kalb

Camp [Whitemarsh, Pa.] 1st Xber 1777.

Rest, Recruiting & Cloathing being most necessary for the army I am of opinion that taking Winter quarters at Wilmington almost behind the Ennemy, will not answer the purpose, because every movements the Ennemies will make Up Schuylkill river we must follow their motions or be cut off from our Stores, or forced to fight whether it will Suit us or not, I am apprehensive this position will of necessyty bring on a Winter Campaign.

It appears to me, unless His Excellency has very Strong reasons, to maintain Delawar State & part of Chester County, that more tranquility & safety could be expected between Lancaster & Reading by building partly hutts for that purpose, if it is equally (as was observed by several Gentlemen) unavoidable to have hutts near & about Wilmington.

Baron de Kalb

ADS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Kalb wrote this letter in response to the points raised at a council of general officers held on the evening of 30 Nov. to consider how best to quarter the Continental army for the winter (see the source note to General Orders, that date).

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