George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Stephen Moylan, 2 July 1778

From Colonel Stephen Moylan

[Bound Brook, N.J.] Thursday 2d July 1778


the inclosed note, reachd me this morning as it is not wrote by any of your Excellencys familly, and So very Contradictory to the orders I received yesterday, I realy have my doubts whether it ought to be obeyd or not,1 I have Sent orders to the different parties that are now out to come in this evening, they ought to have at least a fortnights rest, before they begin to march and if your Excellency woud approve of it I woud reccommend Shrewsbury, and its environs for that purpose, it is inhabited by the disaffected who as I am informd have large quantitys of grain and the pasture there, is exceeding fine2 the enemy are now four miles from Midletown I expect they will be embarkd to morrow or next day, Morgans & Gists men, with the parties of Horse, have Saved a fine Country from being pilaged, I shall wait your further orders by the bearer, and am allways Sir your most ob. & most H. St

Stephen Moylan

ALS, DLC:GW. The cover, which indicates that the letter was carried “by a Dragoon,” is docketed in part, “Ansd 3d”; the reply has not been found.

1The enclosure, a letter from Dragoon Lt. Zebulon Pike written from Englishtown, N.J., on 1 July, informed Moylan that “it is his Excellenceys Pleasure the horse Should all follow the Main body of the Army Which marcht from this this morning for which Purpose he desires You to Collect them this day and march them tomorrow Morning take the Same Rout the body of the Army doth” (DLC:GW). The earlier orders to Moylan have not been identified.

2On 5 July, Commissary General of Forage Clement Biddle wrote to Moylan from GW’s camp at Brunswick, N.J., “If the cavalry should halt to refresh themselves I am of opinion they can be best furnished with hay and pasture on the plain below the Mountain from Middlebrook to the Scotch Plains” (Griffin, Stephen Moylan description begins Martin I. J. Griffin. Stephen Moylan: Muster-Master General, Secretary and Aide-de-Camp to Washington, Quartermaster-General, Colonel of Fourth Pennsylvania Light Dragoons and Brigadier-General of the War for American Independence. Philadelphia, 1909. description ends , 77–78).

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