George Washington Papers

General Orders, 19 July 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters Delavan’s House1 July 19th 1778.

The whole of the Left Wing under the Command of Major General De Kalb except Malcom’s & Spencer’s Regiments are to march tomorrow morning at two ôClock for the white Plains: Baron Steuben with the Right Wing, Angell’s Regiment and the Regt commanded by Lieutt Coll Park excepted are to follow in an hour after; These Divisions may arive within the distance of from one to five miles of the present Camp at the Plains as Water and Ground will admit but not enter ’till a new Camp can be formed, a disposition for the whole made, and some Alteration in the present Brigades take place.

Malcom’s and the Regiment commanded by Lieutenant Coll Parke are to march early tomorrow for the Fort at West-Point on Hudson’s River—Spencer’s will take Post at Kings-Ferry and Angell’s with Glover’s Brigade (when it comes up) are to wait at Croton Bridge for further orders.2

After the second Line of the Army under the Marquis De la Fayette have crossed the River the Quarter Master General will remove the Boats except such as are necessary for ordinary Purposes from Kings-Ferry to and above the Forts in the Highlands.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

Other orders adjusting troop positions on this date included letters from GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman to Brig. Gen. William Maxwell and to Col. Goose Van Schaick. To the former Tilghman wrote: “His Excellency has recd some advices that induce him to beleive that the Enemy mean to evacuate Staten Island intirely. If such an event takes place, he desires you to march with your Brigade to the Neighbourhood of Hackinsack, taking such a position, that the Enemy cannot cross the North River suddenly and hem you in between Hackinsack and Pasaic Rivers. If you should move up, you are to detatch a good Officer with about 200 Men to Monmouth. They will serve to keep that part of the Country in order, and will preserve the communication between us and the French Fleet while they lay off the Hook.” He informed the latter: “It is his Excellency’s desire that you move with your Regiment from the Clove to the Neighbourhood of Orange Town, keeping rather farther to the Westward than the town with your main Body, to prevent you being surprised by a light Body of Troops thrown suddenly over the North River. There are already about 50 Horse under the command of Capt. Hopkins at Closter, which is about four Miles below Orange. His Excellency desires you to mix small patrols of foot with these Horse and prevent the Inhabitants from carrying supplies to New York. If you gain any material intelligence, you can send over the River at Tarry Town to the General who will be at the White plains” (both letters, DLC:GW).

1The house of Samuel Delavan (1752–1786), a captain in the 3d Regiment of Westchester County militia, was located on present-day Hallock’s Mill Road in Yorktown. Delavan’s bill for £10, dated 18 July, is in DLC:GW, ser. 5, vol. 29.

2Croton (or Pine’s) Bridge crossed the Croton River near its head of navigation, about five miles east of the Hudson River.

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