George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Stephen Moylan, 30 July 1778

To Colonel Stephen Moylan

Head Quarters White plains 30th July 1778

Dear Sir

I recd yours of Yesterday by your Dragoon. I approve of the step you took to drive off the Stock from Bergen, but if it appears to you that the families will be distressed by keeping their milch Cattle, you have liberty to restore them to such persons and in such numbers as you think proper.

I desire you will, upon the rect of this, come over with all the Cavalry except about twenty four, who are to act in concert with the detatchment of foot. If that number appears too few, you may increase it to any as far as fifty. Colo. Sincoe told Capt. Sargent (who went down with a flag yesterday) that Admiral Byron was arrived.1 Be pleased to endeavour to find out the truth of this. I am &c.

P.S. leave orders with your Officer to keep a good look out from Fort Lee and if he perceives any extraordinary Movement to make report to me.

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

1John Graves Simcoe (1752–1806) entered the British army as an ensign in 1771 and had risen to captain by 1777, when he was nominated a major commanding a new provincial corps, the Queen’s Rangers. He received a local rank of lieutenant colonel in June 1778. He served in America until December 1781, by which time he had become a colonel in the army. Simcoe, who was appointed lieutenant governor of Upper Canada in 1791, subsequently rose to major general in 1794 and lieutenant general in 1798. John Byron (1723–1786), who was appointed a midshipman in 1740, became a captain in 1746, a rear admiral in 1775, and a vice admiral on 29 Jan. 1778. His fleet sailed from England on 9 June but had been scattered by storms. On this date the Cornwall became the first of the fleet to arrive off New York (see “Journals of Henry Duncan,” description begins John Knox Laughton, ed. “Journals of Henry Duncan, Captain, Royal Navy, 1776–1782.” The Naval Miscellany 1 (London, 1902): 105–219. In Publications of the Navy Records Society, vol. 20. description ends 160; Scull, Montresor Journals description begins G. D. Scull, ed. The Montresor Journals. New York, 1882. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vol. 14. description ends , 507; Kemble Papers description begins [Stephen Kemble]. The Kemble Papers. 2 vols. New York, 1884-85. In Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 16–17. description ends , 1:158; Gruber, Peebles’ American War description begins Ira D. Gruber, ed. John Peebles’ American War: The Diary of a Scottish Grenadier, 1776–1782. Mechanicsburg, Pa., 1998. description ends , 205). Byron himself landed at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the fleet was not collected at New York until late September.

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