George Washington Papers

Memorandum of Campaign Plans, 1 September 1778

Memorandum of Campaign Plans

[c.1 Sept. 1778]

Scotts light Infantry 1000—A Detachment of the same Number under Wayne & the whole Commanded by Genl McDougal to Imbark at [ ] and land opposite to Morriss House at Hærlem—A Detachment of [ ] Men from this body to Land in the Cove under Fort Washington & endeavour to surprize it—some Germans to be with this party to answer if hailed in that language & signify that it is a party from Spiting devil by Water. Another Detachment to land at the Hollow between Fort Washington and the Hill at the Mouth of Spiting devil and to proceed immediately to the redoubt on the last mentioned Hill & possess themselves of it—If possible this is to be done without medling with or going near the Guards—If these detachments succeed they must turn the Cannon immediately upon the Enemy & must maintain the Works at all adventures. each party must have Artillerists with them. General McDougal is in the first place to possess himself of the chain of redoubts below Morriss & then Act from Circumstances, keeping these as places of security & retreat. This Imbarkation must be made with great secresy—the Boats must be brought from above Tarry town under cover of Night, or if brought down before the hour they are wanted appearances of getting them over to the Sound, must be throw⟨n⟩ out to create an Idea that long Island is the object—some Boats must actually be taken across to Marineck to confirm this. At the place of Imbarkation Guards are to be Stationed & Centries established to prevent any persons from prying—Guard Boats, before the Boats for Transporting Troops or the Troops themselves are put in motion are to be down a little above the Enemys advanced posts on the No. River & stop every thing moving on the Water. All the Cavalry are to be sent down before the March of the Troops are known and are to form a compleat Chain around the Enemy & suffer nothing to go in and secure all that come out & send them to me by the Road leading to Valentines. The Army to March in three Columns—the Right Wing under the Command of Genl [ ] by Philips—the left Wing by Judge Wards & Drakes—and the Second line by Valentines.1 The right Wing is to afford a Detachment which is to endeavour to surprize the Redout No. 1—A Detacht from the 2d line is to attempt Fort Independance—& the left Wing is to furnish one for redoubt No. [ ].

AD, in GW’s hand, DLC:GW. GW’s note with this memorandum reads: “for Enterprise which was in contemplation but never attempted in the Campaign of 1778 when New Port was Invested and Genl Clinton went with a Force from N. Yk to relieve it.”

1The farm of Benjamin Drake (1734–1812) was about a mile north of Judge Stephen Ward’s house in Eastchester township. Thomas Valentine (1722–1800) had long leased a plantation including Valentine’s Hill, and in 1786, following the forfeiture of the Loyalist Frederick Philipse’s estate, he purchased 286 acres.

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