George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Johann Kalb, 10 September 1778

From Major General Johann Kalb

Camp White plains Septer 10th 1778

In obedience to your Excellency’s orders for the opinion of the Board of M. Gls respecting the next Winterquarters.1

It appears to me that they should be taken in the State of New-york, on North River either on the left Bank or on both Sides, at the Distance of about 40 Miles from the Enemies Lines at kings Bridge, if they keep their present position. for the following reasons.

1st Because ’tis important to Secure Said River and prevent the Enemies of fortifying themselves thereon, they would thereby with the assistance of the Tories, cut off, or at least render difficult & precarious the communication between the Eastern & Southern States, if the American Army was quartered in any other of the United States.

2dly Because it will be required for the Exercising the army, that the Men Should not be too much fatigued by frequent Detachments & Strong Picket Guards, which would be unavoidable if near the Enemy.

3dly For the Conveniency of providing feed for the Horses & Provisions for the army, in forming Magazins & Stores near the intended Ground, while the Roads are yet good and the River open.

It is also my opinion that for the better Police, order & Discipline of the Troops, the army should be quartered as closely as possible, but no Towns being near the herelaid down distance, it will be necessary to Hutt again great part of the army, Therefore a sufficient Quantity of Timber & Boards ought to be provided without loss of Time, that no green wood may be employed, as being unwholsom. providing the Hutts with Straw for the Men to Lay on, and to renew it from Time to Time would also cont[r]ibute to the health of the Men.

The Posts of kings ferry & West points ought to be peculiarly Secured against the Enemy’s Ships & Even on their out Sides in case of a Landing.

The Baron de Kalb

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

1No such orders have been identified.

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