George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Johann Kalb, 22 September 1778

To Major General Johann Kalb

Faris’s1 Septr 22d 1778

Dear Baron,

Lest you should not thoroughly have conceived my intention, as communicated by Lt Colo. Hamilton, I give you the trouble of this Letter. After advancing on the Fish-kill road (by a Colo. Luddingtons) till you have crossed the Mountain, & descended into the Flat land, you will take the first good position on acct of Water—Wood—& Forage to Incamp at, having respect at the sametime to the road leading by the nine partners—Sharon &ca—which will be the rout you will pursue in case of a movement towards Boston, &ca—and which, at the sametime that it avoids the other Columns, will be equally near, & throw you into a better road.

I mean that you should Incamp on, or near, the Fish kill road, in order that you may be ready to support the Posts at West point, if occasion should require it—&, that no time may be lost in giving your aid, it is my desire that you do Move that way immediately upon receiving notice from General Putnam that the Enemy demonstrate an intention of operating that way consulting with him upon the manner of your advancing and giving me advice of your Motions—I would not wish you to march far from the foot of the Mountain (on the West side) unless it be with a view to be convenient to the road leading by the Nine Partners &ca as before mentioned. I have only to add that with esteem & regard I am Dr Baron Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

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

Alexander Hamilton wrote Kalb on 24 Sept. from Fredericksburg: “His Excellency [GW] has received advice, that the enemy have made an incursion into the Jerseys and that another body of troops has advanced beyond Kings bridge—Though He apprehends the object of these parties can only be a forage; it is possible they may intend something against the Highlands—He therefore thinks it necessary to give you this intimation, that You may hold yourself in readiness to march at the shortest notice; but you will not proceed until you hear further from him, or until you get such advice from General Putnam as was mentioned in his letter of the 22d—in which case you will do as there directed” (DLC:GW).

1During GW’s first days in the Fredericksburg area, 20–25 Sept., he apparently lodged at Reed Ferris’s house in Pawling, N.Y., about four miles northeast of Fredericksburg. Ferris’s bill to GW of 25 Sept. for £20.1s, which was not paid until 17 Nov., includes a charge of £4 for “House Rent” and one of 10s. 6d. for “Lodging,” as well as charges for candles, five quarts of spirits, three pounds of loaf sugar, and various other food items (Revolutionary War Accounts, Vouchers, and Receipted Accounts, 1776–1780, DLC:GW, ser. 5; see also the entry for 17 Nov. 1778 in Revolutionary War Household Expenses, 1776–1780, DLC:GW, ser. 5). On 25 Sept. GW began lodging at John Kane’s house, which was also in Pawling (see George Clinton to GW, 24 Sept., source note, and Elijah Fisher’s diary in Godfrey, Commander-in-Chief’s Guard description begins Carlos E. Godfrey. The Commander-in-Chief’s Guard: Revolutionary War. Washington, D.C., 1904. description ends , 282).

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