George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Stirling, 30 September 1778

From Major General Stirling

Kaykiyate [N.Y.] Sepr 30: 1778 4 oClo. p.m.

Dr Sir

We are Just arrived here and as it is uncertain where Genl Woodford is, as some tell me he is at the Court house about two Miles from hence, others that he is advanced to Clarks town, others that he Marching further on, I shall therefore [remain] here ’till the Messengers I have sent to find him out return—I do not like any of those possitions for him. he [is] too Nigh [the] River and I think might be turn[ed] on his Right, I think of taking him more Westerly towards paramis. they all Agree that the Enemy have retird to their Station at the New Bridge1 above Hakinsack and from thence across to the liberty pole at the Cross Roads to the English Neighbourhood. there was a more determined Barbarous Massacre than they made of Baylers Corps, the Colonel is above at Tappan and I am in hopes his wound is not Mortal, poor Major Clow is dead in Short they would give no quarter even to those who Submitted and begged for Mercy the Enemy have Near fifty Vessels in Hackensack River loading with forrage.

I took the liberty to open the enclosed letters in order to get information of the Seetwation of Affairs below.2 I am your Excellency’s Most Humble Servt


Dr Griffith is with Col: Baylor.3

ALS, DLC:GW. The words and parts of words that Stirling inadvertently omitted in the text are supplied within square brackets from the words and parts of words that were written later on the manuscript by an unidentified person.

1Stirling inadvertently wrote “Brigde” on the manuscript.

2Stirling’s statement in his letter to GW of 1 Oct. that his letter of this date was carried to GW by “a Messenger from General Maxwell” indicates that the enclosures were probably Maxwell’s two letters to GW of 29 Sept., one of which has not been found (see also GW to Maxwell, 2 Oct.).

3For Dr. David Griffith’s report about his treatment of the Americans in Col. George Baylor’s 3d Continental Light Dragoon Regiment who had been wounded near Old Tappan, N.J., on 28 Sept., see his letter to William Woodford, 30 Sept., in Stirling to GW, 1 Oct., n.1. For accounts of the attack, see Israel Putnam to GW, 28 Sept., and notes 1 and 2 to that document; Charles Stewart to GW, 28 Sept., and note 1 to that document; Otho Holland Williams to GW, 28 Sept.; Israel Putnam to GW, 29 Sept., and notes 1 and 2 to that document; and Baylor to GW, 19 Oct., and note 1 to that document.

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