From Brigadier General William Woodford
Paramis [N.J.] 10th Octr 1778
I forward your Excellency a Letter from Lord Stirling, who agrees with me in opinion that the Enemy will not continue long in the Jerseys.1 the Desertion increases, I had eight come in to this post the Day before Yesterday. they all agree that some Capital move is in agitation, those of the 15th Regt say it is for the West Indias, & that their Regt being one of the Number for that Service, is the Cause of their Desertion.2 a letter from Colo. Bayard to Mrs Prevost demands a Young Gentleman under her care, for whom he has procured a commission in his Regt, & urges his comeing immediately, as he says the Regt is going to imbark for service.3
I recd the inclosed yesterday which Colo. Heth is very pressing with me to lay before your Excellency, I have therefore taken the liberty to do so.4 I am with much respect Your Excellencys Most Obedt humble Servt
1. The enclosed letter from Stirling to Woodford has not been identified. Woodford replied to Stirling on this date, telling him that his letter had been forwarded to GW “by a light Horse man of Blands, none of Sheldons being here,” and that “the day before yesterday I had Eight Deserters into this post Viz. 3 of the Guards, 2 of the 15th, 2 of the Ld. Rawdons Corps and one Highlander, they have intelligence much to the same purpose as you mention in your letter” (Stewart, Life of Woodford description begins Mrs. Catesby Willis Stewart. The Life of Brigadier General William Woodford of The American Revolution. 2 vols. Richmond, Va., 1973. description ends , 2:976).
2. The 15th Regiment of Foot was one of the ten British regiments in Maj. Gen. James Grant’s West Indies expedition, which sailed from Sandy Hook on 3 November.
3. This unidentified letter apparently was written by Lt. Col. John Bayard, the commandant of the King’s Orange Rangers, to Theodosia Bartow Prevost, who lived at the Hermitage, about two miles north of Paramus, N.J. (see her letter to GW of 10 July 1778).
4. This enclosure has not been identified.