To Major General Stirling and Brigadier Generals William Maxwell and William Woodford
Head Quarters [Fredericksburg] 15th October 1778
In addition to the questions which I have already proposed for the consideration of the General Officers1—I have farther asked whether judging from the present state and appearance of affairs, it would be advisable to detach any part of our force to Boston—& shd it be decided in the affirmative—what force would it be proper to detach—Your Lordship will be so good as to add your opinion on these subjects. I am with great regard Your most obedt Servt
LS, addressed to Stirling, in John Laurens’s writing, owned (1987) by Dr. Joseph F. Majdan, Philadelphia; Df, addressed to Stirling, Maxwell, and Woodford, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, addressed to Stirling, Maxwell, and Peter Muhlenberg, DLC:GW.
The address on the draft is the correct one, because Maxwell and Woodford were the brigadier generals serving under Stirling in New Jersey at this time (see GW’s letter and instructions to Stirling of 28 Sept.). In addition, Maxwell replied to this letter on 21 October. Brig. Gen. Peter Muhlenberg, whose name appears in place of Woodford’s name in the address on the Varick transcript, was serving at this time under Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam in the vicinity of West Point.
1. GW is referring to questions regarding winter quarters that he had asked in his circular of 14 Oct. to seven general officers, who included Stirling, Maxwell, and Woodford. Those questions and the question posed in this letter regarding the detachment of troops toward Boston were asked also at the council of war that met on 16 Oct., which Stirling, Maxwell, and Woodford did not attend. Maxwell replied on 21 Oct. to both this letter and the circular of 14 Oct., and Stirling replied to them on 17 and 26 October.