To Colonel Theodorick Bland
Head Quarters [Fredericksburg, N.Y.]
22d Novemr 1778. 8 OClock A.m.
Yours of last evening reached me at day break this morning. The Continental troops will march from hence in an hour and will have orders to proceed untill they meet the troops of the Convention. I have directed two hundred Men1 to advance quickly before the rest. You will therefore put the first division in motion as soon as possible after this reaches you. They may march the distance between sharon and the place where they will meet the advanced party of the Continental troops even without an Escort. tho’ I hope some of the Militia will, from Colo. Meades letter be prevailed upon to come as far as Mabbits.2
Altho’ none of the Officers are to be permitted upon any terms to go into New York yet if they incline to write you may inform them that their letters shall be forwarded. I am Dear Sir Yr most obt Servt
LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NjP: De Coppet Collection; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. The draft reads, “one hundred Men.”
2. GW apparently is referring to a letter that Richard Kidder Meade wrote to Alexander Hamilton from “Col. Blands Quarters Sharon near 8 oclock at night” on 21 Nov.: “I arrived here a few minutes after 4 oclock, when I, immedialety agreeably to the General’s orders, called on the officer commanding the militia guard here, who discovered every disposition to proceed at least to the next halting place. As the matter rests with the men & he is gone to consult them I must give you their determination at the end of my letter. They are rather dispersed tonight so that I hardly expect a decisive answer until they parade in the morning, to which time I shall wait in case they go on, that I may prevent General Waynes troops, should it be necessary, from passing Beldings. I must however urge the utmost dispatch in these, as you may depend, should the militia go on to the next stage, Gov. Trumbull himself could not detain them there many hours. Col. Bland observes that it may be well to let the continental Escort come up in succession as the several divisions of the convention troops may arrive. I think it will be well as a smaller number may be in readiness sooner than a larger & can march much quicker. This however the Genl will decide. The road is exceedingly good to Beldings; and I think if a division could get off even by 12 oclock tomorrow, they would arrive in tolerable time. Col: Bland has given the General the route which I was instructed to transmit with this.
“½ after 9 oclock. The officer this instant returned, but makes no certain report, though he is in high expectation of succeeding. He has directed the men to assemble at sunrise when I shall attend to set off immediately after” (DLC:GW).
Lt. Col. Robert Hanson Harrison wrote to Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne on this date: “If the whole of the detachment ordered yesterday can not be ready to march this morning—His Excellency wishes you to send off a party of Two hundred who are best prepared immediately; to be succeeded by the remainder, as soon as possible either in a body or in parties of a 100 each as circumstances shall best suit. And if the whole party should be ready—yet it will be necessary—that one or two detachments of a hundred each should advance before the rest, as the march of the Convention troops is delayed. The Officer who goes off with the advance Corps—as well as the One who shall follow with the remainder will come on before ’em & receive their instructions here” (PHi: Wayne Papers).