George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Edward Hand, 5 April 1779

From Brigadier General Edward Hand

Minisink [N.Y.] 5th Apl 1779


I recd your Exceys favour of the 1st Instant yesterday. the Troops ordered to Wyoming have recd their Orders, and will move to day. the Upper Road is Certainly the best & Shortest could there be a Boat in readiness to Cross the Wallinpepae But as that is not the Case, & the Garrison at Wyoming is too weak to detach to take up or Cover one, I think it Best to direct the March by Fort Penn,1 Scarcity of Forage & Horses will prevent the Troops Carrying any Baggage but what their Knapsacks will hold—the rem[ainde]r may Stay at Fort Penn untill a more convenient opertunity, and Untill this reinforcement may put Wyoming Garrison into a Condition to reconnoitre the Country. I will leave a Small Guard with the Baggage, and the Troops Shall have the necessary orders & Instructions to prevent a Surprise. Major Burchardt of the German Regt will Command them.2

Your Excy favr of the 16th Ultim: I recd the 3d Instant, via Rochester—I believe I have Already Seen the three men referd to, but to very little purpose.3 Lt Jenkins the Officer I expected from Wyoming has been here two days, he will proceed this day with the return express. I intended to have gone on to day my self but will now wait ’till the Troops are fairly on their March—Lt Jenkins gives the best Acct I have heard of the Seneca Country—has been to Niagara from the Susquehannah thro Connedesega, & to Fort Schuyler from Niagara thro the Same place. from his Acct the Country is Most Accessable from the Susquehannah.4 I am sir with much respect your Excys most Obedt Hble Servt

Edwd Hand

Job Chillaway is not now on the Susquehannah—Spencers regt had the Care of Land & Hicks, both in Irons, yet they Contrived to let Hicks escape the Night of the 31st Ultimo.5


1Wallenpaupack (Waullenpaupack) Creek in northeastern Pennsylvania, which was later dammed to form present-day Lake Wallenpaupack, ran in a northeasterly direction about thirty miles east of Wyoming, Pennsylvania. For stopping places along the upper and lower roads to Wyoming, the latter including Fort Penn, see the tables in Hand’s letter to GW of 29 March, n.8.

2Hand wrote from Minisink, N.Y., to Maj. Daniel Burchardt of the German Battalion on this date: “Agreable to the Orders you Yesterday rec’d you will proceed to Wyoming on the Susquehannah River with the Regiment under your Immediate Command, Colonel Armands, & Captn Schotts Corps, the former is commanded at present by a Major Lomaign [Jean-Baptiste Lomagne] and the latter by Captn [Anthony] Selin, these Corps will join you at or before you retch Col. [Jacob] Strouds at Fort Penn.... It will take you four days from Col. Strouds to Wyoming, you will therefore regulate your Provision accordingly. Capt. Alexr Patterson A.D. QMG will Provide you with a guide from Fort Penn, and an Express to send to Col. Zebulon Butler commanding at Wyoming with notice of your approach from Fort Penn you will march to Lardners thence to an Incamping Place in what is Commonly cal’d the great Swamp, the third day to Bullocks which is within five miles of Wyoming Garrison where for the present you will put yourself under Col. Butlers directions.

“I am thus Particular as It will be necessary to make easie Marches in order to reconnoitre the Country well, & examine every thicket & hhollow way or Swamp before you enter it, which I desire you may be very Particular in doing, to prevent being Surprised, led into an Ambuscade, or attack’d without previous knowledge of the Enemys being near, you will be particularly Attentive to keep the Body of the Troops Compact, Suffer no stragler on Any account, keep a proper advance & Rear Guard, tho’ not at too great a distance, and also small parties on your Flanks observing the same Caution.... as the badness of the Roads at present & the Scarcity of horses will prevent your carrying your heavy Baggage, you must leave it at Fort Penn with a Guard untill you have a more favourable opportunity” (“Correspondence of General Edward Hand,” description begins “Correspondence of General Edward Hand, of the Continental Line, 1779-1781.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 33 (1909): 353-60. description ends 353–54; see also Hand to Zebulon Butler, 5 April, in “Correspondence of General Edward Hand,” description begins “Correspondence of General Edward Hand, of the Continental Line, 1779-1781.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 33 (1909): 353-60. description ends 354–55).

3See GW to William Maxwell, 7 March, and Maxwell to GW, 8 March, and n.1 to that document.

4For Lt. John Jenkins and his frontier intelligence, see Hand to GW, 29 March, and Questions and Answers Regarding a Proposed Expedition Against the Six Nations, March–April.

John Jenkins (1751–1827) moved from Connecticut to Wyoming Valley, Pa., in 1769 and became an agent for the Susquehannah Company. Jenkins’s own account of his capture and time as a prisoner varies from that of his grandson (see Questions and Answers Regarding a Proposed Expedition Against the Six Nations, March–April, and Journals of the Sullivan Expedition description begins Frederick Cook, ed., and George S. Conover, comp. Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 With Records of Centennial Celebrations. Auburn, N.Y., 1887. description ends , 168–69). These accounts agree, however, in Jenkins becoming a lieutenant in the independent company of Capt. Simon Spalding in late spring 1778. Jenkins served primarily on the Pennsylvania-New York frontier, most notably as a guide for Maj. Gen. John Sullivan’s expedition against the Six Nations in late summer 1779. He apparently left the army in March 1782.

5For efforts to obtain intelligence from the Indian Job Chilloway, see GW to Hand, 21 March, and n.2 to that document. For the courts-martial of Robert Land and Edward Hicks, both convicted of spying, see Hand to GW, 29 March, n.4.

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