George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Stirling, 3 June 1779

To Major General Stirling

[Middlebrook] June 3d 1779.

My Lord,

The enemy have landed at Kings-ferry—are in such force—and seem to have such capitol objects in view, that I must move my whole strength towards the No. River. I shall therefore dispense with your Lordships coming down on the business we talked of respecting St——n I——d1 as I wish you to be with your division as soon as possible. I expect to leave this place to day myself if there is a possibility.2 Nothing is amiss with us on the No. Rivr & the troops in good spirits there. I am Yr Lordships most Obt & affe Servt

Go: Washington

Yr division marched Yesterday.3

ALS, NHi: Stirling Papers.

A letter from Major General Steuben to Stirling, written at Bound Brook, N.J., on this date, reads: “As I have made to day a report of the state of the Virginia Division under your Lordship’s command; I have observed to the Commander in Chief that the Want of a great number of Officers, would not only make the service suffer Extremely, but would have the most hurtful Tendency in many Regiments. . . . I have proposed to the Commander in Chief to recall at least a proportionable number out of those who have remained in Virginia, and to fill up as many of the Vacancies as possible. You will feel yourself, My Lord, this necessity, if you consider that there are several Regiments without any Field Officers, and many Companies left under the direction of a Serjeant, and even some under that of a Corporal.

“The General has directed me to observe this Inconveniency to Your Lord[shi]p that you might consult with Generals Woodford & Mühlenberg, on the speediest means of affording a remedy to it” (NN: Emmet Collection).

1For GW’s interest in intelligence from Staten Island, see his letters to John Mercereau, 2 June, and to John Neilson, 2, 3, and 4 June.

2GW departed Middlebrook on 3 June and reached Morristown by 9:00 P.M. on that date (see GW to John Jay, 3 June [third letter]).

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