George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Brigadier General Henry Knox, 4 June 1779

To Brigadier General Henry Knox

Morristown [N.J.] 4th June 1779.

Dr Sir

On the 2d instant a part of the enemy possessed themselves of the fort on Ver-planks point, by capitulation—they are now throwing up some works on the point on this side.1 It would appear from a number of circumstances that they mean to press their operations against the posts on the highlands.

The militia are calling out for2 amunition, and the supply for the army, as you know, is far from being sufficient. I would therefore wish you to send on careful and active conductors to hasten forward to the army, a competent supply, from the nearest magazines. I am Dr Sir your most hble servt

Go: Washington

LS, in James McHenry’s writing, sold by Christies, Sale 9364, 19 May 2000; LS (photostat), NN: Rosenbach Collection; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC: GW.

GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton had written Knox from Middlebrook on 2 June: “His Excelly directs me to notify you that the last division Kalb’s is ordered to be in readiness to march tomorrow. Its actual marching will depend on a contingency—the getting of horses. The General however wishes the Park to be also ready to move tomorrow. The route will be by Morris Town & the Maryland division will serve as a cover. You will have previous notice to march. Your care is requested that the men in taking their leave do no damage to the hutts—They are destined for the reception of the sick left behind” (DLC:GW). For plans to transfer the sick to the former artillery park at Pluckemin, N.J., see GW to the Director of Military Hospitals, 3 June, and GW to James Craik, 25 June.

Another letter from Hamilton to Knox, written at Middlebrook on 3 June, reads: “I am to inform you that Baron De Kalb has just received his instructions and is beginning his march. If you are ready, you move—if not, you do the best you can.

“The General endeavours if possible to set out to day at one o’clock. If not today, tomorrow morning very early. He passes by Pluckimin” (DLC: Peter Force Papers). GW departed Middlebrook on 3 June and reached Morristown by 9:00 P.M. (see GW to John Jay, 3 June [third letter]).

1GW is referring to Stony Point, New York.

2At this place on the draft manuscript, McHenry initially wrote “will want.” He then struck out those words and wrote “are calling out for” above the line.

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